A Little Statistics

Earlier in the week, readers to this blog will have noticed that I spent a little time focussed on spam coming into the blog.  Today, I wasn’t able to get out and about much so decided to just watch the blog and see what visitors were doing and if I could catch a spammer in action. 

As luck would have it, I received no spam at all today.  I remember something about watched pots and boiling.  However, in monitoring, I did end up with a bit of statistics that I found interesting.  On the bottom right, there’s a widget that I’ve place in the blog that provides information about visitors.  If I follow it to the administrative side, I can see visitors as they arrive. 

An entry might look like this.

It identifies this visitor as coming from Australia (Sydney, NSW in particular), using the web browser Safari on a Macintosh computer.  As I watched the visitors check in, I thought "hey, this is interesting data".  If I had a school blog or wiki or website, I could get some insights as to who is visiting.  It’s still raining so I fired up LibreOffice to have a go at it.

This is just plain interesting.  My blog post yesterday was about Creating and Nurturing PLNs and it did seem to attract a fair number of visitors.  Thanks to them all, especially those who dropped off a little ham.  But, by looking up and down the list and doing a little tallying, I was able to create this chart identifying where blog readers came from.  The count was converted to percentages. 

Operating Systems
Now, it gets a little geeky.  What operating system are people using when they visit the blog?

That I found interesting.  I would have guessed my Windows computers because they’re typically less expensive and perhaps more Linux given the international scope of the visitors.

Geekier too.  What type of web browser are people using when they stop by?

Now, this I found really interesting.  I read the statistics about the world’s most popular browsers.  Traditionally, Internet Explorer is strongly in first place and lately Chrome and Firefox have been battling it out for second place browser.  Given the large number of Macintosh visitors, I guess that makes sense that Safari is the most popular browser.  But, look how much of a share Chrome has.

So, if I was profiling the type of frequent visitor, I would look for a North American Macintosh user with a Safari or Chrome browser.

It was an interesting activity to analyze the data.  I could see this working out so nicely in the classroom.  It’s good, solid statistics that can easily be turned into discussions of other things.  Given the type of visitor to the blog, if you were picking targeted advertising, what sorts of ads would you display?  Take a snapshot of the visitors for a week or over a period of time.  Is there a trend?  Does the type of visitor change?  Does the type of visitor depend upon the content of the blog post?  There are lots of great discussions that could fall out of an activity like this.  Why are some of the statistics "unknown"?  Is there another type of browser or operating system that is not captured here?

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OTR Links for 07/29/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.