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4 posts from December 2010


Techstacks Sites - 2010 Year in Review

With 2010 drawing to a close, this post is simply about documenting accomplishments, failures, observations, and statistics for the past year.  2010 brought the number of web sites I personally run to four:  

  • Techstacks Tools - A Google App Engine, Groovy, and Gaelyk framework experiment, which initially started at as an online version of my Bling blog pinging script written in groovy.  
  • Techstacks Promos - Another experiment, this time with blog promotions.  My main blog started to feel like it was becoming heavily advertisement-oriented and full of promotions.  Since I didn't really understand whether or not this was providing any value to visitors of the site, I decided to consolidate most of the promotions and advertisements into a promotions-only mini-site.  
  • Techstacks HOWTO Guides - A mini-site dedicated to providing instructions for specific system administrative tasks in Apache, Tomcat, JBoss, etc. 
  • Blogging Techstacks - This blog.


Using data from Google Analytics, for 2010 this blog has had a little over 79,000 Visits and about 101,400 pageviews.  For 2009, there were 52,074 visits and 73,608 pageviews.  One item of note however is that my bounce rate got worse in 2010 as opposed to 2009, with more people visiting the site for one specific item then leaving.

The geographic breakdown is pretty neat as the United States accounts for about 38% of visits.  Visits from 168 countries including 32 countries in Africa indicate the blog certainly has a global reach (although no visits yet from Greenland or from Antarctica).

Firefox accounted for almost 48% of traffic.  Internet Explorer came in second with about 28% of traffic.  Google Chrome zoomed past Safari at number 3 with 16% of the site's traffic.  Safari accounted for about 4% of site visits, which is relatively unchanged from last year.  Rounding out the top 5 is Opera.

RSS/Atom Subscribers rose from about 45 on January 1, 2010 to an average of about 79 and I increased my number of followers on Twitter to 41 and many of those twitter accounts following this site are real people!

The HOWTO site has about 14,700 visits and 17,400 page views—this past week, the site reached its 20,000th pageview milestone.  Launched this year, the Techstacks Promos site had about 640 visits and a little over 1,000 page views.  Finally, the Techstacks Tools google app engine-hosted site has has about 600 visits and about 2,400 page views.  If measuring strictly based on bounce rate, the Techstacks Tools site is the most successful web site with an average of 4 pageviews per visit.


As previously mentioned, 100,000 pageviews in a year for an independent, open-sourced web and app server blog from a no-name systems engineer seems pretty great!

CryptoNark was updated several times throughout the year and it was very gratifying to see it get used as inspiration for a similar tool that tests for Australian DSD ISM compliance as well as seeing screenshots of its output posted on other sysadmin sites.  In addition, cryptonark was highlighted on the PenTestIT site as a useful tool.

This past year, I also wrote EVNark, which is a groovy script that parses an X.509 certificate and outputs whether the SSL certificate securing a web site is an extended validation one or not.

October 15th was this blog's best day ever due to a JBoss vs. SpringSource post getting submitted to DZone.  One day total visits was 670, which is over twice a typical weekday.


Advertising.  I've written about it before so there isn't much more to say.  AdSense ads typically pay out the best but they are not clicked on more than two or three times a month.  Affiliate ads and links are clicked on much more frequently but no one buys.  It would be great to see this turn around but I suppose I just need to assume that these sites are not going to generate advertising revenue.

Barring any huge news item coming out in the next 7 hours, this will be the last post of the year.  Happy New Year everyone!


JBoss App Server 6.0 Released

Congratulations are in order because the JBoss Application Server team has released version 6.0, which is now available for download.  The 6.0 Final Release Notes do not roll up all the changes from the previous release notes into one concise document, so in order to get an idea of all that is included and has changed, look at the release notes for the milestone releases (M1, M2, M3, M4, & M5) and Candidate Release 1 too.  

JBoss AS 6 is the first third-party application server that supports the J6EE specification, so this is a really big accomplishment for an open-source project.  Once again, congratulations to everyone involved in getting JBoss AS6 released!


Techstacks Tools Site Updated to v0.9.4

I recently uploaded some updates to the techstacks tools site.  Nothing too substantial changed.  I cleaned up some more of my atrocious HTML and fixed a problem with failures in Bling and SMPing when sitemap pings were being requested from Google and Yahoo.  Although success responses were being received, the app was generating an Illegal Argument exception and logging the success as failures as a result.  

Moreover has officially been removed from the list of search engines that accept sitemap.xml pings.  Ask.com has not been removed yet but their site has been generating Connection Refused messages for me for quite a while.  I notified their customer support organization so, hopefully, it will start working again.

Bling has received a preliminary new feature: PubSubHubbub pings.  Right now, the only hub being notified of your site's new content updates is Google's PubSubHubbub Reference Server, but I'm still investigating whether it is feasible to introduce any additional ones.  If anyone knows of any pubsubhubbub hubs out there that do not require some kind of subscription, drop me a note in the comments below with the submission URL.  I'm thinking of adding in some of the hubs from the major blog hosts but some additional testing will need to be done first.  If I'm hosting a blog on TypePad, I wouldn't want to necessarily ping WordPress.com's hub, for example.  

The Techstacks Tools site still makes use of groovy, the HttpBuilder module, the gaelyk framework, and all running on google app engine.