by Mike Masnick
Wed, Feb 22nd 2012 9:47am
from the ah,-censorship dept
Hanno reached out to a spokesperson for the JusProg filter, and got the usual runaround. "We do not want to censor political opinions." The spokesperson claims that the system is automated and looks at links. When asked why Techdirt was blocked, it was explained that since we use certain words "perhaps twenty times" in discussions about pornography and censorship, the system deemed us clearly a danger. Apparently, we can appeal to JusProg, but it appears that might require some familiarity with German... So, in the meantime, let's just hope that we haven't already damaged the youth of Germany too much.
by Dennis Yang
Thu, Jan 5th 2012 2:22pm
from the not-the-end-of-the-world-yet dept
We handled around 14.7 million visits last year (up from 2009's 11M). Those visitors checked out the 3,923 stories that we posted and submitted 205,129 comments. Oddly, the #1 story for 2011 was one that was actually written in 2010, about the ubiquitous "Free Public WiFi" mystery. It turns out that a lot of people remain curious about all those "free public WiFi" ad hoc networks you see. Two stories about SOPA/PIPA graced the top ten, as well as the harrowing censorship tale of dajaz1.com. It appears that you folks are concerned about government censorship.
2011 was also a great year for the comment voting system. Congrats to Marcus Carab and Dark Helmet, who garnered the highest cumulative scores for insightful and funniest comments, respectively -- and, amazingly, each came in second place to the other in the category they didn't come in first. I sense a growing rivalry...
The top browser used by Techdirt readers was still Firefox (35%). Chrome, which lost by a narrow margin to IE last year, blew past IE's 15% to 30%. And there are still nearly 100,000 that are, despite all of the best efforts of Microsoft to convince you otherwise, still inexplicably using IE6.
Mobile usage jumped up to 1.6M visits this year, which is nearly a 200% increase from 2010. 615k of those visits came from iPhones, versus 566k for Android and 322k from iPad. In aggregate, Apple devices did beat Android. iPhone beat out Android last year by nearly 2:1, so clearly that gap is quickly closing.
Where did this year's traffic come from? Reddit jumped in the charts this year, referring 2.1M visits, up 277% from last year's 557k. I'm a little saddened to see that Slashdot is definitely not what it used to be -- referrals from them dropped by nearly a third last year. I suppose getting Slashdotted is no longer what it used to be. Continuing to perform quite well, however, are both StumbleUpon and HackerNews. Facebook also sent a decent amount of traffic.
To hear some of Google's enemies (including politicians in Congress) tell the story, the only way sites get traffic is via search engines -- and Google specifically. They act as though, if Google isn't sending you tons of traffic, you don't exist. Google definitely does send us a fair bit of traffic, but only about 20% of our actual traffic came from searches. We certainly value that 20%, but it definitely shows that you don't have to rely on search traffic to get traffic. Even more telling, here are the top three search terms that brought people to Techdirt in 2011:
- tech dirt
All in all, people from 230 countries or territories visited Techdirt. Just like last year, there was a single visit from Christmas Island -- though, last year, we had someone in our comments suggest that the single Christmas Island visit may have been him, and not really from Christmas Island.
Last year, we noted that the only countries that we appeared to get absolutely no visits from were... North Korea, Western Sahara & Chad. Western Sahara and Chad, once again, failed to send any visitors... but, in a stunning development, we got two visitors from North Korea. And, in case you were wondering, Belarus, whose new laws will make it difficult for people there to access many websites, actually sent over 1,000 visitors last year. Also, I have no idea why, but the nearly 1,000 visitors from Gibraltar spent the highest average time on the site of visitors from any other country/territory -- averaging nearly 20 minutes per visit. People from Macedonia actually visited the most pages (on average) per visit -- at just under 6 on average from over 3,500 visitors.
And, of course, this isn't just about the odd facts, but about the overall community -- with many of you being quite loyal, which we appreciate to no end. 1.5 million of the visits -- or just over 10% came from people who visited Techdirt more than 100 times last year -- and the vast majority of those (just under 1 million) actually visited the site more than 200 times. You people rock.
