Vlad Bailescu’s WordPress Stats Helper plugin is useful for showing a list of top blog posts in one’s sidebar, but it can have the tendency to artificially elevate posts in a feedback cycle of awesomeness.
What you want is to rotate the posts around to give other popular posts some exposure. I’ve made some minor adjustments to Vlad’s plugin to add the option for random rotation.
Grab the modified version here: wordpresscom-stats-helper-random.zip
You’ll want to unzip this in your
wp-plugins folder, disable the old plugin, then activate this one. See the new settings in the widgets section of your WordPress admin — I recommend a random pool size that’s twice the number of posts to display, but you can tweak the settings to your liking.