Traffic report: the most visited posts of 2011

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Lots of the visitors to this blog arrive here by way of Google search (welcome!). Thanks to search engines and a few well placed keywords, the same older posts (let's call them "timeless topics") seem to attract the most traffic from year to year. I hope that the searchers find what they're looking for; I suspect that new parents who are searching for the perfect baby name are disappointed.

In this entry, I'll list the 10 most-visited SAS Dummy posts that were written in 2011. To demystify the results a bit, I'll also include comments about why I think they drew so much traffic. Here they are (in no particular order):

Calling Windows PowerShell from SAS: a simple example
This is a cool topic for sys admin types, and I'd like to think that this is why it drew so many visitors. However, I know the real reason for its high traffic -- it was featured on the support.sas.com home page for several weeks. Any article that occupies a link from support.sas.com gets an automatic lift, because all SAS customers visit the support site, sooner or later. And many of them are like me: they are easily distracted by clicking on topics they didn't set out to find.

SAS Enterprise Guide options: my favorite 5
SAS Enterprise Guide offers over 150 options to affect its appearance and behavior. Many business users are afraid to change the default settings, or don't even know which settings are available. This post is my "best practice" guidance for venturing into the options settings.

10 tips for organizing your SAS Enterprise Guide projects
This is another "best practice" post that our SAS trainers have been promoting. Yes, you've got the software, and maybe you've been trained in the mechanics of using it for work. But what behaviors will help you to get the most out of your investment?

Measuring the value of my DVD-by-mail movie service
I had this post in my pocket for a long time -- over a year. When Netflix announced its new pricing structure earlier this year, it was the perfect time to show SAS users how to apply our tools and techniques to a relevant question that was on the mind of many.

Using SAS Enterprise Guide to run programs in batch
SAS Enterprise Guide supports a very rich (and underutilized!) automation model. Most users are familiar with it only through the very coarse-grained "Schedule Project" feature. The information in this post, and another that uses Windows PowerShell, will be featured in a SAS Global Forum 2012 paper that I'm preparing.

How to add HTMLBlue to your list of styles in SAS Enterprise Guide
With the release of SAS 9.3, you can use your current version of SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3 to take advantage of new features. The HTMLBlue style is one new aspect of SAS 9.3 that you might want to use right away. This post was also featured on support.sas.com as well as in the August issue of the SAS Tech Report. This additional visibility certainly contributed to the traffic.

Are you too good for code reviews?
This was by far my most-visited post of the year, but not just by the SAS community. This post was picked up on slashdot.org and generated much discussion there, and drew many new visitors to our SAS blogs.

Inspecting SAS macro variables in SAS Enterprise Guide
This post is just a month old, but I've been very happy with the engagement: lots of comments and tweets. "Custom tasks" is one of my favorite topics, and my hope is that this macro viewer task (and a more recent SAS options viewer) will help long-time SAS users to appreciate the capabilities of SAS Enterprise Guide.

Google Reader bundles for SAS-related blogs
Looks like people are hungry for SAS blogs, and hundreds of you have subscribed to my shared Google Reader bundles. They include over 60 SAS-related RSS feeds.

Using 3rd party shape files to build map charts in SAS
This is the answer to a question that I received while visiting customers in Australia. As soon as I learned the answer from our in-house mapping experts, I published the post. I then sent it on to the customers in Australia (and SAS support staff there) to pass the word. Of course, the techniques in the post can be used by anyone in any locale. I was pleased to find Australian map files that are freely available; it made for a good example.

Are you a regular visitor here at The SAS Dummy? If so, which post did you find the most useful, informative, or interesting? And what would you like to see more of? (I'm asking partly to be polite. You might have already guessed that I'm the type of blogger that covers the topics that are interesting to me. But I would also like to know what you find useful. Really!)

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Chris Hemedinger

Senior Manager, SAS Online Communities

+Chris Hemedinger is the manager of SAS Online Communities. Since 1993, Chris has worked for SAS as an author, a software developer, an R&D manager and a consultant. Inexplicably, Chris is still coasting on the limited fame he earned as an author of SAS For Dummies.  He also hosts the SAS Tech Talk webcasts each year from SAS Global Forum, connecting viewers with smart people from SAS R&D and the impressive work that they do.

3 Comments

  1. Well all of your posts are so brilliant - I don't know if I could think of better topics than you. (Buttering you up for my suggestions!) The most memorable articles were about the Netflix and Metadata Library ones. So more metadata library info please - especially troubleshooting, common errors, etc. I challenge you to make it an interesting and fun topic.

    All joking aside - you do generate really inventive ideas and I appreciate you taking the time to share it with us.

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