Visitor Stats

I’m typically not one to obsess over statistics related to the visitors of this web site, but I figured I’d take a look and see what the numbers might tell me.

Stats by Browser

Firefox is the winner here, which wasn’t too surprising to me. I was surprised to see Chrome ahead of Safari though, even if by a small percentage. Of course I’m saddened that Internet Explorer even shows up at all. At least Chrome beat IE. Also, welcome SeaMonkey user!

Stats by Operating System

Too many Windows users! I’m kidding… sort of. I mean, I tend to write about things related to Macs, Linux, and open source… none of which are Windows. My assumption is that the people with corporate jobs who are forced to use Windows machines at work (but use Macs and Linux machines at home) tend to browse this site while on the job. Yeah, that makes sense. Also, welcome to both Android users, and that lone Playstation Portable user!

Stats by Browser / Operating System

Firefox / Windows users take the lead! So at least some Windows users are smart enough to install Firefox. Not surprising, as I think it’s been at least a few years since even die-hard Microsoft fans realized that Firefox is a better/safer browsing experience than Internet Explorer. As for IE being second? Those are obviously the corporate drones who do not have privs to install Firefox. At least Safari made it into the list once… Also, welcome Mozilla Compatible Agent / iPhone (what is that exactly!?) and your friend using Mozilla / Linux!

Stats by Screen Resolution

Hooray for more pixels! Is no one visiting this site on their shiny new Netbook? I spent so much time optimizing for 800×600 when I got my Eee PC.. all for naught! Those 1920×1080 screens must be all the designers I know. And that 320×396? That’d be the iPhone.

So join me in welcoming all visitors to the site… be they Chrome / Windows users, or iPad users, 1024×600 screen resolution users. Welcome!


Twitter-Free Friday Explained

Maybe I did a poor job of explaining Twitter-Free Friday. See, it all goes back to 2001 when Dave Winer suggested Microsoft-Free Fridays, and was followed up by my idea for Google-Free Friday (which was resurrected last year by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land.)

It’s not so much a boycott of Twitter, or a condemnation of Twitter. I like Twitter. I’ve been using it since late 2006 when there were less than 6200 users. I’ve convinced other people to use it, I’ve written code that uses it, and I was even interviewed about Twitter a few weeks ago.

Twitter is a monopoly. Just like Microsoft was and Google is. And any time you rely on one single entity for something, that’s bad news. Even worse news if it’s something you need or really want, because at some point, after you are hooked, they will screw it up, and you’ll have no alternative. As much as I am a fan of Apple, they got problems, and I’m glad Microsoft (and the Linux folks) are there to keep Apple on their toes, and keep them honest, and keep them innovating. Competition drives innovation, and we need innovation in this MicroBlogging world.

But… Twitter is this proprietary thing, owned by one company, and in the end, I am still a big fan of a decentralized system, and open source software, and standards… and that’s when (and Laconica, the software behind comes it.

It took Twitter 9 months to add the ability to search for people. got the feature in a week. And while still does not match all the features of Twitter, I believe it will, and it will surpass it. Things are moving fast, and not because of dollar signs, or the future hope of dollar signs, but because people are excited about the possibilities. With Twitter you see the fail whale and we all go “oh well, try later!” and that’s not good enough. Laconica, in a free and open environment offers the ability for us to do better, and to have some control over such things.

When I find blog posts from people about they are often from people I know and respect as visionaries of the web, people who have had good ideas in the past, and put those ideas into code… Those are the kind of people I trust to build an open system for the future.

So join us tomorrow for Twitter-Free Friday. Go a day without using Twitter and see how it goes. Maybe it will suck, and you’ll appreciate Twitter even more, or maybe you’ll find an alternative. I know, it’s all about the network right? If you’re friends stick with Twitter and you leave, you will be lonely, and sad, and cry… but the idea behind a federated system is that your friends could use a different system than you do, and that’s ok, cuz it all hooks together. Yeah, that’s the idea.

So while other came along (Jaiku, Plurk, etc.) none of them made me (and so many others) say “Damn! This could be it… what we are after! An open source, distributed system like Twitter” that, you know… isn’t Twitter.

I am raster on See ya there tomorrow!


Twitter-Free Friday

Remember Google-Free Friday, and The Return of Google-Free Friday? Well, I propose Twitter-Free Friday…

That’s right, on Friday, don’t use Twitter.

Does that sound difficult? Is it anymore difficult than a Google-Free Friday would have been in the past? In fact, Twitter might make it easier for you by failing anyway, in which case it’ll be Fail Whale-Free Friday.

On Friday, I will plan to not use Twitter. I will use though, so you can see what I’m up to over there.

It’s an experiment, and who knows where it will go. Join me if you dare.


Hacked up our own gCalendar

iCal is good, but iCal sucks. It allows one computer/person to be the central point for a calendar’s control. So while Person A can create and edit a calendar, they can do so only from the original Mac they created it on, and no one else can make edits, they can only view it. This can be good if you want total control over something, but not so good if you want to collaborate on editing.

Google Calendar is good, but Google Calendar sucks. It’s dead easy for multiple people to manage one calendar. But, sometimes I just don’t like to rely on someone else to manage my data. Seeing messages like “Oops, we couldn’t load details for your calendar, please try again in a few minutes” does not instill confidence that all is well. (In the Google Calendar Help group you’ll see some posts about things going wrong that do not instill confidence.)

Maybe my expectations are high because I’ve been running my own server for years with my personal calendar data, that gets backed up regularly. I dunno..

Anyway, we needed a solution at the office for a handful of people to all edit the same calendar. iCal can’t do this (yet) and while it was easy to create Yet Another Google Account, I didn’t want people to have to constantly login/logout or even have to sign up for an account. So I created an account, and then built a custom WebRunner app (or a Site Specific Browser, as they are called.)

WebRunner / gCalendar

So now we have a bunch of people who can subscribe to the calendar in iCal (nothing new there) and a select few who can use our gCalendar app (or, just log into Google) and edit the thing. iCal has a great interface, but dammit, you can only edit a calendar on the machine it was created on, unless you look to third party apps to fix that.

WebRunner / gCalendar

It’s clunky, but it works. Of course a few days later I found which is a WebKit equivalent. So, hey, at least there are choices.

Along the way I also tried Calendar Server which did not work (Python-foo failures) but looks promising for the future.

Despite the progress, I just feel like calendaring still has a long way to go.


The Return of Google-Free Friday?

Remember back in 2003 when I proposed Google-Free Fridays?

Looks like it’s making a comeback. See: This July: Try Google-Free Fridays!

Honestly I’m probably one of the few people I know who doesn’t completely rely on GMail, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Floor Wax, Google AdSense, Google YouTube, Google Blogger, Google Sandwich Spread, Google Picasa, Google Groups, Google Shoelace Tying Machine, Google Analytics, Google Earth, Google Calendar, or Google Master Chef on a daily basis.

I do quite like their search and maps though…