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Numbers, Volume 15

These Tough Economic Times

While we “don’t do numbers” here at RedMonk, I come across some fun numbers each week, here are some:

Making Money With Twitter, Dell Edition

Dell has 34 Twitter accounts, some of which post links to special offers. The company claims 600,000 followers. Once you know these numbers, it doesn’t seem crazy that Dell racked up $3 million in sales through Twitter so far. More than a million of those dollars came in within the past 6 months.

Note to aspiring social media cubical-bored-heads: use these numbers to tell your bosses why you should be Twittering for the company.

“Hi, I’m crushing you”

I thanked them for raising their prices so drastically since it helped us out, which caused them to asked about OpenNMS. When I told them it was an open source network management platform, the reply was “yes, but OpenView is for the enterprise.”.

I took that as my cue to bring up that we have customers monitoring over 55,000 devices with OpenNMS (them: “with a single instance?”, me: “yup”) and that we were replacing OpenView at a client in Italy because their devices, which have more than 32,000 interfaces each, break OpenView but work with us. Things got quiet and a little awkward after that, so we left (but the lady kept my card).

Also, see some survey numbers about open source IT management software from Forrester, covered by Denise Dubie.

Browsing Locally

ComScore reported today that the number of people in the U.S. who sought local content on mobile devices grew 51 percent from March 2008 to March 2009. The report also shows that the mobile browser is the most popular way consumers find local information, with 20.7 million browser users in March 2009, up 34 percent versus a year ago. Only about half as many people (11.3 million) use downloaded apps to find local data.


The takedown last week of a rogue ISP by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) slashed spam volumes by about 15% and reduced the spam spewed by a pair of big-name botnets by as much as to just 64%, a security firm said today.

Two botnets in particular were disrupted by the 3FN takedown, said Anstis: Pushdo and Mega-D. Before the court-ordered shut down of 3FN, Pushdo accounted for 26.1% of all spam tracked by Marshal8e6; as of last weekend, Pushdo’s spam was just 13.7% of all junk mail, a drop of about 48%.

I always wonder how simple it would be to, you know, track down the IP addresses of all those spammers and just go bust them. At the end of the day, most of them are trying to sell you something, and surely you could use a bunch of “tax payer money” and court orders to follow that supply chain. Then again, you’d probably get the usual chuckle-heads complaining that our spam-choked Internet was becoming too much like China.

Mo’ Internet, Mo’ Problems

“The social norm is that you should respond within a couple of hours, if not immediately,” said David E. Meyer, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. “If you don’t, it is assumed you are out to lunch mentally, out of it socially, or don’t like the person who sent the e-mail.”

Ah, yes. Remember the days when technology was going to give us more free time? What ever happened to that 3 martini lunch? Hold on, I’ve got to go find out where my pension went too – I’m guessing that handy-dandy “social safety net” must have caught it right? Hello? Hrm.

“Dead Media Beat,” Hi-tech Edition

Always Love Payphones - what a concept!

PCW’s [Personal Computer World, a UK tech trade-rag] last published circulation figure (Jan-Dec 2008) was 54,000, which is respectable, and more than double that of some rivals, like Future’s PC Plus which recorded just over 22,000 for the same period. The bigger problem, as you will see if you browse through a recent issue, is the decline in advertising. Before the days of the world wide web, magazines like PCW were critically important to computer manufacturers and retailers, but that is no longer the case.

Another problem, as one of the editors explained to me a few years back, is that PCW found itself caught between the demands of an aging readership which had grown up with the magazine, and that of a new generation.

(Stealing the title from Bruce Sterling’s much more interesting cataloging of The Death of Print.)

Google vs. Everyone, Collaboration Edition

Google Enterprise president Dave Girouard said the search giant’s corporate apps business is small potatoes relative to advertising, but has “a few 100 million dollars” in revenue and is “profitable and growing.” Meanwhile, Girouard said Google Apps is getting a solid pipeline of “proof points” of large enterprises moving to Google’s cloud-based email and calendar services.

Girouard acknowledged that Google Apps isn’t a replacement for Microsoft Office and that the migration decision is mostly based on email [BUT!]… On the cost front, Girouard acknowledged that pinning down the exact cost savings of Google’s cloud email compared to Microsoft Exchange is difficult, but he noted that the search giant can be anywhere from 5 times to 20 times less expensive. One Google customer put the savings at $400 to $1,200 an employee.

That $400-$1,200 range is a bit wide: maybe they’re emailing around videos? ;> Be sure to see more of Larry’s piece for some customer user-base numbers in the 10,000’s.

Roll ’em Up!

Austin Ventures is committing $50M in funding to create a new software firm, which the company is calling Brazos Software Corporation. According to Austin Ventures, the new venture will concentrate on “acquiring and strategically expanding” well-established software companies.

This is of interest because I’ve been seeing this happen more and more: buying tech companies on the cheap and trying to cobble them together into something better. Many startups are more “features” than stand-along “products,” so on paper things like this make sense. The difficulty is merging strategy, misaligned code-bases and APIs, and weirdly overhanging pools of functionality. That said, you could see that with certain categories, you could buy huge chunks of the ecosystem and sort of force things to work both technologically and sales-wise.

Disclosure: Dell and HP are clients.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] People Over Process » Numbers, Volume 15 Some interesting numbers. I especially like the Dell stats and the Google Enterprise numbers. (tags: numbers cote opensource twitter redmonk) […]