Friends and readers, here we are again in the concluding days of the year -- always a good time for reflection.  As such, here is my fifth annual blogging year-in-review.

One of the points I've been making in presentations of late (and in a blog entry a few months ago) is how aware I've been this year that my daily interaction circle has changed.  Through this blog, and other social networking tools, I spend a lot more time directly interacting with the Lotus-related marketplace than I did a few years ago.  As some are constantly searching for a way to quantify the benefits of blogging, the increased efficiency and specificity of that external communication leads to faster but better decision-making.  I have a much better sense as to what is going on in the market through all this direct communication.  I've had to learn to apply some new filters, too, though, as too much information can lead in unintended or unimportant directions.  Sometimes the hardest part of being this connected is -not- reacting immediately, and letting things sort themselves out.

2007 Highlights


Interesting Times
  • This is the year where I finally started learning something about many more of you.  As tools like Facebook, Plazes, SecondLife and Twitter crossed into business networking, we now have much more information about each other.  Some of it is serendipity -- twice in the last three months, I've been at O'Hare Airport simultaneously with other Lotus bloggers.  While we didn't meet up in either case, the opportunity for doing so was new, as a result of these instant publishing tools.  I am not sure whether the updates on people eating dinner or shoveling sidewalks are really rounding out mental images, but knowing who shares common interests, hobbies, and plans creates otherwise difficult connections in online community.  When a co-worker's decision to change hairstyle becomes online buzz for a few days (and is referenced even months later), you know that online communities have finally begun to provide the social connections that only physical workplaces used to.
  • One other thing that those social connections do is provide tools and ways to help each other.  Throughout the year, I have been part of and read about great stories of how people in the Lotus community got together to do something good.  This is not just about providing endorsements on linkedin...I'm talking about taking time, money, and/or effort to implement some genuinely good deeds and actions.  Having just led one of these myself, where we went from idea to action to completion in less than 25 days, I am very proud to be part of this community.  I can't say I ever see the blogs written by people with other technology backgrounds and skills as being about the human element.  Maybe it happens behind the scenes, but I doubt that few approach the sincerity and passion of the Lotus community (something that was commented on many months ago).  And as always, I can't thank you all enough for being that inspiring.
  • In 2007, we've seen the explosion of "splogs" weigh down heavily on the blogging world.  Technorati no longer even indicates on their home page how many blogs they are tracking.  You have to dig to find that it is 112 million sites.  If my daily Google alerts are any indication, a huge number of those are splog bots.  Search results are no longer as useful as they once were.  One sad example: with the recent passing of my colleague Jonathan Sir Hendrey, there was a point last week where three pages of google hits on his name were splogs that were echoing edbrill.com content.  Today it's reduced, but there are still links there from sites like removewrinkles.healthhunters.net/robertowrinkless/ .  How very very sad.
  • The year has had some interesting competitive activities, as usual.  We saw straight out lies and exaggerations, as well as highly public contradictions that still have gone unexplained.  A positive endeavor was seeing Microsoft's efforts to buy their way to a standard with their Office 2007 formats fail on the fast track, as people all over the world experienced unprofessional tactics play out in what normally is an academic process.  We also saw old-and-tired tactics to migrate Notes users to MS without business value fail or stall out in many organizations...maybe it's time for that bull to be put down.

edbrill.com statistics for 2007


I'll put an asterisk at the start of these statistics, because I use Google Analytics to gather them.  I know that some browsers have javascript disabled, especially in mobile devices.  So, the numbers may well be higher than this.  So be it.
  • For the year, approximately 220,000 unique visitors.  This is up only about 10% from 2006.  I long since passed the inflection point where blogging was a reflection of ego, so the relatively small growth is just fine.  I think it is a reflection mainly of how many other high-quality blogs are out there now covering Lotus-related topics, especially "source blogs" written by IBMers in the various product teams.
  • Over 640K unique visits (enough for anybody!).
  • About 1,150,000 pageviews, likewise up a bit more than 10% from 2006.  This stat is probably lower than other, similar blogs because I still have not needed to implement any kind of approval, captcha or other anti-bot routine for comments (which usually require additional pageviews).  Steve Castledine's anti-spam-comment code in DominoBlog beats all other blogging technologies at this, and it amazes me that there has not been more recognition of this strength.
  • As with 2006, no one page has more than a few thousand hits.  The second-most-popular page -- a September, 2003, entry about the Japanese use of "arigato gozimasu".  I believe this page is the top hit for that expression on google.com.
  • The edbrill.com technorati ranking is at about 18,000.  This is down from 2006, but I believe the splogs are all the reason (see above).  Still, 18,000 out of 112 million is not too shabby. :)  Alexa.com says Edbrill.com has a traffic rank of 275,199.
  • Browser use for the year: Firefox 47.93%, Internet Explorer 47.10%, Safari 2.5%.  Firefox continues to gain -- in the last 30 days, it's at 48.09%, Safari is at 3.12%, and IE is at 46.25%.
  • Platforms: Windows = 91.37%, Macintosh = 5.93%, Linux = 2.13%.
  • Geography: 47% USA, 10% UK, 6% Germany, 5.5% Canada, 5.45% Australia, 2.4% France, 25% "other".
  • I no longer am tracking RSS hits, so no idea there.  The numbers would be way off this year, anyway, as beta versions of Notes 8 had edbrill.com in the feedreader by default.

2007 Travel
  • About 90,000 flying miles.  Significant drop versus 2006, as more business was conducted via e-meetings.  I was in Europe only four times this year, with one of those stops being just 48 hours.
  • New countries: Portugal.  Overall I visited twelve countries this year: Germany, Italy, Portugal, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Israel, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, Canada.
  • New cities: There were a few cool new cities amongst travels in countries I had already visited, including Bali (many cities), Liverpool (thanks, Bill!), Nagoya, Warsaw, and a brief glimpse of the German wine quarter.
  • New airlines and airports: TAP, Air Berlin, All Nippon Airways, Helvetic, Continental....LIS, CGN, DPS, MSN.
  • One of the best hotels, anywhere: Kajane Mua, in Ubud, Indonesia.  Their pictures don't begin to capture how special it was for us.
  • Cool memories: A night with business partners in Nagoya, my happi coat, breakfast at Tsukiji fish market (twice), an Aussie barbecue at a colleague's home, anything about Bali, hummus and pita near Jerusalem, the Cavern Club, and meeting so many of you throughout the year.

Looking ahead to 2008


As I sit here by the fireplace on a Sunday afternoon, it is hard for me to predict what lies ahead for this blog in 2008.  One to-do is to finally get to an updated UI -- Steve and I talked about this months ago, but I've never pushed on it.  I'd like to investigate some other tools to tie into the blog.  And I'd like to explore more guest bloggers in 2008 -- Alan Lepofsky did a great job while I was on honeymoon in 2007, and I think we need more of that.  I expect that I'll have some new and different areas of technology to focus on, especially after the torrent of news coming at Lotusphere 2008.

Most of all, though, I am looking forward to another year where the social networking aspect of the community around Lotus continues to inspire.  I am privileged to work with all of you, from a virtual office (here in my home or at 34,000 feet) at differing hours during the day, and through different ways of communicating.  While a generation is entering the workforce having been "online" their whole life, we in this community have adapted many of the same expectations and benefits, whether online for a few months or for twenty years.  How this all evolves going forward is the excitement of being in software and technology.  For this I thank you, for ideas, thoughts, words, and actions.  I wish you the best for the remaining days of 2007, whatever your faith, and for 2008 and beyond.

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