Where the readers are

March 11, 2012 • 9:38 am

WordPress has just added a new feature that enables me to see where the readers are. I’m heartened to see that they’re scattered throughout the world, with most, of course, being Anglophones.  Here’s a “contour map” of readership from yesterday, out of a total of 15,435 views.  Most countries aren’t shown, of course, because they contain few readers.

Over the past week, readers were worldwide, and I put below and applaud those countries that produced one view! (Click to enlarge.)

Those people in central Africa, South Korea, Iran, and Greenland: step up! (We may be banned in Iran; I don’t know.)

112 thoughts on “Where the readers are

  1. Go Scandinavia!
    It would be interesting to see stats related to the population of the different countries.
    (Norwegian in Alabama)

    1. First thing I looked at, too. As a % of population, Sweden, and I think perhaps Norway too, have the US slightly beat. (Swedish chauvinist in Pittsburgh.)

      1. Bare bra Laura. Artig og treffes her!
        To Persto: Yup, Alabama, the Deep South/bible belt, where they have nothing but FOX “news” to watch….

        1. Haha. How true! Maybe you are shielded, to certain extent, by living in a northern urban area of Alabama. Hopefully, you don’t live in the rural regions near Montgomery or Mobile.

          1. As an Alabamian currently living in southern Louisiana, I’m also curious to know the geographic locations of the views within the US! Perhaps, in the South at least, they are mainly confined to cities with major universities and/or research centers (e.g. Huntsville, Tuscaloosa)? I wonder. Rural folks in Bama reading about why evolution is true? Doubt it!

            1. All I have is anecdotal evidence. I lived in Auburn for three years and, outside my professors and a few fellow students, I did not encounter one openly atheist person, in fact, on several occasions I lost friends as a result of my atheism.

              Alabama is a strangely conservative state. They will not legalize the lottery and other forms of gambling, solely, on religious grounds, even though it would benefit struggling local communities and the floundering state-wide education system prodigiously. Much like it has in Georgia and Florida.

              Also, Alabama didn’t overturn laws against interracial marriage until 2000–the last state to do so. In fact, a measure went before the legislative committee in 1999 and failed!

              1. Yeah, same here. I grew up evangelical in Tuscaloosa and lost a bunch of friends along with god when I was a grad student at UA. Luckily, as a biology grad student, I was surrounded by a small circle of relatively normal people. Outside of that, not so much. Adding to your comment about the “strangely conservative”-ness of AL, and on the subject of science, much of the population will continue to vote against anything relating to science, climate change, or welfare–despite the lingering feelings of horror at all the recent storm devastation. I just don’t understand how people could possibly successfully make that mental contradiction work out.

    2. Hmmm – here’s a loyal reader in Denmark … and on the first map Denmark is white. Hey! I count, you know!!! (Stupid map)
      And now: Waving to all Scandinavians 🙂 Ad the rest of the world!

        1. Oh – I didn’t realise (That comes from reading secretly – and thus obviously too fast – at work. My bad)

    1. Ka pai rawa atu! (Very good!) I was going to say we seemed to be punching above our weight, and where’s that other great (semi-)Anglophone country, South Africa?

      Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu. (Although tiny, it is jade.)

  2. A quick ppm conversion seems to indicate New Zealand is the winner.
    Congrats, you enlightened mates…

    United States 25.8
    United Kingdom 30.0
    Canada 36.9
    Australia 23.5
    Germany 3.8
    Netherlands 16.1
    New Zealand 60.9
    Sweden 26.5
    Poland 4.8
    India 0.1
    Norway 22.3

        1. Why, given the proportion of anti-evolution FUD originating in the USA, why are you surprised at this?

      1. In a small country like NZ, it’s probably quite easy to influence the statistics. I can’t help wondering (and feeling slightly guilty for skewing the results) whether my lazy habit of reloading the whole page every time an email indicates a new post to a thread, has a significant effect on the numbers.

