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A few neato facts I’ve learned about Fox News Readers (through analytics)

No, this isn’t some scathing post about how Fox News Readers are the underbelly of society, secretly prefer briefs over boxers, or are members of the Illuminati. As I’ve said in other, extremely popular posts, I averaged about 40 or so readers a week on my blog before I ran my mouth about guns. 25,000 unique pageviews later, I’ve learned some stuff about their web habits and usage.

I use Google Analytics on all of my sites so I can learn what users are doing and how to provide a better experience. Lots of websites use Google Analytics; it’s free and only requires a few lines of JavaScript on the page. As I typically write about web design things, analytics doesn’t give me any unique insights on my blog because the people visiting are like me (web developers). With 91.65% of referral traffic in the last week coming from Fox News, I now have insights into a completely new audience. So, I thought I’d post what analytics tells me about Fox News readers.

What you’re about to read is not even half as exciting as you’re hoping.

First, let’s get the time-frame out of the way. Assume all numbers are from July 21, 2012 through July 31,2012.

The Big Numbers

46.31% of traffic is direct traffic (someone put my URL in their web browser)

52.87% of traffic is by referrals (Someone like FoxNews.com or ar-15.co has linked to me)

91.65% of referral traffic comes from Fox News

25,784 unique visitors.

34,235 Pageviews

Pages per visit: 1.33

Average Visit Duration: 2:22

Where are Fox News readers from

I had visitors from 107 countries. Not surprised at all by the US and Canada, but I certainly was shocked to see Germany making the top five.

  • 96.01% from the US
  • 1.03% from Canada
  • .46% from the UK
  • .29% from Germany
  • .22% from Australia

Now, my first thought was that there would possibly be folks on military bases in Germany reading the blog. So I looked at the language settings in the browser, where I’m proven wrong. German-language browsers ranked number four. Who in Germany is reading the opinion section of Fox News?

  • en-us 96.67%
  • en      2.28%
  • en-gb .46%
  • de-de .08%
  • en_us .08%

Fox News Readers and Social Media

No surprise whatsoever that the majority use Facebook. I’m sure that I am half of that percentage using Google +. And I’m pretty sure I know which one of my conniving friends put me on reddit, too.
  • Facebook: 84%
  • reddit: 10.14%
  • Twitter: 2.90%
  • Blogger: 1.88 %
  • StumbleUpon: .43%
  • Google+ : .29%

The Technology of Fox News Readers

Operating Systems

No big surprise on the operating systems. However, this is the first time I saw Chrome OS in my analytics. Who are you and when did you get one? Is it as awesome as I think?

OS Percentage
Windows 79.44%
Mac 10.14%
iOS 7.31%
Android 1.92%
Linux 1.01%
ChromeOS .02%

And some details about the Windows users..

Version of Windows Percentage
7 55.92%
XP 33.26%
Vista 9.93%
Server 2003 .60%
NT .19%

Web Browsers

This is the super huge shocker. 48% are using Internet Explorer. Granted, I live in a bubble when it comes to web-related things (since it’s my profession), but this is substantially higher than the global average.

Browser Percentage
Internet Explorer 48.26%
FireFox 21.01%
Chrome 14.44%
Safari 12.78%
Android Browser 1.77%
Mozilla-compatible 1.12%
Opera .39%
IE with Chrome Frame .28%

Some more on Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is the bane of my existence, and is equally cursed by the mouths of many other web developers, so I had to take a look at which version of IE Fox News readers are using.

Version of Internet Explorer Percentage
8.0 48.25%
9.0 42.29%
7.0 9.09%
6.0 .31%
10.0 .15%

A few things here

First, I’m happy to see that IE6 is so low. I’ll still admit that I threw up in my mouth, just a little, to see that 39 people came to my site using it. If you’re an IE6 user reading this (which I doubt), please get off the internet until you upgrade your browser. If you know someone using IE6, remember that friends don’t let friends browse the web in IE6. Call me all the names you want, cite all the sources you wish. If I find out you’re using IE6, your argument is null and void. I don’t care if you’re the Pope or the President, if you’re using IE6, we can’t have a civil discussion.

I am pleasantly surprised to see that 42% of IE users were using IE9. Thank you. I still wouldn’t mind if you tried out Chrome, FireFox, or anything else. All the same, I’m glad you’re using a better browser. But really, try out Chrome. It’s really neat.

As for the 48.25% of Fox News readers using IE8, I can’t figure you out. Windows XP can only go as high as IE8. So I can account for 33.26% of you. But starting with Vista, you can get IE9. If I assume all Vista users are using IE8, I still have about 5% left over.

