The AVC Audience

As I slowly heard toward moving the WordPress instance that hosts AVC to another provider, I was asked how large the audience was.

So I went and looked for the first time in a long while and sent that info to a potential new provider.

And I figured you all might be interested too.

So here are some screenshots from Google Analytics:

This is the total usage over the last twelve months.



This is active users (28 day, 7 day, one day) over the past year.


And here is a bit more about where you all come from and what kind of device you use to read AVC.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    Tablets… They’re not really a thing, are they? Are yours collecting dust?

    1. kenberger

      I just got a demo Huawei M5 8.4″ and LOVE it. The first Nexus 7 replacement I’ve liked.

      1. JimHirshfield

        But how much do you use it. I live shiny new things too. But usage?

        1. kenberger

          A ton, actually.The form factor is the key. I can pocket it (albeit with a large pocket). I can grab it with one hand. I can do a ton of laptop-like things, without needing to open a laptop and without the cumbersome size of the larger tablets, like iPad Pro. With a sim card, It’s an awesome in-car GPS navigator (I frequently rent/share cars). There will be other uses I’ll only discover once I use it even more.@fredwilson:disqus has blogged the Nexus 7 here before (2012), and describes key uses (reading, and remote control, especially).…This phablet is just a bit bigger than that 7″, not much heavier, and completely up to 2018 (has Android Oreo out of the box). Slight downside is it isn’t pure Android– Google/Pixel has abandoned tablets, for now– so rooting to remove the bloatware is my next step.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Sounds nice. Enjoy!

    2. Matt Zagaja

      I pretty much live off my iPad Pro. It is by far my favorite computing device.

      1. JimHirshfield

        In terms of time spent, is it the most used device you own?

      2. Randall Tinfow

        Is that for content creation and correspondence, or do you engage in more intensive activity? Keyboard attached?

  2. William Mougayar

    I’m surprised that Mobile hasn’t increased since last year.

    1. John Pepper

      I agree. Can’t believe nearly 60% are digesting this blog via computer of some kind.

      1. Randall Tinfow

        It has to do with the time of day for the email release – typically 7:15-8:30 EST. My guess from the platform data is that the demographic here is not Millennial or Gen-X, but mid to late forties, or skewed towards desktops.

        1. John Pepper

          Good points. Although… Mid to late 40s is Gen X. Oldest genx is about 52 now (scary)

          1. Randall Tinfow

            I mis-typed. I meant “not Gen-Z”, the group who consumes 85-90% of their content on smart phones.

    2. Sundar Subramanian

      Its probably because users (like me) open when I first get to office because for me this blog is important to get the full experience instead of smartphone. I typically save important stuff when I can to read on my mac sitting down.

  3. Mostafa Nageeb

    So what happened right after October that spiked then audience?

  4. Aneesh Varma

    But what about those who just read it through the email sent out… (and never really have to be on the site as a result)?

    1. fredwilson

      Not in this analysis. I do have figures on that group via Feedblitz. About 17,000 if I remember correctly

  5. kenberger

    We’ve seemingly had a horrible Q1+, here at AVC ;)Theories?

    1. fredwilson

      A return to normal

      1. kenberger

        yep; maybe time to change the blog’s name to:”nothing to see here, folks, move along”…at least until the next bubble of interest.:)

  6. Vendita Auto

    Always use laptop guessing AVC people % are 33 + ?

