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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Plone Metrics Person of the Year

Just like every year, outstanding contributions have been made from a large number of Plonistas worldwide.  It's been a eventful year for Plone and that makes 2011's throwdown especially difficult.  Disclaimer:  Plone Metrics Person of the Year is in no way officially affiliated with Plone or its Foundation, but represents my personal effort to thank the whole community that makes the Plone ecosystem tick. 

Noteworthy contributions during 2011 that deserve a shout-out include, but are not limited to:

  • The 2011 Plone Conference people aka bunny ears (and panda hats) did a great job with this year's event.  I notice that Elizabeth Leddy, the energizer bunny of the conference, and probably some others, are missing from the Thank you page. 
  • All of those who have blogged and microblogged about Plone are another group of supporters who contribute simply by communicating your ideas, thoughts, and solutions.  Thanks to Planet Plone for pulling so many blogs together. 
  • Along those lines, Marc Corum, even thought he has stepped down from the Plone Board, is pushing to re-energize the Plone Communication and Marketing Teams.  
  • The core developers and release managers definitely need a huge shout-out for all the essential work they do. 
  • There continues to be some local Albuquerque talent in this year's nominees:  Michael Bernstein (helping out at with our Chem Security site) and Alex and Chantal at FosterMilo.
  • As always, the Foundation Board gets a great big nod of appreciation here.  Calvin Hendryx-Parker, past-Prez, gets my admiration just for wearing the shiny pants. 
This leaves me with a terrible burden--coming up with the one and only best of the best, the single Plone Metrics Person of the Year.  Casting about for some stats to back up my decidedly unscientific process leads me to the following two tables.

Table 1.  Core Developers and number of postings

Andreas Jung (ajung) 5549
Alexander Limi 2760
Espen Moe-Nilssen (espen) 1310
Martin Aspeli 1296
Jon Stahl 1257
Alex Clark (aclark) 981
Laurence Rowe 879
Graham Perrin 871
redcor 848
Mayank Patel (monks) 607
Dale DeWitt 589
George L 549
John Destefano (deesto) 486
JonStahl 464
Israel Saeta Pérez 443
Kees Hink 415
Mikko Ohtamaa 373
Eric Steele (esteele) 356
Vincent Fretin 356
Nate Aune (natea) 349

These are the top 20 people in the Core Developers forum as ranked by postings. It strongly argues for Andreas Jung to win the prize.  He's been contributing right through the holidays, not even slowing down for Festivus. If I hadn't been tipping the Aberfeldy 12-year tonight, I'd go look at the number of commits each of these have contributed in the past year, but for now, number of posts on the forum will do. 

Table 2.  Plone Foundation Board Members and Advisers with number of terms served.

Alexander Limi* 7
Toby Roberts 6
Geir Bækholt 5
Joel Burton* 5
Jon Stahl 4
Matt Hamilton 4
Steve McMahon 4
Mark Corum 3
Nate Aune* 3
Paul Everitt 3
Calvin Hendryx-Parker 2
Darci Hanning 2
Geoff Davis 2
Roberto Allende 2
Xavier Heymans 2
Alan Runyan 1
Andy McKay 1
Ben Saller 1
Bernard Bühlmann 1
Jacqueline Arasi 1
Jodok Batlogg 1
Mark Barrenechea 1
Munwar Shariff 1
Robert Boulanger 1
Sam Greenblatt 1
Sasha Vinçic 1

* Previous Plone Metrics Person of the Year

When I compiled a listing of all the past year's Board members, I was not surprised to see Alexander Limi at the top of the list.  What amazed me is that Toby Roberts is in the number two spot.  He has been the unsung hero, serving as Treasurer for every year except 2004 (when Matt Hamilton had the job). I presume he is doing the job this year, although I don't see it on the 2011-12 Foundation page.

Based on the above two tables, I'm going to toss a coin (heads: Andreas; tails: Toby).  Both have significantly contributed to Plone, both in 2011 and in the long haul.

And this year's winner of a free beer from me, is (drum roll, please)... Toby Roberts.

