It’s That Time of Year, Again

December 29th, 2008 4 Comments

I hope everyone had an enjoyable week of holiday fun. As promised, here’s the first of those obligatory year-end posts, and as is customary, let’s look back at 2008 before we peer ahead into 2009.

Photo by duplamox on Flickr used under Creative Commons

Photo by duplamox on Flickr used under Creative Commons

I would have done this anyway, but friend of the ‘Lab Jim dropped a note asking to see the top ten posts by traffic and the top ten by comments, a la Google Zeitgeist. Always happy to oblige a friend, I’ve added those to the list.

A bonus for this year is that we have last year’s recap for comparison.

Fun with Numbers

In 2008, this blog had 131,000 pageviews and just over 83,000 visits, and our Feedburner subscriptions went from 500 in January to nearly 900 in December.

The top 10 posts, measured by pageviews were:

  1. “For Your iPhone Only”: 3,668 pageviews, posted August 22, 2007
  2. Orablog Tag or Eight Things: 2,816 pageviews, posted January 7, 2008
  3. The iPhone Still Rules: 1,715 pageviews, posted January 3, 2008
  4. Mix, JRuby on Rails, Small Teams, Agile, and it’s Effects on the World: 1,680 pageviews, posted November 21, 2007
  5. New Home for iPhone Stuff: 1,337 pageviews, posted July 13, 2008
  6. Oracle Gets Social: 1,251 pageviews, posted August 7, 2007
  7. No iPhone, No Service: 1,050 pageviews, posted August 16, 2007
  8. MetaLink (and More) in Your Browser Search Bar: 1,045 pageviews, posted July 10, 2007
  9. Air Sharing Gives You iPhone File Sharing Goodness: 1,020 pageviews, posted September 16, 2008
  10. Eight Cell Phones in Ten Years Part 1: 967 pageviews, posted October 29, 2007

Maybe we should change this to an iPhone blog, or if we were ad-supported, that would make sense.

I guess my pithy musings on technology and our work on OpenSocial just aren’t that interesting beyond the small circle of ‘Lab friends who like to share their thoughts.

Using 2007 for comparison, between June 2007 and December 2007, we had about 61,000 visits and 110,000 pageviews. The top five posts based on pageviews for that span were:

  1. MetaLink (and More) in Your Browser Search Bar: 4,769 pageviews, posted July 10, 2007
  2. Mix, JRuby on Rails, Small Teams, Agile, and it’s Effects on the World: 3,810 pageviews, posted November 21, 2007
  3. Why Ruby on Rails is the perfect framework for building next generation Enterprise Apps: 2,393 pageviews, posted June 4, 2007
  4. Oracle Gets Social: 2,206 pageviews, posted August 7, 2007
  5. Let’s Mix: 2,110 pageviews, posted November 12, 2007

Surprisingly, 60% of the posts on the 2008 list were written in 2007, proof of the value of SEO for driving traffic you to your blog from search engines. Also, three posts made the list in both both 2007 and 2008. I guess these are the things we’re most known for, at least here on this blog. Not a bad collection, I guess.

The posts that garnered the most traffic suggest to me that we have a lot of lurkers and hit/run visitors who just want iPhone information, but what about the stuff we like to discuss?

As Jim suggested, here are the top ten posts, ranked by number of comments:

  1. OS X, Ubuntu and Other Stuff: 32 comments, posted July 29, 2008
  2. How to do a Set-Top Box: 30 comments, posted November 17, 2008
  3. So Very Tired: 30 comments, posted January 11, 2008
  4. FriendFeed is for Lurkers Too: 26 comments, posted March 18, 2008
  5. Orablog Tag or Eight Things: 25 comments, posted January 7, 2008
  6. Pour Some Gas on the Fire (Eagle): 25 comments, posted May 8, 2008
  7. Why Stickers are My New Business Card: 23 comments, posted September 29, 2008
  8. Your First Computer: 23 comments, posted July 31, 2008
  9. Macs in the Enterprise: 22 comments, posted October 22, 2008
  10. On Disqus: 22 comments, posted June 12, 2008

I had to do that manually, which is a bummer. We switched to Disqus back in the June, and I’m wondering now how hard it would be to go back to regular comments, since the latest version of WP supports threading. Don’t get me wrong, I like Disqus; I’m just tired of having so many logins and less control over my comments.

