What a year it was. 2013 was a year of ups and downs, both in the news world and for myself personally. Over the past few weeks, I’ve covered off some of the highlights and low-lights of the past year’s news events. Closer to home, my wife and I lost a beloved pet, but on the plus side we bought a house and I finally finished off my second book. Here’s hoping that 2014 has more upsides than downsides for everyone out there.
This coming year will also mark the five-year anniversary of this blog, which I launched back in 2009 as a promotional vehicle for my first book. Along the way, it morphed from SexBombsBurgers.com into this site, with the focus also shifting dramatically when I dove into the freelance world three years ago. At first, most of my posts were devoted to developments in the three industries covered off in the book – military, fast food and pornography – but that ultimately expanded to all technology.
The early days seem funny now as a result, with my first few year-end summaries tending to turn up porn-related posts as the most-read of the year. Taking a look at this year’s most-read list is a good snapshot of just how distant those days are, with an entirely different topic – telecommunications – now overwhelmingly dominant.
This one was a tongue-in-cheek conversation between a fictional customer looking to buy an iPhone and a wireless carrier service agent, but it was really a thinly veiled attempt to dissemble numerous industry talking points.
A recent post, this November bit looked at the price differences of two popular phones across carriers in six English-speaking countries. Not surprisingly, Canada came off looking rather expensive.
8. The world’s worst throttler (officially): Rogers (Oct. 21, 2011)
It’s amazing how some blog posts have legs. This one from 2011 on Rogers’ internet throttling is easily my most-read post ever, with readers continuing to seek it out more than two years later.
This post was in response to an interview with Bernard Lord, the head of the cellphone industry’s lobby group, in which he defended the uniquely Canadian phenomenon of three-year contracts by saying they were all about customer choice.
This one took on some of Telus’s claims regarding Verizon and the supposed damage it would do if it entered Canada. I kind of liked the post, if only for the animated GIF starring David Bowie and Trent Reznor.
Everyone was wondering what the elimination of three-year contracts would mean on monthly wireless pricing. Telus was the first to unveil its higher price scheme, with this post being an analysis of it.
4. Roku: an inexpensive internet fun box (Apr. 24, 2012)
Bless you Roku, for being the lone entry on this list not related to telecommunications. Its presence here, however, continues to baffle me since the post – a review of the older Roku 2 XS – harkens back to early 2012. Another example of an entry with legs.
Another rebuttal, this post was in response to a number of claims made by Telus executives, who addressed issues such as wireless prices, investment and customer usage in Canada. I focused on the two numbers that mattered most: average revenue per user and profitability, both of which are the highest (or among the highest) in the world.
Telus was certainly the lead soldier in the great wireless war of 2013, with numerous company representatives making cases for why the government should keep its hands off the industry. Craig McTaggart, Telus’s head of broadband policy, went on the offensive with a 42-page paper that attacked the likes of University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist, consumer advocates Open Media and your’s truly. This was my considerably shorter response.
This one was a relatively straightforward post laying out wireless prices, carrier revenue and profitability in a series of simple charts. Evidently, simplicity is sometimes all it takes to attract readers.
I had to include this post, my 11th most-read of the year, on this list simply because of how radically different it is from everything else on it. Not only does it not have anything to do with telecom, it also isn’t even remotely related to technology. It was instead a rant about a margarine ad that I found to be particularly contemptuous. Evidently, the search engines – and readers – loved it.