Just remember, Toby may be today's Plone Metrics Person of the Year, but each day every one of the members of the Plone community are winners.  And you all have my thanks.  
The author welcomes comments that commend others involved with Plone.  This brief blog post can't do justice to all the hard and creative work that's being done throughout the year. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Year in Review

It's very nearly the end of the year, which is probably why I'm listening to "Driving the Last Spike" by Genesis off their I Can't Dance album. So here's a wrap-up of Plone Metrics for 2011.

I'm always surprised when I go back and look at my posts, realizing what was a newsworthy item at the time.  But if you reflect on last year, you'll recall that in January the Arab Spring was upon us.  Plone.org users among thousands of others from Egypt were blocked when Mubarak shut down the country's Internet.  Continued unrest in the region has meant that many have had to turn to services like TeleComix to access the Web.

Besides the political, there were natural disasters, foremost of which was the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.  The impact of that event was readily visible in the stats from Google Analytics when I compared March 2010 with 2009.  Below, the red arrow indicates the Fukushima Prefecture, which to this day is hard hit by the continuing radiological drama.
In between those two events, the Cioppino Sprint took place.  One notable result was the migration of Plone.net over to Plone.org.  The result, as one might expect, was the complete loss of traffic (and a boost over at Plone.org).  As you can see, the drop-off was nearly instantaneous.
Amazon sales rank statistics were continued to be tracked for Plone books, although my quarterly schedule broke down.  Life happens.  In February the annual Great Backyard Plone Count was carried out. 

In July Plone Metrics chopped through CMS Matrix in an effort to see how things stood with Plone's standing in that venue.  Even admitting the flaws in a self-reporting and hence biased compendium like CMS Matrix, the results for Plone were very positive.  Plone scored 97% of all features listed.

In September an inquiry raised in a LinkedIn forum led to a summary that in many ways captures Plone's strengths.  It's always gratifying to be able to respond to someone's questions with point-by-point material that addresses matters concretely.

November saw the San Francisco Plone Conference, a tremendously successful event.  There was tweeting in abundance but no live blogging from me.  Following up on that, Plone Metrics took a lighthearted look at the Plone Conference attendance numbers earlier this month.  That in turn led to Lennart Regebro's insightful analysis.

The only thing left is the annual New Year's Eve posting of the Plone Metric's Person of the Year.  This is the fifth year for this annual shout-out to the community.  Now accepting nominations--please feel free to comment with your suggestions on who is the best of the best.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Plone Conference 2011 by the Numbers

And an exercise in "scientifically" locating the 2012 conference. 

The numbers are in and San Francisco looks like this against the last five Plone Conferences. 

Location Attendance
San Francisco

With Naples and Budapest looking so good, one is tempted to say that Europe is the more successful venue.  I ran a Student's t-test in order to see if the two sample populations, Europe and North America, were significantly different.  The null hypothesis is that there is no difference between the European and North American conference attendance numbers. 

For the data above with a standard deviation of 65.1 and 4 degrees of freedom for the test, the t value was -1.55.  The probability of this result, assuming the null hypothesis, is 0.196.  This does not meet the usual 0.05 value for significance.  We accept the null hypothesis that Europe and North America are the same.  

World Plone 2012

The call for proposals for the 2012 Conference is out.  Let's see what sort of trouble we can get in with the above table. 

First, turn the cities into latitude and longitude coordinates, then calculate the average of all six venue locations weighted by attendance.  The result looks like this:

The red 'X' indicates the location of the weighted average, the spot that maximizes attendance while minimizing travel costs.  It's the perfect location for next year's conference. 

There's only one problem... the actual location is in the middle of the North Atlantic:

The nearest land is either St. John's, Newfoundland or the Madeira Islands.  St. John's has an October-November average high temperature of 6-11 C (43-51 F) and the remarkable beverage, Newfoundland Screech.  Apparently, some of the best food in Canada is to be found there, plus I like snowshoeing. 

Madiera, on the other hand, has an average Oct-Nov high temperature of 20-23 C (68-73 F) and a famous wine named after the island.  One of the conference centers in Funchal looks suitable.

