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  1. #26
    SitePoint Addict JordanTW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCsolas
    I find it interesting that 12% of the visits tracked came from there, behind only the united states.

    Im curious if this is an accurate statistic for web traffic dispersal?

    If so, it looks like my sites 3rd language might be german.
    Im beginning to think there is some large world cup site on the list of sites using that counter.
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  2. #27
    SitePoint Wizard mcsolas's Avatar
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    Makes sense. I was thinking that might be the reason.

    It just got my interest because of the large number of tourism sites ( latin america ) that translate their content into german. It seems to be prevalent in my niche market .. probably should either way.

  3. #28
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticksoft
    There is a big difference between professional sites that are less likely to use a free counter, and ones that would. I know of many internet users that visit two or three major websites daily and never go beyond those websites. Basically the sorts of people who will have Internet Explorer and maybe a toolbar from their ISP or portal. These sorts will not appear in a stats system like this.
    The point is to get as accurate a sample size as possible. Polling is an inexact science.

    (Most people would use these stats to determine things like what resolution to design for when designing a general audience site or a site with mass appeal. In that case, the above user wouldn't matter anyway.)
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  4. #29
    SitePoint Enthusiast fullphaser's Avatar
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    What exactly is defualt browser? its listed right below some of the others, but I thought that Konquerer and IE were the only "default" browsers out there
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  5. #30
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    That's currently shown on individual website stats when the browser couldn't be identified (I know, poor naming). It's a user agent string that doesn't match that of any known browser, spider, or content ripper. It's hidden from the global stats and eventually will be from all reports.

  6. #31
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter who MAKES the site, it matters who VISITS the site.
    Wrong. You continue to talk about exceptions instead of aggregate statistics. You take offense at my claim of professional webmasters tend to not use such a service because you think that you are a professional and that I am insulting you and you zealously defend yourself to the point of ignoring logic.

    It doesn't matter what you are or what service you use, you are irrelevant, the exception, one single data point. All that matters is the general trend among all webmasters that use Dan's service, thousands of data points.

    There is a certain type of webmaster that is more likely to use Dan's service, and there is a certain type of website that is more likely to be created by the same webmaster group. This will create a skew in the results. Just like Alexa is skewed by the fact that more webmasters use it than other demographics.

    Accept it, stop trying to defend your own professionalism, it isn't under attack, just accept that there is a bias. It is like you cannot see the forest for the trees. You admit that a certain type of webmaster uses it, but you deny that that group of webmasters produces websites at a distribution any different from the Internet taken as a whole. You keep thinking of all the exceptions rather than of general trends.

    By admitting that that webmaster group is more likely to use Dan's service you accept the fact that they have different attitudes, resources, or backgrounds, than other webmasters. Do you maintain then that that fact, which you admit to, has absolutely zero bearing on the type of site they might create? Seriously? They're different and yet they make the exact, the exact, same types of sites as everyone else with the exact same distribution?
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  7. #32
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    thanks, aspen, for jumping in and taking the flak for essentially the exact same thing i said in post #3 -- "a stats counter like that will only accumulate stats from the types of sites that use a stats counter"
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  8. #33
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    That counter shows Firefox use at 26%. Anyone else think that's total BS?

  9. #34
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edman
    That counter shows Firefox use at 26%. Anyone else think that's total BS?
    These aren't just US usage stats, which would be about half that right now. Internationally Firefox has much greater usage, and USA only accounts for about a third of the traffic tracked by W3Counter right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by OneStat June 2006
    In Australia, Firefox has 24.23% of the market. For World Cup champions Italy it's 20.41% and in Germany it's a whopping 39.02%.
    Quote Originally Posted by ComScore
    Comscore, an organization that monitors Web usage patterns, estimates that 26 percent of Internet users in Germany used Firefox in May 2006
    There are many factors that will cause stats to lean one way or another as the sample isn't perfectly random and evenly distributed across all PCs worldwide. It's just another of several resources for monitoring web visitor trends.

