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

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.