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Macs
September 6, 2008 9:21 AM   Subscribe

The side-discussion about Macs here has made me curious about the % of mac users here as indicated by the mefi.com server logs. Can I get some user agent statistics?
posted by troy to MetaFilter-Related at 9:21 AM (75 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

This is skewed towards non-users (70-75% of all visits to MeFi are from random search engine drive-bys) but it's about 20% mac among everyone (varies between 15-25%). I suspect among just members of the site, it's easily above 25% and probably approaching 1/3 now. I should change the google analytics code to members/non-member tracking to really get that data.


I just screen-grabbed it from Google Analytics for all visits in the last 30 days.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:38 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, these are visits and not by pageview. By pageview (which would include counting more members that read many pages of the site) the mac % goes up to 22%.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:40 AM on September 6, 2008


I don't know if I should be happy or sad that PalmOS is in contention with a videogame console.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:43 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


70-75% of all visits to MeFi are from random search engine drive-bys

Wow, that's pretty surprising, though I guess it shouldn't be. A good percentage of my google searches turn up an AskMe page in the top 10.
posted by dan g. at 9:56 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


WHY DO YOU MOCK US?!?!?

* FREE THE IMG TAG *
posted by blue_beetle at 9:57 AM on September 6, 2008 [22 favorites]


PS3, huh? I guess those flameouts must really crackle in HD.
posted by mkultra at 9:57 AM on September 6, 2008


Wow, that's pretty surprising, though I guess it shouldn't be. A good percentage of my google searches turn up an AskMe page in the top 10.

Last year I polled all my old school blogger friends, and not a single one of us had traffic that was less than 50% new visitors that look at a page once and never return. It's really weird, but that's how google works -- by sending billions of people everyday to random sites in response to searches.

A majority of blog traffic is random, and not readers interested in your daily musings as much as trying to find info you once posted that was useful to them at that moment.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:00 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mildly interested dilettantes pick MeFi's brains.
posted by Cranberry at 10:19 AM on September 6, 2008


Thanks for the speedy service!
posted by troy at 10:30 AM on September 6, 2008


I would have thought it was higher, actually.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:33 AM on September 6, 2008


Mefi: random search engine drive-bys

I just like this phrase. I picture someone holding their Macbook out the open window of their BMW while NPR thumps away on the subwoofer.
posted by desjardins at 10:55 AM on September 6, 2008 [16 favorites]


I'm pretty sure half of the visits using a PSP are mine. Great little machine, I just wish I could listen to music and surf the web at the same time.
posted by hellojed at 12:03 PM on September 6, 2008


I've also seen that google updates metafilter's search index with absurd speed. Often times when researching the background of a post, the actual post itself will be high in the search results. Combine that with a high pagerank, and no wonder mefi gets so many people from search engines.
posted by zabuni at 12:14 PM on September 6, 2008


Any data on what browsers people read the site with?
posted by marble at 1:03 PM on September 6, 2008


fourcheesemac: "I would have thought it was higher, actually."

Mac folks just make more noise than Windows/Linux users.
posted by octothorpe at 1:10 PM on September 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mac folks just make more noise than Windows/Linux users.

WE DO NOT! MACS ARE WAY BETTER NE WAYZ. I <3 STEVE JOBS.
posted by clearly at 1:35 PM on September 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


marble: Any data on what browsers people read the site with?

This is from December 2007:
FYI: it took a while but last month, firefox finally surpassed IE as the most popular browser here (that's data for the month of November).
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-related...
posted by carsonb at 1:57 PM on September 6, 2008


Meanwhile over half the machines in use by students at my law school are Macbooks... I seriously wonder how much the market share will change over the next 10-20 years.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:35 PM on September 6, 2008


The iPhone visits are all Matt coming to put out fires.

You get 6.3 million page views a month? Wow.
posted by johnofjack at 3:21 PM on September 6, 2008


Page views != visits. And did you learn to add from watching the angry math lady?
posted by nicwolff at 4:05 PM on September 6, 2008


I'd just like to give shout-outs from my posse while we have the Wii turned on.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:10 PM on September 6, 2008


It would be interesting to see the OS breakdown by Mefi members in a given time period -- I'd bet the Mac % goes up even more.
posted by treepour at 6:21 PM on September 6, 2008


Woo, 1.64%! Go, Opera!

