AsyncAPI Conference 2021 has ended! ⭐️

AsyncAPI Initiative 2021 in Numbers

Lukasz Gornicki

·13 min read

This article is a continuation of a tradition where once a year, we summarize all the metrics that we can collect from our different tools to see how we are growing as a community.

It is good to see how we are doing, how are we growing 🚀

If you are interested in previous years, look at this 2020 summary article.

Slack

We noted 1846 members at the end of 2021:

20202021
New members490877
(79% increase)

In 2021 we also went through reorganization of the channels setup, created etiquette, and most importantly, got a standard subscription from Slack. We definitely are not going away from Slack.

Weekly active members

Slack is our primary community channel, a kind of direct connection between community members. In my opinion, it indicates the community's growth that is more active in the initiative.

For this year, I removed the stats about the number of posted messages. We have many messages posted by bots (about GitHub activity, for example) affecting the numbers. They are big but do not indicate only Slack activity.

Data is shown weekly and not daily, so the numbers are not affected by usually silent weekends.

20202021
Active members weekly81 average
77 median
174 average
(114% increase)
173 median
(125% increase)
Active members posting messages weekly20 average
19 median
40 average
(100% increase)
41 median
(116% increase)

I think the median is accurate not only because it shows higher numbers. It basically eliminates super high weeks (like when we organized conferences) and weeks when we have lots of holidays simultaneously, like Christmas break.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn grows like other channels. We mostly attract folks with job functions related to engineering (51%). Other are also tech but related to business development or product management.

I personally wish we actually reach more product managers (PM) than 2%. As a person that was a PM in the past, I remember how much specs and APIs were important for products and hope other PMs go that path too.

Followers and impressions

At the moment, we have 1534 followers. Unfortunately, LinkedIn memory is short and remembers only numbers one year back. I do not have access to January 2021 data.

In the case of a percentage increase, I take only numbers related to organic growth.

20202021
Followers611
57 from payed marketing
745
(34% increase)
Impressions80 095248 571
146 252 from payed marketing
(28% increase)

We published 265 posts on LinkedIn, and with a growing number of followers, it converted into many users visiting our website.

20202021
Users7151 857
(160% increase)
New Users6561 699
(159% increase)
Sessions1 0422 511
(141% increase)

We spent $1200 on paid marketing on LinkedIn to increase awareness about AsyncAPI Hackathon and Conference. We noticed a large increase in impressions on our sponsored posts. These sponsored posts did not link to our AsyncAPI website but to the conference registration site. To summarize, $1200 converted into 763 visits to the registration website and ... wait for it ... wait for it ... 15 registrations. I have to tell you that 2021 taught me that there is nothing better than organic marketing. Better pay $1200 to contributors for their work rather than give it out to LinkedIn.

I recommend everyone to maintain a relationship with the community also on LinkedIn. This social media is changing. Many folks that are not active on Twitter are active on LinkedIn, and you should target them. In the end, reposting stuff you have for Twitter to LinkedIn is not very time-consuming.

In Q4 of 2021, we also started streaming different meetings to LinkedIn. In three months, we noted 1180 views of our streaming content. So we basically enabled over 1k users to watch the content they would probably not watch if LinkedIn was their only social media channel. Think about it, omnichannel is the only way to build the community,

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics on AsyncAPI website because we want to understand what content is most valuable for you, and we want to learn how the interest is growing.

Traffic got much higher

The interest is growing by a lot! Our website handles it well with the support of Netlify, which is free for open-source projects.

201920202021
Users visits27 09083 655
(208% increase)
131 802
(57% increase)
Sessions50 405147 409
(192% increase)
235 321
(60% increase)
Pageviews143 059362 686
(153% increase)
590 501
(63% increase)

Top blog posts

AsyncAPI blog is a place where the AsyncAPI Community can publish articles. Anyone can share knowledge, experience, and showcase their work there. Just let us know what you want to write about.

What is the benefit of writing/republishing on the AsyncAPI blog? Visibility among the AsyncAPI community plus our activities to make your work go viral. Just look at the below table to see our top 3 viral posts.

Google Search Console

In 2021 we integrated our Google Analytics with Google Search Console (GSC). I believe that numbers from GSC can show how many more people hear about AsyncAPI and gain interest in the topic. In other words, the assumption is that the more people google, the more people are aware of AsyncAPI.

The last data we have access to is from the 20th of September 2020. So we cannot fully compare 2020 and 2021. We know we had 1 230 000 (OVER ONE MILLION) impressions and 104 000 clicks in 2021 in total, but in the table below we only compare data between the 20th of September and the 31st of December.

20202021
Total clicks19 20034 400
(79% increase)
Total impressions300 000350 000
(17% increase)
Impressions conversion into clicks6.4% average9.8% average
Position in search results31.3 average29.7 average

We can compare only three months, so numbers for 2022 will definitely be better than 2021.