And now I’m  feigning interest in the folks at Fox News

Follow me on this line of thought for a second:

  •  33.36% of Fox News readers cannot go past IE8 due to their operating system. But they can still select an alternate web browser.
  • Windows Vista comes with IE7 by default
  • Windows 7 comes with IE8 by default

So now I’m cross-referencing browser versions with operating systems:

XP:

  • 51.46% of XP users used IE8
  • 13.31% of XP users used IE7
  • .54% of XP users used IE6

Vista

  • 40.73% of Vista users used IE9
  • 12.67% of Vista users used IE8
  • 6.41% of Vista users used IE7

Windows 7

  • 38.53% of Win 7 users used IE9
  • 19.51% of Win 7 users used IE8
  • .71% of Win 7 users used IE7

And now we have some insights (into Fox News readers)

  • So, for Windows XP, 14% of readers could upgrade or switch browsers, but haven’t.
  • About 19% of Windows Vista users could upgrade or switch.
  • Over 20% of Windows 7 users could upgrade or switch.

That’s pretty much it. There’s a large portion of website visitors either directly from FoxNews.com or due to traffic on FoxNews.com that could choose a better web browser and haven’t. Even though 46% of traffic was direct traffic, I feel safe attributing FoxNews.com’s link to my site as the reason people know about my site at all.

If I were trying to draw a conclusion about Fox News readers it would be this: between 1/7th and 1/5th of Fox News readers are capable of improving their web browsing experience but don’t. Maybe if I were CNN I’d start speculating on the reasons, but I’m not. I’ll stick to the facts. :)

So who really cares?

No one (except me).

I had never even tested my blog in IE8 before I saw the numbers — my audience didn’t use IE at all until last week. Once I saw that such a large percentage was using IE8, I made some design tweaks so that the comments could be legible (they weren’t).

I also added a fun message for those readers on IE8 and farther south  suggesting that they switch browsers.

18 Comments


  1. //

    You are right, nobody cares about your snooping which browser is being used by whom. So have you sold your guns yet to somebody who knows how to use them? You would have a much safer household!


    1. //

      A few points:
      1) You read the blog post. Therefore you cared enough to share your opinion, so there’s two of us :)
      2) What makes you think I don’t know how to use my guns? The fact that I’ve said numerous times that I haven’t had training in a fire fight? If that’s the case, the majority of gun owners should turn in their guns.
      3) I monitor my blog pretty closely. If I see you post another troll-ish comment, I’ll just start deleting them.
      4) It’s not snooping. Millions of companies, including Fox News, use Google Analytics to find this exact same data. This data is used to make the websites you visit better (and it doesn’t invade privacy like a cookie could).
      5) Everyone else uses a real email address. mikey@upyours.net somehow seems fake and self-reflective. Try using a real one in the future.
      6) Do you really want me to tell other folks at Mid Columbia Medical Center in Hood River, Oregon that you’re using their network to be a troll? Now, are you really at the Hospital, or are you staying in Medford (or Tillamook maybe). You spent 2 minutes and 25 seconds viewing my page on IE 8 in a screen resolution that’s pretty standard for hospitals (used to work in one, I know those monitors are small)… and all you could think of was to suggest I sell my guns and attempt to insult me.

      BTW, WordPress reveals your IP address. Google Analytics tells me your region. If you hadn’t decided to post your comment, I’d know nothing about you. But you decided to go there, didn’t you?

      Try to act like an adult and I won’t dedicate a blog post to you complete with your personal information.


      1. //

        That. Was. Awesome.

        I don’t even care if the IP pointed you to the wrong city or state. Everything else would still stand. Although if you waste your time responding to every ignorant troll on the internet, you’ll certainly have your hands full.

        Rob
        rob@mikesadumbass.com


        1. //

          That was, in fact, pretty stonking great. And I can tell you, with great certainty, that Mike is not the sort of fellow to spoof an IP address.

          I’m sure Mike is the sort of fellow to buy shoes that fasten with Velcro. So misdirection on that scale just isn’t going to happen for him.

          Also, Frank, I take it your comment issue is resolved now?


      2. //

        Haha. That’s awesome. I actually found the blog pretty interesting, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why! I was referred by FoxNews and I’m using Chrome. :)


  2. //

    Hey Mike,

    You’re a dumbass. You clearly don’t know shit about either of the things you decided to comment on (this post or Frank’s guns/training).

    Have a lovely evening.


  3. //

    48% are using Internet Explorer, but none are using Chrome?


