New OScon Session: Hard Numbers Behind the O'Reilly Radar

Tech trendspotting is a core competency at O’Reilly. It’s how we figure out what books to publish, what talks to feature at our conferences, and what to cover on our web sites. Our own work with technology, plus tips from our readers and other “alpha geeks” are our primary source of new ideas, but increasingly, we’re looking for statistical data to amplify faint signals about tech trends. (This is especially helpful when trying to persuade analysts at market research firms to pay attention!) In this talk at OScon, I will present some of the data sources — and data visualization tools — that O’Reilly is using to discern tech trends in such diverse data sources as computer book sales, online job postings, Yahoo! search volume, and tagging. We’ll look at what these sources tell us about such subjects as which computer languages are most popular, how Linux is faring against Mac OS X and Windows, and what’s the most popular PVR option after TiVO. I was struggling to boil all this stuff down for my opening riff, so Nat gave me a separate session!