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FCW favorites all week

I mentioned earlier that during the week of December 27, the FCW.com daily e-mail newsletters will feature FCW favorites from the FCW staff. Then, on either side of the New Year holiday, we will present your favorites – FCW.com's most read stories of 2005. On Friday, December 30, we'll feature stories 20 through 11, and on Tuesday, January 3, we'll feature stories 10 to one.

I've been pulling together the list and it is kind of interesting. I will post about that more next week.

If you have a FCW favorite – a story, cover, editorial, column, or cartoon that particularly touched you in some way, let me know. I'd really love to hear it.

As editors, we do look at that kind of information. And other publications provide such information too. The WSJ has its list of most e-mailed stories. The NYT regularly has its list of most e-mailed stories as does the WP. No year tallies, yet, however. Yahoo News also does its most popular stories – viewed and e-mailed.

The WSJ takes it one step better listing the "best read" stories of the year. I assume the others will do the same. (An interesting tidbit – the WSJ's best read story was a 'storm news tracker,' which "tracked news on Hurricane Rita and the recovery from Katrina."

The number two story was about the Google guys buying a jet – and number three was Google again.

So I said that editors look at this kind of data. Why? Because we are always looking for clues about what people want to read. I was asked to speak last night at a University of Phoenix class about PR taught by Fred Diamond, and one of the people asked me about FCW's big competitors. In my somewhat flip answer, I pointed to the clock that was hanging on the wall. And, in the truest sense, that is our biggest competitor -- there is so much information out there and people just have so much information coming at them each and every day, we have to be creative doing things in new and different ways that you haven't seen 10,000-times before, find ways of enticing you into stories, and keep those stories in manageable pieces so you can get the information you really want. These numbers help. With the Web, we can get a clue about what you are interested in -- and what you aren't. That is not the only thing that determines whether something makes it into print, of course. Enterprise architecture or the latest version of the business reference model will probably never make a list of most read stories, but they just are important so we just have to cover them. (We are still always trying to find new and interesting ways of covering those subjects.)

In print, we just don't really know what works and what doesn't. In fact, I will often watch people read the magazine. (No, I'm not stalking or anything!) I like to see what gets them to stop flipping. Online, this kind of data helps.

Next week, I will also talk about what I thought was the most important government IT story of the year has been – and there is a ton o' competition in this area. (Here is the annual list from journalists about the most important story and – anyone, anyone? – journalists selected Hurricane Katrina. As I mentioned, I get into my selections next week.

Again, I'd be interested to hear what you thought was the most important government IT story of the year.

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Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Dec 23, 2005 at 12:15 PM


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