  7. sigmaalgebra

    For a first cut, nice. If Google has that much data then (A) what else do they have and (B) what additional questions with interesting answers could there be from such data. Uh, just looking at the data is okay for a first cut, but soon want to state actual questions and get some relatively solid and interesting, maybe powerful and valuable answers.Here’s an apparently much needed Graph 101 lesson: (A) It’s not art, guys. (B) It’s not decorative wallpaper. (C) The lines are not about drama. (D) It’s about data and hopefully information.Some months ago I took some of my daily nutrition calorie data (I have some easy ways to keep and process it), pulled it into Excel, drew a graph with horizontal axis days and vertical axis calories per day and showed to my checkup physician. She really liked the graph and wanted to keep a copy. Fine; sure. Here is what she liked:So: (A) Get rid of the artsy stuffy. So, the background is white. Nothing but white. Then essentially everything else is black. Not gray, sort of black, not soft black with a little red or yellow but just BLACK, as black and with all the contrast can get. (B) All the lines are BOLD. (C) All the characters are BOLD and about as large as space on the graph permits. So, no dinky, twinky, teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy, delicate, tough to see, characters. (D) Axis hash marks, right, darned BOLD. (E) The fonts for lettering on the axes should be sans-serif, hopefully monospace so can be more sure of each character, e.g., decimal points — this is no place for elegant, proportionally spaced script or New Times Roman, Century Schoolbook, or serifs. (F) The graph needs a descriptive title that clearly says what the heck is the purpose and what is being graphed. (G) Each axis needs annotation, WITH units, e.g., days, calories, pounds, dollars, MPH, volts, Watts, whatever. (H) Then make the graph as big as the context allows. The graph I gave my physician nicely filled, landscape mode, an 8 1/2 x 11″ sheet of paper.Net, the graph was really easy to read.So, in Excel I went to all the options and cast out, over and over, essentially all the suggested defaults for colors, decorative this, teeny, tiny that, and kept setting to 100% BLACK, BOLD, and larger.We’re talking data presentation here; keep the graphic artists far away.I’m not against art. I really like some art. I was up all night installing software mostly for DVDs and video. Made some good progress, more than I hoped for. So, I had the Australian Ballet performance of the ‎Léo Delibes Coppélia going. And I used some of the software to grab on disk as a WAV file the Van Cliburn performance of the first movement of the MacDowell 2nd piano concerto, a profoundly passionate performance of some unrestrainedly romantic music by MacDowell — I get reminded of the girl I knew when I was 15. So, I’m all for art. But not in graphing data!The MacDowell music is REALLY good!!!!

    1. Randall Tinfow

      I guess you’ve never seen standard GA output before?

      1. sigmaalgebra

        So, I’ll guess: GA abbreviates Google analytics.In recent months there has been a lot of noise about “analytics”. I never saw a description of what was meant. But now maybe with “GA” we have a hint: Really bad graph drawing!!!!!Sure, fine with me if my message on Graphs 101 made it to Google. But from some of what I’ve heard, there’s no way to influence Google.Really, with the media, there are lots of graphs drawn, and nearly all of them are at best bad art and useless otherwise. The media people have their careers built on emotionalism over rationalism; their graphs fit in with that; and I can’t change the primacy of their emotionalism and, thus, can’t change their graphs.Well, even if I can’t change Google, in front of some people I can embarrass them a little!

  8. ashafrir

    Surprising to see that desktop is still 60%. I wonder if that correlated with perhaps an older reader base?

    1. DJL

      Yes, Given a sample size of one. (me)

    2. JLM

      .That is surprising, but I suspect it has to do with people’s habits. I am up early and checking markets and the news, so I do that on a desktop though I may operate from a tablet the rest of the day.Also, for the stuff I do, a desktop with a few monitors is the preferred setup.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. mplsvbhvr

        This is me

    3. Lawrence Brass

      The desktop figure is tricky because it is probable that it includes both desktops and notebooks.This is because it is difficult to distinguish from both as the sites get this information analyzing (parsing) the HTTP header in the request the browser sends to the web server. The part of the header used to identify the OS the browser is running on, labeled as the “User-Agent”, is the same for desktops and most notebooks or laptops.A more correct label for the figure should be “desktop/notebook” to avoid confusion.

  9. awaldstein

    always amazing the size of this community and the tiny percent who come by and comment.

    1. LE

      I’ve always thought disqus should study that. But at least part of it may be explained by where someone is physically located when reading AVC (and not just what device).For example I suspect that many of those that are frequent commenters or who comment don’t have someone next to or near them and in fact have a certain degree of privacy (either a private office or similar). Or they are commenting when someone is not around to see what and that they are writing comments on a blog. [1] So either a private office, privacy or they are a boss type where you are not as subject to what others think and/or care. This doesn’t explain everything but certainly a large amount of the behavior.Other factors include lack of confidence, caring to much what others think and/or having a profile which is easily linked to you in real life. Or not being moved emotionally enough to say anything.[1] This is contradicted by But there are two things that are different (at least co-worker wise). That is seen more as a resource for learning and importantly the type is smaller so if you are on a desktop it’s probably harder for someone walking by to read what you are writing (at least the way it formats for me).

      1. falicon

        Time of day matters a lot too – even with the people who do comment, sometimes by the time they get here, the conversation has mostly played out already (or gone in a direction that isn’t worth diving into).

