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Tuesday, 23 March 2010


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Hello Mike,

How many visits are from Poland?

Best regards, Piotr

The ratio of US to Canada population is roughly 10 to 1, 300+ million to 30+ million.

Hello from a reader in Chongqing, China, where TOP is once again making it through the censors after being blocked for so long.

Congratulations for your success Mike, greetings from a faithful reader since the times of "the Sunday Morning Photographer" in Madrid.

You're getting way more visits per capita from Canada. Canada's population is about one-tenth of the USA's and one-half of the UK's.

I'm really curious to know how many readers you have from India!

1,944, or just about 1%.


"What's the relative population of Canada vs. the U.S.? We might get more visits per capita from Canada."

Roughly 10:1, I think. More visits per capita? -- Maybe it's our long, cold winters. I'd like to think we spend the summer months out with our cameras....

-- David Miller

Hi Mike

It should come as no surprise that the site has great traffic. You offer information, which is great, insight which is useful - but also opinion. Thoughtful opinion gives us pause, and forces upon us an opportunity to challenge assumptions and habits.

The expression of thoughtful opinion on a site like this is rare: generally, there is rather a rush to blandness in the hope of a huge audience, rather than one that is meaningful.

A little suggestion. Given that Canada provides a reasonable audience in raw numbers, and a large one per capita, it would be kind of pleasant to see links to Amazon.ca included when you recommend books. Currently the US and UK Amazon sites are linked.

Of course, you can't cover everyone and it's easy enough for us to go there, but it would be nice. After all, we are neighbors, and we visit you a wee bit more often than do our British cousins...

995 of the 200,000 from India.


Not really strange that you're not getting any traffic from Turkmenistan. Internet access is very regulated in that country.

When I was there in 2007, there was only one internet cafe in the whole country, and you had to register with you passport to get access .. all internet traffic is monitored by the state .. (as it is over here?)

Ironic detail: all streets in the capital Ashgabat are numbered .. the US embassy is on street 1984 ..

Indeed. I was pleased to see that. There were 440 visits from China.


Others have already commented on the relative populations of Canada vs USA. But what can I say; we Canadians have great tastes when it comes to our photography :)


I think I had some sort of problem building direct links to Amazon Canada, but I should look into it again. I did build a direct link to Amazon Canada at the Links page, though.

I noticed the high level of participation from Canada even when I was editing the magazine. There always seemed to be lots of response and participation from Canada.


Did Somalia break off into the sea?

Hi Mike

At least one Irishman checks in most days, keep up the good work.

MEXICO ! ! !...What about me dude ?

Oh boo hiss - I am only read in 117 countries!
US, Canada, UK and Germany top the list......

Greetings from one of your icelandic visitors. How many do you show from here, anyway? I know I recommend this site to all my friends.

How many were brave enough to break through internet filters and visit you from Iran?

Sam and Ben,
255 from Iceland, 37 from Iran.


632 from Mexico.


Being from Canada too I would also welcome a link to amazon.ca -- a site I often order from so you might as well benefit.

Besides our cold winters I have some other ideas why we have such a high representation... but I'll refrain as we Canadians generally don't like to boast :-).

I must add that I am thoroughly impressed with these world-wide statistics. A little less impressed than I would have been had I been new to reading TOP, but still thorougly impressed.

'Shalom' from Israel

And I know i'm not the only one from Israel here...


What is the number for Belarus, if you don't mind?

776 visitors from Israel.


34 from Belarus.


in Andorra, Europe...at least one!

Best regards

We also have lots of readers in Germany--almost as many as from Australia. And more than any other country in Europe save the U.K.


I'm from Papua New Guinea, and I read you - from England. And I'll bet I've also stopped by TOP while I've been in Papua New Guinea, though I guess it would have been a lot more than 200,000 visits ago. (I don't have any direct memory of this, but I know my surfing habits. The chances of my spending more than a few days somewhere with internet access and not stopping by TOP are vanishing small.) So I reckon you can bump that country number to 171.

All right!!


