Another great thing about Internet publishing is that it's possible to collect detailed statistics on how many people read what documents – something that's impossible to ascertain with print publications.
So, what were the most popular news items on Light Reading in 2002? The following list gives the top ten out of a total of nearly 1,200 documents:
No. 10: Juniper Nabs Unisphere for $740M
21,563 page views After a year filled with so much doom and gloom, it's interesting, if not vaguely heartwarming, to find a positive event – the multimillion-dollar acquisition of Unisphere Networks by Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) – among our most popular stories. Of course, we should mention that Light Reading predicted this event (see Juniper Scoping Out Unisphere?). Not that we're trying to blow our own horn, here...
No. 9: Cisco's Russo Resigns
22,003 page views Anything with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) in the title automatically equals loads o' mouse clicks. In addition to this one, Cisco stories also came in at No. 3 and No. 7 on the countdown. What's more, several Cisco stories just missed the top ten, including Cisco Eyeing Sonus, which garnered 19,195 page views.
Read more about Russo:
No. 8: Black Friday: More Layoffs Loom
24,370 page views Frightening factoid: Thousands more people have lost jobs in this industry than have read this story. Gulp.
More layoff stories:
No. 7: Cisco, Sycamore Circling Lucent's ATM
25,091 page views A good rumor always makes people sit up and notice, particularly when it involves three (once-)leading players. We have yet to discover if this particular rumor is true, or just the product of the fevered imagination of a few insomniac financial heads...
No. 6: Telecom Downturn: Just Beginning?
26,221 page views Was it the title that shocked readers into taking a closer look at this story? Certainly the prospect that the telecom winter is far from over is enough to strike fear in the hearts of even the stoutest Light Readers. Dr. John McQuillan, cochairman of the NGN Ventures conference, is the gloomy groundhog who poked his head out, spotted his shadow, and said we'd better get used to things the way they are.
No. 5: Lucent Fat Cats Gorge in 2002
26,721 page views Stories of excessive executive compensation packages always get our goat – and our readers' too, it seems. But Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) is by no means alone in rewarding its top brass richly while the company sinks like a lead balloon. To really get in the mood of righteous indignation, we invite you to go on and read 2002 Top Ten: Fat Cats as well.
No. 4: Ex-Employees Take Aim at Accordion
29,208 page views We puzzled for a while over why a story about a startup found itself so high on our list. In the end, we figured it was because of its positioning – as the lead story on our Supercomm preview site for several days – that pushed it up the charts. Testament to the power of these mini-publications. (PR folk take note...)
Accordion, sadly, didn't reap the benefit of all those mouse clicks: The company Website is out of commission, and we'd bet our boots it's out of business, if only we could find any takers.
No. 3: Has Huawei Got Cisco's Number?
31,988 page views The story speaks for itself:
Who's Cisco Systems Inc.'s scariest competitor right now? It's probably not Juniper Networks Inc., Nortel Networks Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc., or even Alcatel SA.
Instead, try FutureWei.
FutureWei is the new North American communications equipment subsidiary of Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. The company officially launched last week with a splashy booth at the Supercomm 2002 tradeshow, hiring a gaggle of lithe, silver-spandex-clad models to hand out product literature and generate buzz.
By most accounts, it worked...
No. 2: Light Reading's Top Ten Private Companies
35,125 page views Whatever readers may think about Light Reading's ability to differentiate between a silk purse and a sow's ear, it seems they're still interested in our ranking of the up-and-coming startups in optical networking. Or perhaps they're just eager to see us fall flat on our face. Picking winners among startups is no easy task, particularly in this climate, but at least we're brave enough to try.
No. 1: 50 Worst Company Names
63,204 page views The stunning margin of victory just proves what we've known all along at Light Reading: Readers want a garnish of giggles – and, if possible, heaping helpings of Phartronics – with their regular diet of heavy-hitting news analysis.
For more giggles about names, check out:
— Pauline Rigby, Senior Editor, Light Reading