The end of the year is a time for reflection, and it’s no different here at National Driller HQ. Part of that reflection, for us, is reviewing stories we did and seeing what resonated with readers. The result? Our top 5 foundations and geotechnical stories of 2016. On the web, clicks equal currency, and readers certainly paid those stories a lot of attention this year. In fact, our average annual page views for 2016 is up about 8 percent from 2015, so we have a lot to be grateful for.

I’ll get to the list, but first a bit about it. We start monitoring the top stories in late November each year. By then, the list of most popular stories is usually set. Stories may change positions on the list, but which stories make the list don’t typically change. We base this list on total page views since mid-December 2015 (the cutoff for the 2015 top 5). Often, popular older stories end up in the mix, so we take out anything not published in that timeframe. What we get is a list of what stories readers clicked on in 2016 and just how much they clicked on them.

That, dear reader, is what you’ll find below. Counting down from 5, here are our top foundations and geotechnical stories of 2016.

5. Foundations Expert Shares Advice for Engineering Students

I’m a big advocate of welcoming younger workers into the drilling trades, whether that’s on a rig or on the design and engineering end. When I heard from the Deep Foundations Institute that they established a civil engineering scholarship in George Tamaro’s honor, I thought it’d be a good idea to get his thoughts about the next generation. “I like to see people benefit from the experiences that I’ve had and work with them and guide them,” Tamaro told us. “People should share their experiences rather than hide them to blindside somebody with some secret they know and nobody else knows.”

4. Diedrich Drill Bought by Private Equity Firm

Diedrich Drill, the Indiana-based rig and tooling manufacturer changed hands this year. This item, based on a press release, isn’t very long, but it struck a chord with readers. "Industry news" items rewritten from press releases typically get clicks, just not as many as this one. Whatever the reason for the high interest, we wish Diedrich and new owners Cape Kauri Partners LLC success.

3. With Superior Cores, Sonic Drilling Resonates Across Industries

We get a lot of companies submitting stories, and this is one of those stories. They don’t usually do as well, click-wise, as stories we generate in house, but this one submitted on behalf of Boart Longyear from May did. I’m guessing readers just have a lot of interest in sonic drilling.

2. Geotechnical Drilling Startup Shares Tips for Success

Readers apparently share my fascination with stories about how to make a go of it in business. This interview made this list and also ranked No. 10 on our list of the top 10 stories overall for 2016. Michael Cox of PalmettoINSITU and I spoke for a while, and he had a lot of good ideas for folks just starting out with a rig and a dream. One of his best tips? “Don’t accept ‘no’ as an answer to anything.”

1. You Know the Drill: Business Booming for Texas Foundations Driller

The You Know the Drill feature we started a few years ago is consistently popular. This item made this list and also ranked No. 9 on our list of the top 10 stories overall for the year. (Last year, one You Know the Drill interview made it into the top 10 overall stories of 2015 at No. 2.) This interview, with a third-generation driller in Texas, helped us in February reach our best month ever for page views.

That’s it, 2016’s most read foundations and geotechnical stories on www.nationaldriller.com. If there’s anything you missed or want to reread, dig in. Don’t be afraid to share, whether emailing links for posting to social media. We look forward to serving readers with more news and views from the drilling industry in 2017 and beyond.

Stay safe out there, drillers.