I cannot resist this kind of mini-statistics. Here's a popularity ranking for the countries mentioned, populations based on Wikipedia:

Country Visitors Population Popularity
Iceland 255 317.630 0,0803%
Canada 19479 34.043.000 0,0572%
Finland 2395 5.356.400 0,0447%
Australia 7642 22.198.000 0,0344%
USA 94276 308.924.000 0,0305%
UK 18471 62.041.708 0,0298%
Israel 776 7.521.400 0,0103%
Poland 1944 38.163.895 0,0051%
Romania 1021 21.466.174 0,0048%
Costa Rica 100 4.579.000 0,0022%
Greenland 1 57.000 0,0018%
Philippines 1184 92.226.600 0,0013%
Thailand 531 63.389.730 0,0008%
Mexico 632 107.550.697 0,0006%
Brazil 1014 192.670.000 0,0005%
Belarus 34 9.480.200 0,0004%
Mongolia 8 2.671.000 0,0003%
Ukraine 94 45.962.900 0,0002%
India 995 1.178.605.000 0,0001%
Iran 37 74.196.000 0,0000%
Nicaragua 2 5.743.000 0,0000%
Paraguay 2 6.349.000 0,0000%
Cuba 1 11.204.000 0,0000%
Angola 1 18.498.000 0,0000%
Myanmar 1 50.020.000 0,0000%

Feel free to use this for your own nefarious purposes, as long as you tell me the number for Denmark.

I'm guessing Iceland comes up so far simply because a lot of avid photographers go there compared to the population.

Thanks for that!

1,365 from Denmark.


Equally interesting, at least to me, is are the number of places where an English-reading audience can be found.

"Here's to you, wherever you are in this beautiful round world.

Whoa. That's news to me.

I wonder how come such a small percentage of visitors leave comments? Also, it seems as if most of the comments, from day-to-day, are penned by the same commenters. I wonder what that means :-).

I would assume that there are a handful of readers from Norway as well?

As for Africa, one of the big problems is lack of broadband. I have spent some time in several African countries, and especially Ethiopia is difficult. It was impossible to read Norwegian newspapers last year, because of the ads - except for at Hilton and Sheraton.

But many of these countries will soon get better access from cables under the sea ending up in Mombasa (on the Kenyan coast)

Rwanda has built an impressive IT infrastructure during the last decade, and I think Kenya isn't that bad either. Both are anglophone countries. Are there perhaps a handful of readers from those two countries?

And what about South Africa? 100-150 visitors?

Hi from Dubai!

Am I really the first commentor from Finland???

I hope that doesn't mean I'm solely responsible for all the 2395 visits... :-)

Matti Rintala

hmmm.. any fellow malaysians visited you besides me ?

A very nice man from Mongolia (who was studying in Calgary at the time) stumbled across my photography on Photo.net and emailed me. Actually, he invited me to visit him in Mongolia – lacking any funds as a grad student, I had to decline.

I believe in our ensuing exchange of emails, I recommended this site. So, I would like to think I can take some small measure of responsibility not only for the high Canadian numbers, but, maybe, for the few Mongolian ones too?

His flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bayars_photo_mongolia/

No mention of New Zealand yet. I am a New Zealander currently browsing from the US but I have certainly browsed from New Zealand before.

The key question is, is it more than 1500?

I know you're getting at least some from Taiwan, 'cause I visit several times a day.

Mike, I can't take any credit for the South American visits this time, but when I spent six weeks down there in 2008, T.O.P. was one of the few sites I visited when I had internet access.

Keep up the good work!

'grats, Mike!
As a quick reminder for the other T.O.P. devotees: there is a pseudo-universal method to access the affiliate stores from various countries, using TOP referral, namely the links in your right column.
For B&H there is a single site, AFAIK; but for Amazon there are a dozen, and it's worth looking for your closest point of presence for any actual act of buying.

At least 1 guy from Singapore sleeps late to read TOP every nite!

Hello from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

- Fabrizio

i subscribed to you via rss feed[i read most of your posts from the feed reader so i'm not sure if it counts in the statistics] and i read TOP every day,it is my favourite photo-blog

salutare Mike

Teo [romania]

I know at least four of us from Croatia are stopping here. :)

BTW, was that "visits" or "unique visitors"?