We did some super basic SEO improvements in mid 2021, which sure took effect on increased click rate. We also published a few articles with topics that people google for together with asyncapi, WebSocket, and OpenAPI.

I think we have proof that all additional activities planned for 2022, such as rework of existing documentation, should improve numbers even more.

If you have more ideas on improving, just open up an issue in the website repository, and let's discuss how we can get better.

Twitter

By the time I gathered data for this blog post, we had 2997 followers on Twitter. 1 564 increase since the last time we had published such metrics in mid-December 2020. It is 78% more followers in a year compared to 2020.

I'm not gonna hide, I'm not a Twitter fan, really. 😃 Who cares about my preferences, though, our community is present there, and we must too. In the end, Twitter led 2 478 new users to AsyncAPI website.

What I can tell you for sure. Do not spend your money on Twitter marketing. We tried it for AsyncAPI Conference. Of course, I might configure something in a bad way, but does it change anything? We spent $560.21 on sponsored tweets that converted into 16 471 visits to the conference registration page. Guess what, 0 folks registered.

Now yes, of course, might be that tweets were not targetted properly, might be that registration page was not attractive. But I challenge you with a question: is it worth spending many extra hours and money on this classical marketing instead of the community?

GitHub

We notice growing traffic in our GitHub organization like on other channels.

Our most popular repositories contain the AsyncAPI specification and the AsyncAPI Generator that the community can use to generate documentation and code.

The AsyncAPI Specification repository that had 1 357 stars in 2020 jumped to 1 870.

The AsyncAPI Generator repository grew from 198 to 417. So the number of fans doubled.

The number of contributors also increased, but the problem is I no longer have access to tools that can help me get exact numbers, like the ones I got last year.

The good news is that we should get access to Linux Foundation Insights tool around April. It will enable us to look deep into not only GitHub stats in one place. We will definitely get more accurate numbers for 2022.

npm

The majority of our tools are written in JavaScript/TypeScript, and we host them on Node Package Manager (npm).

Top packages

Our most important packages are the project that provides AsyncAPI JSON Schema files, the Generator and the Parser. Below you can see how downloads of these packages increased.

201920202021
Generator21 536136 994396 766
Parser18 591187 4751 460 275
Module with JSON Schema files for specification
(new `@asyncapi/specs` & old `asyncapi`)
79 527215 0161 483 839!

The increase in numbers is insanely huge. People automatically say that it is because of build systems, local development, or some single corporation started using it at scale. In other words, the increase could result from just one project that uses these tools as a dependency.

Let me challenge you:

  • Corporations always use mirrored versions in npm. When you work on a project in a corporate network, you will always hit internal proxy. Not included in downloads.
  • Most build systems cache packages that are downloaded already to improve performance. Not included in downloads. When you work with npm locally, you also have a local cache that is used if you want to install something that you already installed. Not included in downloads.

An interesting observation is that Generator uses Parser and Parser uses the package with AsyncAPI specs. So you can read from this data that packages with specs are primarily used in the AsyncAPI Parser. You can also see that Parser is a backbone for many more projects than just the AsyncAPI Generator.

Do you see it? Last year Generator and Parser download numbers were super close to each other, now the difference is much higher, 1 MILLION!

YouTube

The AsyncAPI YouTube channel had a massive increase in traffic.

Watch time

YouTube is the only channel where numbers were not higher than in previous years. The main reason is that in 2020, our conference took place in March, while in 2021, it was November. We only released like 1/5 of all presentations. Let's see if I'm right. Numbers in 2022 should get up.

201920202021
Views5278 83010 444
Watch time29.9h1 900h1 672.9h
Subscribers35396292

Open Collective

We earned and spent lots of money this year. 🤑

Huge applause 👏 to all our sponsors!

SourceExpensesBalance
AsyncAPI Hackathon & Conference$1,200.51 LinkedIn marketing
$563.00 Twitter marketing
$2,200.53 Daily.dev marketing (converted into 22 registrations out of 369 visits)
$11,023.92 Hackathon prizes
$1,972.31 Swags for Hackathon participants and Conference presenters
$8,146.63
AsyncAPI Initiative$15,093.31 Marketing and Maintainance
$3,000.00 Donation to JSON Schema
$56 252.68

We also have a good amount of money thanks to the new Platinum sponsor that joined last year, IBM. Also, RedHat joined as a Gold sponsor. We also had other donations.

Final words

We grow. Numbers just confirm our observation. We grow not only because people love to build a community around the specification. We grow because AsyncAPI Initiative is attractive for contributors because we also host tools related to AsyncAPI.

If you want to look at more data, some of it is available in this spreadsheet and for others you just need to contact me directly.

In 2022, we need to establish a stronger bond with the community. We have many folks that give back a lot of time into the project, and it is time to give back. The main goals we have:

  • Meet in person for AsyncAPI Conference
  • Setup Ambassador program to give back to most active community members
  • Get involved in more events like Google Summer of Code

Join us so we can work on these together!

Photo by Alternate Skate on Unsplash