2018 retrospective

It’s almost the end of another trip around the sun. I hope it’s been kind to you. I mean, I know it’s sometimes hard to see the kindness for all the nonsense and nefariousness in <ahem> certain parts of the world, but I hope 2018 at least didn’t poke its finger in your eye, or set fire to any of your belongings. If it did — may 2019 bring you some eye drops and a fire extinguisher.

Anyway, at this time of year, I like to take a quick look over my shoulder at the past 12 months. Since I’m the over-sharing type, I like to write down what I see and put it on the Internet. I apologize, and/or you’re welcome.

Top of the posts

We’ve been busier than ever this year, and the blog has taken a bit of a hit. In spite of the reduced activity (only 45 posts, compared to 53 last year), traffic continues to grow and currently averages 9000 unique visitors per month. These were the most visited posts in 2018:

Last December’s post, No more rainbows, got more traffic this year than any of these posts. And, yet again, k is for wavenumber got more than any. What is it with that post??

Where in the world?

Every year I take a look at where our people are reading the blog from (according to Google). We’ve travelled more than usual this year too, so I’ve added our various destinations to the map… it makes me realize we’re still missing most of you.

blog-map-2018.png
  1. Houston (number 1 last year)

  2. London (up from 3)

  3. Calgary (down from 2)

  4. Stavanger (6)

  5. Paris (9)

  6. New York (—)

  7. Perth (4)

  8. Bangalore (—)

  9. Jakarta (—)

  10. Kuala Lumpur (8)

Together these cities capture at least 15% of our readship. New York might be an anomaly related to the location of cloud infrastructure there. (Boardman, Oregon, shows up for the same reason.) But who knows what any of these numbers mean…

Work

People often ask us how we earn a living, and sometime I wonder myself. But not this year: there was a clear role for us to play in 2018 — training the next wave of digital scientists and engineers in subsurface.

Rob.jpeg
  • We continued the machine learning project on GPR interpretation that we started last year.

  • We revived Pick This and have it running on a private corporate cloud at a major oil company, as well as on the Internet.

  • We have spent 63 days in the classroom this year, and taught 325 geoscientists the fundamentals of Python and machine learning.

  • Apart from the 6 events of our own that we organized, we were involved in 3 other public hackathons and 2 in-house hackathons.

  • We hired awesome digital geologist Robert Leckenby (right) full time. 

The large number of people we’re training at the moment is especially exciting, because of what it means for the community. We spent 18 days in the classroom and trained 139 scientists in the previous four years combined — so it’s clear that digital geoscience is important to people today. I cannot wait to see what these new coders do in 2019 and beyond!

The hackathon trend is similar: we hosted 310 scientists and engineers this year, compared to 183 in the four years from 2013 to 2017. Numbers are only numbers of course, but the reality is that we’re seeing more mature projects, and more capable coders, at every event. I know it’s corny to say so, but I feel so lucky to be a scientist today, there is just so much to do.

Cheers to you

Agile is, as they say, only wee. And we all live in far-flung places. But the Intertubes are a marvellous thing, and every week we meet new people and have new conversations via this blog, and on Twitter, and the Software Underground. We love our community, and are grateful to be part of it. So thank you for seeking us out, cheering us on, hiring us, and just generally being a good sport about things.

From all of us at Agile, have a fantastic festive season — and may the new year bring you peace and happiness.

2017 retrospective

Another year pulls on its winter boots and prepares to hurry through the frigid night to wherever old years go to die. From a purely Agile point of view, putting aside all the odious nonsense going on in the world for a moment, it was a good year here at Agile, and I hope it was for you too. If not — if you were unduly affected by any of the manifold calamities in 2017 — then we wish you the best and hope life bounces back with renewed vigour in 2018.

 

>>>
A reproducible festive card for you, made from a well-
log and a bunch of random numbers. Make your own. 


agile_star_2016_sq_256px.png

It's that time when I like to self-indulgently glance back over the last twelve months — both on the blog and elsewhere in the Agile universe. Let's start with the blog...

The most popular posts

We should top 52 posts this year (there's just something about the number 52). Some of them do little more than transmit news, events and such, but we try to bring you entertainment and education too. Just no sport or weather. These were our most visited posts in this year:

As usual though, the most popular page on the site is k is for wavenumber, the 2012 post that keeps on giving. The other perennials are Well tie workflowWhat is anisotropy? and What is SEG Y? 

Engagement

We love getting comments! Most people tend to chime in via Twitter or LinkedIn, but we get quite a few on the blog. Indeed, the posts listed above got more than 60 comments between them. The following were the next most commented upon:

Agile_demographic_2017.png

Where is everybody?