That's more than double the usage rate I found as a general stat (.74%).

We're just a hotbed of Opera users I guess...
posted by marble at 7:18 PM on September 6, 2008


I suppose I should stop blocking google-analytics.com and raise the Linux percentage by some microscopic amount. If people are using it to make decisions about browser support I'm probably doing myself and other Linux users a slight disservice.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:44 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm crap at math; sosumi.
posted by johnofjack at 8:10 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


"sosumi" - that was a cute Mac in-joke! You are forgiven.
posted by nicwolff at 10:14 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Treo represent!

Actually, I find the Linux figure very interesting. That's getting up to being a respectable chunk. I recall when Macs would be less than 5% of typical website traffic (eg back in the days when Google still published OS stats in the Zeitgeist), and Linux+Unix together less than 1%.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:42 PM on September 6, 2008


Opera is pretty much essential when reading 4000 comment Sarah Palin threads. Doesn't even make the browser breathe heavy.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:15 PM on September 6, 2008


Personally I'd like to know why Mactards are allowed to shit up every discussion about anything non-Apple product related.
posted by rodgerd at 1:07 AM on September 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


We keep 'em around 'cause they give good hugs. [[[rodgerd]]]
posted by carsonb at 1:17 AM on September 7, 2008


Last year I polled all my old school blogger friends, and not a single one of us had traffic that was less than 50% new visitors that look at a page once and never return. It's really weird, but that's how google works -- by sending billions of people everyday to random sites in response to searches.

Yup. This is why, based on Matt's advice from a year or two back, I show ads on my main webloggy site thing to people who arrive via search engines, but not to anyone else. Seems like a reasonable compromise.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:59 AM on September 7, 2008


That's very interesting. Linux at almost 5%? That's... well, enough to actually notice. And Mac at 18% is enough marketshare to even pay attention to.

Heh, I personally skew the numbers a little, though, as I use all three systems at different times.

I wonder how much of this is from the Vista debacle?
posted by Malor at 3:31 AM on September 7, 2008


Personally I'd like to know why Mactards are allowed to shit up every discussion about anything non-Apple product related.

Look. This is a huge site, with tons of users. If 1 in 5 of them, roughly, are using Macs, and a program gets posted that doesn't support that OS, the chances are pretty goddamn high that one of them will be interested, and annoyed enough to say something. It's not just a tiny niche anymore, at least not here.

'mactards' is needlessly insulting. And 'allowed to'? WTF is with you? It's not like MeFites are kept on chains and allowed to express only opinions you happen to like, about products you happen to use yourself.
posted by Malor at 3:39 AM on September 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Personally I'd like to know why Mactards are allowed to shit up every discussion about anything non-Apple product related.

Personally, I'd like to know why Metafilter has now twice been used to promote Microsoft's new ad campaign. WTF?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:56 AM on September 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


I wonder how much of this is from the Vista debacle?

The last two Ubuntu releases (Gutsy and Hardy) have both been far easier to install and configure than Vista or XP, and far less annoying to use than Vista.

In the small town where I live, I have been personally responsible for about twenty local families picking Ubuntu as their main computing environment. Three of those have cut over from Vista because they hated it, and two from XP because they got sick of the expensive messes their teenage sysadmins kept making of it. Five are first-time Ubuntu installs on new hardware, and the rest are on donated ex-school computers (2000 to 2003 vintage).

I don't imagine I'm alone.
posted by flabdablet at 7:19 AM on September 7, 2008


Personally, I'd like to know why Metafilter has now twice been used to promote Microsoft's new ad campaign. WTF?

Because it's really good? Because with approaching 80% of our userbase running their products, maybe there's some relevance for people? Because the constant torrent of trivial Apple news that infests the front page will continue whether there's a bit of token MS or not?
posted by The Monkey at 7:21 AM on September 7, 2008


Because the constant torrent of trivial Apple news that infests the front page will continue whether there's a bit of token MS or not?