Anyway, thanks again to everyone for making yet another year of Techdirt awesome. Here's to a fantastic 2012.
Top Ten Stories, by Unique Pageviews, on Techdirt for 2011:
- The History Of The (Fake) 'Free Public WiFi' You Always See At Airports
- SOPA Markup Runs Out Of Time; Likely Delayed Until 2012 [Update: Or Not...]
- Apple Continues To Insist Only It Can Use An Apple In A Logo; Threatens Small German Cafe
- Guy Who Created The TSA Says It's Failed, And It's Time To Dismantle It
- Craigslist Trying To Destroy The Life Of Someone Who Made Posting To Craigslist Easier
- Breaking News: Feds Falsely Censor Popular Blog For Over A Year, Deny All Due Process, Hide All Details...
- Company Thanks Guy Who Alerted Them To Big Security Flaw By Sending The Cops... And The Bill
- NY Times & LA Times Both Come Out Against SOPA & PIPA
- EU Officially Seizes The Public Domain, Retroactively Extends Copyright
- PROTECT IP Renamed E-PARASITES Act; Would Create The Great Firewall Of America
- If You're Arguing That Someone 'Deserves' Copyright, Your Argument Is Wrong (823 comments)
- Do A Little Dance, Make A Little Love...Get Bodyslammed Tonight (At The Jefferson Memorial) (457 comments)
- Judge Bans Handing (Factual) Pamphlets To Jurors; Raising First Amendment Issues (429 comments)
- TSA Agent Threatens Woman With Defamation, Demands $500k For Calling Intrusive Search 'Rape' (403 comments)
- Revisiting The Question Of Who Deserves Copyright (376 comments)
- PROTECT IP Renamed E-PARASITES Act; Would Create The Great Firewall Of America (376 comments)
- Senators Want To Put People In Jail For Embedding YouTube Videos (374 comments)
- Monkeys Don't Do Fair Use; News Agency Tells Techdirt To Remove Photos (372 comments)
- Why Is The Justice Department Pretending US Copyright Laws Apply In The UK? (351 comments)
- Breaking News: Feds Falsely Censor Popular Blog For Over A Year, Deny All Due Process, Hide All Details... (341 comments)
2011's Top Users, by comment volume
- The eejit - 3,963 comments
- Jay - 3,433 comments
- Marcus Carab - 2,255 comments
- Richard - 2,209 comments
- PaulT - 1,841 comments
- Hephaestus - 1,662 comments
- nasch - 1,456 comments
- Dark Helmet - 1,426 comments
- abc gum - 1,357 comments
- HothMonster - 1,313 comments
- Marcus Carab
- Dark Helmet
- Chris Rhodes
- The eejit
- That Anonymous Coward
- E. Zachary Knight
from the i'd-like-to-thank... dept
from the crazy-days dept
from the advertising-is-content dept
But, for many years (since before I even started Techdirt), I've wondered what could be done if people realized that the ads were content too, and if you made those ads, by themselves, compelling and useful, then you could do much more with them. For the better part of the decade we've been banging the drum that ads are content too, and they should be treated as such: meaning figuring out ways to make them as compelling as possible on their own. There is no more "captive audience" and if our ads are boring, annoying or irrelevant, we fully expect you to ignore or block them -- and we won't blame you if our ads lead you to do that.
Instead, our focus is on getting marketers to realize how much more effective and compelling their campaigns can be when they stop even thinking about what they're doing as advertising, and begin realizing that the real opportunity is in teaming up to create compelling, useful and relevant content. We don't want you to be annoyed by our ads. We want you, the community, to actually be excited about and interested in the content presented there. And we're thrilled that SAY Media is the perfect partner for this endeavor. Just take a look at the Seven Principles the company articulates on its website:
Basically, this is a company who views the world in a very similar way to the way we do, has a brilliant team of exceptionally creative folks, tremendous reach, extraordinary knowledge and fantastic experience in creating unique, compelling and powerful marketing campaigns.
