from the it's-that-time-again dept
We had 3,758 posts during the year, which generated 203,476 comments -- or an average of about 54 comments per post. That actually represents over 20% of all the comments on the site ever (we're still just slightly under one million total comments on the site). Yes, so even though we've been at this for 15 years, you guys really kept up your end of the discussion this year!
We had visitors from 225 different countries in 2012, which is actually down from the 230 from the two previous years. In both of the past years, we noted a single visitor from Christmas Island, but this year, whoever that was decided not to come back. Oh well! As far as I can tell, beyond various microstates in the Pacific Islands that are too small to count, the countries this year that sent no visitors were basically all central African nations, North Korea (again!) and... Turkmenistan. Uzbekistan sent 286 visitors, Tajikistan sent 59, Kazakhstan sent 1,280 and Iran sent 5,265... but no one from Turkmenistan. Maybe next year.
As in past years, the top countries for visitors were pretty much the same. The US contributed 66% of our visitors. Canada was in second with the UK right behind them. Australia came in fourth. Then there was Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, India, France and New Zealand. The only change from last year is that India ever so slightly crawled ahead of France (by less than 8,000 visits). Last year, China had leapt ahead of Japan, but this year Japan sent nearly twice as much traffic as China. Perhaps we were blocked by the Great Firewall. Last year, South Korea was in third place in Asia, but this year Singapore leapfrogged into that position, ahead of both South Korea and China. Once again Brazil was the top country from South American and South Africa was tops in Africa -- same as both of the past two years.
Once again, as was true last year, visitors from Gibraltar stuck around the longest, by far, which is probably an anomaly due to PaulT skewing the results. We should probably toss that out as an outlier. If we go by continent, the numbers are pretty close, but folks from Oceania stick around on the site slightly longer than those from the US and Europe who are tied for second. Oddly, despite staying on the site longer, people from Oceania visit fewer pages per visit. Perhaps they just like to take it slow down under.
If we drop down to the city level, New York dominates, with London coming in second, then Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto and LA. DC actually comes in 10th, after Seattle and Sydney. Of course, given the population differences in those cities, that's not all that meaningful. If I had more time, I'd try to normalize it per capita, but that seems like a lot of effort for something that would really only interest me.
Lots of you visited the site many times, which we love! Over 8% of our page views came from people who visited the site more than 200 times (or maybe that's all just from me!). Thank you to the loyal "daily" crew!
In terms of technology, Chrome continued its march to the top. In 2010 it was third, after Firefox and IE. Last year it jumped into second place. This year Chrome took 37% of our visits. Firefox got knocked down to 28%. Safari jumped over IE to take 11% and IE came in fourth at 10%. As in the past, Windows machines still dominated, with Macs in second and Linux behind them. On the mobile side, Android finally beat out iOS, but it's really close. In terms of mobile devices, though, the iPhone and iPad clearly top the list, way, way, way ahead of any other devices. The top Android phone is a bit of a surprise to me: the SonyEricsson Xperia Arc. Followed up by the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Samsung SII. After that there's the Motorola DroidX. The top HTC phone is the Incredible.
The top three search terms that brought people here... were the identical top three that brought people here in 2011:
- tech dirt
Our biggest source of traffic, even beating out Google, was Reddit (thank you Redditors!). Part of the antitrust argument against Google was that everyone had to rely on them for traffic, but I think that's becoming less and less true these days. Next on the referral list was StumbleUpon, followed by Twitter, Facebook and HackerNews (go HackerNews!). Slashdot continues to send less and less traffic, however, which is too bad. Remember the days of "The Slashdot Effect"?
