2013: Year in Review

by Ian Rosenwach on 12.28.2013

It’s the time of year when people look back at how 2013 will be remembered. Quartz sees a lost year for tech, much to the chagrin of Jon Gruber at DaringFireball. Beyond the tech world, the consensus for 2013 seems to be: “It was ok.” I think people are having a hard time putting their finger ont he pulse of 2013.

What was 2013 about? How will it be remembered?

5 Things that 2013 will be Remembered For 

  1. Mobile becomes second nature – 2013 is the year that being mobile became second-nature. People consumed more services on mobile devices than ever, but more importantly people’s expectations around their phone’s permanently changed. This expectation will shape tech companies for years to come, especially in the enterprise.
  2. American’s lose trust in the government – the Snowden revelations, NSA snooping, government shutdown, and HealthCare.gov challenges combine to create a lack of faith and trust in the government. The government is seen as a solution by less and less people, and more as a large bureaucracy unable to get out from under it’s own weight.
  3. America’s changing role in the world – between Syria, Iran, and the Middle East, the U.S. loses some of it’s soft power.
  4. Nelson Mandela – one of the most inspiring global leaders passed away, and the worlds’ eyes tuned to South Africa for several days.
  5. Consumers are “platform agnostic” when it comes to great content – I think this is the year when people became agnostic over what distribution medium great TV came from. AMC, Netflix, Amazon, IFC; between cable and streaming platforms great content has more places than ever to be found, and consumers will follow.

Digital Ian in 2013 

It was a breakout year for Digital Ian – more unique visitors and page views than ever before, with an especially strong 2nd half of the year, when I devoted more time to writing.

The post that saw the most unique page views was  “Marty Robbins’ El Paso and the Breaking Bad Finale” (10/1), followed by “Facebook:Broadcast::Twitter:Cable” (12/17) .  The reasons are simple – the Breaking Bad post was linked to on Vulture.com, The Atlantic, and rogerebert.com and the second post was included on the AllThingsD website as a must-read. For whatever reason a post from on the limit on audio file size on Tumblr was the third most popular post. That’s followed by a post on the new iPhone’s and segmentation and then a post from 2009 on how Nelson Mandela would run in place in his jail cell rounds out the top 5 for the year.

The top 10 search queries that brought people to my site were all Nelson Mandela-rated, i.e. “nelson mandela cell” and “nelson mandela prison cell”.

Content Type and Audience Behavior

One observation is the difference in the reading behavior on the two posts. The Breaking Bad post saw a more sustained readership over the week or so after the Breaking Bad finale. The other post linked by AllThingsD had more unique visitors in a shorter amount of time, but the readership wasn’t as sustained.

Here’s a screenshot comparing the traffic patterns of the two posts.

Orange = Facebook:Network post
Blue = Breaking Bad Finale post


We can see that the Breaking Bad post (in blue) had more “legs.” This makes sense given the length of the news cycle of tech developments compared to TV and movie critiques.

The Facebook post also generated substantially more shares than any other post – 31 tweets, 5 FB likes, 2 G+ shares, and 8 shares on LinkedIn.

Coming up next, predictions for 2014…

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12.30.2013 at 7:57 pm

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