Tag Archives m.news

2006 Stats

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, here are the stats for 2006, running from April – Dec 2006 for The Den. I’ve also detailed Dec by itself for comparison’s sake.


The Summary shows totals and averages for Sessions, Pageviews, Hits, and Bytes for the currently selected Date Range. Visitors information is not shown here because it is only available when UTM visitor tracking is employed.

Calculation Methodology

  • Session: A series of Hits to your site over a specific period of time by one visitor.
  • Pageview: A request to the web server by a visitor’s browser for any web page; this excludes images, javascript, and other generally embedded file types.
  • Hit: Any successful request to a webserver from a visitor’s browser.
  • Bytes: The quantity of network bandwidth used by the files requested during the selected Date Range.

Because Bytes numbers can be very large, abbreviations are used as appropriate, such as MB for megabytes (~millions of bytes). The average length of Session is displayed as hours:minutes:seconds.

Thanks all very much for making YOUR Den so successful, and here’s to 2007.

Country Stats after the break


The Full Monty it is


Thanks to all who participated in the “smilies” poll. As promised, the poll is now closed and the winner of the sets offered were the “Full Monty” smilies which have now been activated. I hope you enjoy judiciously using them!

Meet the Full Monty set:

The Full Monty smilies set


Bye Santacons!

Vote for your favourite smilies package

You know, they say that if you keep the Christmas decorations up for too long after Christmas that could bring you bad luck; therefore, I have retired our beloved Santacons until next Christmas.

Say your goodbyes and thank yous to the little red man and woman…

Santacons Santa Icons Smilies

and say hello to the little green gender-neutral thingies again…

Smilies Green Icons

UPDATE 21:58: Okay, I’m feeling magnanimous :[ ! Click the thumbnail of the smilies on the right to view the available smilies sets, then vote for your selection in the poll. Voting will end Jan 1st, 2007 at 12 noon Bahrain time and the winning set will be installed.


The Den’s Demographics

Mtv's visitors age group poll

Thank you all for taking part in this poll, it is truly an eye-opener – if indeed the answers given are genuine.

I honestly thought the most of my guests would be from my same age group, those between 36 – 50 so I was surprised to find that “we” only constitute 19% of the total! The majority are younger, fully 50% 60% of you are between 18 – 35 years old and 62% 72% are below 36!

Wow. This is really interesting.

Although the results will not change my style or writing, maybe I should think of writing more posts targeted at the younger audience too? Or even have guest writers specifically for those age groups?

I hope you all find the things that interest you most. But to those of you who are interested only in certain topics I engage in, you could easily just pull the RSS feeds for those topics alone and ignore the rest. For example if you are only interested in my political posts, you might want to subscribe to the politics feed, those who are interested in my gardening posts would subscribe to this; while those interested only in photography would pull this feed. You could subscribe to any topic you like, just find out its number (get properties or get info on the topic by right clicking on it – you can find the topics listed in every post under the title) and then just add &feed=rss2. Let me know if you need any more help with this.

I’m also going to start using the tags more religiously now as I feel that they are actually more flexible than categories. You can get rss feeds off those too and I’ll explain the whole process more fully in the Help section and will let you know when it is completed.

It would be interesting to hear how you interpret the results and maybe you would also be good enough to share your thoughts on what you would like to see on the Den?


Popularity metrics

I’ve given a few interviews over the last couple of months where a question is always posed in different guises by the interviewer to find out how popular Mahmood’s Den is or has become, especially after the recent Ministry of Information’s order blocking the site in Bahrain. And usually the metric most journalists are familiar with is the number of hits a site receives. I usually go into an explanation mode of how these metrics are constructed and that a number of “hits” is not something that should be used for this measurement, especially when the vast majority of sites today are dynamic, like this one, and that every discreet element on a page would be considered a “hit”, hence, the number of hits really has become immaterial.

Consider, for instance if you are anything like me, you would keep refreshing the front page in order to see if there are new comments posted, that action is registered as new fresh hits every time, fortunately the system is intelligent enough to never count my own statistics (it does not count any admin user statistics above a set security or access rights limit) so my use of this method of course does not affect the site statistics, but yours do, which gives the impression that the site – if hits is the only metric considered – is a lot more popular than it actually is.

A better metric would be the number of page views, or impressions a site receives, but then, that metric too is on the way to becoming obsolete because the number of websites that use the “AJAX” technology removes the need for a user to click to go the next page in order to find results as those would be displayed on the same “page”. We have already experienced that on this site as the Polling module using AJAX to display the results in the same page, precluding the need to actually go to a “fresh” page to do so.

