Last night while staring at the logs I freaked out and wrote some Microsoft privacy invasion rant asking the readers what’s going on. They said it’s Weave, a WP7 app which we reviewed, an RSS reader. I had difficulty buying that because, at first, on the server side the forensics indicated this was web browser traffic and not an RSS client, also because its involvement went from zero to 76% of our Windows Phone hits which is extreme and, unless this was additional traffic, as in if the Weave developers were sending us a lot of traffic we weren’t getting because of maybe some table of contents browsing thing in the app or whatever, there’s no way David K got his WP7 cult to install it in droves. Had to be Microsoft triggering their phones to let them spy on you. Had to.
So you the audience and I went back and forth on this for a while and I said that I’d crunch the numbers to get to the bottom of this. I would have done it then but the thread was more interesting without the facts, otherwise what’s there to debate about other than whether or not I’m a journalist.
So, A) overall there’s been a noticeable increase, a little bit exponential, beginning on April 10th. Next, B) our Windows Phone overall, both with and without Weave, shot up on April 9th by six times what it was before. Six frickin’ times. By last night it doubled from that. So in the last six days our Windows Phone (relative to itself, not overall site traffic) blew up twelvefold, closing a good notch higher yesterday than the day before so it’s still climbing.
That’s great, but are we getting more or less Windows Phone visits who are using the browser and not the Weave program became a good question, so I ran some more numbers to see what the vanilla non-Weave Windows Phone IEMobile traffic looked like over that time period, to see if our visitors were just installing the thing or if the program was getting popular elsewhere and, like I said, if the people behind it were somehow plugging our site and pumping us full of more of you Microsoft fanb… err Microsoft patrons and as a result helping us grow our base in getting some of those people, thanks in part to my great writing, to keep coming back with or without the Weave software.
Which leads us to C) and our non-Weave Windows Phone traffic since April 10th has not fallen. Instead, it has shot up threefold. Three frickin’ fold.
My conclusions: Weave is rapidly, really rapidly, becoming successful and not only that, because they appear to be in the content discovery game, a concierge for your Internet experience, their success is bleeding success juice onto us and presumably sites like us. In addition, this is not just wambam thank you ma’am traffic they’re sending us, they are clearly giving us visitors who remember the site’s boring, long domain name and come back for more without being guided directly to us by the Weave software, which means that’s sustained growth for us and also, even though their mobilizer probably strips out our regular banner ads (me, my adblocker strips them out), those newly loyal visitors Weave creates get to see wonderful ads Google carefully selected for them after painstakingly and meticulously spying on the world.
As much as I’d prefer the Weave team to have done their thing for Android instead of Windows Phone (the flames I deal with are hot enough as it is, my own Vietnam over here), that’s a beautiful thing, and what’s also beautiful is to see firsthand right in my raw logs a bona fide success story in the making of a developer on a young and budding platform. I’m not going to install Zune just to figure out who you guys are to thank you by name, but you know who you are – thanks. Thanks for plugging us heavily and for making what judging by the logs appears to be a quality piece of software and therefore a good contribution to the world. Though Microsoft may still be listening…
If there are any of you Windows Phone extremists who still haven’t tried the Weave software which is a rich RSS client I believe, go here I think and maybe report back on whether it’s legit, well coded or if the developer just knows how to promote. And to my loyal but often mute Android soldiers who now want a taste of the Weave, just stop right there, don’t get any ideas — stick to NewsRob.