In July 2004 we at AMIS started this Weblog. Initially we primarily wanted to share knowledge among all people working at AMIS. Later we decided to make the Blog public – available to all on the Internet. Since Google found us, we have seen a growing number of visitors, commenters and authors. Of course this response and all feedback has motivated us even more to write articles and publish our opinions, findings and ideas.
The AMIS Technology Blog is devoted to most topics that AMIS is daily active with: primarily Oracle – development tools, database, Business Intelligence – and Java – J2EE, XML/XSLT, SVG, Web Technologies – as well as scripting, operating systems, functional analysis, book reviews etc. Several topics have seen lively discussions; one post to date has had more than 15.000 visitors. Inspired by Andrej Koelewijn’s Weblog, we also decided to use WordPress. This is an open source framework for publishing a Weblog:
WordPress is a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. What a mouthful. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.
WordPress is based on PHP and MySQL. We run WordPress on a Linux Server with an Apache WebServer. We make use of one of the many plugins for WordPress that collects and reports statistics.
We have found that having statistics is very motivating: we can tell exactly how many people visit our weblog – over 1500 each day – and which posts they read. When you have posted an article, you can easily track whether people are showing an interest in your article. I personally am very pleased when I find that within a few hours dozens or even hundreds of people have read my article. The weblog is a way to report on research, findings, experiences that may be too flimsy for a proper article in a real magazine or not useful enough for our daily work but are at the same time too valuable to just throw away. A few lines in a post on the weblog can help colleagues or even developers on the other end of the world. The statistics tell us that it’s worth our effort.
Recently I spent some time to extend the level of reporting our Blog has. I have tried specifically to add some graphics. Using JSP with JSTL (Core, XML and SQL libraries), XSLT and SVG technologies, it turned out to be relatively straightforward to generate line charts and digital gauges (speedometers) showing statistics for the weblog and the hits and post-reads. I have described the technologies behind the graphics in two previous posts: Generating SVG Graphics in JSPs using JSTL & XSL(T) – from MySQL to Bar Chart and Pie Chart and XSL Transforming XML generated from SQL results using JSTL tags in JSP pages – putting JSTL to the test.
Join our Weblog as ‘Blogger’
Although most bloggers at our weblog are currently employees of AMIS, 20% is not. And we would welcome other authors or bloggers. So if you would like to publish your own posts, you are welcome to join or weblog. You can request an account by writing a comment for this post. Advantages over setting up your own weblog are of course that you do not have to set anything up. Furthermore, we provide the statistics and charts you see below. The AMIS Blog is also linked to OraBlogs on OTN and JavaBlogs.
Extended Weblog statistics
If you are the author of a post, you may be very interested in how your post is doing: are people reading it? How can they find your post? Are people creating references to your post? These questions are answered by the so called Post Report. This report is available for every post on the weblog, see for example Post report for EJB CMP/CMR example with JBoss+Xdoclet. This post report contains the following line graph that shows the number of post-reads for the specific post (per hour, day or week).
To monitor the Weblog as a whole, we have several reports available. For example the following chart – a digital gauge or Speed-o-meter – that display the post-read-speed or number of post-reads per hour. The chart shows the current speed (calculated over the last 30 minutes), as well as the speed of today, the last 24 hours and the past 20 weeks. The actual situation can be monitored at Post Readspeed-o-meter Note: your browser needs to be SVG enabled to watch this chart.
The aggregation of the post read speed during the day is reported in this next line chart: the number of post-reads for the day, per hour as well as accumulated. This chart can be seen at http://technology.amis.nl/statistics/HitsTodaySVGLine.jsp. The over-all report (not yet properly formatted by the way) of Blog statistics is found at http://technology.amis.nl/statistics/BlogStats.jsp
The next report displays the number of post reads per day since the beginning of our weblog. It allows us to see the trends (the slowly rising number of post reads) as well as peaks – popular new posts and links on important websites such as OTN – and dips such as the Christmas Holiday season. The chart displays the average number of reads per day for each week since July 2004 as well as a running count. This chart is also available as live feed at http://technology.amis.nl/statistics/HitsTotalSVGLine.jsp.
Another important chart shows the number of posts that has been published since the beginning of the Weblog. The line graph show the number of posts published per week. The average to date is around 8 posts per week.