  10. #35
    Graphic Designer silver trophy Dache's Avatar
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    I'd use this in a blink (well test it anyway) would there be an invisible tracker.
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  11. #36
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    Wrong. You continue to talk about exceptions instead of aggregate statistics. You take offense at my claim of professional webmasters tend to not use such a service because you think that you are a professional and that I am insulting you and you zealously defend yourself to the point of ignoring logic.
    *sigh* Ad hominem. I won't really respond to that, except the first part.

    You're right, no professionals ever use hosted services.

    Wired, Newsweek, Ars Technica, TechCrunch, etc... none of those use Feedburner. Nope.

    I'm not positing that many professionals (experienced webmasters) use Dan's service, or even more than a couple do... but to say that none would, or to assume that if they did it would be the exception to some hard and fast rule, seems to be a baseless claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    It doesn't matter what you are or what service you use, you are irrelevant, the exception, one single data point. All that matters is the general trend among all webmasters that use Dan's service, thousands of data points.
    Where are you getting your statistics on this "general trend" among the webmaster who use Dan's (or any counter services) statistics? Where are you getting the data on the types of sites (again, far more important), that utilize the server? Where are you getting your stats on the types of visitors to those sites?

    I roundly reject your assumptions on the basis that you have yet to back any of them up with any real data. Simply saying:

    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    There is a certain type of webmaster that is more likely to use Dan's service, and there is a certain type of website that is more likely to be created by the same webmaster group.
    Does not make it true. As Dan already posted above, his largest sites are a real estate forum, a travel blog, and a gaming forum--hardly sites that you can say fall into one niche.

    And where is your assumption that the type of overall traffic being tracked by all of his sites as a whole, must skew toward youth oriented, coming from? So far I have seen a total lack of logic driving that claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    ... just accept that there is a bias.
    Of course there is. There is a bias in ANY survey of this kind (automated or not). I'll still stick to what I have said all along: "Dan's stats are likely a fairly reliable source of general web usage trends." I bolded the likely in case you missed it.

    The qualifier would be that it depends on the distribution of the types of site Dan's service tracks (which is influenced more by who and how Dan advertises his service to and how the word spreads--NOT by who is more likely to use it, in my opinion). And we have no real data on that, so any arguing the point there, as it seems we have been, is silly and without merit. We should probably stop until either of us have some better data. Dan has given us some data to show that the sites he tracks may NOT skew as you assume they do, but none of it has been compelling either way.

    Hopefully his distribution will get better as the service grows--but that remains to be seen.

    The original point of this thread was to reveal another service we can add to our arsenal (along with stats from Onestat and TheCounter and other places) to try to paint an accurate picture of the web as a whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    By admitting that that webmaster group is more likely to use Dan's service you accept the fact that they have different attitudes, resources, or backgrounds, than other webmasters. Do you maintain then that that fact, which you admit to, has absolutely zero bearing on the type of site they might create? Seriously? They're different and yet they make the exact, the exact, same types of sites as everyone else with the exact same distribution?
    Exact same? That would be an idiotic claim, and one that I don't make. What I said was, "I don't think the experience/professionalism of the webmaster has much discernible bearing on the subject of the site they create. The only difference is that newer webmasters are probably less likely to use more technically sophisticated technologies."

    In terms of subject matter, the difference shouldn't be that discernible. The type of site would be different, I would guess because the technologies would be different.

    For example, an amateur webmaster might make a blog about wine, an experienced webmaster might make Corkd.com or WineLog.net. In theory, both should have very similar traffic. Similar enough, I am guessing, that traffic collected from any of the three sites should be within percentage points of each other on the major indicators.

