The most-viewed IT Consultant posts of 2011 feature TechRepublic members’ stories and questions, tips and best practices, and one hotly debated piece. I chose to list IT consultant-specific posts in this year in review and will spotlight project management content in a separate roundup.

Thanks to our writers and readers of the IT Consultant blog for your contributions this year. Tell us what topics you’d like to see covered here in 2012.

1: The little laptop that could

Read about how a Dell Latitude LS400 laptop played an active role in a TechRepublic member’s network support duties in the days following Sept. 11, 2001. Tell us if you ever owned a system that holds a special place in your heart. (Image credit for photo at right: Bob Eisenhardt)

2: The dirty tricks clients play

Chip Camden describes common bad behaviors that some clients exhibit. He also advises consultants on how to respond when they encounter these bad apples.

3: Tips for choosing your professional email address

Your professional email address is like a handshake to clients. Chip Camden advises what to do and what not to do when creating that email address.

4: Four signs your consulting project will fail

Project failures can happen to good consultants. IT consultant Chip Camden shares four red flags that he says should have clued him in that one of his projects was doomed.

5: Making money on free software

How can anyone make money from software development if nobody pays for software? Chip Camden thinks the answer is to stop treating software as a product.

6: Only novices daisy-chain switches

If you support so many network nodes that multiple switches are required, technology consultant Erik Eckel encourages you to do it right.

7: Don’t play dirty consultant tricks

Chip Camden offers his take on an article that characterizes consultants as vampires who are opponents of their clients’ best interests. He also shares tips on how to avoid playing dirty consulting tricks.

8: Consultants are pros, while corporate IT staff are minor leaguers

IT consultancy owner Erik Eckel discusses common challenges he has observed corporate IT pros face when trying to transition to consulting.

9: Top three technologies all IT consultants should learn

Keep your IT consulting skills relevant by familiarizing yourself with the following three technologies.

10: ‘I told you so’ moments in IT consulting

Read a TechRepublic member’s story in which he ended up telling his client, “I told you so.” Chip Camden reminds IT consultants that not all “I told you so” lessons have such happy endings.

Honorable mentions: These four posts were published pre-2011 so they didn’t make this Best of 2011 list, though they continue to be of great interest to readers.