The last data point I’ll leave you with is the number of posts by each author.

  1. Me: 292
  2. Rich: 20
  3. Paul: 12
  4. Anthony: 3
  5. Matt: 2

Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting.

Newsworthy
In the 2007 recap, I listed a bunch of major things we’d accomplished. Looking back at 2008, I have a shorter list of major accomplishments. We spent most of the year of improving upon what we’d established in 2007. So, rather than a laundry list of stuff we did, I’ll just hit some of the newsworthy stuff from 2008.

Mix left the nest.
We spent much of the first part of 2008 building new features for Mix with the help of ENTP. Marketing saw potential in Mix and made it a centerpiece of their OpenWorld 2008 efforts, including the highly popular Suggest a Session campaign.

Mix has since graduated out of the ‘Lab and into the capable hands of Marketing. This is perfect for everyone involved. One of our original goals as a lab was to keep the innovation flowing, both in and out of the team. So, when Mix was ready for primetime, it naturally went to an organization that could support its user base appropriately.

Connect continued to evolve as our sandbox.
Connect continued to be our place for experimentation. Although we didn’t get to do as much as we’d hoped, we did release a V2 that upgraded the original Connect code to the JRuby codebase from Mix. Rich has been quietly adding new features, like unified search, Connect People Search for iPhone, OraTweet integration and APIs.

We’re hoping to release major UI changes and OpenSocial in the next month or so. These have been in the works off and on for months. Clayton Donley is working on a sweet iPhone app that will include features of Connect as well. So, we should have Connect news to discuss in January.

The 8 things meme circled the ‘tubes all year.
The controversial round of blog tagging I lobbed into the Oracle blogosphere back in January just resurfaced again, like a bad penny. Initially, I planned to track its progress, but after the blowback, I figured it was best to let sleeping dogs lie. Still, the experiment worked as planned, exposing several parts of the blogsphere, and forcing the Ontario Emperor to divulge 14 things about himself.

Paul needs an agent.
Looking back on 2008, I’m surprised at how many speaking engagements Paul did. It was so many we had to build several new slide decks, as the one we used in 2007 got a little stale. This is a reflection of the full speed ahead adoption of 2.0; in 2007, Paul’s slides did a lot of education; in 2008, his slides reviewed and analyzed our experiences.

I’m looking forward to the extension of his Defrag talk; as we collect more data from our networks, more interesting network effects will come to light.

One last funny bit was a Wikipedia citation (reference 31) of this post about Twitter, kind of funny to be cited there about Twitter, no less. Also, semi-ironic, considering that Twitter is far less likely to get pummeled by Macworld, since Steve Jobs won’t be speaking there (ever?) again.

Maybe this time next year, I’ll be reviewing our very own Wikipedia entry, and the year after that defending my edits to it.

Anyway, it’s been fun, and now the nostalgia is over; still, let’s agree to this again next year, assuming I still have this job. Did I miss anything? If so, you know what to do.

Happy New Year!


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4 Responses to “It’s That Time of Year, Again”

  1. Jim Says:

    Hey Jake – that makes for an interesting read. I love stats like that. It's interesting when you look at the numbers and find what's interesting vs. what you +think+ will be interesting…
    Wishing you a great 2009, and may your well of blogging ideas never run dry.
    Thanks for a great blog.

  2. Jake Says:

    Glad you liked it. If you hadn't asked for the most-discussed posts, I probably would have given up trying to determine that. It was purely manual.

    I did notice my posting output has risen month-over-month since the Summer, but I can't recall why.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. Puneet Thapliyal Says:

    Jake,

    This is a great blog and I really like your writing style. I am amazed how you keep churning out great posts so frequently. Please keep writing more in your distinct entertaining style. I do wish to hear more from Rich to get the fill on RoR and web app development in general.

    Puneet

  4. Jake Says:

    Thanks, I'm glad you enjoy it. You should blog more; you have an interesting take on things. Rich sees blogging as a chore, as do I frequently, but maybe he'll commit himself in the New Year.

    Incidentally, I may try to devote time to learning Rails. Stay tuned.

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