2009's Most-Read Posts


Lots of bloggers are closing out 2009 and readying for 2010 by publishing lists of their most popular posts, based on page views. Since I've got a conformist streak a mile wide (and because I wanted to see which of my posts had generated the most views), I've decided to do the same. With thanks to Google Analytics, here they are:


Vineet Nayar on 'Unemployable' Americans: Even Smart People Say Dumb Things: This post, in which I cited remarks by HCL Technologies CEO Vineet Nayar's that implied American university graduates don't have the discipline of their Indian counterparts, obviously struck a nerve. It garnered 35 comments from readers, about 32 more than most of my posts generate. Several of them linked to a blog post in which Nayar gave a more general message of all countries needing to retool their higher educational systems to produce graduates better equipped to compete in today's global economy. The main point of my post was that a number of American executives also have called for improvements in higher education, though they had the good sense to do so without such loaded language.


Obama's Tax Proposal Shakes Silicon Valley: On a Richter Scale of 1 to 10, 'About a 20' : Globalization factors heavily in this post as well, about President Barack Obama's proposal to eliminate three popular tax-avoidance methods employed by companies with offshore operations, including tech giants such as Cisco, IBM and Microsoft. TheObama administration dropped the idea of changing the way the federal government taxes overseas profits later in the year, after serious pushback from American companies. Among their activities: a media blitz by companies including Intel and Eastman Kodak Co.; the release of studies by the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers that showed the proposal would damage American companies' ability to compete with overseas companies; and a conference call between top economic advisers and companies like IBM, Citigroup and Google.


My third most popular post is actually from June of 2008, yet it still gets linked to regularly from all over the Internet, proving that a combative headline really fires people up. I was feeling especially snarky when I titled it Lack of Facebook Access Makes You Want to Quit? Grow up, Punks. It was about a pretty silly vendor survey, from IT services provider Telindus, that found 39 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds would consider leaving their jobs if a Facebook ban was imposed. It's gotten 137 comments, most of which take me to task for being such a "Methuselah," in the words of one reader. However, a fair number of readers agreed that Facebook can be a productivity drain at the office. (I should know, as I use Facebook at the office pretty much every day. Is it sometimes useful for work? Sure. Do I sometimes spend too much time poking around on it? Yep. Don't even get me started on Twitter.)


A fair number of companies worry about Facebook's impact on productivity too. In October, Robert Half Technology found 54 percent of U.S. companies bar workers from using social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook on the job. Nineteen percent of companies allow social networking use for business purposes only, and 16 percent allow limited personal use. Just 10 percent of companies offer employees full access to social networks during work hours.


The fourth most popular post is also from 2008, but I suspect got a lot of hits because of its title. It Pays to Consider Creative Cost-Cutting Ideas. Lots of folks were looking for ways to reduce expenses this year.


Any post that mentions H-1B visas grabs attention, and that was the case with Layoffs Send H-1B Holders Back to India. One of my readers pointed out that the Wall Street Journal article linked to in the post was removed from the WSJ site because author Mona Sarika plagiarized from several other stories on the same topic. In fact, Sarika has gotten in trouble on several other sites as well, including the Huffington Post.