100 most read R posts in 2012 (stats from R-bloggers) – big data, visualization, data manipulation, and other languages

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R-bloggers.com is now three years young. The site is an (unofficial) online journal of the R statistical programming environment, written by bloggers who agreed to contribute their R articles to the site.

Last year, I posted on the top 24 R posts of 2011. In this post I wish to celebrate R-bloggers’ third birthmounth by sharing with you:

  1. Links to the top 100 most read R posts of 2012
  2. Statistics on “how well” R-bloggers did this year
  3. My wishlist for the R community for 2013 (blogging about R, guest posts, and sponsors)

1. Top 100 R posts of 2012

R-bloggers’ success is thanks to the content submitted by the over 400 R bloggers who have joined r-bloggers.  The R community currently has around 245 active R bloggers (links to the blogs are clearly visible in the right navigation bar on the R-bloggers homepage).  In the past year, these bloggers wrote around 3200 posts about R!

Here is a list of the top visited posts on the site in 2012 (you can see the number of page views in parentheses):

  1. Select operations on R data frames (42,742)
  2. Julia, I Love You (22,405)
  3. R at 12,000 Cores (22,584)
  4. An R programmer looks at Julia (17,172)
  5. Adding a legend to a plot (16,413)
  6. Solving easy problems the hard way (13,201)
  7. The Best Statistical Programming Language is …Javascript? (11,047)
  8. Step up your R capabilities with new tools for increased productivity (9,758)
  9. How I cracked Troyis (the online flash game) (9,527)
  10. Setting graph margins in R using the par() function and lots of cow milk (9,549)
  11. Creating surface plots (8,705)
  12. Running R on an iPhone/iPad with RStudio (8,903)
  13. Drawing heatmaps in R (8,719)
  14. A big list of the things R can do (8,152)
  15. Two sample Student’s t-test #1 (8,112)
  16. Paired Student’s t-test (7,950)
  17. Installing R packages (7,999)
  18. Multiple Y-axis in a R plot (7,486)
  19. R Tutorial Series: Labeling Data Points on a Plot (7,375)
  20. Color Palettes in R (6,656)
  21. Plot maps like a boss (6,898)
  22. Model Validation: Interpreting Residual Plots (6,763)
  23. find | xargs … Like a Boss (7,001)
  24. Getting Started with Sweave: R, LaTeX, Eclipse, StatET, & TeXlipse (6,775)
  25. R Tutorial Series: R Beginner’s Guide and R Bloggers Updates (6,703)
  26. The R apply function – a tutorial with examples (6,764)
  27. Delete rows from R data frame (6,243)
  28. Polynomial regression techniques (6,396)
  29. Why R is Hard to Learn (6,281)
  30. Basic Introduction to ggplot2 (6,107)
  31. Trading using Garch Volatility Forecast (5,886)
  32. Will 2015 be the Beginning of the End for SAS and SPSS? (5,924)
  33. Fun with the googleVis Package for R (5,495)
  34. Creating beautiful maps with R (5,576)
  35. Tutorial: Principal Components Analysis (PCA) in R (4,907)
  36. Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney rank sum test (or test U) (5,574)
  37. Introducing Shiny: Easy web applications in R (5,501)
  38. R is the easiest language to speak badly (5,583)
  39. R 2.15.0 is released (5,486)
  40. Basics on Markov Chain (for parents) (5,395)
  41. Pivot tables in R (5,320)
  42. Displaying data using level plots (4,942)
  43. R Tutorial Series: Basic Polynomial Regression (5,165)
  44. Merging Multiple Data Files into One Data Frame (5,083)
  45. Quick Introduction to ggplot2 (5,060)
  46. Summarising data using box and whisker plots (4,953)
  47. Make R speak SQL with sqldf (4,745)
  48. MySQL and R (4,595)
  49. ggheat : a ggplot2 style heatmap function (4,578)
  50. Aggregate Function in R: Making your life easier, one mean at a time (4,756)
  51. The role of Statistics in the Higgs Boson discovery (4,560)
  52. Plotting Time Series data using ggplot2 (4,543)
  53. The Kalman Filter For Financial Time Series (4,367)
  54. R 101: The Subset Function (4,626)
  55. Create your own Beamer template (4,569)
  56. Mining Facebook Data: Most “Liked” Status and Friendship Network (4,493)
  57. The Many Uses of Q-Q Plots (4,376)
  58. Social Network Analysis with R (4,307)
  59. 20 free R tutorials (and one reference card) (4,227)
  60. To attach() or not attach(): that is the question (4,439)
  61. add your blog! | R-bloggers (3,941)
  62. Learn R and Python, and Have Fun Doing It (4,205)
  63. Creating a Presentation with LaTeX Beamer – Using Overlays (4,319)
  64. Summarising data using dot plots (4,078)
  65. Google summer of code 2012 – and R – a call for students (4,180)
  66. nice ggplot intro tutorial. Just run the commands, about 6 pages… (3,902)
  67. Tracking Hurricane Sandy with Open Data and R (4,108)
  68. Time Series Analysis and Mining with R (3,874)
  69. Linear mixed models in R (3,846)
  70. A graphical overview of your MySQL database (3,919)
  71. Updating R but keeping your installed packages (3,317)
  72. Data.table rocks! Data manipulation the fast way in R (3,691)
  73. Generating graphs of retweets and @-messages on Twitter using R and Gephi (3,623)
  74. Amateur Mapmaking: Getting Started With Shapefiles (3,656)
  75. Datasets to Practice Your Data Mining (3,782)
  76. How to customize ggplot2 graphics (3,720)
  77. Interactive HTML presentation with R, googleVis, knitr, pandoc and slidy (3,599)
  78. The undiscovered country – a tutorial on plotting maps in R (3,560)
  79. polar histogram: pretty and useful (3,487)
  80. Classification Trees (3,545)
  81. Text Mining to Word Cloud App with R (3,388)
  82. Top 20 R posts of 2011 (and some R-bloggers statistics) (3,606)
  83. Combining ggplot Images (3,492)
  84. Integrating PHP and R (3,420)
  85. Tutorials for Learning Visualization in R (3,509)
  86. RStudio in the cloud, for dummies (3,402)
  87. London Olympics 100m men’s sprint results (3,460)
  88. Online resources for handling big data and parallel computing in R (3,383)
  89. The Higgs boson: 5-sigma and the concept of p-values (3,339)
  90. Interactive reports in R with knitr and RStudio (3,296)
  91. Maps with R (I) (3,283)
  92. ggplot2 Time Series Heatmaps (3,262)
  93. Simple Text Mining with R (3,174)
  94. Contingency Tables – Fisher’s Exact Test (3,250)
  95. An example of ROC curves plotting with ROCR (3,202)
  96. Great Maps with ggplot2 (3,155)
  97. Style your R charts like the Economist, Tableau … or XKCD (3,218)
  98. Simple Linear Regression (3,212)
  99. A practical introduction to garch modeling (3,158)
  100. Adding lines or points to an existing barplot (3,057)


