Thanks to OS News, my site is suddenly very popular

in General Discussion edited January 2014
So I wrote a little ditty comparing Microsoft Word and OpenOffice Writer.

I did my normal promotion, but this time also passed the link on to the nice folks at OS News, who put it on their main page and opened up a thread for discussion.

And BAM. My traffic to my site soared 4,700% in one day, from an average of 250 unique visitors a day to nearly 12,000 unique visitors yesterday. It burned through all of my free site bandwidth, but that's fine by me. Bandwidth is cheap.

There were even 140 downloads of the PDF version of the column.

I'm pretty overwhelmed/stunned. But very gratified by everyone who took the time to read the piece and respond!

Just thought it was kinda cool, and worth bringing up.



  • Reply 1 of 8
    kneelbeforezodkneelbeforezod Posts: 1,120member
    Interesting article...I hadn't really considered using OpenOffice on a Mac before (I have a copy of Office X), but may check it out now.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    Back before the bust, some friends and I were attempting to start up a hardware/software review site. (Imagine that)

    It was called the PCPowerhouse or something along those lines. Well I would write periodic Mac articles for them. Basically along the lines of what happens at Ars Technica. When I would write about the Mac, we would send the link to MacSurfer and then the server would lite up like nobodies business. We are talking a about 20,000 hits in a day. It was amazing.

    Sadly we lost the main editor to EverCrack, I mean Quest and the project just sort of ended. I think I still have the OS 8.5 review around somewhere.

  • Reply 3 of 8
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Great article. I agree that it would probably take a gaffe of epic proportions for Word to be unseated. Yet I still hope and pine for an Apple solution to the Office Suite. Not because I want an Office replacement but because I want to see a new paradigm of UI that breathes life back into productivity apps.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    hardheadhardhead Posts: 644member
    Kirkland, nice writing...

    Yeah, OS News is a very informative site. I recall them starting out a bit down on the Mac. Things have change and they have become a very neutral site. Along with Ars and AI, I check them out every day and throughout the day.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    Some good reading.

    My comments are that Word will die for the exact same reasons it became the standard (read here for a MSFT biased history of how that happened). Short version: competitors messed up because their previous success make them soft, MSFT put out a few crap releases but kept plugging away because they had a monopoly behind them, finally hitting the jackpot not by convincing users to switch but by winning new customers (in big part through monopoly tie-ins) in a rapidly growing market.

    I think it's going to play out the exact same again. MSFT is fat and bloated and Word is only going to get worse adding cruft and UI 'innovations' and DRM, certainly not enough improvement to make anyone eager to upgrade.

    Meanwhile open source is the competitor you can't put out of business and they'll keep plugging on until they get it right. Meanwhile the market, which US-centric folk think is mature, is going to explode globally and OSS solutions in general are going to ride that wave. Every government department, school and charity that needs to save a few bucks will get all the word processing power they need bundled in with their Linux desktop, with a Windows version to help the transition.

    The winner will not be OpenOffice however, the winner will be OpenOffice's file format. Firefox (and now Thunderbird) have shown how a small team can take a ten-ton tessie UI disaster and give it a usability makeover. I firmly believe that open source will win because of one of it's prime differentiators: software design does not have to take a back seat to profit-seeking and programs are not forced to slowly seep into every available niche while slowly becoming less and less usable for their core market.

    Project forks can and do take software in different directions and actual standards compliance rather than marketing-checklist-fulfilment lip-service means interoperability and specialist tools for different purposes can be restored to the word processing market.

    Can you imagine the uproar if JPEGs saved in a MSFT program appeared missing colours in any other app. It works for audio, video, graphics and computer code, so why does the thought of editing a sodding textual document across two different applications or platforms (even between to MSFT products!) make people break out into a cold sweat?


    I would also be intrigued to hear your thoughts on LyX ( I doubt you'll be impressed when you've got your usability hat on but it will probably suit the style-fascist in you.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    kirklandkirkland Posts: 594member
    I really like Pratley's weblog. The fact of the matter is that Word took over because everyone else's word processor sucked. Everyone else waited until well after Windows 3 shipped before putting out a Windows product, and those ports were bad. By the time Word Perfect, Ami Pro or WordStar made it to Windows, Word was just flat out better than the competition -- as it had been on the Mac since Apple let MacWrite rot.

    Whether Microsoft will fall down for the same reason, I dunno. I could certainly see it happening, but I don't really care if it ever does. Word is a good program.

    I looked at Lyx, but I couldn't stand it. It's a shoddy port to the Mac, with nonstandard dialogues and behaviors. I flat out cannot figure out how to make it do anything. I don't go in for unintuitive software. Programs that make me reach for the help file for simple functionality are programs I won't use.

    When Lyx looks and works like a real Mac program, I'll take another look.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    This happened to me a while back when I wrote up a piece on "iDocument" (which I envision as an iPhoto for documents). I had something like 400 hits between 8:00 am and 10:00am the next day. My site eventually went over its bandwidth limit.
  • Reply 8 of 8

    Originally posted by Kirkland

    When Lyx looks and works like a real Mac program, I'll take another look.

    Yeah, I just installed it and it was a lot weaker on Mac OS X than I thought it would be. I don't do a great deal of long documents but if I did I'd definitely be using LaTeX, though I'd probably use vi to edit them.
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