Millions of revelers crowded New York’s Times Square to ring in 2011. (Associated Press)

One way to track interest — though by no means not the most reliable — is to tally the blog posts that provoked the most conversation, vitriol, condemnation, praise and confusion among readers. So take a look at the top 11 most-commented on items of 2011 below.

And, as always, we thank you for making 2011 the biggest, most successful year yet for The Federal Eye. Thank you for reading us early and often, for your comments, constructive feedback and criticism, for bookmarking the blog, re-tweeting items, “liking” us on Facebook, “Digging” us on Digg, inadvertently clicking on the ads (the advertising department most especially thanks you for that), e-mailing stories to your friends, neighbors and co-workers and for your news tips — arguably your most important contribution of all.

Here’s hoping for an even bigger and better 2012!

The most-commented on Federal Eye items of 2011 are . . .

11.) How will FEMA pay for Hurricane Irene? (Aug. 28): 239 comments.

10.) Budget director: Stop beating up on federal workers (Nov. 3): 260 comments

9.) Administration: Shutdown would furlough 800,000 federal workers (April 6): 364 comments

8.) Watchdog: Energy Department couldn’t manage stimulus money (Nov. 2): 368 comments

7.) Government shutdown preparations begin . . . just in case (Dec. 15): 372 comments

6.) At town hall, federal worker losing her job confronts Obama (May 12): 373 comments

5.) Federal employees make average 26 percent less than private workers, Labor agency reports (Nov.4): 381 comments

4.) Government shutdown: Cuts in federal pay and benefits targeted as part of budget compromise (April 8): 473 comments

3.) Audit: Undocumented workers got billions from IRS in tax credits (Sept. 2): 503 comments

2.) Rick Perry: Disagreeable federal workers would be reassigned to ‘some really God-awful place’ (Nov. 30): 903 comments

1.) Government shutdown preparations begin as funding talks stall (Dec. 14): 1,183 comments

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

For more, check out The Post’s Best of 2011 for a deeper look at the biggest topics and trends of the year.