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

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Weekend Visitors

Now that the dust and feathers from the Great Backyard Plone Count have settled, it's time to get back to basics.  Tonight I was looking in on visitor stats for Plone.net and Plone.org.  An interesting pattern turned up that I'd missed before.  Here are two graphs from Plone.org of roughly the last six months, the first of visitors:




and the second of % new visitors:


The most obvious feature is the Holiday Dip during the week of Christmas, although new visits didn't collapse over the vacation.  However, if one looks closely (very closely, trust me on this) the "teeth" of new visitors line up precisely with the weekly minima of all visitors.  Every "% new visitor" maxima is on a Saturday or Sunday.  Every "all visitor" maxima is on a Monday through Wednesday with a deep drop-off on the weekends.

New visitors are peaking on the weekends while visitors in general are hitting the site early in the work week. 

It's 4:00 in the morning and I'm still trying to work out the implications.  Clearly Plone is an enterprise CMS, not one that caters to hobbyists.  Early each week Plone users, managers, and developers hit Plone.org with news, events, questions, and answers as they do their work and solve their problems du jour. 

But every Saturday, a group of new visitors arrive on-site.  It's only about 10% higher than the usual flow of new visitors.  Are these professional web designers and developers frustrated with their company's CMS (or lack thereof) and looking for something better?  Are they DIY'ers looking to see if they can make use of Plone for some weekend project?  Are they volunteers, now that the work week is done, helping out their favorite philanthropic endeavor? 

It may be a case of "all of the above."  I'd appreciate hearing your theories on this and certainly like to get feedback from any newcomers who first hit Plone.org on a Saturday.

3 comments:

Vancruisers said...

I think you might be surprised just how many hobbyists ARE using Plone!

Actually quite a lot of the Plone sites I come across on the public internet are non-profit societies, or sites like my bike club (http://vancruisers.ca) - I use Plone due to its enterprise features, but apply them to a decidedly non-enterprise use case.

bkeller said...

If the second picture shows % new visitors, the peaks are artifacts: If the total of visitors drop, the same amount of new visitors correspond to a higher % of this total ;-)

Schlepp said...

Re: Casual Plone users. Vancruiser, I shouldn't be surprised because I myself host my neighborhood association on Plone.

Re: Artifacts. You are assuming that the absolute number of new visitors stays constant. I'll check the raw numbers but I don't think this accounts for the peaks. There was no holiday peak for % new visitors while total visits fell very deep.