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Weblog Entry

2004 Stats

December 24, 2004

Google’s 2004 Zeitgeist showed up this week, so in that vein I present the 2004 mezzoblue Logfile Blitzkrieg.

In a few hours I jump on a California-bound plane for my first Christmas without snow. Despite living in a city that only gets one or two mild dustings each winter, if that, I’ve somehow managed to find it every year. No more. Somehow I think I’ll live.

Having cleared up all other loose ends before departing, I’ve spent a bit of time going through the aggregated stats for this past year. They’re painting an interesting picture, though perhaps only so for those of us with a close personal attachment to this site… like, uh, me.

Totals

First off, the aggregate graphs for the year. What you’re viewing is generated by Urchin and covers the span from 1 Jan 2004 to 23 Dec 2004 (with a few weeks gap when Urchin went on the blink).

Sessions Graph

Above is the user sessions graph. The only real use of a graph like this is analysing the trends, rather than working with the specific numbers. Although getting accurate server stats has always been a challenge, the highly-trafficked nature of RSS feeds skews them even more, so the overall trend can only be an approximation of what’s happening.

What’s happening in this case is that traffic is obviously continuing to grow, which is absolutely amazing considering the frequency of new content on this site lately. (Although when the book finally ships to the printer, which will happen soon, I’d hope to see a little change there.) The oscillating peaks (five days), and troughs (two days) show that weekends are always lower traffic days. During the summer there’s an obvious lull, which is far more a plateau than a dip, which is kind of weird, but I’ll take it.

Bytes Graph

Next up we have the bandwidth utilisation graph, which looks quite a bit different than you might have expected after the previous one. A sharp upward spike is curtailed in early April, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. I figured it was due to the lower image hit of the redesign (later replaced in August by the current design) but that launched in late May — the downturn was already underway by then. Perhaps gzip compression kicked in late in April, otherwise I’m not sure quite what happened there. The continued lower bandwidth is most likely a function of the redesign, at any rate.

I’m not going to translate the sessions into numbers, but I will tell you that averaged over the entire year, this site transfers just over 900MB per day. That’s rather a lot, but a far cry from the Zen Garden rest assured. (That one’s just about up to 200GB per month; thank god for Dreamfire)

Breakdown

Now for some of the specifics. We’ll start with the most obvious, the browser stats. Over the past year, these are the top ten user agents visiting this site and their numbers. There are two tables here that paint very different pictures. The former appears to be biased in favour of repeat visitors and those who access it only for new articles, and the latter seems to be biased in favour of those coming in off search engines, browsing the site, and looking for specific information. The real numbers must be somewhere in the middle.

Top 10 browsers by Session
User AgentPercentage
Mozilla18.04%
NetNewsWire16.12%
Internet Explorer13.75%
SharpReader6.86%
FeedDemon4.70%
Safari3.42%
Opera3.20%
NewsGator3.13%
Netscape3.05%
Mozilla Compatible Agent2.68%
Top 10 browsers by Hits
User AgentPercentage
Internet Explorer57.40%
Mozilla21.55%
Safari6.33%
Opera2.77%
NetNewsWire2.01%
Netscape1.60%
SharpReader0.78%
Mozilla Compatible Agent0.64%
Feedreader0.50%
NewsGator0.49%

A far more interesting story occurs after filtering out the RSS readers, and charting the percentages month by month. So here are the top 5 non-RSS user agents over the course of the year. I’m going to chart this based on the Hits statistics from above, since they seem to be a little more realistic. IE includes Windows and Mac versions, Mozilla includes Firefox et. al, and I think the numbers are being influenced more than a little by the growth of RSS readers, especially since these started out the year as the top 5 user agents but ended up scattered over the top 10:

Top 5 Browsers by Month
IEMozillaSafariOperaNetscape
January71.32%13.63%5.71%2.44%1.56%
February76.89%11.02%3.77%1.84%1.40%
March78.35%10.81%3.80%1.73%1.41%
April66.01%16.78%5.85%2.44%1.56%
May48.89%26.20%8.62%3.82%2.65%
June44.58%27.62%8.63%3.64%2.10%
July41.09%29.59%8.38%3.48%1.87%
August38.32%31.55%9.27%3.70%1.55%
September36.11%32.92%8.21%3.57%1.32%
October35.19%32.66%7.83%3.51%1.31%
November34.41%34.30%6.52%3.02%0.92%
December31.71%37.54%7.31%2.92%1.02%
Browsers by Month

I’d expect that sort of trend amongst the readers of this site, but it’s great to see it happening, and so quickly. Interestingly, while shuffling through the above I noticed that a not-insignificant chunk of bandwidth was consumed by bots and automated apps this year, well over 2 or 3%.

Top 5 bots by Bytes Transferred
User AgentPercentage
GoogleBot3.43GB
wget1.42GB
msnbot1.17GB
Bobby554.92MB
Jigsaw355.20MB

Miscellaneous

And finally, I leave you with a few assorted lists of this and that. There’s probably not much of general interest in these tables, but here they are anyway.

Top 10 Search Terms in 2004
Term
css zen garden (and variants, like ‘garden design’ etc.)
color schemes (and variants, like ‘color+scheme’)
mezzoblue
times new roman
dave shea
rss+atom
26 (?)
texture
how to conceive (!!!)
browser stats
Top 5 Search Engines in 2004
Search Engine
Google (and its many regional variants.)
Yahoo
MSN
DevilFinder
AOL
Top 10 Referring Sites in 2004
SiteNumber of Sessions
Bloglines23,450
A List Apart17,900
blo.gs11,150
Stopdesign10,850
SimpleBits10,500
Cameron Moll7,450
MeyerWeb5,600
Simon Willison4,650
CSS Vault2,800
Fairvue Central > Bloggies2,400
Top 5 Entry Pages in 2004
Page
/rss/index.xml
/
/rss/2.0/
/zengarden/alldesigns/
/rss/2.0/dailies/

Alright, now that I’ve got the stuff that doesn’t matter out of the way, on to that which does. A week of sun, here I come.