The Top 20 Archive Posts of 2009

Posted on 29 December 2009 in Planet Bods (No comments yet - be the first!)

So for the last two days I've been looking at the Top 20 posts of the year.

Review of the Year

Well now it's time to look at which of the older posts have cut the mustard over the last twelve months!

20 - The Real Underground

Down from number 10 last year is this post from March 2003 about a fantastic tube map which morphed between the stylised representation to a proper geographical version.

The map was moved onto the TfL website some years ago which seemed fantastic, but has now completely disappeared from the web. Come on TfL! Sort it out!

19 - The new BBC Homepage - a bit like myBBC then

Another one slipping down the ranks is this post, from December 2007 which compares the current BBC web homepage with myBBC. It did well in the past thanks to lots of link loving from various BBC blogs (who says the BBC doesn't do external linking?)

18 - The Epic Night-time Journey from Kings Cross to Ealing

Ancient post - now six years old - and all about a night bus journey from hell. It used to come out top for various searches like "night bus kings cross to ealing", but it's sipping back a bit now.

17 - Food, glorious BBC food

First post from 2008 in the list. It's an almost nothingness blog post, saying "Wow, wouldn't it be great if all the BBC's recipe databases (of which there are lots) were combined!" Probably getting lots of loving from people trying to find the BBC Food website...

16 - Hot, Sweaty and Crowded - trying the commute on the West London Line

From the tail end of the year, and a post that didn't even make it into the 2008 Top 20. Basically when I first moved offices to White City, I tried to get to work without going into Travelcard Zone 1 - thus saving money. But the journey was awful. Last year they improved the services (yay!) and opened a nearer station, so I decided to give it another go. In the end I opted to continue doing what I'd done for years - pay the extra. Sometimes it's worth it...

15 - Switzerland Day 3 - to the Top of Europe!

It really does seem the key to success is for me just to sit here and write blog posts about trains and buses. This blog post - again not in last years Top 20 - was all about going on a brilliant train journey from the valley floor, all the way up into a mountain to the Top of Europe! If you're ever in Switzerland, I can't recommend it enough.

14 - The Amazing Chip Vending Machine

Yes it's still hanging on in there! I'm temped to go back to Cambridge railway station just to see if the amazing chip vending machine is actually still there, and to take a photo of it! And to have to chips as well of course.

Note that again, it's a railway related post. I worry about you lot sometimes.

13 - The Joys of Train Travel Planning in France

At least this railway related post is also about web usability! Funnily enough, I mentioned SNCF's awful website to some colleagues the other day and found I clearly wasn't the only one to have battled with it.

SNCF have revamped their website since, and it now even has an English version. But there is STILL no journey planner, no ticket section... nothing useful at all. Still, they do include a link to the Press Office and the Finance section, so clearly that's what's important if you're French.

12 - Ocado

Oldest post in the Top 20 - a review of Ocado's online grocery shopping service which is now hopelessly out of date I would have thought.

11 - Scotch Steak Houses - Evil With A Green Sign

Still going and still evil. Every time I see someone in one of these places I feel like rushing in and going "Noo! What do you think you're doing! Are you mad?"

10 - Spam! To the EXTREME!

Clearly in the "eh?" pile, a post about about SpamAssassin cut down spam emails. In 2004. I let Google Mail do my spam filtering these days.

9 - Well I'm not moving - the problems caused by ignoring train seat reservations

I'm just going to give up on writing about anything else I think... Trains it is from now on!

8 - Installing Linux on an elderly laptop

Phew. One not about railways. From last years Top 10, it's a post about installing Linux on a now nine year old HP laptop, and a bit of a distro test. I was rather surprised to find the answer I'd expected to be using Puppy or Damm Small Linux, but in the end it was XUbuntu that was the only one that worked properly.

The laptop itself has now been retired, and is having a lovely time sat in a wardrobe. But it still works. And I kinda miss it, even if it was getting very slow.

7 - Vegetarian Iceland

Still holding its own is this guest post from Catherine. Lots of people still reading it and lots of people getting the reassurance that they can find food to eat in Iceland. Yay!

6 - Alliance and Leicester Internet Banking

It sucks. Still. Probably. I dunno. I was so unimpressed with Alliance and Leicester that I ranted and moaned about them. They'll be gone soon - rebranded as Santander next year. Hopefully A&L's awful internet banking system will be combined to the scraphead in favour of some central system, or even just Abbey's. We'll see. Well I won't - I left them years ago.

5 - The Usability of Meeting Room Names

Last year I stated that I still haven't worked out how this post from April 2005 has stayed around so long. And I still don't know.

4 - Freesat Website

Towards the end of 2007, I wrote a tiny piece talking about the fact that the Freesat website launched.

It should have been a throw away post - one that disappeared without a trace. But it didn't. And it hasn't. Oh well. At least it's not about trains.

3 - Saving Money On The Trains

Oh knackers... Still says something. Says that people want to save money when using the trains...

2 - BBC iPlayer - why DRM?

An essay post about why DRM is a sadly necessary evil at the moment for the BBC's online TV via iPlayer. Getting on a bit but still very relevant, and no doubt the main reason for its success, is people wanting to break the DRM... Ho hum.

1 - GE Money - incompetence and downright lies

Ah the power of the internet. You can rant about bad - sheer awfulness - of customer service and low, two and a half years later, you're still out there doing some brand damage!

GE Money don't even do credit cards in the UK anymore. I'd like to say it's because of my one man crusade. It probably isn't, but I'll take the credit anyway!

Tomorrow it's the Archive posts chart 2009! How have things changed in the last twelve months? Do you even care? Probably not... But tough, going to do it anyway!

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