An interesting insight into what brings people to the Loosely Coupled website comes from this list of the ten most popular weblog postings for 2004, based on our traffic logs (which are recorded by an external service that counts pageviews only, so these figures reflect the interests of live visitors rather than robots). Here's the list, ranked by popularity:
Avalon: Microsoft's microchannel(Jun 18th) More controversial predictions: "In ten years time, when applications run in rich browser clients, Windows will have settled into its legacy platform niche ..."
The quest for KISS(Aug 9th) On the art of "finding the right level of simplicity masking complexity without inhibiting freedom of expression and creativity."
Rich clients, network wealth(Jul 1st) A follow-up to my Avalon posting, explaining why it's conceivable that web clients could one day replace Windows.
Shallow linking(Sep 1st) Observations and critique of IDG's deep linking policy, which I'm delighted to note now seems to have been expunged from the group's standard terms and conditions.
Prior to 2004, our blog postings were in a week-to-a-page format, so I haven't previously been able to do a ranking like this. But honorable mentions should go to four postings from 2003, each of which ranked among those listed above in popularity during the past year indeed, the first of them would have taken second place in the above list, by a very large margin above the next-placed item, and would almost certainly have been first had it not been for the slashdot effect that boosted this year's top entry. That just goes to show that some web content continues to deliver value long after its initial publication:
Something else interesting is happening with traffic stats elsewhere on the site. Every month, we publish a list of the top 10 most popular glossary definitions from the previous month (we also publish the top 10 feature articles). Right from when we started doing this, our definition for "meaning of Internet" has come top except last month, when it was displaced by, of all things, SLA. SLA's progress up the chart has been phenomenal over the past three months, with its traffic increasing by a factor of 5x in that period. I've not seen anything like it in the entire two years that we've been tracking this. It's not necessarily a raw representation of rising interest in the term; the Google ranking of the individual definition page also plays a part. But it's fascinating to see more interest being taken in the concept, by whatever mechanism. Another similar surprise has been to see our definition for publish-subscribe catapult into our top 10 last month. Suddenly, it seems, messaging is getting popular.
The growing interest in SLA helps to explain the curious resurgence of a 2003 article about monitoring services levels back into our top 10 feature articles last year (as well as the previous month, we also show the previous year's ten most popular articles, and with the turn of the year we've just updated our listing to show the ten most popular in 2004). Seven of these articles were originally published in 2003 (although number 10 on the list was right at the tail end of the year, on Dec 29th, so most readers didn't see it until 2004). In part, that reflects the fact that we've published fewer articles in 2004, but it's also a fine tribute to the durability of the content.
I'm glad to say that increasing advertising revenues on the site means that we can now afford to publish more new articles, so in 2005 we're expecting to get back to the frequency we originally established in 2003. But no one can predict which items will be top of our charts at the end of the year perhaps some of our 2003 stalwarts like Bridging the gap between .NET and J2EE and Tactics, not strategy, drive SOA adoption will still be up there with the leaders.