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 wine news: Gen X and Millennials have learned to love the blog, plus way more posts than any one Curmudgeon should have to write
• Younger and younger: Almost half of the blog’s visitors between November 2016 and November 2017 were younger than 44, more than a third were 25-44, and only one out of five were Baby Boomers. In other words, the blog has finally become relevant to the next two generations of wine drinkers. I’ve been working on this for several years, and am very glad to see it. Maybe the Gen X and Millennials can save us from the tyranny of scores and winespeak. Plus, the blog is even less male — 53 percent this year, compared to 55 percent last year.
• Almost 3,000 posts: I don’t think about it much, given that writing for publication every day is the norm in the newspaper business, where I started. But that’s a lot of writing, especially since I teach and write 50 or more freelance pieces year. Still, as I have said since 1991, when I got out of the newspaper business: It beats working for a living. No matter how many times I pound the keyboard or scream at the walls when I get stuck, I never have to attend a meeting. Ever.
• Linux still at one percent: There was a brief dustup among Linux geeks last month when a consultancy reported that Linux’s share of the worldwide desktop computer market in September reached almost seven percent. It’s usually one percent, and the consultancy immediately said it had made a mistake but wasn’t quite sure where. I’m here to report that it remained about one percent on the blog, so my statistics are more accurate than a company that gets paid to study these things. No, I don’t know what that means.
This week’s wine news: Millennials and Baby Boomers love the blog, plus way more posts than any one Curmudgeon should have to write
• Younger and younger: The top age group visiting the blog last year was young, 25 to 34, accounting for one-quarter of the site’s visitors. That’s something I’ve been trying to do for years — to get younger so I could spread the gospel to people who haven’t already made up their minds about wine. In fact, the 35 to 44 age group tied the 55-64s for second, at 18 percent each. It also makes the blog far different from the Winestream Media, which still focuses on the Baby Boomers. I’m still too male, 55 to 45 percent, but that can be my project for 2017.
• Almost 2,700 posts: Which, if you think about it, is impressive — the Wine Curmudgeon hunched over the keyboard pounding away since November 2008, taking on the combined might of the wine cyber-ether. About one in five of those posts have been $10 wine reviews, something that surprised me when I looked it up. You’d think I would have written more of them given what I do here. Then again, how many $10 wine reviews does anyone else do?
• Linux at one percent: Those of us who run Linux refuse to believe that it accounts for only one percent of the computer operating systems in use, which is the usual figure given by tech analysts. But this is the second year in a row that one percent of the blog’s visitors used Linux to get here, so maybe the analysts are correct. Apple’s iOS mobile system and Windows were first and second, with about a third each. And the death of the Firefox browser has not been exaggerated, if my figures mean anything. It’s a distant third behind Chrome and Safari (about 40 percent each), barely edging the woeful Internet Explorer. If the best you can do is barely edge Internet Explorer, you’re in trouble.
• Approaching 2,500 posts: Or, 2,423, counting this one. A little less than one-third of those have been wine reviews in eight years, which probably isn’t enough to make Google happy. On the other hand, only two percent have been wine rants, which makes me wonder why I haven’t written more. It’s not like there isn’t enough to rant about, and I probably could have written two percent of the blog with just rants just about the three-tier system.
• Where wine rarely goes: The geographic breadth of blog users never fails to amaze me — 173 countries this year, including four from Nepal. The Nepalese, given that none of the wine I write about can possibly be available there, deserve some sort of prize. Or maybe they appreciate great wine writing? The U.S. is the top country, not surprisingly, but with only 87.3 percent, which means that more than 1 out of every 10 visitors comes from outside the country. And though California is the top state, more than 83 percent of visitors come from the rest of the U.S. That does make me think I’m doing some good, despite any gloom to the contrary over the past year.
• My poor beloved Linux: Perhaps someone with more tech chops can explain why the various metrics track visitors by operating system, which I appreciate but don’t understand. Having said that, just one percent of the visitors came to the blog via Linux, and that’s probably me. Still, that’s three times as many as Windows Phone, which says more than any rant about Microsoft. The top operating system was Windows at 35 percent, but that’s just a couple of points better than the Apple phone. Maybe there’s something to this mobile thing?