Blogging Year In Review

It would be an understatement to say that the last year has been busy. With having a baby, launching and then 'unlaunching' the HP TouchPad, lots of conferences, and pushing out several open source project releases it's just been one heck of a crazy time. Throughout it all I've tried to continue blogging, though not as consistently as I would like. I thought it would be interesting to review the blog stats for the year and see what was actually the most popular posts rather than what I thought they were. The results may surprise you. They certainly surprised me.

Traffic has grown for Josh On Design in general. At the beginning of 2011 I was averaging around 20-30 hits per day. For December the daily average is around 180. So that's quite a significant jump. However it doesn't account for the nearly 50k hits of the entire year. A good portion of that came in two spikes at the end of September and the middle of October. See the anomaly in this chart:

Those two spikes represent when I was linked by heavily trafficked news sites: Reddit and YCombinator's Hacker News. These links are attributed to one piece of content: the notes and exercises from my HTML 5 Canvas Deep Dive workshop that I presented at OSCON in July. In fact, the canvas article accounts for nearly half of all hits I've gotten for the entire year. So, lesson number one: quality deep technical content is greatly appreciated.

The #2 hit is the main page of my blog, which doesn't really tell us anything. #3 is my post about refactoring Amino with 1700 hits. Note that even though this is #3 it's still only 3.69% of the total for the year. What this tells me is that my blog has a very long tail. Only the canvas deep dive is significantly more popular that the rest of the site.

#4 four is a post about my App Bundler project which lets you easily build native Java exes for a variety of platforms. #5 and #6 are more posts about Amino.. This surprises me because Amino doesn't seem to be used very much in practice and the mailing list traffic is minimal, yet posts about it seem to be popular. Perhaps it's a big hit with my Twitter followers.

With 898 hits Typography 101 is the seventh most popular post. This is the first one that doesn't surprise me. I figure reference material will generally pick up a lot of hits over time as people find it through Google. The two articles Future of Desktops and Design of the Workstation OS and Why 2014 won't be like 1984 are rant essays about the industry. I'm not surprised that they were in the top ten since controversial topics seem to always get hits. Finally UI Design Assets and Tools rounds out the top ten with 676 hits for the year.

Overall I'm happy with the blog traffic. Considering I haven't had much time to work on it, especially since Jesse was born, I think it's doing pretty well. I expect traffic to rise significantly early next year when my O'Reilly eBook is published (which reminds me that I've got more editing to do).

I'm officially on vacation today and will be offline for the next three weeks. I've got much needed baby time awaiting. I'll see you in 2012!

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Posted December 26th, 2011

Tagged: personal