  1. Houston (about 6.6% of you)
  2. Calgary (4.8%)
  3. London (3.3%)
  4. Perth (1.8%)
  5. Moscow (1.3%)
  6. Stavanger (1.2%)
  7. Rio de Janiero (1.1%)
  8. Kuala Lumpur (1.0%)
  9. Paris (1.0%)
  10. Aberdeen (0.9%)

Work

We're fortunate to have had a good year at Agile. I won't beat our drum too hard, but here's a bit of what we've been up to:

  • We're doing a machine learning project on GPR interpretation.
  • We finished a machine learning lithology prediction project for Canstrat.
  • Matt did more seep and DHI mapping on Canada's Atlantic margin.
  • It was a good year for hackathons, with over 100 people taking part in 2017.
  • Agile Libre brought out a new book, 52 More Things... Palaeontology.
  • We hired awesome data scientist Diego Castañeda (right) full time. 

Thank you

Last but far from least — thank you. We appreciate your attention, one of the most precious resources you have. We love writing useful-and/or-interesting stuff, and are lucky to have friends and colleagues who read it and push us to do more, and a bit better than before. It would be a chore if it wasn't for your readership.

All the best for this Yuletide season, and for a peaceful New Year. Cheers!

2016 retrospective

As we see out the year — or rather shove it out, slamming the door firmly behind it, then changing the locks and filing a restraining order — we like to glance back over the blog. We remember the posts that we enjoyed writing, and the ones you seemed to enjoy reading, and record them here for posterity.

The most popular

The great thing about writing on the web, compared to print, is that you quickly find out whether it was any good, or useful, or at least slightly interesting. You can't hide from data. Without adjusting for the age of posts (older ones have had longer to garner readers of course), the most popular posts of the last 12 months — from the 47 we have published — were:

None of these posts comes anywhere near the most popular page on the site, k is for wavenumber, which I wrote in 2012 but still gets about 600 pageviews a month, nearly 4% of the traffic on the site. Other perennials include Well tie workflow, What is anisotropy? and What is SEG Y?

If you gauge popularity by real engagement — comments, which are like diamonds to bloggers — then, apart from the pieces I already mentioned, these were the next most commenty posts:

Where is everybody?

We don't collect data about our readers beyond what's reported by your browser to Google Analytics, most of which is pretty esoteric. But it is interesting to see the geographic distribution of our readers. The top dozen cities from the roughly two thirds of sessions — out of about 9000 monthly sessions — that report this information:

  1. Houston (3,457 users)
  2. Calgary (2,244)
  3. London (1,500)
  4. Perth (723)
  5. Kuala Lumpur (700)
  6. Stavanger
  7. Delhi
  8. Rio de Janeiro
  9. Leeds
  10. Aberdeen
  11. Jakarta
  12. New York

Last thing

You rock! I mean it. This blog would be pretty pointless without your eyeballs. We appreciate every visit, however short, and when you share a post with someone... it really makes our day. I love hearing from readers, even about typos. Especially aobut typos. Anyway, the point is: thank you for stopping by, and being part of this global community of geoscientists.

Whatever festival you celebrate this week, have a peaceful time*. And all the best for 2017!

* Well, maybe squeeze in a bit of writing: it's good for you. 


Previous Retrospective posts... 2011 retrospective •  2012 retrospective • 2013 retrospective • 2014 retrospective

There was no Retrospective in 2015, I was too discombobulated this time last year :(

2014 retrospective

At this time of year, we look back at the best of the blog — what were the most read, the most contentious, the most informative posts of the year? If you only stop by once every 12 months, this is the post for you!

Your favourites

Let's turn to the data first. Which posts got the most hits this year? Older posts have a time advantage of course, but here are the most popular new posts, starting with the SEG-Y double-bill:

It's hard to say exactly how much attention a given post gets, because they sit on the front page of the site for a couple of weeks. Overall we got about 150 000 pageviews this year, and I think Well tie workflow — the most-read old post on the site this year — might have been read (okay, looked at) 5000 or so times.

I do love how some of our posts keep on giving: none of the top posts this year topped this year's readership of some golden oldies: Well tie workflow (written in April 2013), Six books about seismic interpretation (March 2013), k is for wavenumber (May 2012), Interpreting spectral gamma-ray logs (February 2013), or Polarity cartoons (April 2012).

What got people talking

When it all goes quiet on the comments, I worry that we're not provocative enough. But some posts provoke a good deal of chat, and always bring more clarity and depth to the issue. Don't miss the comments in Lusi's 8th birthday...

Our favourites

We have our favourites too. Perhaps because a lot of work went into them (like Evan's posts about programming), or because they felt like important things to say (as in the 'two sides' post), or because they feel like part of a bigger idea.

Where is everybody?

