Planet Sun statistics

Posted on Jun 21, 2004

Simon asked if I had any statistics for Planet Sun, so I cooked a few up based on the Apache logs.

Since the 20th of March 2004, when the domain came into use, Apache has transferred almost 20 gigabytes of data to consumers. Obviously the daily rate has grown over that time, from some small number to over 750 megabytes a day in the last week.

When I last spent any time looking at the statistics at the start of May the distribution of operating systems reported by the browsers suggested that roughly twice as many page requests came from Windows users as Unix users. Macintosh users came a distant third. Today the numbers are slightly different, with about one and a half as many Windows browsers as Unix. Macintosh users are still third and account for half as many consumers as Unix. Oh, and to the one person with a WebTV box I’d like to say “Hi!”.

The browser share numbers have to be taken with a pinch of salt though, as there are as many unknown as Unix, perhaps as a result of RSS readers being unknown to analog.

Over 79% of the data served is from the RSS feeds, with the most popular being RSS 2.0 at two thirds of the overall traffic. The abbreviated feed isn’t very popular - less than 1% of the overall traffic, perhaps as a result of not being very well advertised.

In the early days providing fifty entries on the main page and in the RSS feeds was sufficient to cover almost two weeks worth of scribblings. Now two hundred entries just about contains four days. As a result of increasing the number of entries the main HTML and RSS 2.0 feeds have grown dramatically, now at 470 kilobytes and 400 kilobytes respectively.

Estimating the number of people reading the RSS feeds is quite difficult. There are around 2500 different IP addresses seen and over 3500 IP address/browser ID pairs. Given the subject matter the fact that many Sun employees are hidden behind a dozen or so web proxies will mean that the IP address count under-estimates the reading community. Users upgrading or switching RSS readers probably means that 3500 is an over-estimate. Bloglines says that about fifty people are using their service to read Planet Sun and I’d expect that some other aggregation services are in use. All things considered, I’d guess at a readership of around three thousand. Suggestions of how to generate a better estimate appreciated :-)

It’s been a good three months, particularly the launch of the service and the associated change in policy. Tim, Simon, Pat, Will, John and compatriots deserve our thanks for moving things forward at a rate that I wouldn’t have believed possible a couple of years ago. Bravo!