Of course, much of this is an aspirational goal. We don't expect to be there with perfectly compelling content-filled advertising and sponsorship right off the bat. This is a process, and it's a process we really just started. Beyond figuring out exactly what we can do, there is an education process in helping marketers also recognize the power and value of much smarter campaigns. Also, much of this process involves experiments, and if you want to have the truly exceptional success stories, it means taking some risks... and that means that we will occasionally fail (sometimes spectacularly) in meeting those goals. And we fully expect (even rely on) you in the community to let us know both when we fail and when we succeed. But we promise you this: our goal here is to provide truly compelling and valuable experiences for the community, through true engagement.
Finally, if you're interested in taking part in some truly unique, compelling and engaging marketing campaigns, please contact us. We'd be happy to work together with SAY Media and any company who embraces these same principles, to create truly unique marketing experiences. In the past few weeks, as we've prepared for this shift, our team and the folks at SAY Media have been coming up with a long list of ideas of fun things we can do. We just need the right marketing partners to join us and make these things possible. Hopefully some of you reading this right now are interested in being the right partner for a fun, interesting and compelling campaign.
Thanks for being a part of what's been a fantastic, lively and educational community for so many years. We will always strive to provide as much value back to you as possible, and this partnership will help continue that process.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Apr 14th 2011 4:14pm
from the come-and-join-us dept
A bunch of the speakers from the pii2011 event will be attending the dinner, and we'll have a lineup of really topnotch discussion facilitators as well. Along with a lovely dinner, there will be a salon-style discussion around Privacy in a Data-driven Economy: When Your Customers Are Your Product. Obviously, there's a ton of interest in privacy issues these days, especially given the new privacy bill introduced in Congress. For this discussion, though, we're looking to move away from the policy side of the debate to the practical realities for those working in the space: how do you deal with privacy issues these days? Some believe that there's a constant "war" with customers over privacy, but if you're violating customer privacy, do you risk losing those customers? We've lined up a bunch of great, knowledgeable (and, at times, outspoken and controversial) expert facilitators who will help us introduce the discussion, lead table-top discussions and get everyone involved in a fascinating discussion on a hot topic.
It should be a great time, so please come and join us.
While you can attend just the Insight Dinner salon, if privacy is a topic of interest to you, you really should consider attending the whole conference (I'll also be leading one of the panels at the conference). The conference takes place at the Santa Clara Mariott, and there are over 50 great speakers already confirmed, including Esther Dyson, Jeff Jarvis, Tara Hunt, along with execs from Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Intuit, and representatives from the FTC and Commerce Department. The focus of the event is on where innovation is heading and how to best protect sensitive information while enabling emerging technologies and biz models.
Also, there will be a startup showcase, called the Innovator Spotlight, to show off some innovative new products and services in the privacy space that shouldn't be missed. Finally, the day after, on May 21st, there will be a separate, but related, open PrivacyCamp, which you can attend with a ticket to pii2011. For Techdirt readers, we're offering a 20% discount on tickets to pii2011, if you enter "4techdirt" as the discount code when you register for pii2011.
So... just to summarize: on May 18th come join us for our very first Insight Dinner salon; on the 19th and 20th, there's pii2011; and on the 21st, there's PrivacyCamp. You can purchase tickets for all of these, or pick and choose the parts you want to go to on the registration page. Attending pii2011 gets you in to PrivacyCamp, but Insight Dinner salon tickets need to be purchased separately, since we have limited space for that.
We look forward to seeing a bunch of you there!
from the happy-new-year dept
We posted 3,798 stories, generating 152,683 comments. According to Google Analytics, Techdirt had 11,490,135 visits in 2010. So, if Techdirt were a National Park (and you readers were visiting us in real life), we'd be the #3 most popular park in the country, just behind the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Or if we were a museum, we'd be well ahead of the top ranked Louvre, who only did a paltry 8.5 million visits last year. Yes, I know those are unfair comparisons but it's still a fun way to view things in perspective. Of course, if any of you really do want to visit us in real life, we'd love to have you.
Separately, the traffic numbers represented continued growth over the course of the year. If we're just looking at our December numbers, traffic in December of 2010 was 62% higher than in December 2009, and that was after continued growth throughout the year. So, it looks like we ended the year with a lot more folks here in the community than we started with, which is always a nice thing.
