Optical/IP Networks

2003 Top Ten: Most Popular Stories

As we recap the year on Light Reading, we finish with one more list -- the one that you, the readers, gave us.

Which stories were the most popular? That's a good question. There are two ways we typically look at which stories most generate interest: We can count the hits, or we can look at the discussion they generate on the message board.

Neither method is perfect, of course. Counting the hits means to look at the number of times a particular story on our site is visited by the outside world, as tracked by our trusty Web servers at an undisclosed location. In looking for controversial appeal of a story, we can look at the number of messages generated by the longest discussion threads.

Got all that? Good. We've decided to provide a look at both methods as a way of best summing up the year that was 2003:

Top Ten Stories by Number of Hits (Server Says!) It's not surprising that Headcount columns were hit-getters. They cover lots of companies at once and they talk about jobs. It is fundamentally interesting to read whether your company's holiday party will contain a banner that says "Have a Nice Life!" as opposed to "Happy New Year!"

...but with a little duck tape and some twine, we got it working again. Whew!

Oy! What a controversy this was. An anonymous poster is ousted and dismissed by his company. Then, he tells the media his story and we catch hell for using his real name. In hindsight, this was pretty damn funny. Post a note below if you disagree.

Can we just refer to this as "The List?" And, interestingly, the more we attempt to explain how we come up with these lists, the more mysterious the process becomes.

Nothing can work those Web servers into a froth quicker than a nice little story about a giant defense contract that no one's supposed to be talking about.

Top Ten Stories by Message Posts (The People Speak!) Two words: access matters.

And, guess what? Roland Acra is leaving Cisco and we've got a hint as to where he might be heading (see Has Procket Found a New CEO?).

The top five stories in terms of message board traffic all had to do with offshoring, foreign relations, and competing with foreign companies.

This tells us two things: First, the world is getting smaller; and that creates tension, as old ways of doing things prove outmoded. It also means you probably want to read more about those issues. Look for more offshoring stories in 2004.

As always, we encourage you to tell us what we're covering too much, what we're not covering enough, and why our discussions boards on Movies and Beer haven't been taking up more of your time.

Send your news tips and story ideas to [email protected].

Happy New Year!

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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