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

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blank Spots on the Map

I thought I'd take a look at the geographical distribution of Plone interest tonight. I can see the breakdown of visits to Plone.org by continent as per Google Analytics (from an arbitrary sample of a month's worth of data). What is not apparent is how these regions stack up per capita. Here's the table with percentage of world population added.

Continent Pop Pct Plone Ratio
Asia 61% 11% 0.2
Africa 14% 2% 0.1
Americas 13% 39% 2.9
Europe 11% 44% 4.0
Oceania 0.4% 3% 6.9

I've calculated the ratio of each regions Plone percentage to its population percentage. You can imagine that if a particular region had a ratio of 1.0 it would mean that its proportion of Plone.net visitors was equal to that region's fraction of the world population.

What we see is that Oceania has much more than its "fair share" (thank you, Australia and New Zealand), while Asia and Africa are much under represented. This also shows that, while Plone is popular in the Americas, it is still a Eurocentric CMS.

And while I'm poking around in Google Analytics, here's the breakdown by browser type.

Browser Percent
Firefox 60%
IE 21%
Safari 9%
Chrome 4%
Other 6%

Not really a surprise that an open-source community would attract users of open-source browsers.

Now let's see what sort of pageviews Plone.org has. Thankfully, Analytics not only displays pageviews, but unique pageviews. For a thoughtful discussion of the difference, please see Kaushik's Standard Metrics Revisited. Here's one day's percentages.

Page Pageviews Unique Pageviews
1 / 14.89% 11.08%
2 /products 7.10% 4.22%
3 /documentation 5.61% 3.49%
4 /products/plone 3.21% 2.51%
5 /about 1.09% 0.92%


16 /products/by-category/themes 3.25% 0.42%

Pageviews and unique pageviews pretty much track each other except down on line 16 of the report. There theming products have far more pageviews than unique ones. Based on pageviews, "themes" would be ranked 4th. Understandably, people looking for tools to assist with look-and-feel issues for their skins are repeatedly coming back to the "themes" page (an average of 3.25/0.42 or almost 8 times).

Based on this, I'd suggest that we create a grid of screen shot thumbnails so that visitors hunting for a theme could visually browse them all at once. It might look like this:


With appropriate links, it would save a lot of people a lot of clicks. Hmm?? Maybe I should wander over to the Plone.org website forum and volunteer.

Next posting we go beyond pageviews and investigate Plone.org visitor loyalty.


Laurence Rowe said...

Your analysis does not account for the differing levels of development in the various continents, so the ratios end up reflecting this rather than the popularity of Plone.

75% of Oceania's 32m population live highly developed Australia and New Zealand, the remainder in New Guinea.

Of Europe's 730m population, perhaps 350m live in highly developed (read very rich) countries.

Latin American countries are generally poorer than Eastern European countries, so though a similar proportion live in very rich countries (U.S. and Canada) the average level of economic development is lower.

Schlepp said...

Laurence, you are absolutely correct. I was careful to only comment about popularity with regard to the comparison between the Americas and Europe. Certainly Africa and to a large extent Asia lack the infrastructure conducive to the deployment of a robust Internet presence.

You are also correct about the problems associated with data that combines North and South America into one pot as well as Eastern and Western Europe being pooled.

I hope some day to digest the data to a finer scale and see what specific patterns then emerge. One may hypothesize that, for example, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, and other developed areas will be quite well represented in Asia. In Africa, I suspect Egypt and South Africa and perhaps Ghana to stand out.

It would be interesting to see similar numbers for, say, Sharepoint, Drupal, and Joomla. I would expect open source systems to predominate in areas with lower available budgets for IT.