        1. LE

          True. And disqus could fix this by offering email updates to draw someone back in, ala Michael Corleone in Godfather 3 ‘Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in..’…

      2. PhilipSugar

        This is just common sense, which is so important. Also I’d point out topics, and what topics you want to discuss, and with whom.Also just personality and what you want. I use this as my vc, entrepreneur, business owner diversity spot.I have my big business and international interactions spots as well.I was in Rome, NY today. I stayed at a very small family owned hotel. The shower drain was horrible, disgusting. It could not have been checked and people must not complain. But I don’t want to chisel down the bill, not worth the brain damage. That’s not you. No process. Told them. Look at the median household income: $33k. I am sure you can figure out where and why I was there. BTW: that got me much more than trying to complain.I also stop at the FlyingJ on the way home, it is midway point to eat, gas, and use the immaculate bathrooms. They have the ultimate process. FlyingJ, Waffle House, Bowling Alley, and Shooting Range is my what does the “working guy” think spot. (I would say person, but when you are in a working guy spot saying “person” would get a woman confront you saying “you don’t think I am a guy?”, you think that little of me???).Sadly, I don’t think many people here have a day like today where I hit all of those spots. They don’t have a “working guy” spot. I think almost all have never sat at a counter with a Latino Truck Driver from Texas, an Arctic driver from way up North, just talking as people, after taking showers in a public shower area, about the “roads”, and me just listening.As we all walk out my Volvo is out front and I go to get in. The one guy says: “You transporting this thing?? You passed me in Cortland, NY up that steep pass you FLY! What does it have in it??” I show him the turbo, with the twin electric superchargers He looks in it and says: “dude this is your car” I say we all drive something, my other the mule had 2 tons of brick in it this weekend. The Latino guy smiles and says, “you keep putting that hammer down bro, I want to see the 5-0 chase you.”

    2. Salt Shaker

      Based on GA metrics, avg time spent on AVC is a shade over 1 min per session. Mostly “grazers.” Only a theory, but many commenters who “have time on their hands” to indulge and drill down are consultants, independent contractors and biz owners (not necessarily founders). Maybe they’ll spend 5+ min per session vs. avg. of 1. Crazily small minority, though. Just a theory.

      1. awaldstein

        dunnocommunity baffles.

      2. LE

        and biz owners (not necessarily foundersExplain that one?

      3. LE

        avg time spent on AVC is a shade over 1 min per session. I don’t think you are reading that correctly. See this:…So a session (by my interpretation and knowledge) is from when someone lands on the home page and then clicks the link to the actual blog post of the day. [1] And if they end up going to another blog post after that perhaps. As a result it is not doing what you might think it is doing. Which is showing the time spent either reading the blog post and/or reading comments. Doesn’t mean that in a gross way at least.Disqus would have a better idea of what is going on. If someone is doing a ‘show more comments’ they can and might be tracking that. That would provide helpful ‘entertaining’ information.With AVC my guess (since we are all guessing) is that the vast majority of visitors go to the home page, go to the post of the day, scan the comments, and that’s it. They don’t go to other blog posts unless they have just discovered the blog. In theory it would seem more likely that most visitors are going to be repeat visitors. Analyzing the data for posts that are linked from a traffic source would provide confirmation of this (but again it’s only entertainment who really cares?)[1] Or if they land by a link to a post but then go somewhere else. This is not ecommerce and the site is not selling. In that case there is more relevance to that time period.

        1. Salt Shaker

          I’m not sure. You may be right, but when you boot onto from a search engine it automatically takes you to the post of the day, and not a home page per se. I access via email.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            WOW. That was some finely grained software by Google.

        2. sigmaalgebra

          Disqus has a lot of asynchronous functionality initiated by the server side. E.g., they send asynchronously to the user’s Web browser notifications of new posts.Soooo, when the user’s browser has left the AVC page, the server side notifications don’t get through, and Disqus should be able to note that due to the time out on the associated TCP/IP socket connection.With more such code, Disqus could do first cut good tracking on just when and for how long the user’s browser was showing the page. There could be more data from comment posting times.For my Web site, I’ve not needed either Ajax or JavaScript so don’t know them well, but they are likely key to the browser side of the asynchronous functionality. But, with such tools, likely Disqus could put in some communications, call them pings or polls, just for tracking time and give more accuracy.Then there is also the data from the user’s IP address, the user agent string the user’s Web browser sends, and the cookies that Disqus has for users who post. With that data, and other Web data for the IP address and agent string, could learn a lot about some users.Remember, the blog is not the product; the user’s are!