I urge the Plonistas in Newfoundland and Labrador along with those in Madiera to submit proposals.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Quarterly" Amazon Stats

I'm at bit tardy on my Amazon sales rank summary -- should've had one out in August.  No matter, here's the graph.  Remember that with sales rank, lower values are better.

In general all Plone books are trending upwards, which is not unexpected considering that the Plone 3 titles are being replaced by Plone 4 ones.  Martin Aspeli's Professional Plone 4 Development tops the chart so to speak with a sales rank of 156K with de Alba close behind.  Plone Live once again is in the basement (at the top of the chart), but that is more likely due to its heavy reliance on non-Amazon sales channels. 

The table of the current titles and their sales ranks are given in the table below.  Of interest this time is the column on sales/yr.  I found a graph that illustrated the approximate Amazon sales rank function, which turns out to be a power law.  A little regression with Open Office Calc gave me an equation of
f(x) = (1.3*10^6) * (x^-1.1)
This equation has numerous potentially huge sources of error, but I thought it would be interesting to toss it out and let the authors themselves reflect on the results.  Please note that these are Amazon-only numbers.  Because most titles are published by Packt, this almost certainly is a small fraction of total sales. 

Amazon Page Rank Stats November 2011

Title Author Sales rank Sales/yr Rating
Professional Plone 4 Development Aspeli 156,335 150 4.50
Plone 3 Intranets de Alba 192,392 120 4.00
Plone 3 Theming Williams 704,159 29 5.00
Professional Plone Development: Plone 3 Aspeli 692,760 30 4.67
A User's Guide to Plone 4 Nagle et al. 755,217 27 n/a
The Definitive Guide to Plone (2nd ed) Delmonte, et al. 984,891 20 1.00
Building Websites with Plone Cooper 1,050,568 19 3.71
Plone 3 Products Development Cookbook Giménez & Romero 1,270,629 15 4.00
Practical Plone 3 Knox et al. 1,025,403 19 4.80
The Definitive Guide to Plone (1st ed) McKay 1,239,686 16 4.14
Plone 3 for Education Rose 1,722,143 11 4.00
A User's Guide to Plone: Updated for Plone 3 Lotze & Nagle 1,773,374 11 3.00
Plone Content Management Essentials Meloni 1,801,775 10 3.11
Content Management with Plone: Handbook Lotze& Theune 1,954,272 10 n/a
Plone 3 Multimedia Gross 2,833,640 6 3.67
Plone Live Pelletier 2,886,475 6 4.80

I'd like to find out what actual sales numbers are directly from authors, but only if you don't consider it SBI, "sensitive business information". 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

LinkedIn Questions

This from a posting in the Plone group on LinkedIn
In a nutshell, where are you seeing Plone used the most right now? (Not geographically, though I guess that would be interesting too.) What kind of companies are using it, and for what? What tool is Plone kicking to the curb? Where do you think the growth potential is for it to grow in popularity? (Is it competing with Drupal and Joomla?)
Also, given the rash of hacks that have been in the news of late, how secure is Plone?
Thanks in advance to any who are willing to help educate me.
There were lots of great replies over in LinkedIn, but the same questions are probably asked by many others who don't get over there.  So here's my spin on an answer that pulls in some of my favorite metrics.

Where is Plone used?  Since the questioner seperately asks about geography and types of companies, I assume we're talking about functional domain.  The Real Story Group provides a useful subway map of content management systems.  Plone (located in the lower left corner) lies at the intersection of three major lines:  web content management, portals and content integration, and collaboration and social software.  This is a unique location for an open-source CMS. 

Click on the image for a larger version.

Geographically?  As a proxy I'm using the locations of Plone.org site visitors as visualized with Google Analytics.  Plone is used world-wide, although it's most commonly found in Europe (47%) and North America (27%).  Asia struggles in with 13%, South and Central America with 8%, Oceania with 3%, and Africa with 1.6%.  Plone has one of the strongest i18N capabilities of any major CMS.

What kind of companies are using it?  From Plone.org we can track down a large sample of self-reported sites that use Plone that are conveniently categorized by type of company (61 of them, no less).  Non-profits, government, and education top the list, but 44% are grouped into "Other," each with less than a 3% share of the pie. As was pointed out in the LinkedIn replies, you can visit Sites that use Plone for the full list and lots of beautiful exemplars.