        Oh, what the heck (click)

    1. New Zealand is our cousin across the Tasman. I imagine that there are specific influences – one academic can spread WEIT to hundreds.

    1. Certainly, Jerry, if you buy me a roundtrip (I re-emphasize, roundtrip) ticket to Greenland, I can go, log in, and erase a big blotch on your map.

      I’m experienced, too! Member of the Arctic Circle club (Alaska), though your Tromsø readers yawn and sputter disdain at that claim!!

  3. I am English, love your stuff. the sooner worldwide the better. That’s why Religious don’t like the Internet…

  4. Consider yourself fortunate to not be big in Muslim countries. Their trolls are horrible. I’ve seen them completely ruin a few sites. But, if you really want to attract Muslims, you’ll have to do a wee bit more with livestock porn and necrophilia. Just sayin’ …

    1. At less than 111 readers a day but more than 1 a week? You and me, makes at least two, I guess. Just happy I am not alone in taking some time off from eating chocolate and yodeling to enjoy fine science blogs/websites…

        1. Ceiling cat gave us two hands, in s/his munificence. The plan may have been to get the tins (or pacakets) opened, but this is an unanticipated side effect, I suspect. For Ceiling Cat knows that excessive chocolate is not good for s/his human staff.

          1. “For Ceiling Cat knows that excessive chocolate is not good for s/his human staff.”

            Ceiling Cat doesn’t seem to know swiss chocolate.

    2. It’s kind of in the middle of Europe, sandwiched between France, Germany, and Austria, directly North of Italy.

  5. I’m from Lebanon, but recently moved to Denmark. I check your blog everyday and often link to your posts on the Lebanese Atheist group page.
    Great work Professor Coyne!

    1. Welcome to Denmark, Nadim 🙂 I know there are few more posters/readers here who live in Denmark (not all of them Danes)

  6. The maps show Alaska well over half the area of the continental US. The nums are 0.66 vs 3.1 Mega-sq.mi, well under a quarter.

    Why (other than carelessness) would WordPress choose such a strange projection?

    1. Same with the Canadian Arctic…. probably about 3 readers there, but again, that might be 25% of the population!

    2. It looks like an off-the-shelf Mercator projection to me. Popular, and readily available, and easily calculated from ICBM addressing. It also has neat properties regarding navigational lines which made it popular.
      That said, I do understand the logic of the Peters’ projection. I’ve never had a client request it as a format, but if I do, I’ll figure out how to calculate it.

    1. Yes, I agree. I am a happy representative from the People’s Republic of Minnesota (the American agent of The Great White North®)

      1. I think if they could get him doing an interview showing the ease of entry of the banana isn’t restricted to the mouth, the kiwis can be forgiven.

  7. And, if you click on the second picture to embiggen it, you find two more comments from some rare readers.

    Weird WordPress feature, that.

      1. The counterpart is ensmallment,;

        Actual conversation yrs ago with my Swedish mentor, beside a copying machine.

        Him: How on earth do you make an ensmallment on this silly machine?

        Me: Ensmallment?

        Him: Like an enlargement, but I want to go the other direction.

    1. That’s one of the stupidest of all WordPress “features” if you ask me! If there was ever something that was ‘more of a bug,’ this is it.

      Thanks for the heads-up as those posts are from a couple of countries I don’t think we’ve seen on this page yet.

  8. “Those people in central Africa, South Korea, Iran, and Greenland: step up!”

    From your map it looks like South Korea does have views. I’m guessing you meant North Korea. It’s quite understandable why these people are not viewing given the constraints imposed on them.

    1. Hey, I do read and post whenever I’m at work. (Tanzania this last few months, but I’m TRYING to get onto the North Korea job!)
      However, I don’t know where the other end of the satellite link is. Some countries think I’m in Tanzania, but they also use various filtering and traffic-shaping software that passes through other locations.

