Southern California's Top 10 Most Popular Tech Stories Of The Year

What was Southern California's technology community most interested in 2012? As part of our end-of-the-year coverage, we've run through our web statistics and figured out which were the most popular (if maybe not the most important) stories, based entirely on the number of times an article was accessed on our publication.

1. Virgin Galactic Gets FAA Launch Permit - In May, Virgin Galactic was granted an experimental launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration, the next step in the company's efforts to start a commercial space tourism industry.

2. VC Exits Down in 2011 - One of the most popular stories to be read on the site--perhaps because it was published early in the year -- was an analysis of U.S. venture capital exits in 2011, showing a reduced number of exits--but more IPOs--in venture backed companies. Similar numbers should be released in the next week for 2012.

3.Ten Of The Top Tech Companies For Employees In LA - In November, we wrote what was one of our most popular features (and most controversial), a list of what companies in Los Angeles were the top tech companies to work for. It looks like people either loved, or really hated, the companies we featured.

4. BetterWorks Shutting Down On May 31st - Also in May, What had arguably been one of Silicon Beach's highest profile, and possibly most hyped companies--BetterWorks--shut down it services, causing widespread anguish among boosters of Silicon Beach and its new generation of startups. BetterWorks--headed by prolific angel investor Paige Craig--apparently was not able to sustain a large enough market, relative to its high costs of customer acquisition.

5. SpaceX Plans Launch Site In Texas - In April, SpaceX announced plans to set up a launch site in Texas, garnering some of the highest traffic this year on an article. We have no idea why (except widespread interest all year in the achievements of Hawthorne-based SpaceX, and its launch to the International Space Station).

6. Ten of Southern California's Top Software Companies - Also in November, we published another "Top Ten" list, listing out some of Southern California's top software focused companies. This wasn't quite as controversial, but was quite popular.

7. JibJab Debuts Gangnam Style Christmas Card - Just a few weeks ago, at the end of November, JibJab released a new Gangnam Style Christmas Card, a part of its "Starring You" line of cards allowing people to insert their faces (or the faces of their friends) into different, humorous videos--this one, the viral Gangnam Style video from Korean K-pop star Psy.

8. The Complete Guide To Southern California Accelerators and Incubators, Part I - In February, we put together a guide to the list of (then existant) Southern California accelerators, incubators, and coworking spaces. As 2012 turned out to be the "year of the accelerator", it turned out to be a timely topic. (by the way, we're updating that series into a living list of local Southern California accelerators, incubators, and co-working spaces.)

9.Broadcom Powering Not Only iPhone, iPad, but Android Too - In April, we covered the details on Broadcom's widespread usage in not only Apple's popular iPhone and iPad devices, but in competing Android devices from Samsung. Broadcom--based in Irvine--has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the rise of the smartphone, powering key communications and GPS functionality in those devices.

10. Ceres Closes IPO - Among the few Southern California IPOs, Thousand Oaks-based biofuels seed technology provider Ceres has its IPO in April. That IPO, unfortunately, has not fared very well--the firm's stock was trading at around $4.00 a share last week, down from its IPO debut of $13.00 per share, and among the worst IPO performances this year.

Title image courtesy Bigstock