    (Yes, Cork'd and WineLog may skew tech right now--because of the way they have been advertised via "Web 2.0" blogs, not because of who built them... and they'll hope that changes, since they're trying to attract wine afficianados, not webmasters--that's a short-term anomoly--and it was just an example.)
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  12. #37
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Where are you getting your statistics on this "general trend" among the webmaster who use Dan's (or any counter services) statistics? Where are you getting the data on the types of sites (again, far more important), that utilize the server? Where are you getting your stats on the types of visitors to those sites?
    Common sense and the knowledge gained through publishing websites for 7 years. In particular I've noticed two trends. 1. The more successful a site is the less likely it is to use a free web counter that requires a link back. 2. Less successful sites are often run by amateur or new webmasters, who are usually young males, who usually are interested in things like video games, music, jokes, etc, etc and as such disproportionately publish sites on those topics.

    Its not empirical proof, but then again I think any court of law would consider me an expert able to testify on the condition of the industry.

    You're right, no professionals ever use hosted services.

    Wired, Newsweek, Ars Technica, TechCrunch, etc... none of those use Feedburner. Nope.
    That is not a proper analogy and you know it. Feedburner can be used relatively invisibly and does not require a linkback.

    Does not make it true. As Dan already posted above, his largest sites are a real estate forum, a travel blog, and a gaming forum--hardly sites that you can say fall into one niche.
    For the umteenth time, exceptions do not matter, only the big picture.

    In terms of subject matter, the difference shouldn't be that discernible. The type of site would be different, I would guess because the technologies would be different.
    You're thinking in very shallow terms. You see only the experience of the webmaster and nothing else. You're not seeing how experience relates to age or maturity. Vast biases exist. For instance, the majority of members of this forum are male, and yet I believe women have a slight lead in total Internet usage. Think about it hard enough and you'll see how that relates.

    In anycase it appears that you're fine with ignoring logic and are set in your views, I will not waste my time in further trying to correct them. Merely I will simply point out that while multiple people have posted same concepts I have stated, not even Dan has backed you up. I would guess that is because he knows exactly who his customers are and he knows that it isn't the same distribution as the Internet as a whole.

    Though I will say its nice to see you falling back on subjective words like "fairly" or "likely" I can agree with that statement if your definitions for those words mean a margin of error of 10-20%.
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  13. #38
    Non-Member coo_t2's Avatar
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    I think aspen is right on. Dan's service looks good, but I don't think it's possible to gather an unbiased dataset on the web like this. I think even the data gathered from Google Analytics has several built in biases, but not to the degree of something like Dan's service.

  14. #39
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    That is not a proper analogy and you know it. Feedburner can be used relatively invisibly and does not require a linkback.
    Neither does W3Counter if you opt for the paid service.

    The analogy is merely meant to point out that large sites often have no problem using hosted services when they are useful. Another example, the Wall Street Journal makes uses of Eventful.org.


    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    For the umteenth time, exceptions do not matter, only the big picture.
    And you know these are exceptions, how? You're still just making assumptions.

    You could be right, but lacking anything to back up your assumptions, these are really just baseless claims.

    Anyway, even if they are exceptions, don't they matter since they're the largest sites tracked and would have the most effect on the aggregate stats? Hmm?


    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    You're thinking in very shallow terms. You see only the experience of the webmaster and nothing else. You're not seeing how experience relates to age or maturity. Vast biases exist. For instance, the majority of members of this forum are male, and yet I believe women have a slight lead in total Internet usage. Think about it hard enough and you'll see how that relates.
    So SitePoint exhibits a bias in usage toward males. That really doesn't relate to this conversation at all. Yes, individual sites have biases toward certain types of users. How that relates to the aggregate of all sites tracked by a counter service, I fail to see. You're falling back on your assumptions of who uses the service and what types of sites they create. I have rejected those assumptions because you have no basis for your claims.

    I put my first website online in 1997. I have not observed any correlation between the subject matter of sites made and the experience of the webmaster.

