Top 10 posts, podcasts, tweets of 2014 -- and what it all means
Here's a look at the top 10 posts, podcasts, and tweets published in 2014 on I'd Rather Be Writing. After the lists, I explain my takeaways from looking at the metrics.
Top 10 posts written in 2014
Based on Google Analytics, these 10 posts written in 2014 received the most traffic:
- A simple way to write, edit, and publish documentation online using Google Docs and Markdown
- 10 technical writing principles to live by
- Do I need to take courses in technical writing? Guest post by Laura Palmer
- Writing skills versus technical skills, or, What I realized in solving a Sudoku puzzle
- Gamification and user engagement in e-learning and documentation
- The appeal of DITA
- Growing trends for APIs and my favorite resources to learn technical information
- DITA's output does not require separation of tasks from concepts
- Single-page docs versus “Click Insanity”
- Outside the tech comm tool bubble, there is a wide, wide world
Most popular posts of all-time
These 10 posts received the most traffic overall, regardless of the publication date. Many of these posts have publication dates prior to 2014.
- Technical Writing Careers — Answering 13 Questions about Technical Writing Jobs
- Quick Reference Guides: Short and Sweet Documentation
- Seamlessly Integrating a Blog into Your Non-Blog Website
- Sample Expand and Collapse Code with Twisting Buttons
- How to Create Video Tutorials — A Five Step Process
- Quick reference guides
- Are Certificate Programs Helpful for Transitioning into Technical Writing? (Collaborative Post)
- How I create video tutorials
- Introduction to getting a job in technical writing (TW Job)
Top 10 posts with most comments in 2014
These 10 posts written in 2014 had the most comments:
- 10 technical writing principles to live by (38 comments)
- Why developers will never adopt DITA (31 comments)
- The Appeal of DITA (29 comments)
- Strategies for using links with DITA (27 comments)
- The future of tech comm is developer doc (25 comments)
- DITA: Limitations with the chunk="to-content" attribute in relationship tables (25 comments)
- DITA: Why DITA, metadata, working in code and author views, and relationship tables (20 comments)
- Now that debts are paid off, plan to travel the world for a year, documenting things (20 comments)
- DITA's output does not require separation of tasks from concepts (15 comments)
- soap! A new conference for technical writers in Poland (11 comments)
Top 10 posts with most comments all-time
These 10 posts have the most comments on my site regardless of the publication date. I published many of these posts prior to 2014.
- Twenty Usability Tips for Your Blog — Condensed from Dozens of Bloggers' Experiences (278 comments)
- Does DITA Encourage Authors to Fragment Information into a Million Little Pieces? (102 comments)
- Explain what you feel is an important feature for a help authoring tool and why (Flare Giveaway) (94 comments)
- Answering 13 Questions about Technical Writing Jobs (73 comments)
- A Reverse Approach to Help Authoring: Writing Documentation Post-Release (70 Comments)
- Is technical writing boring? (69 comments)
- If No One Reads the Manual, That's Okay (67 comments)
- Grasshoppers that Look Like Aliens (63 comments)
- Madcap Flare Review: 45 Things I Love About Flare, 31 Things I Hate About It (63 comments)
- What Does It Mean to Know How to Write? (62 comments)
Top 10 podcasts published in 2014
These podcasts published in 2014 received the most downloads.
- Introduction to API documentation: Interview with Scot Marvin (1,872 downloads)
- Lessons learned as a novice API technical writer — Interview with Mary Linderman (podcast) (1,797 downloads)
- Information Development World and the Customer Experience — A Podcast with Scott Abel and Val Swisher (1,580 downloads)
- Videos and reflections from the 2014 Intelligent Content Conference 1499
- Creating code samples for API/SDK documentation (webinar recording, slides, and audio) (1,279 downloads)
- Mark Baker on Every Page Is Page One (Intelligent Content 2014) (1,268 downloads)
- Recording of STC Berkeley presentation on why users can't find answers in help (1,253 downloads)
- Sarah O'Keefe on The Many Facets of Content Strategy (Intelligent Content 2014) (1,183 downloads)
- Recording of my STC Sacramento presentation — Why users can't find answers in help material (1,177 downloads)
- The Author Experience — Interview with Rick Yagodich (978 downloads)
Top 3 tweets posted in 2014
Here are my top 3 most retweeted tweets during 2014.
Saw this taped on my daughter's door when I got home. The young writer is creating some space to write. Kills me. pic.twitter.com/Ja61scueQX
What do I make of all of this?
From these top 10 lists, the following are my takeaways:
- Posts about DITA received the most comments, but DITA-focused posts weren't the most read. This tells me the DITA community is small and opinionated. DITA is also a controversial topic. (Alternatively, I'm an idiot when it comes to DITA, and lots of people stepped in to correct me during the year.)
- The most popular posts of all time include how-to information. Instructional material is perhaps the most searched for information on the web. (What a great time to be a technical writer!)
- There's a strong interest in technical writing careers, courses, and programs. A lot of people looking for information about technical writing are trying to transition into this field and are searching the web for information.
- API documentation is a hot topic for podcasts, but podcasts on a variety of topics still remain popular as a form of information for my audience.
Based on these metrics, here are my plans for 2015:
- Create more podcasts, especially on API documentation.
- Write more instructional how-to posts.
- Invite guest bloggers from academia to cover the tech comm program/certificate angle. (Interested?)
- Post more tech how-to notes online. I already put my Java notes on my blog.
- Stop posting so much about DITA. I really focused a lot on DITA during 2014. This year I want to focus more attention on API doc.
Am I missing anything from my interpretation of these metrics?