Mike, Lars:

I was certainly a few of those Iceland hits, if your reporting period covers late January or very early February. Northern Iceland (e.g., Myvatn, etc.) in winter is an incredible treat--empty and profoundly beautiful.

Expect a pop in Greenland numbers in August. ;)


Hi Mike,

The Myanmar hit may have been me (a commonplace Canadian) when I was there a couple of weeks ago on a photo tour. I checked in to get my fix when I had a decent internet connection.

So it may not have been from a native Myanmarese: sorry for skewing the data!


Hi Mike

Greetings! Great to know that you are accessible from China again. I spent the better part of February in XiAn and Shanghai where access was denied. By the way, just curious, of the 440 Chinese visitors, do they include those from Hong Kong and Macau ?

Congratulations on the high numbers and large spread Mike. (One of your UK contingent here).

greetings from hungary!

Fascinating, how is TOP doing in the Far East? How many from Taiwan? I'm almost certain there's a sizable TOP readership in my homeland.

OK gang. Now you all know who we are. Here's the plan - we all meet at Mike's place on Saturday afternoon for beer and pictures.

Cheers All.


I'm across the ditch from Australia. New Zealand (land of the Kiwi) is a country which doesn't even show on your list ! Surely not.



Dear Mike,
The Caspian Sea is shared by Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Azerbaijan.
Btw, what is the number for Russia?

Com'on Mike, give us the whole list! :)

What about all those tiny countries of Europe? And what about meee? (from Greece)

I don't mean to spoil the celebration here, but many "hits" or "visits" are tracked simply by roaming indexers and web aggregators, not actual humans. A tell-tale sign is in noting the "user" time on the site - if it's something 0.00 or 0.01 minutes, then the page was never read with eyes.

What should delight you and all the fans of TOP is the avid reader base who are commenting from all over the world.

Best Regards from Macedonia, you get at least one visit a day from me. What's the total number from Macedonia?

needs to be more widely read!


Fascinating, thanks for sharing the analysis.

I'm wondering whether those of us who follow the blog through RSS show up in these statistics. I would guess that there are a lot of us!

For what it's worth, I have been reading your posts every day for a number of years from Ecuador. Do you have any other readers here?

Many thanks again, as always,


From the Southern tip of Africa ?
I can't be alone in South Africa

And New Zealand ???

Isn't she "Tatiana"? (your sister in law?)

How about Japan?


What about New Zealand? I think there should be quite a few from N.Z. :)

And I'm not the only one from Slovakia, I guess... :)

Morning from Melbourne, Australia

One of the 7642.

"TOP is read in 170 different countries." As opposed to 170 of the same country, I assume.

and greetings from Bonnie Scotland... am slowly spreading the word about this great wee site. A fascinating read and I check in pretty much daily. "Moran taing"

I'm one of the visitors you have from Guinea-Bissau in Africa. Keep up the good work.

per capita, approx
Canada 1/1620
Australia 1/2630
US 1/3260
UK 1/3340

I'm more surprised you have any visitors from Greenland. There are more people in Waukesha than there are in Greenland, after all.

I personally have read TOP in at least three countries (US, Canada and Germany). It'd be more but I usually don't bring a laptop when I travel.

Vatican City?

I have read TOP from Papua New Guinea and Bougainville, but the nature of my internet connection there would have registered at TOP Central as Australia. Internet connections are rare in PNG, good photo opportunities, however, are not.


"Antarctica? Vatican City?"

Penguins love TOP. No word from the Pope.


Given the stats, perhaps you should make more of an effort to include metric units when giving measures in "U.S. customary units".

Malaysia: 1023
New Zealand: 2062
Taiwan: 597
Croatia: 508
Russia: 576
Slovakia: 282
South Africa: 805
Japan: 1459
Greece: 819


Only 6 visits from Guinea-Bissau--probably all you!!


At least one from Vanuatu, any more?

I see you use Google Analytics. In that case, perhaps you are being "under counted" since at the client end, both javascript and cookies are required to be enabled.

Many like myself keep javascript and cookies disabled except for those sites requiring them.

In the spirt if being counted, I will enable both so that your USA readership has just increased by one!