What tool is Plone kicking to the curb?  In my opinion, CMS in general have made handcrafted HTML websites nearly obsolete except for special purposes.  My team occasionally uses Dreamweaver for prototyping static pages to customers, then we implement the look-and-feel dynamically in Plone.  In a Web 2.0 world, customers demand interactive webpages, collaborative websites, and user-generated content.  Mashups are becoming the order of the day and the ability to combine web resources seamlessly is critical.  Frankly, saying that you use a CMS is probably not much of a market discriminator these days--it's expected as part of today's web toolkit. 

Growth potential?  (Is Plone competing with Drupal and Joomla?)  Plone is always being compared with Drupal and Joomla because it's an open-source CMS.  But Plone has never focused on the free or low-cost mass market.  Instead Plone has built up an ecosystem of professional consultants and businesses that provide the enduring value.  The testimonials in the LinkedIn replies speak for themselves.

With it's fine-grain security model, powerful workflow engine, high usability, and large feature set, Plone remains one of the top CMS today. CMS Matrix shows Plone to be one of the top six most frequently compared CMS in their exhaustive listing of over 1000 systems.

Google Trends is sometimes cited in this context, but if that were reflecting true growth potential, we'd all be using WordPress.  Also, not all Google searches captured by Trends represent good news.  Item E below mentions a large DDoS attack against WordPress, hardly an indicator that would guarantee positive growth.  

How secure is Plone?  Plone continues to be the most secure of all the major CMS.  The National Vulnerability Database shows Plone with only 9 issues in the past 3 years.  Drupal had 232 in the same time interval, Joomla had 404, and WordPress had 127. 

I hope you've enjoyed this romp through a number of statistics about Plone. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

CMS Matrix -- Built-in Applications and Commerce

If you've weathered this week's blog posts this far, you've seen my charts of the feature counts in CMS Matrix for ten CMSs.  Those ten are the ones that are at the top of the list if you click on the "Sort by compares" tab.  Besides total number of features (there are 133 of them in the matrix), I've also broken them down by the nine categories that are used to organize this large list of features.  There's a graph for security, support, ease of use, performance, management, interoperability, and, with the three last shown below, flexibility (9 features), built-in applications (39 features) and commerce (9 features). 

Flexibility has to do with an eclectic assortment of things:  URL rewriting, user profiles, localization, and such.  With Plone's strong history of multi-lingual support, it's no surprise to see it at the top.  Also pegging the flexibility meter are Joomla, TYPO3, and eZ Publish.  Drupal only misses one feature in this set; the others in the mid-range below 80%.  Once again PHP Nuke is at the bottom. 
Built-in applications consists of a dizzying list of features that cover the entire gamut of things-to-do with the Web.  They range from blogging capability through mail forms to wikis.  It's difficult to imagine anyone needing even a fraction of these features, but I suppose it gives you some idea of the breadth of coverage a particular CMS has in the total online space.

Once again TYPO3 and Plone lead the pack with most close behind.  WordPress and eZ Publish lag a little further down and, guess who, PHP Nuke, brings up the rear. 
The commerce feature set is a handful of items that are useful in an e-commerce environment:  shopping cart, shipping, online payments, inventory management, etc.  This is Plone's weakest area and TYPO3 (plus WebGUI) is right there at the same level.  Four other CMSs are higher in this category and three are lower with two of them at zero.

Mercifully, that ends the categories from CMS Matrix.  Coming up next, another look at the overall scores and some reflections on what it means.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

CMS Matrix -- Management and Interoperabilities

Yet another look at the CMS Matrix numbers.  Yeah, I know, they're user-contributed and probably biased.  Heck, I'd urge Plonistas to at least head over and add to the ratings to boost Plone scores.  It only takes a few inputs to bump some of the numbers up significantly.

But even with those caveats, I think it's worthwhile to go over the numbers once in awhile to see what is shaking out in a general sense.  So here we're looking at the ten most-compared CMSs and counting features--not quality, but quantity. 

