Friday, 14 January 2011

A dictionary search box for your website or blog

The Oxford Dictionaries Online search box widget I mentioned in a previous post has now gone live and is available for you to put on your own blogs or web sites. It is available in two versions, one for each of world and US English, and an instance of the final result can be seen at the top of the right hand column of this blog.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Yet another set of browser stats

    It's worth posting these graphs of browser market share over the second half of 2010 generated from real-world Urchin traffic figures. The first one shows the percentage traffic for each of the five main browsers, and the second one breaks the MS Internet Explorer figure down into separate versions since version 6. April and May are best ignored due to the site launch distorting the figures, but June onwards can be considered to be an accurate representation of Internet users.

Web traffic by browser

    As MSIE has slipped gently below a 50% share, Firefox has remained essentially steady, leaving Chrome to pick up IE's defectors. The slight surprise in this graph is at the bottom, Safari has been overtaken by Opera in the later months of 2010.

MSIE individual versions share of MSIE total

    As might be expected, MSIE8 has taken over from MSIE7, which is slowly levelling off. Whether MSIE7 will follow MSIE6 in refusing to die remains to be seen, but the continued use of these two browsers does indicate that a substantial core of Windows users are refusing to upgrade either manually or by Windows Update. MSIE6 shows a slight increase in the summer months, this is probably due to students using home PCs while away from their schools. MSIE9 has a very small showing, as you might expect from its pre-release status.

Monday, 3 January 2011

2010 as viewed through Daily Express headlines

    A couple of years ago I was working in a small business centre in Oxfordshire, a building that was home to several small tech companies. We had a common room with a kitchen and dining area, and the building management provided us with a selection of daily newspapers.
    Among those papers were a high-end broadsheet, a red-top tabloid and the Daily Express. I became fascinated by the Express headlines over the year, and resolved to collect them, initially just for the ones barmy enough to make me laugh but later all of them for a collective analysis. This post is the result, an infographic that tries to capture the essence of a year as seen on the front pages of the Express.
    So why did the Express fascinate me? Here is a gloriously barmy  newspaper obsessed with cancer stories, lurid tales of illegal immigrants, and the UK housing market, using a colourful vocabulary all of its own to stir its readers into righteous anger over stories that very often have little relationship to the main news stories of the day. Everyone is furious or outraged in Express-land, we're under siege from miscellaneous foreigners and there is no Government decision or economic movement that is not designed to let down the Express reader. This continual negativity is offset with ludicrous non-stories proclaiming miraculous rises in the housing market or turning tentative conclusions in scientific papers into medical breakthroughs in the fight against cancer. Seeing what they had on the front page became part of the entertainment of my morning routine, there is nothing like a ludicrous headline over your morning coffee for starting the day with a laugh.
    The infographic shows some of the pretty pictures that can be gleaned from a year's Express headlines. A PNG version can be downloaded by clicking on the image or you can download it as a PDF from this Google Docs link. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed making it.