February 4th was Tuxmachines official one year anniversary, I guess. Although I put a site up and added content 6 months prior, it was static and unknown. That content is actually still available, just not obvious. It could basically qualify for blog entries outlining my thoughts and processes getting a Gentoo web server up and running. At that time I had more services running and was quite proud of my commandline configured gentoo server. I have since stopped serving my own primary dns records and mail, but my site has grown to become my main focus of the project.
A year ago I began putting a little content in this little cms called Drupal. I had tried the other biggies, xooops, mambo (at the time), ... I can't remember what all now. But drupal seemed to meet my vision of what I wanted my site to look like. It still does. I'm pleased with the appearance of my site and it does what I wanted as far as content. I wanted a site similar to pclo , but without the security holes of phpnuke. I guess you could say, I wanted my cake and eat it too. Drupal allows me to do that, even if it turns out it has some really annoying drawbacks. The least of these is the upgrade process. That alone might have sent me back to xoops, had I known. In fact, I wish I had just stuck with html. I miss ssh'in into my box to quickly update information. But oh well, Drupal it is, drupal it will stay for a while.
Well, as we are now officially a year old, I wonder if the quarterly reports are now overkill.
In any case, Tuxmachines showed significant growth again in the early part of the quarter, but I think we have finally plateau'd. Using the same counter as all year, we showed the hits to be:
- 2006-01 388340
- 2005-12 382314
- 2005-11 326957
- 2005-10 427763
- 2005-09 306579
- 2005-08 264527
As you can see, last month of the last quarter showed a spike in visits, that was due to links to us on Slashdot and OSnews. Those were the last of our big site links. However, the site continued to grow, if you disregard that anomalous month, but we seem to have plateau'd at about 380,000 according to that one hit counter. It's just a little piece of code that counts hits to the main site, not considering hits to the gallery or other content not contained in Drupal.
I began using another counter in October and we have the stats for the last quarter there as well. It reports very different counts. For one thing, it counts the gallery, and then anything hit under the Tuxmachines' domain. It reports daily hit count averages in the mid 130,000s. I have it set to record one visit per 1/2 hour per visitor, so daily visit averages are recorded as:
- Nov 2005 - 4791
- Dec 2005 - 6074
- Jan 2006 - 6495
This translates to monthly totals hits to:
- Nov 2005 - 3334095
- Dec 2005 - 4116231
- Jan 2006 - 4240731
So, whereas the data differs, it still reflects the trend of early growth and ultimate plateau. This is good as you may know I don't employ powerful data servers on T1 lines. I run my little ole server off a dsl line here in my "home office". I don't think the averaging interest in my site warrants a change to an expensive hosting company at this time. I checked into it after the slashdotting and OSnewing in Oct., but with all the mbs needed to host all my images and the pclinuxos srpms, it'd be rather expensive. We are still not making any money on the site.
Although making money was not a consideration or goal at the time of launch and still isn't now, I'm not opposed to making a dab on the site to offset the costs of running it. My business dsl line isn't a freebee by any means. It's over double of what it'd cost if I was just using dsl to access the internet for personal use. My parents have T1 for their business, and it costs them about 800 bucks a month. Commercial hosting for my site would cost me about the same as I'm paying now, but I'm locked into a contract. Perhaps when it expires, I'll move to off-site hosting. Perhaps by then we'll need it.
Problems with meanies have been less of an issue this quarter than in the beginning. One day recently site traffic was almost ground to a slow crawl due to a dos'in, but since we turned off the mail server, it hasn't been as big of a problem. On the other hand, we have gone down for short periods due to power failure two or three times.
As far as stories, I think we have only covered new linux distribution releases this quarter. I'd like to do more interviews, but most developers are kinda shy, and truth be told - so am I. The main draw is still SUSE with a close second and third by Mandriva and KDE.
So, there ya have it. Tuxmachines showed some growth early part of the quarter but perhaps has now leveled off some. Not surprising really as I haven't been writing as many reviews lately as in past months. I think the quality of them have improved over the year and I'm starting to get a system down, or perhaps better stated, I'm starting to look at the same key elements in each. But I never thought I'd start to run out of distros. It also seems that many times when a new release is announced, I've recently looked at that distro. I'm also working on my masters, trying to work almost full time, and keeping a relationship going smoothly. My granbaby is about 18 months now, and she has a brother on the way. So, I'll have another granbaby in about 3 months! But Tuxmachines is still at the top of my list of priorities.
My continued thanks to distrowatch  for their support and linking to our stories. In fact, I just noticed Friday last that Ladislav has added us to his Recommended Sites list. I was very honored. Thanks to him for everything.
Thanks to atang for continuing to visit and making regular comments and blog posts. Thanks to capnkirby  for always linking to us. Thanks to all the anonymous contributors. Thanks to all the sites that link to us and all the developers out there working so hard to advance the cause of Linux.
But most especially, thanks to all our visitors. We appreciate you most of all. Without you, there'd be no point.
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