YEAR IN REVIEW: The Most Popular Posts of 2012

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It’s nearly the end of 2012, and now its time to see and find out what Google Analytics say were the top ten posts of the year (well, technically the 25th of December last year to the 29th December this year). We do this to see some interesting trends what you, our readers, click on our site – but also because there is this unspoken competition on the site.

You see, we have this little thing to see who can write the “most visited” post. It started in 2010, where the winner was Adrian Cajili. Last year, the award was given to Chris Southcott. This year – who can it be? The list is below.

Also, a note. We do have posts that are still being read, despite being published last year or the year before. These posts have been excluded.

1. 5 iGoogle Alternatives You Should Consider (Terence Huynh, July 5)

People love their iGoogle, but Google has announced that it will be killed off the personalised portal on November 1 next year. Why? Well, they are killing it so they can focus “our energy on the products with the biggest potential to make a difference.” Fans are screaming for it to survive, but unless Google managed to change their minds, you have around a year to find an alternative. We have found five that could replace it.

Turns out, people really do love iGoogle and many people were sad to see it go. So, I decided to compile a guide of the best services to replace the void left by it – and to have this the most popular post on the site really shows how many people searched “iGoogle alternatives” on Google.

2. BitCoin: The Future of Money? (Chris Southcott, June 18)

Sometimes we need to start over again. But even in this connected world, is it possible to reboot the way we pay? To change something that has barely changed in hundreds of years? Maybe.

First off, congrats to Chris in writing this brilliant piece. It was well researched, and pretty much was tweeted and retweeted, and upvoted on the /r/bitcoin reddit. Second, this post was the first post to use our new full-width template – which we have now used for several other posts, including our Halo 4 review.

3. HOW TO watch the Daily Show, Colbert Report abroad with no VPN (Terence Huynh, February 9)

If you were like me, you were pretty upset when ABC had to pull The Daily Show and the Colbert Report from air after Foxtel acquired exclusivity of the two. And in Australia, the only way to watch them was via Foxtel or acquire it via different means. But, their geoblock is not like the ones you see on Hulu. It has a weak spot, which we have found.

Yep. Bronze goes to a post on how to go around the geoblock on the Daily Show, without paying for a VPN or using a proxy. In fact, it is so simple – change the headers. Because the US Election was occuring, I felt that the Daily Show and the Colbert Report pretty much was the best source for you to be kept up to date. And it still works.

4. Where’s the Online Live Coverage For the Olympics, Channel Nine? (Terence Huynh, July 4)

In a couple of weeks time, the London 2012 Olympics begin. However, in Australia, Foxtel and Channel Nine are missing one component in their broadcast plans – where is the online live streaming of the Olympics?

It’s 2012 – everything (with the exception of Apple) is livestreamed these days.

Nice to know that one of the top five most-read post was a rant on the Olympics – more specifically how it was being broadcast. While Channel Nine was criticised for their coverage, Foxtel offered a lot for London 2012 and should be commended. That being said, there was a reason why people flocked online to the BBC’s coverage – and it was because it was better. Not only on quality, but because of the wide variety – and all for free.

5. Telstra announces long-awaited return of the Gold Phone (Chris Southcott, April 1)

We’ve been dreaming about the return of the Telstra Gold Phone and it appears our dreams are Telstra’s commands. The return of the infamous 80s phone-box has been revealed via the companies Twitter and Facebook page, as well as a teaser page with extra details.

Don’t trust what we publish on April Fools Day (also known as our birthday – we recently celebrated five years). But this story got picked up by Telstra and it spread like wildfire across the web on April Fools Day (obviously Chris knew it was an April Fools Day prank – I hope).

Also, just in case if you were interested, here are some of the other April Fools Day stories we published:
South Australia AG to scrap M and PG ratings for video games when R18+ laws are introduced
Twitter to be shut down by May 1 (surprisingly, I know one person who fell for that story)
Gillard to replace Conroy with ‘someone more competent’
Apple suggests placing iPad under cool water to fix heating issue
Apple announces OS X Nyan, beta available to developers now

6. E3 2012 – Halo 4: New enemies discussion (Ashton Bernard, June 5)

E3 2012 started off with 8 mins of pure gold. A Halo 4 campaign demo launched E3 with a bang and so we figured we’d give you the scoop on what we thought about the new enemies the Chief encounters.

7. Liquid Image announces the EGO – mini-sized mountable camera (Terence Huynh, January 8)

Liquid Image, known for manufacturing wearable sports cameras, has announced a new camera. Dubbed the EGO, the camera has been designed to be mountable on cars, bikes, motorcycles and surfboards; capturing video in full 1080p HD.

8. Formspring suffers security breach – 420k password hashes leaked, all passwords reset [UPDATE] (Terence Huynh, July 11)

Formspring, used by many for the purposes of answering questions, has suffered a massive security breach with 420,000 password hashes posted on a security forum. As such, the company has disabled all passwords and asked users to reset them.

I was pretty happy with this post, mainly because it got picked up by Techmeme and The Verge. I think I was the first one to break it – and mainly because I got this email from them saying my password got reset without my knowledge. I had to do some digging until I found a blog post confirming that they were hacked.

9. Google Maps add live transport information for Sydney’s trains, buses (Terence Huynh, July 25)

Google has quietly added live transport information for Sydney on Google Maps, meaning that users will be able to see timetable information from Cityrail and Sydney Buses and plot their travel routes based on that information. Now, I’m getting jealous (because I’m from Melbourne)

10. What is SOPA and PIPA (And why Wikipedia isn’t working?) (Terence Huynh, January 18)

Have you heard about the Stop Online Piracy Act, or the PROTECT IP Act? The tech industry is talking about it. And that could be because it hasn’t gotten any mainstream media attention until the White House publicly said it would not let it through if Congress passed it in its current form. But what is it? Why are Google and Facebook against it?

The long form article was written the day before the black out occurred, and was quickly designed by me to be published on January 18. Boy, I had a lot of coffee to keep me up during the night to quickly get all the information and infographics done up. I don’t regret staying up writing this piece, and I can safely say that this post kickstarted a push towards more long-form content, rather than just news.

It also goes to show that I had a lot of time on my hands back then. Ah well.

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