Here's the graph on interoperability features.  Remember, we're just counting features that are a clear 'Yes' or an 'Available with Free Add-on.'
Once again TYPO3 and Plone lead the pack, this time by a large margin.  Most CMSs languish in the 50-70% range except for eZ Publish, which manages to crawl into the 80% bracket.  PHP Nuke drags in with a flat 0%.

Here's the graph of feature counts as percentage of total possible (only six features).  Plone take the lead with TYPO3, WebGUI, and eZ Publish close behind.  PHP Nuke once again is at the bottom of the heap and everyone else is in the 70-80% range. 

If you missed the earlier posts, head back to the first (overall), second (security and support), and third (ease of use and performance) installments of the series and see where the earlier feature-count percentages place the top ten CMSs.  Next up, built in apps (whatever that means) and commerce features.  Stay tuna'd.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CMS Matrix -- Ease of Use and Performance

Part III of my review of CMS Matrix stats continues with a look at their categories of "Ease of Use" and "Performance."  As before, I'm looking at the top ten "most compared" CMSs on CMS Matrix.  Then I'm looking at the feature counts.  "No," "Limited," and "Available at extra cost" are considered negatives.  "Yes" and "Free add-on" are considered postives.

Ease of use easily is grouped into three categories:  those with 100% of all ease of use features (TYPO3, WebGUI, and Plone), those 50-75% in the mid-range (Joomla, Drupal, Mambo, Xoops, WordPress, and eZ Publish), and PHP Nuke lagging far below.

Clearly, there are four tiers of performance in this group of CMSs:  those with 100% of all performance features (TYPO3, WebGUI, Plone, and eZ Publish), those at 60% (Joomla, Drupal), those less than 40% (Mambo, Xoops, and WordPress), and PHP Nuke, once again at the bottom of the heap.

Once again, caveat emptor, these are voluntarily supplied rating presumably from members of each CMS's community.  Be sure to validate your requirements against the features of CMS Matrix and be certain you're not disregarding a candidate CMS because it is missing a feature that you don't even need. 

Next, we'll look at the management and interoperability categories.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

CMS Matrix -- Security and Support

Here's Part II of my series on stats from CMS Matrix.  Earlier I looked at the total number of features for the top ten most-compared CMSs.  Today I'll share the numbers on the first two categories broken out by CMS Matrix:  security and support. 
From the security numbers it's easily seen that Plone and TYPO3 top the list at 100% with eZ Publish in third some distance behind.  WebGUI hangs on in 4th and everyone else lags significantly.  In at least one way this doesn't mirror the numbers from the National Vulnerability Database:  TYPO3 shows 273 vulnerabilities in the past 3 years compared to Plone with only 7.  Having a lot of security-related features doesn't mean you have air-tight security for the system itself. 
The support statistics show a cluster of six CMSs at the top.  The top three (Drupal, TYPO3, eZ Publish) are separated from the second three (Joomla, WebGUI, Plone) by their certification programs.  The remaining four CMSs are below 80% in number of support features. 

Next up, ease of use and performance.  Stay tuned.

Friday, July 1, 2011

CMS Matrix Revisited

Every now and then I wander over to CMSmatrix.org and check things out.  Systems come, systems go, and for a handful, there's a steady maturation and growth.  Tonight I took the top ten CMSs as rated by "Comparisions."  Must mean something if people are usually looking at the same set of systems.

I then counted the CMS Matrix features that they lacked, as defined by a feature having a "No" or "Limited" or "Costs Extra" in a particular cell.  One minus that value divided by the total number of features is given in the Pct Features column below.  The "System Requirements" section was not tallied due to it's largely text content.

CMS Pct Features
TYPO3 4.5.2 97%
Plone 4.0 96%
WebGUI 7.9 89%
eZ Publish 4.2 83%
Joomla 1.6.0 82%
Drupal 6.10 77%
Xoops 2.0.18 71%
Mambo 4.6.1 71%
WordPress 3.0.4 63%
PHP Nuke 6 15%

If you prefer the graphic, here's the same data set.