While certainly a large part of our traffic is US-based, the community here really is quite global with visitors coming from an astounding 230 different countries or territories (and yes, we did recently have a discussion about how there were fewer countries than that in the world, but Google Analytics counts "territories" too -- so a big shout out to you, the one visitor from Christmas Island).
Not surprisingly, the top four countries were all English speaking countries (US, Canada, UK and Australia) but Germany clocked in at number 5, followed by the Netherlands, India, France, Sweden and Spain. After India, Japan was the leading Asian country, which narrowly beat out China. Brazil was the leading South American country, topping Argentina by a decent margin. In Africa, not too surprisingly, South Africa was tops with Egypt coming in second. Of course, it looks like we did not get visits from every country in the world. Among those with no visitors at all were North Korea, Western Sahara & Chad. Pretty much every other country I checked had at least one visitor, though there may be some tiny Pacific Islands that I'm unaware of that didn't send any visitors and which I can't easily spot on the map.
Within the US, just looking at states, our top visitors were from California and then New York (with Texas close behind). The state that sent the least number of visitors? Wyoming. Not like anyone lives there anyway (kidding Wyomans, kidding). If we look at the top cities worldwide, New York dominated in terms of visitors, with a surprise second place finish from London, beating out all other US cities (perhaps less surprising taking into account population totals). San Francisco, LA and Chicago round out the top five. DC comes in at number seven. Sydney, Australia is the second non-US city and number 9 on the overall list.
Most of you still use Windows, followed by Mac and Linux pulling up in third place. iPhone visitors topped Android visitors (2:1) but I would bet that's going to change over the next year. Firefox was the most popular browser. Internet Explorer (?!?) eked out a tiny victory over Chrome, though I can't imagine that staying true much longer.
In any case, thanks to everyone for making Techdirt the thriving community that it is. Here's to a great 2011.
Top Ten Stories, by Unique Pageviews, on Techdirt for 2010:
- Best Buy Firing Employee Because He Makes A Funny Video That Doesn't Even Mention Best Buy - July 2nd
- The 19 Senators Who Voted To Censor The Internet - November 18th
- 'Hollywood Accounting' Losing In The Courts - July 8th
- Facebook Threatens Greasemonkey Script Writer - March 25th
- Why Congress Isn't So Concerned With TSA Nude Scans & Gropes: They Get To Skip Them - November 18th
- Guy Building A Working (Yes, Working) Computer Inside A Video Game - September 29th
- RIAA Accounting: Why Even Major Label Musicians Rarely Make Money From Album Sales - July 13th
- Why The Wikileaks Document Release Is Key To A Functioning Democracy - December 1st
- Sony Deletes Feature On PS3's; You Don't Own What You Thought You Bought - March 31st
- More Casinos Succeeding With The 'That Jackpot You Won Was Really A Computer Glitch' Claim - June 7th
- UK Hairdresser Fined For Playing Music Even Though He Tried To Be Legal - 599 comments
- Defining Success: Were The RIAA's Lawsuits A Success Or Not? - 417 comments
- The 19 Senators Who Voted To Censor The Internet - 401 comments
- Four Years In, How Successful Has Hollywood's Attack On The Pirate Bay Been - 376 comments
- Can Someone Explain Why Circumvention For Non-Infringing Purposes Is Illegal? - 364 comments
- Is Intellectual Property Itself Unethical? - 337 comments
- Why Debates Over Copyright Get Bogged Down: Conflating Use With Payment - 315 comments
- Give A Man A Fish... And Make It Illegal To Teach Fishing - 302 comments
- Why Voting For COICA Is A Vote For Censorship - 300 comments
- Composer Jason Robert Brown Still Standing By His Position That Kids Sharing His Music Are Immoral - 292 comments
2010's Top Users, By Comment Volume
- Dark Helmet -2,278 comments
- Hephaestus - 2,277 comments
- nasch - 1,597 comments
- Richard - 1,539 comments
- Technopolitical - 1,265 comments
- Karl - 1,249 comments
- average_joe - 1,156 comments
- Rose M. Welch - 993 comments
- PaulT - 982 comments
- ChurchHatesTucker - 918 comments
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 7th 2010 2:57pm
from the cooking-in-the-kitchen dept
Unfortunately, it's been a busy couple of months... and one of the reasons why we still haven't released the new offerings is that some of them actually involve some backend development on our part, which is ongoing. After realizing that we weren't going to have everything we wanted in place by now, we've actually extended everyone's 12-month Crystal Ball for an extra 12 months -- and we hope that when we're ready to release the new offerings, you'll find them worth buying as well.
