Thoughts About the blogs.sun.com Usage Statistics

From the June, 2005 blogs.sun.com usage statistics, 49% of the visitors by country are from the United States. The United Kingdom and Canada accounts for another 12% of the visitors. Rest of world accounts for the remaining 39% of visitors by country. Roughly 1/3 of the people come to blogs.sun.com using a search engine, another 1/3 come from other web sites, and the other most common method is to type the URL or use a bookmark.

I'd be curious about how these usage statistics compare to www.sun.com or developers.sun.com. How effective are we at communicating through blogs.sun.com, and how can we promote visibility of the site and communicate more effectively with developers in other countries?

I've had some discussions with people in other groups on whether blogging is effective communication, and on how we can organize and track the information in the blogs. Making the information more accessible to non-native English speakers, agreeing on a consistent set of content tags for some of the more popular topics, continuing to encourage communication and linkage between bloggers, growing the product communities, lots can be done.

We've given a lot of attention to blogs.sun.com at Sun over the last few months. A number of people who started blogs will do a few entries and that will be it. Others will continue blogging and capitalize on the benefits to blogging.

The success of our products and the willingness of developers to use our products is due in part to the quality of information describing our products and technologies. Information comes in many forms and from many people, not just tech pubs. As technical communicators, we need to show how we fit into an information model with multiple sources of information, formats, contributors, and points of access. The blogs are an opportunity to tell people what we do at Sun, how we contribute, and how we can help to make it easier to get information to developers.

Comments:

Making better use of the information from existing blogs is one of the really big items that we are keen to work on with blogs.sun.com. We would love to provide more ways to organize our existing weblog data and make it useful in as many ways as possible.

One idea that has been thrown around is the idea of using a tag system mush like del.icio.us or flickr to allow users to tag both their overall weblog as well as individual entries. This would not only give use the ability to sort and find specific topic related weblog entries on blogs.sun.com, but it could also open up the potential for external sites to query for relevant weblog entry data using tag combinations.

Nothing has been formalized yet, but this is a big item for us and we are likely to be spending some engineering time on this in the semi-near future.

Posted by Allen on July 04, 2005 at 05:09 AM PDT #

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