The ten first BLOTW

Reading Time: 6 minutes


I never really explained why I started the series “The Best Links of The Week”. I used to have (I still have at some level) a big problem with tabs. I assume you’ve probably already heard of compulsive hoarding, and maybe that’s an easy way to explain the situation I used to have with tabs. Whenever I found an interesting link, I’d open a tab for it and not infrequently I’d open several tabs during the reading of one tab. This along with the fact that I’m a very curious person, there is no surprise that I would always end up with *at least* a few hundreds tabs opened. It’s obvious that I was never able to read them all. Besides, there would always be some great tabs I saved to read that would get lost among the cool but not that important tabs, and that bothered me a lot.

You’re probably asking: How did you manage to have hundreds of tabs and not blow up your RAM? At first, I started using The Great Suspender, a chrome extension that is great to save your RAM. But this was only one of my problems. Lost with hundreds of tabs, what if I wanted to look into that youtube tab that is playing music (have you seen YouTube Music?) or that article that I want to read now? Change tab by tab using CTRL+TAB? Come on! Due to this difficulty, I found Search Plus, another great Chrome Extension. With a shortcut, I could write some word that was contained in the page I was looking for and through its search results I was able to go straight to the tab, close it, and so on. I would have so many tabs that I could not keep hold of them, I couldn’t even click in some of them for the tab icon was invisible as you can see in the picture below.

If you’ve never run into such a situation, I’d like to make it clear that there are more tabs to the right but you can not go there with your mouse. At some point (I don’t have a print screen now) even these tabs that you can see, get compressed into something that you can barely click.

Search Plus was great for that. Unfortunately, even when I’m at the tab I’m looking for, there is no shortcut for pinning a tab so you can not easily see/click on them without having to go to Search Plus, but I found a way out of this one too. Shortkeys (Custom Keyboard Shortcuts) is another great Chrome extension that allows you to create your shortcuts and I created, among many, one to easily pin/unpin my tabs. At some point, I heard of OneTab which is another great Chrome extension (also for Mozilla Firefox) that allows you to store your tabs in disk at the same time that it saves you space for tabs for all your previous tabs become one tab which is a page with all your tabs vertically organized (grouped by “OneTab” action/time). Even with all the problems these extensions helped me to solve, one main problem remained unsolved: I was still not reading not even a tiny fraction of the links that I wanted to read. An extension wouldn’t help me with that.

So what now?

The first thing I did was to change my standards and create a protocol. If I can’t read the link now, is it going to help me in anything related to my activities of today or tomorrow? If the answer is yes, I will open it. If the answer is no, I ask myself a second one: Is it going to help me in anything related to my activities in the next 7 days? If the answer is yes and I don’t have a big number of tabs already opened, I open it. Otherwise I don’t. This definitely decreased the number of tabs I used to have opened in my browser, and I even think I started to read more of my tabs. However, I was still reading a small number of tabs, compared to what I wanted to. It was at this moment that I was checking the blog of a colleague who started something similar and I had this idea of publishing every week the best links of my week. I have had the inspiration to start blogs a few times during my life but the lack of willingness to keep bringing new things to post on it eventually led me to abandon the idea of blogging all these times. Having a weekly series of posts was a good idea to keep me active and enjoying the blogging activity. Of course that in order to suggest links, I’d have to read them and this would be (and indeed it is) an extra push to make me read the links. Now, everyday I keep a part of my time to read not only to learn new things or to solve a problem I’m having at work but also to make sure I have quality content for my readers. The series started in the first week of January (with the first post on the Monday of the second week) and have been occurring unstopping ever since.

Time for some numbers!

After this long introduction, it’s time to mention a few things I realized about these 10 first releases of my BLOTW.

During these three months, I have received readings from (ordered by number of visitors): Brazil, the United States, Germany, France, Canada, United Kingdom, India, European Union (I don’t know what JetPack means by this), the Netherlands, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, Ireland, Singapore, Sweden, Turkey, Indonesia, Colombia, New Zealand, Mozambique, Belgium, China, South Africa, Albania, Italy, Norway, Australia, Kenya, Japan, Panama, Pakistan and Swizerland, a total of 31 countries, 1235 visits and 783 unique visitors. 41% of the visualizations occur on Monday, which makes sense for it is the day I release my BLOTW and the time with the largest number of visitors is 2pm (European Central Time).

Color intensity is related to the number of visualizations by visitors in that country.

I am part of several Slack channels, mailing lists, WhatsApp and Telegram groups. I’m very thankful for all these groups and friends who share content with me and are the real contributors of most of the links I share in the series. Based on this, I wondered if the sources of my links were always the same or if the amount of unique sources varied through time.

As one can see in the graph below, even though sometimes I share more than one link from the same source per release (like two posts from the same blog in the same release of my BLOTW), I’m always bringing content from different sources.

Regarding all the last 10 releases, what are the most common sources?

Most common sources of my best links of the week.

I had the impression that the largest part of my reading was done in languages other than portuguese. However, I only share content in English and Portuguese (let me know if you’re interested in content in French, Spanish or Italian). This way, I decided to check what is the proportion of Portuguese content in the links I shared.

The icy of the cake is a word cloud of all the links I have shared in these 10 releases of my Best Links Of The Week (BLOTW) 🙂

Novidades. News. Novità. Nouvelles.

More recently, while sharing my BLOTW, I was invited to do a repost of them every Friday on the Medium account of Data Hackers, the largest Data Science portal in Brazil. Instead of merely sharing the links by category, as I do here in my blog, I will also write some text (in Portuguese) in order to put them in a nice train of thought. The first two releases were already done here and here.

Charts were written in R with the packages ggplot2, dplyr and wordcloud. See you later [with more links] 😉