One of my annual traditions with this blog is to post a summary of my top ten blog posts of the year in terms of "hits" on the blog post. A post with more hits isn't necessarily better than a post with fewer hits, but the former certainly gets more attention. Some of the top posts in 2010 were not actually written in 2010). For example, the tenth most popular post of 2010 listed here was actually the 16th most accessed post on my blog in 2010. Seven posts from other years had more hits than it! I don't count these in the 2010 Top Ten and don't count them against that 2010 list either. In other words, some of the Top Ten listed here actually weren't among the ten most-accessed blog posts on my blog for the year, but all are the ten most accessed blogged posts on my blog that were written this year.
11. O JavaFX, What Art Thou? (25 May 2010, Overall #16 in 2010)
The post O JavaFX, What Art Thou? enjoys a provocative title and covers a somewhat controversial subject. A DZone link to the syndicated JavaWorld version, a Java.net reference, and multiple tweets helped this post be one of the top ten most popular posts on my blog written in 2010. In this post, I enumerated issues surrounding JavaFX that I believe led to hesitation for Java developers to adopt it. I believe that Oracle has addressed some of these with its JavaOne 2010 announcements related to JavaFX.
10. Interesting Software Development Tidbits - Early May 2010 (3 May 2010, Overall #15 in 2010)
Although I thought I summarized a few interesting points in this blog post, I was still surprised that a "grab bag" type of post like Interesting Software Development Tidbits - Early May 2010 would end up in my top ten. Being featured on Java.net was probably a big part of this.
9. Groovy: Switch on Steroids (21 January 2010, Overall #14 in 2010)
Posts written early in the year obviously have an advantage in terms of garnering the most hits for the year. I also think that Groovy is a pretty popular subject in at least the Java corner of the blogosphere. Other explanations for Groovy: Switch on Steroids's success include a DZone reference to it and its Grails Tutorials reference.
8. The High Cost of Not Asking Questions (17 December 2009, Overall #13 in 2010)
I must admit that the post The High Cost of Not Asking Questions was one of my personal favorite posts in recent months. It turns out it was actually written in 2009, but I counted it as a Top Ten in 2010 because it was posted so late in 2009. The counting of this as a 2010 post is what led me to actually include eleven posts here in this Top Ten of 2010.
7. Effective Exception Handling is Covered Effectively in Effective Java (21 April 2010, Overall #11 in 2010)
There is no question that the Java.net reference to the post Effective Exception Handling is Covered Effectively in Effective Java contributed to the success of this post. In this case, the DZone reference to it doesn't seem to have contributed much in terms of traffic.
6. Dynamic Java Log Levels with JMX/LoggingMXBean, JConsole, VisualVM, and Groovy (1 April 2010, Overall #8 in 2010)
This post is the first listed here to actually be in the Top Ten of 2010 on its own right without filtering out non-2010 posts. It's title is a mouthful filled with buzzwords, which likely contributed to the attention it received. Its DZone reference definitely helped.
5. Reproducing "code too large" Problem in Java (18 January 2010, Overall #7 in 2010)
Although its publication early in 2010 was a benefit, I believe this post's popularity was more likely due to its Java.net reference. Java.net editor Kevin Farnham provided a nice summary of this post and encouraged readers to check it (and my blog in general) out.
4. Ten Best Chapters of Software Development Books (3 April 2010, Overall #6 in 2010)
I thought the idea behind this post (to focus on the best chapters of books rather than best overall books) was at least slightly original and creative. I was happy to see this post well-received in terms of number of hits. As is a theme on this list, the Java.net reference certainly played a part as did posts from other bloggers such as Mihai Fonoage.
3. JAX-RS With Jersey: An Introduction (9 February 2010, Overall #4)
Even its early publication date in 2010 does not solely explain the success of the post JAX-RS With Jersey: An Introduction. I believe that REST and JAX-RS have been particularly popular topics for blog searches in recent years and having "Introduction" in the title probably helped quite a bit. This post was also referenced on Java.net and the JavaWorld syndicated version of it saw minor success as a DZone link.
2. SqlPhobia: The Irrational Fear of SQL (29 March 2010, Overall #2 in 2010)
In retrospect, it is not all that surprising that this post had enough hits to be the second most popular of my posts in 2010 absolutely (no need to differentiate the year of its origin in this case). This post was written relatively early in the year, it included a title that evokes emotion and attention, and it was on a slightly controversial topic with slightly controversial language. Add in to this a strong Java.net reference, a reddit posting, a DZone reference, blogs written as responses, and numerous tweets, and you have a recipe for a blog post that garners significant attention. I like to think this post also was popular because it hit a nerve. Many of the developers who commented on this post had valid reasons that I agree with for using non-SQL solutions, but I still maintain that far too high of a percentage of ORM users are such because of a fear of SQL. That, at least, has been my anecdotal experience from conversations with ORM enthusiasts.
1. I Use Dead Programming Languages
The most popular post on my blog in 2010, I Use Dead Programming Languages, shares many of the traits that made the just-discussed post on Sqlphobia so popular: it had a DZone link (though it was significantly more successful on DZone than the Sqlphobia post), it was referenced on reddit, it had an attention-grabbing title, and it covered a controversial topic.
What Were the Other Five?
The #11 post listed here was actually the sixteenth most accessed post on my blog in 2010. That, of course, means that five posts not written in 2010 were accessed more often than that "#11" post. Here are those posts which have apparently stood the "test of time" fairly well:
Effective Java NullPointerException Handling (25 April 2009, Overall #12 in 2010)
Bare Bones BlazeDS HTTPService Example (9 May 2008, Overall #10 in 2010)
Easy Java-Based REST Testing Tools (3 January 2009, Overall #9 in 2010)
Using RESTClient with Java's HTTPServlet (21 January 2009, Overall #5 in 2010)
Simple Remote JMX with GlassFish (19 May 2008, Overall #3 in 2010)
I was generally pleased with the posts that made the Top Ten. As always, there were posts that I personally felt were better (meaning more work and/or more value in my opinion) than some of these, but all of these were posts that I still stand behind and think are generally worth the read.
It was obvious in this year's Top Ten that social sites such as Java.net, DZone, and reddit programming make a huge difference in which posts get attention. In general, Java-themed posts were most successful for me this year, but I was pleased to see that some posts that are more general than Java did well in 2010.