It's interesting to see that among top-compared CMSs in CMS Matrix, there's a surprising amount of variability.  TYPO3 and Plone top the chart above 90% and the rest trail away down to 63%.  Then PHP Nuke languishes at the bottom.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll dig out my copy of 'R' and see if these cluster in any meaningful way.  I have the information summarized by each CMS Matrix category (Security, Support, Ease of Use, Performance, Management, Interoperability, Flexibility, Built-in Applications, and Commerce), so I'll be able to look at each section by itself in the days ahead.  But one word of warning before you base a decision on these data, check the specific features you require against any candidate system.  No need to throw out a possibility, if the reason is the lack of a feature you'll never use. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Plone Books and Plone Impact


A bit past due, I'm back to Plone Metrics with an update on my almost quarterly Amazon stats. 

The data set continues to grow unpredictably with 13 out of 15 texts that I track reporting sales rank numbers.  The spread between minimum (good) and maximum (not so much) is the largest ever, due to slow sales of Gross's specialized multimedia tome.  Some values are nearly constant, while others show the inevitable decline (increase in sales rank) as Plone 2 textbooks become obsolete.

For the first time ever, there are no books below (better than) 500,000.  Part of that is slow roll out of Plone 4 texts.  Aspeli's latest is included, due out in June.  Below is a chart showing publication numbers for each year since 2004. 


I had the good fortune today to attend a workshop in Santa Fe on Measuring & Mapping Science.  Many of the concepts have applicability to measures of CMS effectiveness and I'll certainly bringing these new ideas to this blog in the coming months.  While many of the presentations today concentrated on tracking the network of citations in scientific publications, others brought up novel ways of looking at usage statistics.

One important distinction was that between prestige and popularity.  Simply counting clicks, views, downloads, and so forth is a surrogate measure for something's popularity.  But the impact of something must be measured differently to get a handle on its importance or prestige. 

As a first whack at a quick-and-easy impact metric, I turned to Google Scholar to see what sort of journal citations the various CMS's are picking up.  I used the top 10 CMS's from CMS Matrix with the largest numbers of compares. 

The result has almost zero correlation, meaning that importance in terms of who's writing articles about Plone doesn't have any relationship to the number of comparisons CMS Matrix reports. Here Plone (red) has 1300 citations and almost 150,000 compares. 

Google Scholar is just a first cut at a measure of impact--citation counts are only the first step.  The context of those citations now has to be understood to learn what is a positive vs neutral or negative cite.  Because Plone is a very mature CMS, in coming weeks I'll be looking for better metrics of how it has had a significant impact over the last decade in terms of driving the CMS environment by being a leader in innovation, emergent features, and usability. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

As with the unrest in North Africa, the effects of yesterday's disaster in Japan are felt even on Plone.org.  Here's the distribution of visits to Plone.org from last year, 11 March 2010.

And here's the map of site visitors from 11 March 2011...

In the northeast of the country site visits disappeared (understandably) with only one on the west coast.  Site visits picked up significantly in the south and west. Perhaps people are using Plone to develop sites that can quickly aid in the humanitarian relief effort?  Google's People Finder is now available in Japanese and Ushahidi has an active site.  If you have an idea for making use of Plone at this time, don't be shy. 

Meanwhile, our hearts go out to the victims of this disaster. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Great Backyard Plone Count -- 2011

So the Great Backyard Plone Count for 2011 is officially off and running.  Things didn't exactly start out as smoothly as I'd hoped -- got a call from the nurse at my parents' assisted living facility around 7:00 this evening.  Turns out Mom had a 3-alarm gusher of a nosebleed that couldn't be controlled.  While she got an ambulance ride to Presbyterian, I drove over to the hospital.  To make a long story short, everyone was incredibly helpful and after some cauterization and a very strange inflatable gauze packing up the schnoz, we actually got Mom tucked back into her own bed by midnight.

Of course, that means I didn't get out copies of last year's "sightings" to their owners in time to verify that the sites are still active.  It also means that I'm only now turning on the data entry form.