    3. samholland00

      this “phenomenon” is true for about 99% of content publishers

      1. awaldstein

        yes I you got to ask, why do it at all since in this community for example it is simple the same small group each day speaking to themselves.its got to the exceptions that make it worthwhile. it is on my blog.

  10. Tom Labus

    Some new voices would be great to hear.

  11. OurielOhayon

    why not medium?

    1. obarthelemy

      I’m starting to dislike Medium.They’re not very high on my list of sites I’d pay for so I don’t, and the way they trick you into clicking premium stories so you eat up your 3 free stories is dishonest. and NYT do it right and ask for confirmation, Medium does it wrong and doesn’t.

  12. obarthelemy

    Do they have special rates for extremely helpful audiences that point out that the 4th word should be “head”, not “heard” ? Or is that an extra “grammar nazi” fee ?

  13. firesofmay

    To be fair, I read all your posts via via email. So I rarely come to the site. So some people like me never actually come to your website and yet still follow all of your posts. 🙂

  14. JLM

    .If you are considering hosting alternatives, you may want to look at AWS EC2.I was having some work done on my blog and decided to investigate the alternatives. I was using GoDaddy and having a lot of issues. I talked to BlueHost and the usual list of subjects and they were not appreciably better.I hired a guy to do some work and he said, “Look at AWS EC2 — free for 12 months and then about $10-12/month.”I had him migrate my site over there and HOLY SMOKES! Took him less than 4 hours to move the site including every bit of historic data.Every problem I was having with GoDaddy disappeared. The site was a hundred times faster. It really was so incredibly easy as to make me suspicious. I am still in the honeymoon phase, but so far it is unbelievable.If you go to their website, it is hard to understand they are in this business. I had to search for “EC2” to find it and it is still not clear to me.But, it works like a charm – thus far.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Amar

      To be clear – EC2 is an infrastructure choice. It is not a content platform.You still are running your blog on a web server or content server of some kind (WordPress for instance). This in turn is now hosted on a “virtual” server that amazon leases to you on a “pay as you use” basis. Amazon in its marketing brilliance decided to call this EC2 :-)This is important because when you do basic self management, aka:# Post new content# Edit / Delete / Update post# Install commenting plugins (Disqus, etc)your frustration or happiness will come from the content platform you choose and EC2 does not help or hurt there (hopefully)

      1. LE

        The issues that he was having were infrastructure related though.He said:If you are considering hosting alternatives he didn’t talk about the platform or wordpress in particular at all.Godaddy/Bluehost generally cater to a different part of the market. They are dealing with the type of people who don’t even know how to isolate why they have a problem. So if they complain they are easily fended off by the first line tech support people. If you can have circles run around you by the first line tech support you are ripe for the picking. And they think it’s them not the host. Tech is built on this concept ‘the stupid user’. It’s the perfect scam actually. AWS/Google Clould/Azure on the other hand are not only dealing typically with a more sophisticated customer but would be eaten alive more quickly (online and in the press) and easily if they tried to pull the same shit that low end web hosting companies whose bread and butter is some person’s quilting blog.Now the issue that JLM might have relates also to who will keep on top of making sure wordpress is updated and all of that jazz. So to part of your point not it’s not set and forget by any means.

        1. JLM

          .GoDaddy was OK. They were very responsive on problems. There were a lot of problems. Some of them were created at their end as they scaled their servers. I was on one of the “old” servers.The blog had been up for 6 years and what was happening was WP, the theme, the plug ins were going through a number of iterations.One or two of the plug-ins were incompatible with the latest version of WP. I usually wait 6 months before updating WP.I had to figure out which version of a couple of plug-ins were compatible with the current version of WP. Totally trial and error as the info on the web was never correct.Also, there were a number of “known bugs” which were known to them, but not to me. An example was timing out when purging the cache.I had to work around these.The most important issue was speed. The AWS EC2 platform is like lightning in comparison.I have enough tech savvy to work through these things myself, but not to optimize them. That’s why I used a freelancer who made it work like a charm.A quick look at the WP dashboard alerts you to what is up to date and what is out of date.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. LE

