You, according to Google Analytics

This blog uses Google Analytics, which provides a treasure-trove of information about the site’s visitors. To use that information to improve the site, it has to be parsed.

Here’s a sketch of what a typical user may look like – and what that tells me about what I should do with the site.

You are from one of 122 countries but are most likely to be in North America, South Asia (India, mostly) or Europe.

45% of you live in North America, most of whom live in the US. By contrast, only 1.2% of you live in Africa, of which 48% are in South Africa.

I am, of course, from the Netherlands originally, but only 1.4% of the visitors of this site are in the Netherlands. I live in Canada, as do 11% of the visitors of this site. That means almost 88% of the visitors of this site are neither in the country I’m from, nor in the country I’m in.

This site is in english, so all of you are apparently able to read that language (or use Google Translate). According to your browsers, though, over 20% of you are not running an english-language browser (a quarter of which is french, the german, then russian, and then C).

Yes, C. 1% of the visitors of this site speaks C as their native language (or rather: uses the C locale, probably).

New visitors of this site tend to read a lot: the number of page views for new visitors (first or second visit) is pretty high, considering the long-winded content on some of the posts and tends to go down with subsequent visits. Those of you who’ve visited for the 200th time or more only read about one page per visit – newbies read about three times as many on average. Considering the bounce rate, that means that those that stick around must read about 5 to 10 pages before leaving.

You take your time reading: the average time on-site is a little over two minutes but some of you can stick around for much longer than that. Actually, 54% of the page views were made by people who stayed for more than 15 minutes.

You like Free/Libre Open Source Software: one of the most popular entry points on this site compares Debian to CentOS and only 35% of you use a non-free browser (Internet Explorer, Opera or Safari). 40% use Firefox, 25% use Chrome.

5% of searches that ended up on this site were specifically looking for me. Compare that to 16% who were looking for “C++ for the self-taught” or something similar on a search engine (Google, mostly). Many others were looking for information on error handling, event handling or the observer pattern.

24% of visitors come here through a bookmark – no referring site, no search engine: either you type the address or you’ve bookmarked the site.

Most of you run Windows, some Linux, few (6%) MacOS.

How does any of this help?

Well, the search keywords tell me what you’re looking for when you come to this site, and the average pages/visit tells me whether you found what you were looking for. Comparisons between TFS and Git weren’t very helpful, apparently, but the C++ for the self-taught podcast is, as are the articles on C++ in general. So, less Git vs. TFS and more C++ – gotcha.

Most of you tend to like Free/Libre Open Source Software, at least as users (firefox) but not so much as your desktop systems. My article comparing CentOS to Debian (and relating some first impressions on CentOS) still gets quite a few views and even gets some good comments. So, make sure the podcast software runs on Windows but don’t forget about the Debian community – check.

You tend to visit the site during weekdays – less on Friday afternoons and even less than that on Saturdays and Sundays. So, maintenance should be done during the week-ends – ok.

Your geographical diversity seems to indicate english may not be your first language. Many of you may prefer french or german. German is a bit out of my league, but french is not. Still, the vast majority is english-speaking according to their browser settings. So, I’ll continue writing in english but I just might throw some french in from time to time.

By far the most popular content on the site is more-or-less practical how-to stuff: the podcast (which is all how-to) and the project management posts. My political views (the C-32 debate) and my kudos for good reporting by the media don’t seem to interest you a lot. Neither does the occasional tangent into science. Now, I won’t refrain completely from doing those posts, but I’ll try to keep on-topic most of the time.

If there’s anything I should know that isn’t here and can help improve the site, leave a comment!

About rlc

Software Analyst in embedded systems and C++, C and VHDL developer, I specialize in security, communications protocols and time synchronization, and am interested in concurrency, generic meta-programming and functional programming and their practical applications. I take a pragmatic approach to project management, focusing on the management of risk and scope. I have over two decades of experience as a software professional and a background in science.
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