You're joking, right? We're bombarded with Microsoft-focused and Windows-only posts, and any post that mentions an Apple product gets the usual I-hate-Steve-Jobs-and-Mactards tirades.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:29 AM on September 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hilarious. Given that I'm not joking, and that when I read your comment I thought "no you're the one that's got to be joking", either you're talking complete shit, or we're both enjoying confirmation bias.
posted by The Monkey at 7:46 AM on September 7, 2008


Previous mac user thread shitting.

It really is very tedious. And no, as far as I can tell not reciprocated.
posted by Artw at 8:02 AM on September 7, 2008


Personally, I'd like to know why Metafilter has now twice been used to promote Microsoft's new ad campaign. WTF?

I'm not usre I'd call either of them "promoting" it.

Also: WTF? Double!
posted by Artw at 8:04 AM on September 7, 2008


Previous mac user thread shitting.

Microsoft promotion really gets tiresome. Apologies that I'm not lame enough to dig up the hundreds of Windows-only posts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:09 AM on September 7, 2008


I do not beleive that (a) is actually the case and (b) justifies being shitty. And the point remains that no such pile on occurs in apple related posts.
posted by Artw at 8:12 AM on September 7, 2008


'mactards'

Don't do that.

Microsoft promotion really gets tiresome.

Skip the threads.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:46 AM on September 7, 2008


I think the correct term is "OStards." 'cause as far as I can tell, all y'all OS geeks are a behaving like a buncha twats.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:47 AM on September 7, 2008


Seven MILLION visits? Holy mama.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:50 AM on September 7, 2008


Skip the threads.

Apparently the front page is now an okay place for advertisements. Good to know.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:57 AM on September 7, 2008


BP, you're impossible to talk to on this subject. If you want to march around for the rest of your life with a stick up your ass about our disinclination to inexplicably ban Windows-related posts from the site, go crazy, but endless unchecked bitching about Microsoft has gotten awfully tiresome and doesn't (correct me if I'm wrong here) seem to bring you much joy either.

So, yes, skip the goddam threads if you cannot abide posts that in one way or another concern The Incorrect Operating System without dropping a deuce. If I'm standing here telling people not to say shit like "mactards" and your response is a passive-aggressive administrative jab, where is that supposed to leave me?
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:14 AM on September 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


where is that supposed to leave me?

In the hug-needed zone.
posted by saguaro at 9:57 AM on September 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


And no, as far as I can tell not reciprocated.

No? I thought that was precisely what was happening here in this Mac-related thread?

And the Mac-shitting wouldn't be half so irritating if thousands of Windows-users weren't so defensive about their choice of operating system. Every Go-Macs! comment is met by a fucking barrage of 'Mac users blah, blah, blah..' in response.

Personally, I uses both. It's a fucking operating system, not a lifestyle choice or religious affiliation. Get over yourselves, the lot of you.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:24 AM on September 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Apparently the front page is now an okay place for advertisements. Good to know.

Where have you been?
posted by rtha at 10:59 AM on September 7, 2008


It's not like MeFites are kept on chains

Fine, just don't bring them into the house.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:13 AM on September 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


And no, as far as I can tell not reciprocated.

No? I thought that was precisely what was happening here in this Mac-related thread?


Um, It's a meta-thread to a thread suffering a lot of the pissy-mac-users sidetalk, and the OP even references that?
posted by Artw at 12:43 PM on September 7, 2008


Obviously, the correct term is "Macotologists."

Interesting as the stats are, I don't know that they necessarily reflect user preferences -- I'm sure a lot of us look at MeFi from work, and in a large number of offices, etc., standard issue (for good or ill) is the PC.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:41 PM on September 7, 2008


Mr. F just looked at the iPhone hit count, gave me a kiss, and said "Aw, honey, I bet about *half* of those are yours."
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:05 PM on September 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


The difference I see is typically this:

Some new, cool program gets posted to the front page. The poster doesn't say what operating system it's for, so someone chimes in soon and says 'no Mac version'. Then one or two other people complain that they can't run it, and that part of the thread dies. Unless, of course, someone running who likes Windows machines starts in with 'Mactards' and 'stop using computers that don't have software' and crap like that. It could have been just a discussion about software, but it became a discussion about people, and of course the people being slammed get uptight.