In the meantime, as we're working on new offerings, I did want to see if anyone had other ideas of what they'd like to see as an offering. No promises, of course, but we're already planning to incorporate some user suggestions, and it would be great to hear about what others might find compelling.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 27th 2010 10:15am
from the join-us... dept
Today we're announcing an event that we're holding on June 16th, in the evening, at Google's offices in Mountain View. It's not your ordinary panel/speaker event. It's based on the Techdirt Greenhouse series of events that we've done over the years, where the focus is on getting lots of smart people together in a room and brainstorming to come up with solutions to certain issues. In the past, those have often been issues faced by a particular organization, but back in January, at Midem, we tried it on a specific industry: the music industry. The results were fantastic, so we've decided to start doing similar brainstorming workshops in other areas, and this one is our first, entitled "Techdirt Saves* Journalism."
Obviously, the focus is on brainstorming ideas to help the journalism market. It will kick off with three short presentations: one by me, one by Google economist Hal Varian, who's been doing a ton of fantastic work on newspaper economics, and one by Ian Rogers, the CEO of Topspin, one of a growing group of companies that is helping to reinvent the music business. That last one might seem a bit confusing -- since this event is all about the journalism industry -- but that's very much part of the point. These brainstorming sessions work best by bringing in people with very different perspectives. We don't want this to just be journalists/newspaper people, but have already begun inviting a wide range of folks with diverse backgrounds, well beyond journalism. There will be plenty of journalism/media folks there, as well. But we thought that Ian could provide some perspective about how some parts of the music industry have responded (successfully) to the challenge of the internet, and that could be great in getting people thinking differently and creatively.
These events are highly interactive -- so if you're coming, expect to participate. Following the brief presentations, attendees will be broken out into small brainstorming groups, and we'll have about an hour to workshop and brainstorm (with some guidance) to try to come up with creative ideas and ways to help save journalism. After that we'll regroup, share some of the best ideas, and then partake of some food and drink.
The event is being both sponsored and hosted graciously by Google -- which shouldn't come as a surprise, given how much effort the company is putting into trying to help the journalism business succeed (that Atlantic article is a fantastic read).
To commemorate this occasion, we're also releasing our latest t-shirt design. Given the massive success of our limited edition DMCA t-shirt (seriously, we sold way more of those than we expected), we thought we'd follow it up with a special paywall t-shirt. Sporting a typical online newspaper paywall design, you can use this paywall t-shirt to make sure folks pay up before finishing their conversation with you. After all, without people paying to talk to you, how would you ever be incented to produce the sort of quality conversations they want? If you'd like to attend the Techdirt Saves* Journalism workshop, you can reserve a spot here -- and we'll throw in the t-shirt! If you can't attend the event, but still want your very own paywall t-shirt, that option is right here.
We look forward to seeing you on June 16th!
* On the title of the event, Techdirt Saves Journalism, we're adding this particular disclaimer to ward off those who might have missed the joke and are about to accuse us of massive hubris. The reference is a mocking response to the regular headlines you see every few days about "newspapers are dying" or "so-and-so is 'killing' journalism." We figured that if there was so much hyperbole around an industry dying based on misread data points, we might as well hit back with a mocking claim that this single event will clearly save journalism. Oh yeah, also, one of our regular critics in the comments recently started claiming that we had said we could save journalism, even though we made no such claim. However, if we're going to get slammed for making the claim anyway, we might as well embrace it and see what we can do. So, for the really literally minded of you out there, we don't think this event alone will "save journalism." That's just a joke. But it should be insightful, enlightening and educational for all involved. And, who knows, perhaps some idea will be hatched that does, in fact, help journalism avoid the fate in all those headlines we keep seeing...