I did some quick math on the top four TOP readers. My per capita comes out thus re rounding off:
US: 1 in 1500 call by TOP
Canada 1 in 1700
UK 1 in 3000
Oz 1 in 3000

Am not so flash with math so maybe this is incorrect. Someone want to have a go?
If I'm close, what does this equate re percentage of readers per capita? Based on the above, would the US be .06% and Canada .05% and UK & Oz come in at approx .035%? Ctein... this is your bag!
Dennis F.

PS. Populations from Wiki

I have just relocated from Japan to Canada, so add one more to Canada's side of the ledger.

I bet I've bumped the Philippines' numbers since I moved. Oh, and "from whence"? Come, now ;-)

Well I login regularly from home, uni and work, so there's three of the Australian stats!

big grain of salt: in addition to the search bots etc. that Jimmy mentions, there several other potential skews to this data; people may use satellite phones, VPNs to a corporate server, or tunnels (to circumvent censors and spies), all of which could reduce the numbers for some of the less connected-seeming countries

as for the RSS feed -- many people get their feed through Google Reader or other aggregators, so the stats for main feed items won't be accurately attributed, but anyone who follows a feed item link to a main article (so they can see the comments, and the ads) is going to count as a hit on your site, and since such people often load multiple individual articles rather than simply reading several on the front page, they may account for disproportionaly more visits, depending on how counted

and speaking of how counted, the terms "visits" and "visitors" used as if equivalent in the first sentence, are not the same; the metric called "unique visitors" is really "visitors Google Analytics thinks are not the same as any other visitor", and "visits" can be a bit ambiguous too

Dear Player,

A typical result, since the days when private BBSs dominated the scene, is that for every "regular", you have 10 occasional posters, 100 regular but silent readers, and 1000 occasional readers. The lurkers outnumber the visible 100-1. It's something that Mike and I try to keep in mind whenever we write a post; it may look like a conversation between two people, but it's really been played before a large, unseen audience.

~ pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

"From whence" is a perfectly acceptable usage:

"...Even a brief look at historical sources shows that from whence has been common since the thirteenth century. It has been used by Shakespeare, Defoe (in the opening of Robinson Crusoe: 'He got a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his trade, lived afterwards at York; from whence he had married my mother'), Smollett, Dickens (in A Christmas Carol: 'He began to think that the source and secret of this ghostly light might be in the adjoining room, from whence, on further tracing it, it seemed to shine'), Dryden, Gibbon, Twain (in Innocents Abroad: 'He traveled all around, till at last he came to the place from whence he started'), and Trollope, and it appears 27 times in the King James Bible (including Psalm 121: 'I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help')." (Source.)


Haha, why so surprised to have readers from places like Thailand and the Philippines? Photography is art, and art is universal. :)

Mike, that was interesting. These days I use OED online almost exclusively (doesn't get more up-to-date). From their quotes, seems to have gone in cycles: early uses "from" from about mid-C16th it got dropped and more common in modern (mid-C19th on) usage.

I love our language.

Recent to TOP, but now a daily follower via RSS.
(Texan in Mexico, DF)

...and i thought i was the only one from India :)

If you had trouble with the Caspian sea, you'll have a hard time finding me. Google will help.

Greetings from Malta

P.S. you reminded me of this hilarious sketch:

"If little fart I am the way you claim,
Then your face must be the place from whence I came"
Alexei Sayle - The noble art of verbal abuse


What would be interesting too, is to know the home country of your readers. My guess is that a large percentage of hits from the more exotic locations are from people who are english speaking ex-pats or travellers.

It is very interesting to know the conuntry of your visitors: as I suposed, the most important number of them live in English-speaking countries.
How do you rate in other language speaking countries. I asume that English is now lingua franca, as Latin was until XVIII Centyry (but I come from Spain, in Europe, where historically learning English was not as usual as it is nowadays).

What fun numbers - I would love to know who is calling in from Ethiopia now we have slightly better internet access than a few months ago - we have EVDO connections (at a price) that give reasonably responsive access.

Anyway thanks again for giving us such photographic treats.

Addis Ababa

Hi Mike,

I'm from Portugal, and I read you everyday. How many from here?

I really appreciate getting an international perspective on photography. And the various photographic mailing lists and blogs I follow do seem to have a very high international participation, which is great.

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