I don't, offhand, remember any threads with Mac-only software products that don't run on Windows. Typically, Mac posts are about hardware, not software; an iPhone, an iPod, AppleTV, like that. The OS doesn't matter, so nobody complains. It's the same price and works the same way no matter what computer you have. No disappointment means no pileon. This doesn't mean that Windows users are better, it means that Apple is smarter about packaging its products to be OS-agnostic.

Oh, and Artw: your example of thread shitting is really, really bad, because in that case, Microsoft claimed "Runs on Macs! Requires Leopard". But, in the fine print, you discover that it requires Leopard because Leopard has Boot Camp; you have to buy, install, and run Windows to use that Microsoft product. Saying it supports Macs in that case is true, but for an entirely useless definition of true, because every Intel Mac user knows they can run Windows already. The user outrage was warranted and appropriate.
posted by Malor at 4:19 PM on September 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Considering 1/5th of the users are Mac (and arguably more), knowing whether or not something linked to will operate on our machines is not irrelevant. In case you haven't noticed, the 20% marketshare of Macintosh systems is the Apple marketshare in the U.S., not just on Metafilter. And it's growing. So, for lots and lots of us, it is very relevant whether or not a program will work on our system, and that is information that should be shared.

Mac-haters, get over yourselves.
posted by MythMaker at 4:32 PM on September 7, 2008


So, for lots and lots of us, it is very relevant whether or not a program will work on our system, and that is information that should be shared.

Unless MS lets you know under what circumstances it will run on bootcamp, in which case you should freak the fuck out, apparently.
posted by Artw at 5:01 PM on September 7, 2008


"Supports Leopard", Artw, means it runs on Leopard, not that it runs on Windows.
posted by Malor at 5:36 PM on September 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Um, does it claim to run on Leopard without mentioning bootcamp some place I am not aware of?
posted by Artw at 5:52 PM on September 7, 2008


0.06% of us Treo users, represent!

When I bought my Treo, I would have laughed had you told me that it would be in between "iPod" and "Playstation 3" for popularity.
posted by fogster at 8:02 PM on September 7, 2008


Art, they used to have a separate section in the requirements for the "Mac Version". In other words, they had the PC Version, which had certain requirements, and then the Mac Version, and one of the Mac Version requirements is that you have Windows.

That IS the PC version. There was only one version of the program, ever. Claiming to have a 'Mac version' was pure marketing bullshit, and people got upset about it. They thought Microsoft was showing support for a platform they liked, which initially delighted them, and then they found out that, in fact, the only way they could run the software was by shutting down their preferred operating system, and losing access to all of their preferred programs. And Microsoft had the gall to call this a Mac version.

So of course people got pissed.

If you'll note, the original site for that software (the first of the two links you posted) no longer lists a Mac version, just a PC version. Nothing has actually changed about the software, because that's all there ever was.
posted by Malor at 8:48 PM on September 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Really? IIRC this page had an additional section under "WorldWide Telescope minimum system requirements " that was something like "for MAC", which listed the minimum system requirements for running it under a mac with bootcamp, and which would have been something like this.

hell, some people may even have found that interesting and useful information. You know, people who are actually interested in running it - I can certainly see a lot of educational interest and they'd certainly want to know if their machines could run the thing (Bootcamp specs come in heftier than the natiove PC ones)

Why it's gone is anybodies guess. Maybe it was felt to be confusing, maybe someone got cold feet to at seeming to promote a solution that involved a non-MS OS, but taking it as evidence of an evil conspiracy to convince people of the existance of a Mac versions is a bit of a leap.
posted by Artw at 9:46 PM on September 7, 2008


Bootcamp specs come in heftier than the natiove PC ones

And anyone who believes those specifications that is an idiot who doesn't know a damn thing about computers and deserves to get ripped off by Microsoft.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:00 PM on September 7, 2008


ArtW, you should quit digging your hole now.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:02 PM on September 7, 2008


What the fuck is wrong with you people? Not everyone agrees with you. Get over it, already.
posted by dg at 4:57 AM on September 8, 2008


George_Spiggott writes "I suppose I should stop blocking google-analytics.com"

Does anyone know if No Script can be set on a page URL basis. I'd prefer not to turn GA on for all sites.

