One of the best parts about the end of the year—besides spending time with our families over the holidays, of course—is looking to see which stories here most struck a chord with readers. And as usual, there were a few surprises.

Business Issues. It shouldn’t be news that our readers are interested in business issues—sometimes ones that don’t even have to do with IT—and this year is no exception. The most popular blog post in this area for the year—and one of the most-read pieces we’ve ever done—was whether companies should adopt a four-day workweek. It also spawned a lot of discussion as people related stories of how well it worked—or didn’t—in their companies. Not to mention, it apparently caused a lot of employees to say, hey, how about us? Other popular articles in this area included one about open office plans and the rise in corporations of the Chief Happiness Officer.

IT issues. Naturally, however, blog posts about IT issues often took front and center. Blog posts about how programmatic structure is predicated on the corporate structure, the new trend toward insourcing of IT, and Gartner’s report on how companies should be focusing on algorithms instead of just data all did well.

Technical issues. It’s not just articles providing a 10,000-foot view that you like. You like getting into the weeds with some down and dirty technical material, too. Who knew, for example, that algorithms could identify the author of even anonymous code based on studying its style? You also enjoyed reading about exactly why complexity makes for poor software, and about just how hard it is to write a complete program to handle customer names, through the examples of poor Mr. Null and Little Bobby Tables.

Back catalog. Some stories are “evergreens,” popular for months and even years after they’re originally published. This year was no exception. Some of our most popular stories for this year were actually published last year, or even the year before. The blog post about open office plans mentioned earlier, for example, came from 2013. And our articles on COBOL, ageism in the technology industry, the value of emerging technologies, and how schools are saving money by using technology continue to do well, year after year.

Digitization remains big. We’re always fascinated by the work that scientists, historians, and other professionals do to make old documents legible and usable by current and future generations, and by all accounts, so are you. In fact, our most popular story not only of the year, but since we started publishing this blog, is one of those: the digitization of a 17th-century Chinese art book. We were truly delighted at how many people were interested in such a weirdly esoteric topic. Other popular articles in this area? The digitization of 4 million images by the British Library, and the digitization of Einstein’s papers.

Here’s some other articles that did well this year:

What didn’t you like as well this year? While articles based on popular culture, ranging from movies to TV shows to books, have traditionally done very well, this year, not so much. Perhaps everyone was waiting for Star Wars.

In any event, based on all this data, we’re already gearing up for next year—when, no doubt, you’ll surprise us again. Hopefully, we’ll surprise you, too.

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