We don't collect detailed demographic data, but it's fun to see how people are reading, and roughly where they are. One surprise: the number of mobile readers did not rise this year — it's still about 15%. The top 10 cities were

Agile_top_60plus_cities_2014.png
  1. Houston, USA
  2. Calgary, Canada
  3. London, UK
  4. Perth, Australia
  5. Ludwigshafen, Germany
  6. Denver, USA
  7. Aberdeen, UK
  8. Moscow, Russia
  9. Stavanger, Norway
  10. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Last thing

Thank You for reading! Seriously: we want to be a useful and interesting part of our community, so every glance at our posts, every comment, and every share, help us figure out how to be more useful and more interesting. We aim to get better still next year, with more tips and tricks, more code, more rants, and more conference reports — we look forward to sharing everything Agile with you in 2015.

If this week is Christmas for you, then enjoy the season. All the best for the new year!

Previous Retrospective posts... 2011 retrospective •  2012 retrospective2013 retrospective

2013 retrospective

It's almost the end of the year, so we ask for your indulgence as we take our traditional look back at some of the better bits of the blog from 2013. If you have favourite subjects, we always like feedback!

Most visits

Amazingly, nothing we can write seems to be able to topple Shale vs tight, which is one of the firsts posts I wrote on this blog. Most of that traffic is coming from Google search, of course. I'd like to tell you how many visits the posts get, but web stats are fairly random — this year we'll have had either 60,000 or 245,000 visits, depending on who you believe — very precise data! Anyway, here are the rest...

Most comments

We got our 1000th blog comment at the end of September (thanks Matteo!). Admittedly some of them were us, but hey, we like arbitrary milestones as much as the next person. Here are the most commented-on posts of the year:

Hackathon skull
Hackathon skull

Proud moments

Some posts don't necessarily win a lot of readers or get many comments, but they mark events that were important to us. A sort of public record. Our big events in 2013 were...

Our favourites

Of course we have our personal favourite posts too — pieces that were especially fun to put together, or that took an unusual amount of craft and perspiration to finish (or more likely a sound beating with a blunt instrument).

Evan

Matt

I won't go into reader demographics as they've not changed much since last year. One thing is interesting, though not very surprising — about 15% of visitors are now reading on mobile devices, compared to 10% in 2012 and 7% in 2011. The technology shift is amazing: in 2011 we had exactly 94 visits from readers on tablets — now we get about 20 tablet visits every day, mostly from iPads.

It only remains for me to say Thank You to our wonderful community of readers. We appreciate every one of you, and love getting email and comments more than is probably healthy. The last 3 years have been huge fun, and we can't wait for 2014. If you celebrate Christmas may it be merry — and we wish you all the best for the new year.

2012 retrospective

The end of the year is nigh — time for our self-indulgent look-back at 2012. The most popular posts, not counting appearances on the main page. Remarkably, Shale vs tight has about twice the number of hits of the second place post. 

  1. Shale vs tight, 1984 visits

  2. G is for Gather, 1090 visits (to permalink)

  3. What do you mean by average?, 1008 visits (to permalink)

The most commented-on posts are not necessarily the most-read. This is partly because posts get read for months after they're written, but comments tend to come right away. 

  1. Are conferences failing you too? (16 comments)

  2. Your best work(space) (13 comments)

  3. The Agile toolbox (13 comments)

Personal favourites

Evan

Matt

Where our readers come from

The distribution of readers is global, but has a power law distribution. About 75% of our readers this year were from one of nine countries: USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Norway, India, Germany, Indonesia, and Russia. Some of those are big countries, so we should correct for population—let's look at the number of Agile blog readers per million citizens:

2012_blog_readers_logscale.png
  1. Norway — 292

  2. Canada — 283

  3. Australia — 108

  4. UK — 78

  5. Qatar — 72

  6. Brunei — 67

  7. Ireland — 57

  8. Iceland — 56

  9. Denmark — 46

  10. Netherlands — 46

So we're kind of a big deal in Norway. Hei hei Norge! Kansje vi skulle skrive på norsk herifra.

Google Analytics tells us when people visit too. The busiest days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, then Monday and Friday. Weekends are just crickets. Not surprisingly, the average reading time rises monotonically from Monday to Friday — reaching a massive 2:48 on Fridays. (Don't worry, dear manager, those are minutes!)

What we actually do

We don't write much about our work on this blog. In brief, here's what we've been up to:

  • Volume interpretation and rock physics for a geothermal field in southern California

  • Helping the Government of Canada get some of its subsurface data together

  • Curating subsurface content in a global oil & gas company's corporate wiki

  • Getting knowledge sharing off the ground at a Canadian oil & gas company

Oh yeah, we did launch this awesome little book too. That was a proud moment. 

We're looking forward to a fun-filled, idea-jammed, bee-busy 2013 — and wish the same for you. Thank you for your support and encouragement this year. Have a fantastic Yuletide.