Monday, 20 May 2013

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

I received some comments about the formatting of the most recent post, as seen on an Android phone.  Every other platform I was able to check looked fine.  I looked at the underlying HTML and, sure enough, there were some inconsistencies in the code, which I have now corrected by hand.  It's handy Blogger allows you to do that; I quite often have to remove surplus line-breaks and rogue italics by editing the HTML.

Blogger is especially profligate in its use of SPAN elements, and the opening and closing bracket pairs can easily get out of synch, if you do a lot of cutting and pasting, etc., using the normal "Compose" mode.  However, this is the kind of thing most modern browsers can take in their stride, so I guess Android is just more sensitive to bad and "deprecated" code (I do love that special hacker's usage of "deprecate").

This caused me to wonder what operating systems my visitors are using in general, so I looked at the Blogger stats for the last month:

Pageviews by Operating System (20/4 - 20/5/2013)

Platform         Pageviews

Windows ....... 3474 (71%)
Macintosh .....   788 (16%)
iPad .................185   (3%)
Linux .............. 147   (3%)
iPhone ............ 114   (2%)
Android ........... 85   (1%)
Win NT ............ 17 (< 1%)
PlayBook ......... 11 (< 1%)
Other Unix ......... 9 (< 1%)
BlackBerry .........4 (< 1%)

Interesting.  I would have expected a higher proportion of Mac users than that, if only because that is usually said to be the OS of choice for photographers, graphic designers and allied trades, particularly in the USA.  Which made me look at my demographic over the same period:

Pageviews by Country (Top Ten, 20/4 - 20/5/2013)

United States ....... 1397
United Kingdom .... 926
Russia ................... 382
Sweden ................. 275
Germany ............... 225
France .................. 201
Canada ................. 146
Estonia ................... 94
India ...................... 69
Austria ................... 46

Even more interesting.  I'm getting 50% more US visitors than UK visitors, which is a surprise.  Those Russians and Estonians, I suspect, are mainly robotic visitors, though it is true I do have a couple of friends who travel to Russia frequently on business.  The others all make sense.

Now, I do have my doubts about the accuracy of Blogger's built-in statistics.  Not least because they can differ substantially from those delivered by Google Analytics, the "industry standard" stats package for the Web, which, like Blogger, is owned and operated by Google (you guessed!).  Does anyone else observe this discrepancy?  Go figure, as they say.  But the Blogger stats are handy, and can't be that wrong.

The disappointing thing is that a monthly total of 4834 means I'm getting about 160 visits a day, a proportion of which is almost certainly illusory.  Compared to this blog's heyday around 2010, visits would appear to be down by about 50%.  I blame Facebook and Twitter.  Not to mention the billion other bloggers out there, competing for your attention.  Gertcha!  Git orf my demographic!

But: many thanks to those of you who have stuck with my long-form bloviations.  Frankly, to adapt that well-known expression, I would simply never have enough time to condense my thoughts into 140 characters.  But, here's a thought for those of you who do use social media: see those icons below this post?  The B, the T, the F, and the G+1?  It would be much appreciated if you were to use them occasionally.  Who knows, it might drag in a few more customers, and I might feel more like it's worthwhile carrying on doing this for another year or two.


Struan said...

We love you Mike, really we do.

Give me an 'M'....

Mike C. said...

Well, you say that, but the statistics say the thrill is gone, and the curve is down... Curse you, Twitterati!


Struan said...

Nothing a quick Nikon vs Canon post can't rectify.

Mike C. said...

Ha! Of course!! Kit conquers all!

Mind you, if straight-up popularity is the goal (which I like to think it isn't) then the irony is that my five all-time most popular posts (by a mile) are about Dunkirk, corporal punishment, Remembrance Sunday, Flying Ant Day, and donkey jackets. Not a camera in sight...


Struan said...

More depression:

Mike C. said...


Mind, that's statistics for you. I wonder what the standard deviation for the date of Christmas is? (I say that like I know what it means...)


Struan said...

That would depend on whether it is a Coptic leap year or not.

ottluuk said...

I'm afraid Estonia might be me for the most part. I'm not entirely robotic but I have a bad habit of keeping interesting articles in open browser tabs of my RSS reader until I've read them or pondered about them enough. And each time I restart the program, everything in the browser tabs reloads and gets a pageview. (Oh the wasteful joys of speedy internet connections!)

That said, there is a reason your posts tend to find a way to the reading queue. I find them thoughtful and engaging in ways that most photo-related blog matter fails at. It is great that someone is still willing to write from a personal, human perspective in a field that is dominated by battery-powered equipment reviewers, incessant self-promoters and the incomprehensible ravings of art critics.

Mike C. said...

Thanks for that endorsement, ottluuk, it's much appreciated, and I'm very glad to hear you're not entirely robotic (I know how you feel).


Zouk Delors said...

my five all-time most popular posts (by a mile)

Links, please!


D'you suppose that's dyslexic for "depreciated"?

PS Have you considered posting about a dancing dog?

eeyorn said...

Just popping my head above the parapet to add to your illusory UK quotient. As an school friend and one that I admire greatly, I'm pleased to have caught up with you again recently, but above and beyond that I enjoy your blog very much Mike. Long may you continue. I'll be happy to pimp your blog on my FB account too.