# of online users

The number I use for modeling is 300 million for the global general web audience that matters. This is probably considered the active user number but this is the number that's important because this is where you'll generate revenue. For the US market it's 150 million users, remember that we just passed 300 million in total population so we're saying that roughly half of the US is online (which sounds about right).

I think the estimate for total web users world wide is 1 billion, a milestone that was reached last year. Demographics are broken down by country/language but also the "home" and "work" audience. Clickz has numbers if you want to go deeper.

Sorry for yet another random thought but I've been thinking about the idea of "user"/"customer". Everyone has their own definition of user/customer. If you have a log-in, is that a user/customer if they signed-in and never come to your site again? Are you a user of a search engine if you visit that search engine once a year or do you have to use it several times a week before being considered a user? The reason I bring it up is, you almost have to be a user/customer of every service out there, at least all the big companies because they're all in their own little networks.

This means that I'm a customer of Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, AOL, Netscape, WordPress, SixApart, your blog site, Amazon, eBay, YouTube, MySpace, Friendster, etc, etc, etc. Supposedly the magic number is 2. If you have 2 services within a network you're locked in and truly considered a user, a valued one anyway.

Poor People Food

**draft** I had one of those curious moments and looked up "poor people food" in the various search engines and I got nothing good. I expected to see a list and then links to recipes. I guess there's no such thing as "poor people food" just as there's no such thing as an "oatmeal diet" so lets make it up (the reason for doing this list is to come up with the foods/recipes and such so we can eat a little better/tastier and a little more cheaply — we've been getting a little too crazy with our food budget). There is a bad connotation around "poor people food" but I also think that some of the best and most creative food around is based off of the need to eat cheaply — gumbo, collard greens, and red beans are rice are perfect examples. If all goes well I'll turn this into a book. breakfast

  • oatmeal
  • grits, polenta
  • chilaquiles


  • gumbo
  • red beans and rice
  • ramen noodles
  • macaroni and cheese
  • mashed potatoes
  • quesadillas
  • hummus w/ pita bread
  • fried rice (rice w/ some meat or vegetable)
  • casseroles (?)
  • cheap meats and fish: skirt steak, snapper, mussels (in season), catfish

If you got other suggestions, comment or send me mail :) — Update 11/1 There's a Thrifty Food Plan issued by the USDA. On the low-end, a single adult male can eat on $4.84 a day, females $4.37. On the high end, $9.42/$8.50 a day. They also have a recipe book. I don't think their plans are really good though. The way we all cook and eat is make a big meal and then have left overs for the next day or two, in other words the same meal more than once either once for dinner and again for lunch, or two or three dinners of the same thing.

Online Account Hell

I've got a ton of accounts online, it's a problem (I can say why in a different post), and I don't think I'm alone. I probably have 50+ online accounts.

  • 4+ email accounts: personal, work, public, and spam plus several test accounts
  • 8+ for banking, investing, credit card, taxes, insurance, bill sites like cell phone, tv
  • 5+ shopping sites, not including all the individual stores I have to register for one off purchases so another 10+
  • 4+ member sites like Airlines, car rental
  • All the photo sites, Flickr, Kodak, Snapfish, Shutterfly (SmugMug maybe?)
  • n+ web sites like Delicious, Classmates, Backpack, etc
  • n+ work sites like bugzilla, intranet, wiki, addons

Single sign on is not a solution. Password manager is moderately helpful. It's disheartening to know that each one of these auth/registration systems are different and most are likely not secure.

What I'd like to see is to be able to log-in to my web site and everything is keyed off of that authentication. That's not of course for everybody. The other model to look at is how bill pay companies like CheckFree, have been able to get people to play nicely.

Do we fix this in Firefox 3.0 or is this not a solvable problem (live with password manager) and move on? The bigger problem I have is that I don't exactly know what bits of information each of these accounts have. It's not that these 50+ sites have just my log-in information, username, password, email address. It's that these 50+ sites have contact information, some usage information, some other stored information like photos or financial data, and that's not good at all. People make it really easy to sign up for accounts, but I know of no site that makes it easy for you to close/delete/purge an account.

open source as a consumer product attribute

Should "open source" be a consumer product attribute? It would apply to Firefox, Thunderbird, Linux desktop, other software on the Linux desktop like Evolution.

What would "open source" imply? How about:
– quality/stability (tested by hundred of thousands of people)
– secure (still dependent on management of security issues)
– innovative (collective brain-power tackling new concepts)
– collaboration
– standards
– community based AND commercial support options

I feel like "open source" already means all of the above so let's get it to stick!

What should "open source" not imply? How about:
– free (as in the software is free, lots of confusion here)
– anti-business or capitalism
– IP nightmare
– "volunteers" (people who are unpaid), this essentially becomes unreliable, unsustainable

Well, given that quick little exercise it sounds like "open source" is something we do want to use as an attribute. Other companies like Yahoo and Google and such who do use open source products/solutions on the server-side should do it too. Just about everyone uses bugzilla and lots of companies are on the LAMP server-stack. That screams we're spending money on the right things.

Also, speaking more about the testing community and that process, will hopefully establish "open source" as the more reliable solution.