  9. The WordPress figures are only a rough guide. I think Iran and China are the most censored countries in the world & any readers from those places [& a long list of other theocratic & ‘living god’ nations] will show up in the figures as being from say Germany or U.S.

    A substantial minority of WEIT readers may resort to Proxies, DNS settings changes & the use of VPN to avoid being tracked, censored or worse.

    I regularly use “hide my Ass” so that I appear to be in the U.S. ~ allowing me to access material that (for commercial reasons) is restricted to the U.S.

  10. We may be banned in Iran; I don’t know.

    Regular reader here commenting via Tor. It’s easy to check whether a site is blocked from within a country or region by setting your browser’s proxy to use a server from within that country (make sure that you’re using a an up-to-date secure browser!). Here’s a list of open proxy servers in Iran; let’s choose, which reverse dns/whois says is in Tehran. Hitting the website whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com through this proxy results in a redirect to the Iranian general website peyvandha.ir [Google translation]. So yes, this site is blocked from Iran for anyone not using an external proxy.

    1. This post and those of Michael Fisher @ 21 above have been absolutely fascinating. The dissemination of knowledge via the ‘net is literally thrilling, and the ingenuity of those whom governments would impede equally so.

  11. Great feedback. We in Australia are well represented, and I also applaud those from more guarded societies for finding you.

  12. Hey, where is Chile, Dr. Coyne? I feel thorougly and most unfairly marginalized.

    Unless you publish an immediate apology, I shall be constrained to instruct my army of lawyers to sue your ass for a few billion dollars 🙂

  13. Clearly a Mercator projection, useful for plotting rhumb lines at sea, but should never be used for this kind of plot. There are many good equal area projections that are suitable. Greenland is much smaller than South America. This is an all too familiar example of geographical illiteracy.
    Prof. Peters thinks the more northerly countries are consciously trying to belittle their more tropical cousins; he introduced his own rather ugly and completely unnecessary projection, which turns out to be a rehash of the Gall projection. Geographer humor: someone called it the Unmitigated Gall Projection.
    Alaska gets its big splash, on the coattails of the lower 48, but we readers in Hawaii are not even a speck.

  14. Probably a stupid question, but does this detect location of people who are reading via the RSS feed? Because I usually read this blog via Google Reader…

    Anyway reader in Thailand checking in. 🙂

  15. As a german I’m surprised to see neither Japan, France, Spain in the stats. In Germany we have too bigger scientific blog networks. Scilogs.de and scienceblogs.de. I would suppose there is not really a blogging trend by scientists in those countries. If you look up the costofknowledge.com participation, its also mostly US, UK and some german scientists. Most didn’t even notice the movement. Of course the language shouldn’t be a barrier for natural scientists, but another reason is that popular science (blogging, books) are MUCH less popular at least in Germany than in angloamerican countries. We dont have many Prof’s blogging in Germany, mainly PHD students and Graduates.

  16. Canadian in Taiwan checking in. Is there somewhere to find the stats from the in-between countries? I’d like to know how many others are in the neighborhood.

  17. Another regular reader from France, although I rarely post myself. I’d like to think that although very few readers seem to be from France, it doesn’t matter that much because religious “bullyism” (I don’t even know if this word exists so I make it up) is not as pronounced here than it is in the US, but I still deplore that to my knowledge no french translation of “Why evolution is true” has been done.

  18. I recently went on my yearly Asia sojurn and was able to read you in….
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Luang Prabang, Laos
    Hua Hin, Thailand
    Ubud, Indonesia

    I usually use Google reader.

    I would be very interested to hear from fellow readers not living in the USA any recommendations they have for local science/atheism websites and/or forums. I would enjoy gaining some insight on the local dialectic.

  19. Why no one in Greenland? Winter hours are good for reading blogs!
    Joker apart: congratulations on your broad readerships, from one of the countries with less than 111 readers 🙂

  20. After I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. There has to be a means you are able to remove me from that service? Thank you!

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