2006 blog year in review

December 25 2006

As the year heads into its final week, I present my fourth annual blogging year-in-review.  Most interestingly, this year I don't feel much of a need to discuss the general market impact of blogging.  I spoke at several conferences and was interviewed many times about the business impact of blogging, but it is so mainstream now that it's ordinary news.  The notion of business blogging has, for companies like IBM, become simply part of the conversation -- and from where I sit, as the sales leader for a product which has reported eight consecutive quarters of revenue growth, a critical one.  Some still want to pronounce blogging as some kind of gee-whiz phenomena, but we've had the notion of online communities around Lotus Notes - well, almost as long as the product has been in market.  The conversation now takes places along many more dimensions, with many more of the decision-makers taking part directly.  It is almost to the point where it is a disadvantage not to be participating in the blogging world -- but we can't forget that that participation is still only a very small percentage of the total potential community.  We'll come back to that thought.

2006 edbrill.com blog statistics

  • For the year, approximately 200,000 unique visitors -- at least 150,000 relevant ones.  I say "relevant" to exclude the random google searches and the like.  Splogs and spammers are already excluded from that number -- both the Domino blog template logging capabilities and Google analytics do a fair job of filtering that traffic.  I believe junk is almost 50% of what's actually hitting the domain every day, though.
  • Over 1 million pageviews
  • Interestingly, though, no one page more than 10,000 hits
  • A typical weekday has at least 2000 unique visitors and 4000 pageviews, again after filtering out garbage traffic.  This is up about 25% from 2005.
  • A typical weekday has about 20,000 RSS hits
  • Browser makeup for the year: 50% IE, 44% Firefox.  Firefox is at 45.13% for the last month.
  • Platforms: Windows 94%, Mac 3.9%, Linux 2%
  • Georgraphy: 48% USA, 11% UK, 5.24% Germany, 5% Canada,4.5% Australia, 25%+ "other"
  • My Technorati ranking has dropped like a rock in the last couple of months, to where it is now hovering around 10,000.  I've questioned the value of this metric during the year, but it is still the only real blogging guide out there.  10,000 out of 55 million is still not too shabby....

2006 Highlights
  • "Yellow is the new black" -- Starting out of the gate at Lotusphere 2006, there has been renewed momentum in the Notes community.  One key evidence point that has held on for most of the year -- Show-n-Tell Thursdays.  Some of the group efforts from early '06 (dominoblogs.com, thenewblack, etc) may have lost some momentum, but others, such as OpenNTF hitting its fifth birthday and the strength of the Taking Notes podcasts shows the spirit of community.
  • For edbrill.com, a highlight was the February "Best blogs for buyers" award from Network World, and the fairly consistent PR7 pagerank from Google in the second half of the year (oddly, at the moment, only applied to edbrill.com and not www.edbrill.com).
  • The Notes/Domino 7.0.2 release kept things moving for Notes and Domino this year, and I was pleased to see the Domino community's grassroots efforts around blogging evolve into a core competency of the platform.  Notes Access for SAP Solutions demonstrated the flexibility of Notes as an enterprise integration tool, and the first-ever Notes client for Linux expanded client options beyond the now-current Mac client and Windows client platforms.
  • Notes/Domino 8 has clearly been visible on the radar all year.  Getting to beta in November was a major milestone, as was the May announcement of the inclusion of productivity editors (supporting ODF) in the Notes 8 client.  Watching the community rally around Mary Beth Raven's blog has been extra-rewarding, knowing what an evolution in IBM software development it represents to be making design decisions in public.

Interesting times
  • We started the year with the Notes community slaying the Microsoft "red bull" effort around Notes migrations.  If you ever wanted to consider the impact of blogging in the market,  the public deconstruction of these tools made them worthless in any real-world scenario -- I can verify that first-hand.  Microsoft clearly has not let up going after Notes customers, but you know you are having a bad year when even the companies mentioned in the Lotusphere spoiler press release don't all end up actually going through with their announced migrations.
  • Speaking of deconstructing, edbrill.com readers passionately engaged in a high-profile discussion around whether Notes is "asbestos" and can be "screen-scraped"; while some of the words were a little heated, it was heartening to see professionals stick to the facts in the face of a 15-minute-fame-seeking attacker, who never bothered to support attacks with actual facts.
  • My weblog played a major role in determining my travel and customer engagements for 2006.  I coined the term "availablogging" to refer to using the blog to indicate potential customer visit opportunities.  This worked for me thrice during the year, and even mentioning my first planned European trip in 2007 has garnered a few opportunities.
  • Having travelled internationally for years without incident, I encountered pickpockets in Malaysia, but de-stressed quickly.
  • I am fortunate to have so many wonderful friends, all over the world.  Little things like trying to ship a favorite wine, a hand-delivered housewarming present, or a wonderful new digital camera as a birthday gift -- I am truly grateful.  It is hard to have ever imagined this blog becoming a tool to discover such amazingly generous and caring people, and help me see the world as a smaller place.
Travel
  • About 150,000 flying miles.  Biggest year ever.  But I wasn't on the road more days than other years -- just a lot of short trips.
  • New countries/territories: Hungary, Finland, Philippines, Indonesia, Northern Ireland, Brazil, and Belgium. Other countries: Canada, England, Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Singapore, Malaysia, China (Hong Kong), Australia, New Zealand.
  • New airlines: MalĂ©v, Blue1, SN Brussels; Long-distance trains: THALYS, Deutsche Bahn, Enterprise.
  • New cities/airports: Basel, Belfast, Batam, Brisbane, Sandviken, as well as BUD, AAR, HEL, MNL, GIG, LAN, SDF, AKL, BRU, OMA, YEG, YYC
  • Airline that could have done so much better: American, after I crossed two million miles, managed to delay luggage (twice), lie about cancelled flights, delay others for hours, and reduce service/partners in such a way that I will go at least three months without earning a single flying mile on them or their partners.
Thus endeth 2006 on so many positive notes, professionally and personally.  Over the next couple of days, I'll be discussing goals for 2007.  I'll tell you now what is #1 on the list: how to engage more of the community.  In the meantime, my thanks again for being part of this.  You all are a major source of the inspiration and passion that goes into each and every work day.

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