January 3, 2012

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Best of Snowulf 2011

Before Christmas John suggested to me that we should have a “best of” post for the year. For some reason. we’ve never thought to do this before. I thought it was a fantastic idea and embarked on the project post haste. Since we’ve never written one of these before, I figured I’d wing the format and we could refine it for next year. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed having the time to reflect on the year past — in blog!

I figured that the best way to start off a “Best Of” was to dig out the Top 5 Articles of the year (By Traffic). I pulled this directly out of Google Analytics. I regularly keep an eye on how busy the blog is, what articles are popular, and so forth, so I was not surprised to see any of the articles on this list. I was, however, a little surprised to see just how popular some of these articles are. I’ve also included a rough estimate of total page view percentage, who wrote the article and a few comments of my own.

Top 5 Articles of the year (By Traffic)

  • #5 — Zombie Apocalypse: “Go Bag” Gear List — Jon — 2.5% Total page views — This is about as good as my story telling gets, I had fun great fun writing the intro. I actually got a number of good replies on this one too. Always good to discuss your zombie avoidance protocols in advance!
  • #4 — OpenVPN on Vista 64bit (And Windows 7!) — Jon — 2.7% Total page views — This article is actually from all the way back in 2009, but continued to be useful to people because the OpenVPN group was a bunch of slackers when it came to getting up to speed with Windows 7 / 64bit support. As of my most recent testing, I think they’ve got all the kinks worked out so I’d expect this article to fall off in popularity this year.
  • #3 — How to patch/update the Augen Gentouch78 Tablet PC — John — 6.8% Total page views — John got quite a number of comments on this article and dolled out much advice. Ironically, to this day I still have no idea what a “Gentouch78” is.
  • #2 — Optimizing Windows 7 for Netbooks — Jon — 7.4% Total page views — This was one of several articles, again from way back in 2009, when John and I were both setting up Win7 powered netbooks (mine has since died, I think John still uses his though Editor’s note: sadly, mine is also dead). There has been some back and forth on what makes for the absolute best netbook performance tweaks, but this article provided a good base for people, and shall continue to do so until we go metro.
  • #1 — <a href=”/2010/08/30/adding-a-roku-to-a-logitech-harmony-remote/” [blog] Adding a Roku to a Logitech Harmony Remote">Adding a Roku to a Logitech Harmony Remote — John — 8% Total page views — I haven’t been able to claim Snowulf as “My blog” for many years. John does a lot of work for little recognition (He has worked on every. single. article. published since September 2007, which I had to look up on our About Us page, it’s been that long) and I think it is awesome that he gets top article for the year (even though it was written in 2010) by a solid margin.
Top 5 Articles of the year, written in 2011 (By Traffic)

Since all but one of the “Top 5 Articles of the year (By Traffic)” were written before 2011, I thought it would be interesting to see what was most popular that was written in 2011. Now some might be surprised that most of popular content is from “years ago” but most of Snowulf’s traffic comes from searches. We’re an informational site, not an “in the moment” news site.

A look back

Once had the top 5 articles, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I was going to select my 5 favorite posts of the year but I with some very small exceptions, my favorites are the posts that do well — that help people out. Instead of another list of articles, I just took a general look back at the blog over the course of the year.

The start of the year wasn’t exactly… stellar for the blog here. January was an entire 2 posts (both written by John, no less). February was a banner month with a single post, again, by John. March was a “start”, if you can call it that with 2 more posts. The first post I wrote for the year was March 31st which is … sad. At least by April we had managed to establish a solid 1 day a week posting schedule which was a definite improvement. Of course I look back at times like October 2010 when we managed to kick out entries a solid 5 days a week and had been since January! The rest of the year cruised into a solid patter of 1-2 posts a week, we managed to get through the last 9 months with at least one post every week — even if it wasn’t on a strict every Tuesday schedule.

I also took a look at the traffic numbers as a whole. 2011 say an increase in Visits (as reported by Google Analytics) of ~30% <!– 2011 = 137,720 – 2010 = 106,146–> over 2010, which was pleasant to see. Oddly, for as boring as our traffic stats tend to be, the busiest day on the site in 2011 was December 26th — a large number of people looking for Roku/Harmony information — I guess it was a popular gift this year (

Editor’s note — Woot.com and Roku.com both had decent sales on the devices during the last part of December). It’s strange to compare the years back and forth. So many more posts on such a regular schedule in 2010 versus 3 months of no posts from me in 2011… yet we’re still getting more hits than ever. We also hit our 1,000th published post (according to WordPress) in 2011.

When this posts goes live, it will mark the 6th anniversary of this blog. In seeing this, I’m torn. On one hand I’m happy how far the blog as come along. I’m excited to see how things will go in the new year. At the same time I’m sad that it’s fallen by the wayside in my life. At one point in time I had enough dedication (and granted, free time) to write a post every single day — in some cases I could get weeks ahead of the current schedule. As I noted above, I didn’t post for 3 months. Fortunately John has been around to cover my ass from time to time, but I would love to stop his needing to do so. One of my goals for the new year is to make the blog a personal priority again and bring us back to a reasonable schedule. Hopefully when we get to the inevitable “Best of 2012” post, I’ll be pleased as a peach that the posting schedule was properly maintained the ENTIRE year. We’ll see in 364 days.

Editor’s note — What could possibly go wrong?