This month marks the sixth anniversary of the start of this blog. With so many new readers visiting each year, I realize many might not know why this blog was started. So I thought I’d take a few moments to revisit the original reason the Public Works Group was formed and how it has evolved.
In Dec. 2006, I attended Autodesk University. At one of the main sessions of that event, an architect, Jon Brouchoud, demonstrated how he was using Second Life, a 3D virtual world, to design homes for people. His presentation was an impressive display of technology. Excited by the potential I saw in those few short minutes, I joined Second Life myself and soon began my own exploration of that virtual space.
Because the main reason I had joined was to promote my profession and the city where I worked, I took advantage of Second Life’s group feature to set up groups for these interests. However, I noticed by watching other groups in that space that they often used a website and other emerging social media tools to interact with and provide information for their group. So by Feb. 2007, the Public Works Group was established online for the purpose of supporting the groups in Second Life and to offer information about public works, government, social media, and virtual worlds to people who were there and others who were not yet in that virtual space. Since that time, we’ve expanded the range of topics covered here to include other online tools and technology. And we’ve branched out to reach all people whether or not they are involved in virtual worlds.
Today we have a site that explores many topics ranging from online technology like social media and virtual worlds to age-old topics like planning, design, construction, regulation, community, and governance. Throughout the years, my husband, who is also a civil engineer working in government, has been my primary partner. But we’ve also had others contribute and post on the site.
So with six years of information and over 300 posts, I also wanted to take a quick look back at a few of the statistics for the site before moving into our seventh year:
Number of Posts
For me, one of the most interesting statistics to see is how many posts were created each year. Below is a graph I made showing how many posts were published for each year:
The first year was slow probably because things were just getting started – we were learning the technology and spent a lot of time just exploring online technologies. Since then, we’ve posted on a more regular basis. However, there were considerable more posts made in 2011. This is due to the “A Day in the Life” series in which I shared typical tasks that a City Engineer would work on each day.
Visits to the Blog
The number of visitors to the blog has increased steadily since 2007. Over the last three years, the number of visitors doubled each year from the year before to a total of almost 21,000 unique visitors reading our blog just last year.
Most Popular Posts
Following is the most popular post each year (we only started using Google Analytics in 2009 so do not have this information for 2007 and 2008):
2009: Trench Backfill: Is it best to compact, jet, fill, or dump?
2010: Conferences, World of Warcraft, and Professional Achievement
2011: Free Highway Design Software!
2012: Public Schools Coercing Kids to Share Facebook Details
What is interesting is that all but the last were written in 2008, yet each year those topics are still relevant enough to beat out all the other posts published that year. Even today, some of these posts receive the most views.
Finally, we really want to thank you for taking the time to stop by and for reading the Public Works Group Blog! We look forward to another full year of blogging and contributing to the spread of information, ideas, and resources.
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