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Power to the people: your most shared articles of 2010

Editors: you name them, we’ve got them. Not just the top one, who writes the witty letter in i every day; we’ve got deputy editors, assistant editors, executive editors, section editors, production editors, and a dozen more derivations ranging in senility and seniority (and far be it from me to suggest a link between the two).

But while they spend their days sifting through recent events and deciding which are important enough to bring to the attention of you, the reader, it’s increasingly the case that their efforts are supplanted by your own. Sure, you don’t have a frontpage to fill (or hold), or a magazine cover or website section to devote to some issue of burning importance. But what you do have is a Facebook wall or a Twitter account, or a presence on Reddit or Digg, or even a blog or other website of your own. More and more the content of people’s experience of The Independent is not based on what we put on the frontpage, but instead by what sparks an interest in our readers and leads them, in turn, to tell their own readers about it. This list is designed to reflect the stories from this year which have captured your imagination and led you to share it, specifically on social networks and social news sites.

The discrepancy with our daily print edition couldn’t be more pronounced; our most shared article of the last year, a satirical column from the late, great Miles Kington is eight years old. Others represent political movements who rallied behind a piece to make it popular; Johann Hari’s Welcome to Cameron land in particular was seemingly ubiquitous around the twittersphere in the run-up to this year’s general election. But all of the stories share one common thread; excellent writing, and often on a relatively unexplored subject. If you haven’t come across them already, I guarantee you they’re worth the effort to read now. Especially ‘High court hang ups'.

1. High court hang-ups

2. After keeping us waiting for a century, Mark Twain will finally reveal all

3. What are the Bilderberg Group really doing in Spain?

4. 'Walls of fat' removed from London's sewers

5. Robot to explore mysterious tunnels in Great Pyramid

6. Toll rises in Haiti cholera outbreak

7. Everest team forced to leave sick British climber to die

8. A cure for the common cold may finally be achieved as a result of a remarkable discovery in a Cambridge laboratory

9. Revealed: What Apple really thinks about its customers

10. Expats recalled as North Korea prepares for war

11. Modern art was CIA 'weapon'

12. Johann Hari: So that's OK then. It's fine to abuse young girls, as long as you're a great film director

13. Crop circle season arrives with a mathematical message

14. Inconvenient truths about our evolution?

15. The ex-gay files: The bizarre world of gay-to-straight conversion

16. Johann Hari: Welcome to Cameron land

17. Einstein's theory is proved – and it is bad news if you own a penthouse

18. Taxi driver died after drinking pure liquid cocaine

19. Into the abyss: The diving suit that turns men into fish

20. Scientists reveal the secrets of Easter Island's fallen idols