So what were our most popular stories this year? The full list is below, but one bit that struck me as interesting (and awesome) was that none of the top four most popular stories are by me. Hopefully we're finally past the point where people insist that Techdirt is all "Mike Masnick" by now, even if some commenters still assume that every post is written by me. My most trafficked post doesn't show up until the fifth spot. The most popular post will probably surprise some folks. It's Tim Cushing's post about the Razer mouse (which he recently posted an update about). That story really went viral in a crazy way. The next two posts are by Leigh, and the fourth post is by Glyn. It's been really fun to have such great writers on the site these days, and it's great to see that our community likes them too. Maybe I should take the hint and write less.
Top Ten Stories, by Unique Pageviews, on Techdirt for 2012:
- When A Mouse Requires An Internet Connection, You're Doing 'Cloud' Wrong
- HBO Decides It Still Isn't Difficult Enough To Watch HBO Shows
- Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote
- Psy Makes $8.1 Million By Ignoring Copyright Infringements Of Gangnam Style
- MPAA Directly & Publicly Threatens Politicians Who Aren't Corrupt Enough To Stay Bought
- Draconian Downloading Law In Japan Goes Into Effect... Music Sales Drop
- Feds Wait Until Late Friday To Admit That, Yeah, They Ignored The 4th Amendment
- The DVD Is Dying. Hollywood's Plan? Do Nothing And Cede Ground To File Sharing
- SimCity Developers' Reddit AMA Swiftly Turns Into WTF With The Online-Only DRM?
- FBI & DEA Warn That IPv6 May Be Too Damn Anonymous
2012's Top Ten Stories, by comment volume
- Asking Fans For Support Isn't Begging, It's Solidifying Our Relationship (514 comments)
- Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt (For September 2 - 8) (499 comments)
- That Was Fast: Hollywood Already Browbeat The Republicans Into Retracting Report On Copyright Reform (449 comments)
- Guess What? Copying Still Isn't Stealing (417 comments)
- The Difference Between Nuanced Discussion And The Evil Underbelly Of The Internet Is Apparently A Fine Line Indeed (404 comments)
- Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote (395 comments)
- US Government 'Suspends' JotForm.com Over User Generated Forms; Censorship Regime Expands (373 comments)
- Legit Ebook Lending Site Taken Down By An Angry Twitmob Of Writers [UPDATED] (373 comments)
- Congress Begins To Wonder Why ICE & DOJ Censored A Popular Hip Hop Blog For A Year (356 comments)
- Some Facts & Insights Into The Whole Discussion Of 'Ethics' And Music Business Models (352 comments)
2012's Top Commenters, by comment volume
- John Fenderson: 2448 comments
- Ninja: 2312 comments
- The eejit: 2238 comments
- That Anonymous Coward: 2205 comments
- PaulT: 2091 comments
- Wally: 1612 comments
- Mike Masnick: 1314 comments (apparently, I slacked in 2012)
- Richard: 1283 comments
- Rikuo: 1252 comments
- Leigh Beadon: 1237 comments.
Top 10 Most Insightful Commenters, based on how many times they got the lightbulb icon:
- PaulT: 189 comments (9.0%)
- Leigh Beadon: 175 comments (14.1%)
- Karl: 171 comments (22.1%)
- John Fenderson: 124 comments (5.1%)
- That Anonymous Coward: 116 comments (5.2%)
- Mike Masnick: 112 comments (8.5%)
- E. Zachary Knight: 109 comments (14.6%)
- Richard: 103 comments (8.0%)
- Josh in CharlotteNC: 94 comments (13.5%)
- Rikuo: 91 comments (7.3%)
- Leigh Beadon: 86 comments (7.0%)
- Dark Helmet: 82 comments (15.9%)
- :Lobo Santo: 77 comments (6.6%)
- Capitalist Lion Tamer: 48 comments (16.9%)
- Gwiz: 34 comments (3.3%)
- Chosen Reject: 33 comments (6.2%)
- DannyB: 31 comments (4.1%)
- The Groove Tiger: 29 comments (4.7%)
- Torg: 28 comments (4.6%)
- Ninja: 27 comments (1.2%)
Either way, thank you once again for an awesome 2012, and we look forward to seeing what happens in 2013!