Malor writes "'mactards' is needlessly insulting. And 'allowed to'? WTF is with you? It's not like MeFites are kept on chains and allowed to express only opinions you happen to like, about products you happen to use yourself."

However some repetitively banal comments are actively discouraged or deleted on sight. The first three comments being "Whaaa, no Mac support" is a Metafilter equivalent of crap like "Frist Post!!". It adds little to the discussion and, not surprisingly, often leads to a derail. If people could just wait a for a few supportive comments before starting in, at least for the pile on, it would be a lot less irritating.

MythMaker writes "So, for lots and lots of us, it is very relevant whether or not a program will work on our system, and that is information that should be shared."

If that was the only thing going on why harp on it? The second and third comments acknowledge that non-Macness of the software had already been brought up. It comes across as stereotypical Mac persecuted special snowflakeness.
posted by Mitheral at 9:01 AM on September 8, 2008


It adds little to the discussion

That's fine. As a Mac user, it's good to know that your system is supported before you click on the link.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:30 AM on September 8, 2008


The first three comments being "Whaaa, no Mac support" is a Metafilter equivalent of crap like "Frist Post!!"

Maybe to you, but as someone who uses a Mac (at least at home), it's nice to know right away if some product won't run on my machine, so I can ignore it. At least the first "doesn't support Mac" comment is absolutely relevant. It's generally my invitation to just stop the page from loading, back up, and go read something else.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:11 AM on September 9, 2008


Sweet new Mac Mini upgrade!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:19 AM on September 9, 2008


I have unlimited data. I think I can single-handedly push PalmOS into the top 5. (not set), you're going down.
posted by Eideteker at 11:30 AM on September 9, 2008


The first three comments being "Whaaa, no Mac support" is a Metafilter equivalent of crap like "Frist Post!!"

Maybe to you, but as someone who uses a Mac (at least at home), it's nice to know right away if some product won't run on my machine, so I can ignore it.

Well, in the second one of atw's examples, which I happen to have posted, the above-the-fold text says "PC only. "
Despite this, the first 2 comments are:

PC only.
Well, it is Micro$oft.
posted by dash_slot- at 1:39 PM on August 23 [+] [Flagged]


PC only.
Well, fuck that.
posted by interrobang at 1:45 PM on August 23 [1 favorite +] [Flagged]


Then there's a lot of single-OS-moronity, some of which was removed by cortex.
Seriously, if it doesn't work on your OS, shut the fuck up about it. We don't care.
posted by signal at 2:13 PM on September 9, 2008


I live on my Mac laptop but have a Windows desktop as well, and I would normally NOT expect a product to work on my Mac unless specified, because we are in the minority, and it would be ridiculous to expect to be catered to, that being the case. If it's something I want, though, I'll look hard for a Mac version, because Windows is just too much of a hassle to deal with when I know I can do most things faster and easier on my Mac.

I do think the latest Microsoft commercial with Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld, both of whom I like, is an example of Epic Fail, though. They completely miss the mark, and have none of the endearing appeal of the Mac ads.
posted by misha at 3:03 PM on September 9, 2008


Ah, such a reliable and pleasant discussion! It really takes me back, you know, to NINETEEN FRICKING NINETY THREE, people. Any one in the bitchfest here now bitching then too? If so, I salute your sticktuitiveness.
posted by mwhybark at 9:57 PM on September 9, 2008


See?
posted by mwhybark at 10:13 PM on September 9, 2008


FOOTNOTE: You can reach Alan Deutschman electronically via America Online at DEUTSCHMAN.

more like deutschbag amirite
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:21 PM on September 9, 2008


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