The Wonder of Stats (Or where did all my users go!)

For some time now I’ve promised myself that I’d sort out a simple system to view stats about how many people are using my extensions. The idea is a simple one, on a daily basis Firefox (or whatever app) will ping my site checking for an update for the extension. Counting the number of checks in a day gives you a rough idea of the number of users. You can’t take the numbers literally of course but as ballpark figures go it’s probably not bad.

Finally I have got around to doing it and there have been some interesting results. Not surprisingly Nightly Tester Tools is my most popular extension. However it’s distressing to see how many updated to the broken 1.3b1 and still haven’t gone to 1.3b2. Not surprising of course,  but it makes me wonder when these 30,000 people or so will update again.

The most surprising result is that of the second most popular extension. Turns out it’s JavaScript Options, something I had never considered to be popular at all based on the number of questions/complaints I get about it.I may well have to reconsider my decision to cease further work on it.

Then of course you get the freaky results. Who’d have though that people on Solaris are using my extensions. And even more bizarre, why has someone installed Tab Sidebar into Thunderbird?

You can peruse the stats yourself if you like, there’s a few different views to play with. Some of the old data isn’t highly accurate, my back-filling script needs some work, and many of the extensions simply aren’t reporting the more detailed information about OS and version so some of those graphs are a little misleading, still there it is.

I understand that AMO are planning on rolling out some stats for add-on authors based on the same update pings that I use. I urge all authors to take a good look at them when they do, you never know what you might find that surprises you and makes you re-evaluate your priorities for your extensions.

3 thoughts on “The Wonder of Stats (Or where did all my users go!)

  1. <blockquote>Who’d have though that people on Solaris are using my extensions.</blockquote>

    Guilty as charged. Trunk builds and extension maxversions, y’know.

    – Chris

  2. Well, one of your extensions is on "10 Must Have FF Extentions" article… and that article got on the front page of digg.com. Not sure if you know the implications of that, but hopefully your server won’t be overloaded from the digg effect! ^_^

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