    Take your own sites as an example, Chris. They cover a pretty broad spectrum. You have sites geared toward webmasters, toward fantasy weapon collectors, toward classical book readers, toward art afficianados, etc. I'd posit that all things being equal your sites don't skew toward a specific type of visitor on the whole, because they cover so many varied subjects. But you are just one type of webmaster--experienced, mature, professional (right?).

    So where is this correlation between the webmaster and the traffic their sites attract? I don't believe it is as strong as you seem to think.

    Here's where you'll say, "but, Josh, the webmasters that a free counter service attracts will create sites that are geared toward the youth demo." (Is that right?) ... And again, I'll reply... can you prove that? And you'll say something about your observations as a webmaster for 7 years.

    I just saved us 4 posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    not even Dan has backed you up. I would guess that is because he knows exactly who his customers are and he knows that it isn't the same distribution as the Internet as a whole.
    I don't think Dan has picked either side yet. Probably because it is not in his best interest business-wise to be seen involved in a debate like this. (Just a guess.)

    Anyway, I hope that his stats can be used a fairly good indicator of the Internet as a whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    Though I will say its nice to see you falling back on subjective words like "fairly" or "likely" I can agree with that statement if your definitions for those words mean a margin of error of 10-20%.
    Arbitrary numbers are fun, eh? (And didn't Dan already say some of his numbers were within a couple of percentage points of aggregated stats other web tracking services have released?)

    Just for fun, let's look at my first post:

    "Anyway, the point of this thread is that there is a new source we may be able to look to for these statistics."

    (Emphasis added.)

    I think "falling back" would be an improper term to use.

    Quote Originally Posted by coo_t2
    I don't think it's possible to gather an unbiased dataset on the web like this. I think even the data gathered from Google Analytics has several built in biases, but not to the degree of something like Dan's service.
    I agree with the first part, there will always be biases. But not with the second part. I fail to see why eveyone is so sure they know the biases in this particular service.

    The logic that free services attract amateur website owners who make youth-centric sites seems exceptionally flawed to me. I know people who's first website was about photography, photoshop, parenting, cooking, sailing, teaching spanish, writing fiction, etc.

    I see how it is easy for people to assume that beginning webmasters must be young and thus must make sites about videogames and skateboards, but without data to back that up, I really don't buy it. It's also erroneous to assume that only that type of webmaster would use a service like this, in my opinion.
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  15. #40
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Actually, let me add to what I said to coo_t2 there: Google's aggregate stats would likely be more accurate. I agree with that.

    But NOT because I think Google's stats are more likely to have a more even distribution of variety of sites (I really don't know, but I see no reason why that would be the case, if we can assume Dan's service is advertised to as varied a user group). More because Google's sample size would be MUCH larger so it is less likely that a large site of a specific type or a large site that gets Dugg, etc. would have a profound impact on the stats as a whole--as it might with Dan's.
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  16. #41
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys
    I don't think Dan has picked either side yet. Probably because it is not in his best interest business-wise to be seen involved in a debate like this. (Just a guess.)
    I don't want to make any claims I can't back up. I'll just keep posting the number of visitors and websites the stats are based on and the sites quoting those stats can make thier own judgement of how accurate they may be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys
    they're the largest sites tracked and would have the most effect on the aggregate stats?
    To some extent. No one site can have a major influence over the aggregate stats since only the last 25,000 hits to each site are being used, and only those that occur within 30 days of the report. That should avoid a scenario like you proposed, where a site is dugg or simply has a lot more traffic than the average site, and skews things towards its own demographic.

    I may be able to narrow that time period when there are more users, assuming I find a way to make this all self-sustaining before an increase in capacity is needed. I'm working on that.

  17. #42
    I am Learning... Vick!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    dig banned sitepoint, so sitepoint banned dig.
    Really? Why?