            They were very responsive on problems.Price, quality, speed, pick any two.I was telling this concept to my wife the other day. [1] I have a person who does some programming for me on the side. I pay him monthly a retainer and he has a full time job at a startup. Technically he isn’t super great. But he is responsive (speed). As an example I called him the other day, Saturday, late in the afternoon. He picked immediately. When I asked him the 2nd question I had (was an emergency if I call him typically) he said “I will let you know as soon as I get home I am in the car and I pulled over when I saw you called”. I told my wife the responsiveness like that is why in part I stay with him since I rarely contact him in that way preferring the challenge of figuring it out on my own (and I am not bragging I wish I didn’t do things like that because it’s not a great use of my time but very enjoyable).[1] One of those things that is baked into any person who has been around business like we have for a long time.

      2. falicon

        Elastic Cloud Compute (E and 2 Cs…hence EC2).

        1. Amar

          Yikes, I am must be slipping with my sarcasm. I grok EC2 🙂

      3. JLM

        .Lunch? Ping me.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. LE

      I think this photo should be the header for this or put in a theme where you can rotate photos not just the car at the top…. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

      1. JLM

        .The Big Red Car (1966) and the Bonanza (2002). I have traveled more than 200,000 miles in each of them. Probably twice that in the airplane.[Old pilots. Bold pilots. No old bold pilots.]I have flown plenty of instrument flights in that baby. I usually try to take off or land in weather, but not both. My own personal minimums. I have come into Charleston lots of times where they send you out over the ocean, turn you back, drop you through the clouds and there is the airport waiting for you.That airplane, with the tip tanks, can take me from KGTU (Georgetown, Tx, 30 miles north of ATX) to Charleston on a single fuel. I usually land in Natchez to refuel and take a piss. One’s bladder is the critical control element.It is a cross country machine. I have about 3,000 hours in it and more than 4,000 landings.Where did you get this pic? Must have been on my website?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          You want to know privately or publicly? Wasn’t on the big red car site was somewhere else another one of your websites (part of my business is intel so I have access to all sorts of info out there..)

          1. JLM

            .OK, I know where you found it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. Lawrence Brass

          I have seen that picture before, somewhere.Both beautiful machines. Perfect vehicles for the perfect family. 🙂

          1. JLM

            .A few of the fam will drive with me, but nobody except My Perfect Daughter will fly with me.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        3. mikenolan99

          Have you gone to a glass cockpit? Next year I’m thinking of getting my IFR, and joining a shared ownership group up here…

          1. JLM

            .I am a steam gauge instrument pilot. Actually, I am a commercial pilot, but only for the training, not the practicality.That plane has the typical six pack plus two Garmins. I also have a robust handheld which I use for a backup and weather.When I am flying a lot, I am wizard sharp in using them both for navigation and backup.I have flown a couple of glass cockpits and I am sure it would be no problem to transition to them, but I just have that old fashioned concern for the vulnerability of all systems to an electrical failure. Never had one, but it seems like the redundancy of having steam gauges plus 3 GPSs is a safer arrangement.I think shared ownership is a good approach. You have to make damn sure that some independent party is overlooking the maintenance. I am a nut for maintenance so I would constantly be concerned.Balance your takeoffs and landings.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  15. Mac

    Unlike most of us, I suspect many followers use the topic, and then the content, as filters and thus aren’t interested in visiting the site to follow the ‘Comment’ thread. I know I’m guilty of that.

  16. jason wright

    what is bounce rate?

  17. Lawrence Brass

    Excerpts from an imaginary AVC board meeting:“Something wrong is going on Greenland.”“Must go there and see what’s happening.”“It is a roadblock for world dominaton.”

  18. BillMcNeely

    WPEngine does nothing but WordPress hosting. Jason Cohen @asmartbear

  19. mpesce

    Where are you transitioning your blog to? We were looking into Medium.

  20. JaredMermey

    Would you share traffic source? Would be interested to see how that has changed over time.

  21. Jaikant Kumaran

    Go for GatsbyJS + netlify + contentful. It will be ‘blazingly’ fast. Cause, it is fully optimised server rendered react code sitting on a CDN. It is continuously built and deployed by netlify. It is an headless CMS system with content in contentful. I just built using this.

  22. Jayden

    I’m from China~

  23. Jayden

    I’m from China.