    1. //

      Can’t believe I missed that one. We had 14.44% using Chrome. Again, a surprising number.


  4. //

    I read your blog and as a former police and SWAT officer, I was not offended in the slightest. I completely got your frustration and that you didn’t want to see this become politicized by anyone. If you want to email me, I can make a few suggestions about the tactical training you are thinking about taking. I also agree that just anyone with a gun may not have made much of a difference in the outcome. But, even a relatively untrained person could have, as you noted, diverted the bad guy’s attention and could have possibly saved lives, while also possibly giving up his own. As a former police/SWAT officer and someone with a combat mindset, sometimes that is what is required. The decision should be made before you ever carry concealed. Am I able and willing to do what is necessary to potentially save my family or other citizens and possibly give up my own life while doing so? A lot of people cannot even ask themselves that question honestly and give it the thought it requires. In my heart, I wish that someone like me was there, carrying concealed. Someone that loves his wife and kids so much that he would carry the fight to the attacker to allow them and others to escape, and to hopefully put the bad guy down and survive the incident, but to put the bad guy down regardless. As you said, it is academic now because that didn’t happen, so we will never know. It just leaves you with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. Anyway, I am a pro 2nd Amendment Conservative and I think everything you said was reasonable. Minor errors or mistakes here and there happen all the time with the news media, why are people giving you such a hard time? You corrected your errors and owned them. You rarely see the media do that. Again, if you want some good suggestions for that training, email me and I can throw some things at you. If you don’t want to, that is fine too. Oh, and ditto what Kevin said about Mike’s post. The guy should try reading and comprehending a bit before he spouts off.

    Respectfully,

    Joe


  5. //

    I might have some insight into the IE usage. A lot of government computers (and corporations as well) standardize on IE. And, upgrading is not possible if their group policies don’t allow it. Upgrading their browser might monkey with their intranet front ends. Of course, there’s always the odd person who doesn’t upgrade unless forced to. Mostly because they don’t understand the potential improvement.

    Semper Fidelis,
    Rodger


    1. //

      Thanks Rodger,

      I think you’re right on with your suggestion for IE. Large companies get locked into an OS for a long period of time, and they enact inane security policies that prevent their employees from doing doing something simple like downloading a better browser while simultaneously not pushing browser updates.

      If I go back to what this would tell me about my Fox News readers…I guess it suggests that a lot of folks go to Fox News during work hours.

      Semper Fi


  6. //

    Ditto everyone else’s positive comments about analytics. Everybody who wants to improve their sites uses them.

    Ditto answering trolls. I usually try not to answer them, but I often leave their comments up just so people can see how stupid they are.

    About the actual gun post that brought you all the attention, I have two pieces of advice.

    1. Don’t write angry, spur of the moment rants. It tends to make you incoherent and inaccurate. And by “you” I mean anybody who writes blog posts, including me. Even though I give this advice I sometimes break it, and feel very stupid when someone points out an obvious mistake.

    2. “Do” do your research before you state something that can be construed as a fact rather than an opinion. If you’re not sure, look it up. If you are sure, confirm it. There’s nothing people love more than to point out that in fact, the real color of the sky is “robin’s egg blue” and not “azure” as you “stated as fact.” Especially when you may not have even done so. Check and recheck.

    I would love to know how Fox and BI picked you out of the noise. I would LOVE that attention!

    Good luck in the future!


  7. //

    Thanks for writing refreshing and interesting blog posts. I think it’s a little shameful that Fox decided to retitle your post especially because that title had nothing to do with your post! C’est la vie. Keep fighting the good fight.


  8. //

    Can’t help but think that Fox News viewers like thing spoon-fed — things like news (spun to their liking) and whatever default browser comes on their machine.


    1. //

      George, I think it’s easy to want to jump to that conclusion. The problem is that I don’t have browser data from other news sources. I can’t support your conclusion because I don’t have CNN data that could indicate whether my results are truly exclusive to Fox News readers. So, let’s not call Fox News readers, “spoon fed” until we can show that other readers aren’t. That seems like a fair and balanced approach.


  9. //

    I know that Fox renamed your blog post and I am glad that they did because it caught my eye.Probably would not have made it here without the sensational headline. Also checked out some of your other musings and enjoyed them! Keep up the good work. Thanks! (Firefox and Chrome user, haven’t made up my mind yet!)


    1. //

      Thanks Reed! I need to find a good balance between sensational headlines and accurate content, and make sure that I have an accurate headline, first, if I ever get republished. Stick with Chrome, BTW, you’ll like my blog about 10% more. ;)

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