Summary:

As voted by your clicks, these are the posts that our readers couldn’t get enough of in 2013. Spying, electric cars, and cord cutting was in demand.

Tablet lunch sushi BYOD enterprise businesswoman

We’re heard a lot this week about how people in the technology industry (and outside of it) saw 2013, and in case you missed it, make sure and check out Om’s take on the year that’s almost over. But I wanted to share what you, our readers, thought were the most interesting developments of 2013 by showcasing the five most read stories on Gigaom in 2013.

We’ll count it down, Dick Clark style.

5. With iBeacon, Apple is going to dump on NFC and embrace the internet of things

This was a guest post from Hari Gopatti on the eve of the iOS 7 launch, highlighting one very interesting feature that retailers are particularly excited about. iBeacon is Apple’s term for short-range wireless notification technology that can send small messages like coupons or special offers to nearby iPhones, or help iPhone users navigate indoor areas with far more precision than current technologies. It’s yet another example of how Bluetooth Low Energy is proving to be a gateway drug for the internet of things and the connected home/mall.

iBeacon demonstration example mobile shopping

4. NSA hacked into encrypted UN communications, leaked documents show

If I was putting this list together by topic, the firestorm kicked off by the revelations of Edward Snowden would rank ahead of almost everything else we talked about this year when it comes to reader interest. This particular story by David Meyer really took off among our European readers, however, as the sense of how far and wide the National Security Agency had cast its net began to sink in.

3. Mozilla will add H.264 to Firefox as Cisco makes eleventh-hour push for WebRTC’s future

This story was a good reminder that Gigaom readers still care deeply about the nuts and bolts of technology. Janko Roettgers covered a lot of ground here: Cisco’s decision to open-source h.264, a fundamental video codec; Mozilla’s decision to adopt h.264 in its Firefox browser after years of holding out hope for an alternative; and the long and winding road toward WebRTC, which appears be joining many other technology movements past and present as something that everyone agrees will be extremely important for enabling real-time video chat and conferencing on our devices, but everybody wants their technology at the heart of it.

Tesla Model S

2. A decade later, Tesla now officially a threat to the auto industry

2013 was a big year for electric car maker Tesla, and Gigaom readers who have followed Katie Fehrenbacher’s coverage of the company since it was a true startup responded to news that Tesla had captured 12 percent of the luxury sports car market in California. The company’s stock followed as it reached the break-even point during the year, and although it had given back some of those gains as the year ended there’s little doubt Tesla is going to be a factor for some time to come.

1. The honest Chromecast review: Three weeks with Google’s TV stick

This was easily our most-read post of the year, as Janko’s take on the device’s victories and shortcomings seemed to resonate. While we don’t know exactly how many of the $35 cord-cutting accessory Google has sold, we know that there was huge demand for more information about the product both internally and externally: Chromecast has been one of Amazon’s best-selling electronics devices throughout the holiday shopping season.

Does that mean 2014 is the year when cord-cutting, a real phenomenon but certainly not a mainstream entertainment strategy, finally starts to have an impact? If millions of people are realizing how easy it can be to get web video onto their big screen TVs for just $35, a surge in demand for more comprehensive web content options might follow.

Thanks for reading Gigaom. I can’t wait to see what next year’s list looks like.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user Hasloo Group Production Studio

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