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ESPOO, Finland – We were looking back at the activity across our streams. Comments, views, hits, and stuff all pretty much point to the same top stories that generated the most debate and comments (listed below). I want to point out that we are rapidly approaching that tipping point where the great comments are starting to overwhelm us. That’s the bad side of abundance and we are working hard to keep this whole endeavor interactive in the coming year (with the occasional moments of bankruptcy permitted when things get really hairy).

I also want to use this moment to thank all of you for making this site what it truly is meant to be, a place for us to all talk about stories from around the Nokia neighborhood. Without all of you, we would be just a bunch of hot air.

Now to the top debates of the year!

1. The launch of the Nokia N97.
Wow. This one got knocked out of the park. Our post “Nokia N97 marks evolutionary milestone for Nseries and mobilekind” is our most read post, most commented, and the videos (the demo and the fondle videos) in our YouTube channel have almost two million views (and their own huge amount of comments). Of course, we also had a ton of articles around the N97, such as asking what it means to you and the designer interview.

I think the reasons for all this feedback and discussion is due in part to the surprise, but also for the N97 being an amazing device.

2. To VoIP or not to VoIP.
While this is coming in second to the N97 in terms of comments and links, to me it is really the major debate at the moment. Last August we tried to clarify the VoIP situation on the N96. While factually correct, it still left N96-VoIP users in the lurch. Comments are still coming in. But, recently, when an apparent patch was presented to us, we thought it might be the solution these N96 owners were looking for. Alas, it wasn’t a good patch and now our readers (and me) are clamoring for some better explantions from the VoIP people in Nokia (which is coming, albeit slowly).

I think the response to this topic is exactly the kind of discussion this site is good for. I think we are getting somewhere in this discussion and the importance of all that good and powerful feedback is not lost on us.

3. Product leaks
Heh. My post on product leaks was picked up by Engadget and generated a huge amount of discussion around the who, where, and why of leaks. My favorite comment was that I needed a Waaahmbulance, due to what was perceived as whining (ok, there was a bit of that).

Leaks are touchy subjects, and the discussions were mixed. It was a great discussion that I am sure will rear its head a few times next year.

4. The 1100 Club
The 1100 Club was a concept, a challenge to say that we could be connected and mobile with a voice and text phone, such as the popular Nokia 1100. For the month of November, I even tried it out, but it was hard and I stopped at the end of the month.

I don’t know why it got so much attention and discussion. I think it was a mix of odd, anachronistic, and weird, with a touch of bravura. But, yeah, I think I made my point and folks understood me (if only sympathetically!).

5. N96 World Tour
Another one of our little side projects in “strange” was the N96 World Tour. It was really just an experiment, to see what would happen if we handed a phone from person to person and let them do whatever they wanted. And it’s been fun. Ralph, the Hawtness, as the device is now called, was with a bass soloist in London, a online education expert in Perth, a techie father in São Paulo, and soon to be in Lebanon somewhere for the holidays.

While I did expect more action from viewers, we were quite pleased with folks following the adventure on Twitter and Share on Ovi. I think the draw is the traveling and the device itself and the open ended exploratory nature of the whole project.

6. Service in the USA
The first shall be last, and, even though Mike, James, and Carita asked me to keep this list to five top debates, there is one that was a number six that deserved a mention. The week we started Nokia Conversations, we picked up on a story of a disgruntled user in the US. This lead to a series of articles about service in the US and helped us poke the Care USA folks into action.

While we are not a support vehicle, it was a good start for us to enter the conversations around support and galvanize the support folks into participating more in the conversation. That’s why we’re happy to have this one on this top debates list.

In conclusion
Thanks for such great discussions. Let’s keep them going and let’s hope, from our side, we can remain interactive. Next year is already shaping up to be a doozy, so I am sure we will have another five (no, six) big topics that will be our hot debates for 2009.

So, in the coming year, please stay active. It makes for good discussion and keeps us on our toes.

And with that, I’d like to show the N97 fondle video once more:

Image from Belgianchocolate