"Count what is countable. Measure what is measureable. What is not measureable, make measureable." -- Galileo

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Great Backyard Plone Count

What is the GBPC?

The Great Backyard Plone Count is a shameless copy of the Great Backyard Bird Count. Just as GBBC is an effort by the Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to track birds, GBPC is a fledgling effort to catalog Plone sites worldwide. Its a voluntary, self-reporting project (with all the weaknesses that go along with it) that attempts to find as many Plone sites as possible, including and especially intranet sites behind firewalls.

The Great Backyard Plone Count is a hoped-to-be annual four-day event that engages Plone watchers of all ages in counting Plone sites to create a real-time snapshot of where the sites are across the world. This year the GBPC is February 13-16, 2009, the same dates as the GBBC. Anyone can participate, from beginning Plonistas to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps Plone. We'll be adding updated 2009 GBPC materials on this blog and on the Plone marketing site as they become available.
Participants count Plone sites anywhere for as little or as long as they wish during the four-day period. They tally the site name, URL, and other statistics. To report their counts, they fill out an online checklist at the Great Backyard Plone Count web site.

As the count progresses, anyone with Internet access can explore what is being reported from their own towns or anywhere in the World. Next year they will also see how one year's numbers compare with those from previous years.

Statistians and Plone enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where the sites are. Websites are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No single observer or team of observers could hope to document the complex distribution and changes of so many sites in such a short time.

We need your help. Make sure the sites you visit from your online community are well represented in the count. It doesn't matter whether you report the 5 sites you routinely visit or the 75 websites you see during a day's browsing and searching specifically for Plone portals.

Your counts can help us answer many questions:
  • How does the number and types of Plone sites compare with past years? (Well, at least next year we can do this!)
  • How are other applications, especially CMSs, affecting Plone sites in different application domains as well as geographical regions?
  • What kinds of differences in Plone diversity are apparent in various domains and usage areas?
  • Are any types of Plone sites undergoing worrisome declines that point to the need for attention?
Plone developers will use the counts, along with observations from other citizen-web projects, such as Plone.net, CMS Matrix, and Ohloh, to give us an immense picture of our Plone environment. Each year that these data are collected makes them more meaningful and allows Plone and Web researchers to investigate far-reaching questions.

Disclaimer: All information collected in the Google Docs spreadsheet will be publicly available. Identifying information is voluntary (but we do need at least a unique "handle") and all fields are optional.


Sam said...

There is a tag in del.icio.us created for this purpose:


Schlepp said...

Thanks for the tip. I see 2326 items tagged with plone-site. The question is, how many are live? The vast majority, I hope.

However, not all sites are tagged and, more importantly, rarely are intranet site identified because they are carefully protected behind firewalls. I'm particularly interested in the ratio of intranet to Internet sites.

Also, this survey is a way to identify, at least by a self-described handle, how many owners, managers, and site builders there are. If I get a large enough sample, at least a ratio could be estimated.

This kind of activity gives us a chance to dangle another press release out there touting Plone. Finally, like the message boards, it also is a community endeavor, which Plone excels at.

Finn Arild said...

Inspired by this, I made a crawler for detecting Plone Sites (I have a fail-safe method ;) ...)


Completely unscientific, of course - but still ...