2. Statistics – how well did R-bloggers do in 2012?

Short answer: quite well.

In 2012, R-bloggers has reached around 11,000 regular subscribers (which you can also subscribe to: via RSS, or e-mail), serving the content of about 245 R bloggers.  In total, the site was visited around 2.7 million times, by over 1.1 million people.  Bellow you can see a few figures comparing the statistics of 2012 with those of 2011 (just click the image to enlarge it):




3. My wishlist for 2013 – about the future of the R blogosphere

Well now, this has been an AMAZING year for the R-project in general, the R community, and consequently also for R-bloggers.  Here are a few things I wish for 2013:

Reproducible R blogging – make it to blog from R to WordPress and blogger (via knitr, RStudio, etc.)

The past year has been wonderful regarding progress in making reproducible research with R using Sweave, knitr, RStudio, and many new R packages.  For 2013 I wish someone (or some-company, RStudio, cough cough) would take on themselves to make it as easy as possible to do Reproducible R blogging.  The seeds are already there, thanks to people like JJ Allaire, Jeffrey Horner, Vicent Marti, and Natacha Porte we now have the markdown package, which combined with Yihui Xie knitr package and the wonderful RStudio (R IDE), allows us all to easily create HTML documents of R analysis.  Combine this with something like one of Duncan Temple Lang’s R packages (XMLRPC, RWordPress) and one can imagine the future.

The next step will be to have a “publish to your WordPress/blogger” button right from the RStudio console – allowing for the smoothest R blogging experience one could dream of.

I hope we’ll see this as early as possible in 2013.

Creating online interactive visualization using R

There can never be enough of this really.

So far, I should give props to Markus Gesmann, Diego de Castillo for authoring and maintaining the awesome googleVis R package.  This package is great for online publishing of interesting results.  For example, see the site StatIL.org – visualizing over 25,000 Time series of Israel’s statistics using html files produced (also) with the googleVis package (example: population of Israel between 1950 to 2011).

The second promising project is Shiny, which Shiny makes it incredibly easy to build interactive web applications with R. Since they intend to release an open source server of Shiny, which can run on Apache, we can expect very interesting developments on that front this year.

More guest posts on R-bloggers

If you have valuable knowledge and insights to share with the R community, the best way I suggest is to start your own free blog on WordPress.com.  Create a dedicated R category for your R posts, and ask to join r-bloggers (make sure to read and follow the guidelines mentioned there).

This year I am considering allowing non-bloggers to also take part in the party.  The idea is to create a simple form which will allow you to write a guest article which (after review) will go live on r-bloggers (without the need to first start your own blog).  If you are interested to submit such a guest article in the future (even if you are not sure exactly what you will write about), please fill out this form with your e-mail.  IF I see people are interested, I will go ahead and create this service.

Your help in sharing/linking-to R-bloggers.com

Sharing: If you don’t alreayd know, R-bloggers is not a company.  The site is run by just one guy (Tal Galili).  There is no marketing team, marketing budget, or any campaign.  The only people who know about the site are your and the people YOU will send the link to (through facebook, your personal website, blog, etc.).  So if you haven’t already – please help share r-bloggers.com in whatever way you can online.

Subscribe to R-bloggers.com

You can also subscribe to daily updates of new R posts via RSS, or by filling in your e-mail address (I don’t give it to strangers, I promise).  You can also join the R-bloggers facebook page, but make sure (once liked) to press the “like” button and mark V by “get notifications” and “show in news feed” (see in the image bellow)




If you are interested in sponsoring/placing-ads/supporting R-bloggers, then you are welcome to contact me.  Currently there is not much place left, but you can still contact me and I will update you once an ad placement is freed up.

Stay in touch :)

As always, you are welcome to leave a comment on this blog, and/or contact me (keeping in mind it might take me some time to get back to you, but I promise I will).


Happy new year!
Yours truly,
Tal Galili

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