Even with that hiccup right at the start, if you'd like to participate, especially in getting credit for hidden or obscure Plone sites, this is your chance.  Use the form below to enter information about Plone sites you are aware of, especially intranet sites that are behind firewalls. In those cases a URL is not necessary, but a site name and description would be particularly helpful. Names and personal information (e-mail, etc.) are only for internal statistical and QA use and will not be used beyond this study.  The live form can also be found at:


The form will be open for data entry until midnight Monday the 21st.  Thanks in advance. If you'd like a look at last year's data, check out the Google Docs summary sheet.

As an aside, get your binoculars out and spend 15 minutes (or more) counting the birds in your own backyard.  Then submit your observations to become part of an enormous citizen-scientist ornithological study.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Great Backyard Plone Count

It's that time of the year -- time for both the Great Backyard Bird Count (Plone-driven, btw) and the Great Backyard Plone Count.  While the bird count is a collaborative bird-watching effort by the Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Bird Studies Canada, the Plone count is a voluntary effort to collect data on the world-wide distribution of Plone-powered sites.  In homage to the GBBC, the Plone count is held the same weekend, which this year is Friday 18 through Monday 21 February. 

Because many Plone sites are intranets behind firewalls, they can't be located by crawling the web.  This is a chance for developers, site owners, and users to stand up and be counted.  It's a non-scientific, totally voluntary effort for self-reporting Plone-based web portals. 

I'll be distributing portions of last year's list to respective contributors for confirmation of existing sites on Thursday.  Then on Friday, the input form to the Google Docs spreadsheet will be opened up.  Anyone can then submit sightings of Plone in the wild. 

Although there's significant bias in a survey like this, the most value comes from tracking trends over time.  This is the third annual Backyard Plone Count and as the number of yearly data points increase, we'll better be able to extrapolate from the observations. 

More to come this Friday.  As they say at the sushi bar, stay tuna'd...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Security Announcement and Mobile

An interesting spike turned up in the Plone.org visitor stats this past week.  Although the regular visitors showed just a tiny blip, mobile usage more than doubled. 

Seems that the recent security announcement got people's attention and they turned to Plone.org with their smart phones.  Based on this, it would seem prudent to design mobile style sheets to pay particular attention to time-sensitive announcements.  That's probably good advice for any website.

One other observation from the above figure:  mobile visitors to Plone.org don't show the usual weekly pattern of general visitors.  Minima are as likely to occur on a Tuesday as a Sunday for mobile.  Meanwhile, general visitors show a strong dropoff on the weekends.  This trend for mobile might just be random fluctuations due to the smaller number of mobile visitors, something that gets swamped by the huge number of non-mobile site users.

If you use Plone.org via a mobile device, I'd like to hear from you -- how and when do you turn to the website with your phone?  Please comment.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Plone in Egypt Addendum

The Internet finally came back up in Egypt today and, as part of the initial flush of activity, there were visitors to Plone.org.  Welcome back, Egypt. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Plone in Egypt

It might seem trivial in light of the chaotic events going on right now in Egypt, but even Plone usage statistics reflect the Egyptian national blackout on Internet services. 

Location of visitors to Plone.org -- past 90 days
As is apparent from the map, Egypt sends visitors to Plone.org from Alexandria to Luxor with most of the activity centered, understandably, in Cairo.

Egyptian visits to Plone.org, 2009-10 vs 2010-11
From the number of Egyptian visits in the above graph, it can be seen that things were largely the same as this period last year until this week when the bottom fell out.  Current daily visits are zero.  Admittedly, Egyptians have more immediate things to worry about than theming their Plone sites.

Also, Plone.net lists a USAID ICT Portal in Egypt.  The URL returns a "server not found" error.  Not a surprise there, either. 

Over the past month there have been significant dips in Plone.org traffic from Tunisia as well.  Site visitors hit zero on five days, which has never happened for even a single day since last Ramadan (11 August).

I was pleased to see that the Telecomix News Agency (@Telecomix) has been promoting Internet access via "the old way," dial-up modem.   If anyone has any bright ideas on how to help out via Plone, now's the time speak up.  Maybe EC2 portals could be useful? 

Meanwhile, PloneMetrics' thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the region during these troubled times.