  18. #43
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman
    No one site can have a major influence over the aggregate stats since only the last 25,000 hits to each site are being used, and only those that occur within 30 days of the report. That should avoid a scenario like you proposed, where a site is dugg or simply has a lot more traffic than the average site, and skews things towards its own demographic.
    Ah, that's good. I can see how if a site was dugg, its last 25,000 visits may skew that site's stats off the norm, and could have a small effect on the overall aggregate data--but not a major impact. And the impact will be even less as the service grows and tracks more sites.
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  19. #44
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vick!
    Really? Why?
    It has to do with this thread: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=360255

    See post #21.
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  20. #45
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Neat, looks like W3Counter is on FeedBurner's homepage. Now you can expect a slant towards bloggers -- is that really a slant? Are most blogs oriented around certain subjects?

  21. #46
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman
    Are most blogs oriented around certain subjects?
    yes, their owners
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    Non-Member coo_t2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys

    I fail to see why eveyone is so sure they know the biases in this particular service.
    I don't know all the biases, although aspen has pointed out some. It just seems that Google's tracking service would span across more barriers, but its still inherently biased. The thing Google has on its side though, is it can choose to gather stats across its own vast network of sites/pages. But strictly speaking from a technical/programming/design point of view, what Dan has done is very nice. I just don't think its ready to be trusted as a source of "global stats", but for getting stats for your own site, it looks great.

  23. #48
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman
    Now you can expect a slant towards bloggers -- is that really a slant? Are most blogs oriented around certain subjects?
    I doubt it. Blogs cover every niche under the sun.

    ----

    I was just thinking about one thing Chris said earlier and discussing it with a colleague of mine:

    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    That is not a proper analogy and you know it. Feedburner can be used relatively invisibly and does not require a linkback.
    I've decided that my analogy is actually a very good one. Why:

    1. Feedburner doesn't require a link back to its homepage the way W3Counter does, true
    2. But Feedburner DOES require a link (i.e., when you link to your feed on feedburner.com)
    3. And, it is not used invisibly at all! It is far, far LESS transparant than W3Counter since it requires that your users go off your site to a Feedburner hosted page to subscribe to your feed (apples to oranges in this case, I know, but saying Feedburner is "relatively invisible" is far from true)

    Even feeds like WIRED's http://feeds.wired.com/columns/cultofmac which have set up a 301 redirect (I presume) to give the appearance that the feed is still hosted on WIRED's site still bear the Feedburner logo in the footer of the page.

    This is far from a transparent service. Nothing about it is invisible. It is free. And yet, a very large number of top web properties utilize it.

    Again, the point of the analogy: big sites, professional webmasters, they use hosted services--even free ones--if they are useful. Assuming otherwise is erroneous.

    So, I'll stand by my analogy.
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  24. #49
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coo_t2
    I don't know all the biases, although aspen has pointed out some.
    I don't think Chris has really pointed out much of anything. He's made baseless claims... but assumptions about biases that may exist don't mean anything unless they actually do exist--and we have no way of telling whether that's the case.

    Summary:

    Me: I think W3Counter's stats are probably a pretty accurate reflection of the web as a whole
    Chris, et. al.: No, they're not, they have biases
    Me: Of course they do--all surveys do. Let me add this qualifier, their accuracy depends on how and to whom Dan's service has been advertised
    Chris: His stats are skewed towards the youth demographic because only amateur webmasters use that type of stats program and amateur webmasters make sites geared toward that demo
    Me: That logic seems flawed. Can you back it up?
    Chris: I've been a webmaster 7 years, and that's what I have observed

    Maybe I'm wrong and they aren't an accurate reflection of anything except the specific sites the service tracks. But this arguement has basically been about me trying to show Chris why he is wrong to assume that the stats must be really flawed, and further to assume that they must be flawed in a specific way.

    Quote Originally Posted by r937
    yes, their owners
    Er, but that's not really a certain subject. That's a million different subjects.
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  25. #50
    SitePoint Wizard dreamscape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys
    So, I'll stand by my analogy.
    There's a world of difference between syndication services and hit counters.


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