Birthday week 2020 wine news: Foreign visitors? What foreign visitors? Plus, Linux surges and Firefox doesn’t
• Not in this country: China, which was the big visitor news last year, wasn’t this year. Chinese blog traffic dropped 83 percent. Beijing, last year’s top city, fell to 16th with an 85 percent decline. Meanwhile, 19 of the top 20 cities were in the U.S., led by New York. And I don’t know that that has ever been the case. But that’s what happens when we throw up trade barriers and bluster at the rest of the world.
• Poor, poor pitiful Firefox: Those of us old enough to remember the second browser war, when Firefox was going to save us from evil Microsoft, will find this hard to believe. Less than six percent of blog visits came via some from of Firefox. Apple’s Safari, thanks to a surge in iPhone visitors, edged out Chrome, 44 to 42 percent.
• Not so pitiful Linux: The pandemic, according to a variety of statistics, was supposed to be giving a boost to my beloved Linux operating system. I didn’t believe the reports, having seen Linux use on the blog stay around one percent — if not lower — over the years. So imagine my surprise when the number turned out to be 2.8 percent this year — four times what it was last year. Having said that, obsolete Windows systems (Windows XP, 8.0/8.1, and Vista) totaled five percent. So I guess the world still isn’t ready for the year of the Linux desktop.
Birthday week 2019 wine news: Internet wine searches matter less and less, plus our overlords at Google and poor Linux
• How quaint: More visitors got the blog from RSS and email between November 2018 and November 2019 than ever before, about three-quarters of you. That’s up from about two-thirds a year ago. Long gone are the days when people found the blog by searching for a great cheap wine to drink. Remember this? This is annoying, since I want people to find great cheap wine by searching for it on Google. But that’s not how the Internet works these days, thanks to our overlords at Google.
• Speaking of Google: The search giant’s web browser, Chrome, was the most popular, with about 45 percent of traffic. Interestingly, that’s about 25 percent less than its worldwide market share. The main reason for that, I think, is that almost 60 percent of visitors get here with an iPhone, and Chrome isn’t Apple’s default browser.
• Poor, poor pitiful Linux: How disrespected is my beloved Linux when it comes to the blog? It totaled 0.7 percent of visitors, just a notch above the total for four Windows operating systems hardly anyone uses anymore (Windows XP, 8.0/8.1, and Vista). Which means, I suppose, that we will have to keep waiting for the year of the Linux desktop.
Birthday week 2018 wine news: Welcome Chinese wine drinkers, as the blog truly becomes international
• Chinese visitors: Wine drinkers from the United States. have always been the most common on the blog, and that was true again between November 2017 and November 2018. About 85 percent of you came from the U.S. But China moved up to fourth with almost 2 percent, ahead of Australia and France. Plus, Beijing was third among cities after Chicago and New York. As mentioned yesterday, this number is skewed because two-thirds of you don’t come to the site anymore, but read the blog through RSS or email. Even so, that that many Chinese are reading an English-language blog about cheap wine has to mean something. And I don’t think the wine business likes what it means.
• Getting more mobile all the time: Another massive change: Almost 53 percent of visitors read the blog on their phone, and two-thirds of those use an iPhone. When I started in November 2007, mobile probably wasn’t 15 percent Fortunately, the first newspaper I worked for was a tabloid, so I learned how to write short a long time ago. Hence, writing a review or rant that fits on a phone screen isn’t that much of problem.
• Poor, poor pitiful Firefox: Google owns the browser world, and it’s no different here with 45 percent of visitors. Firefox, which was once a terrific product but long ago lost its way, accounted for just 8 percent. That barely beat Microsoft’s various browsers. If that’s the best you can do, then it’s time to do something else.