Therefore, a new metric should be considered to ascertain the real popularity of a site by advertisers and administrators as getting a “real” sense would help both in tailoring their services. Enter a new/old thing that is now being considered which is using the measurement of the number of unique visitors to a site, as Eamonn Fitzgerald concisely explains and he also sheds light on the deficiencies of even this system.

To me, the real popularity of site could never be measured by simple counts as explained above, they all have their deficiencies and all don’t tell the full story. A site’s popularity is the sense of community it provides, it is that magical something that entices people to keep returning back and contributing to a site’s success. It is the unique friends and friendships it nurtures and creates, and it is the atmosphere it expresses. All of these things are intangible and could not be accurately measured. But it is these things precisely that keeps me glued to my screen focused on Mahmood’s Den and await more pleasurable interaction with you, my friends, all day and every day!

Thank you all for creating this fantastic community, I hope that I will not let you down.


Polls results

Posted on

Thanks to all those who voted in our last two polls.

Here are the results:

Do you mind the country flags in the comments?

No 90 (63%)
Yes 25 (17%)
Don’t care 28 (20%)
Total 143

Would you rather have full or summary posts in the aggregator (http://bahrainblogs.org/rss)?

Short 19 (56%)
Full 11 (32%)
Don’t care 4 (12%)
Total 34

And so it shall be! Thanks again for taking the time to answer, I really appreciate it. This obviously makes the Den a better place.


Mtv Boing Boinged!


Thanks to William Wallis’ article in the Financial Times of Nov 24th which featured Mahmood’s Den, that article has made it all over the internet, the highest profile site to follow up on it is the hugely popular Boing Boing!

So if you came here from Boing Boing’s link, you’re more than welcome. Stick around and make yourself at home and thanks for your visit and interest!

…and I hope this doesn’t get me into trouble!


Honey, I’m hoooome!

unblock mahmood's den order - small

We’re back!

Thanks again… to everyone, and to Dr. Yateem, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Information and the Minister for proving that they are understanding and reasonable people.

I’m not sure how many countries in the world that a citizen can go and meet such high up people, discuss issues with them in a calm and open manner, while those officials knowing full well that that person in front of them has mercilessly criticized them in writing and on several occasions (the latest of which is just this morning!) and they still do not take things personally, but keep professional and find a to diffuse such a situation as this; but there couldn’t be many.

So regardless of our differences, I am honoured to have met these gentlemen and thank them once again for their efforts, and hope that they will continue to accept criticism without taking them too personally, for the good of Bahrain. And invite them, to jump in and comment and rebut any argument and article I put forth here, and hope that I too would be good enough to accept their criticisms with the same spirit.

So that page of our story is over… I’m now looking forward to the new page, one in which we can benefit from each other’s experiences, and can discuss matters which affect our country and our countrymen with the same understanding exhibited in this situation.

The next step for us, gentlemen, is to enact those 6 points suggested by the RSF which I have submitted to you and hope that they will be put into your consideration for any new legislation concerning the internet.

I am available to continue our discussions at your convenience.

Thank you, once again, to everyone.



Thanks Mohammed and Esra’a

I would like to extend my deepest thanks and appreciation for both Mohammed Al-Maskati (emoodz.com) and Esra’a Ahmed (mideastyouth.com) for their unstinting support they have offered and their trials to unblock my blog.

Their efforts, created websites, and brilliant creative ideas and passion demonstrated to protect the freedom of speech in Bahrain is a testament to their patriotism and humanity.

Thank you very much to you, and to everyone else in and out of Bahrain who have offered their much needed support at this time.

Thank you.


Bahrain blocks Web sites over election case

MANAMA, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Bahrain has blocked several Web sites for violating a reporting ban in the case of a government adviser who was deported after alleging election irregularities.

Authorities imposed a ban on publishing information about the case of the adviser, British citizen Salah al-Bander, who was sacked and deported to Britain in September for what a minister said was an attempt to foment civil strife in the Gulf state.

The case, known as Bandergate, initially made headlines in the country which is due to hold parliamentary and municipal elections on Nov. 25. Officials say the reporting ban was imposed to ensure an impartial investigation.

“The information ministry has decided to close a number of Bahraini and foreign Web sites … These sites transgressed a legal decision prohibiting the discussion of the case of the accused Salah al-Bander,” Hassan Oun, director of press and publications at the ministry, said in a statement.

“The information ministry will refer the owners of these sites to the judges for not cooperating and complying with the law,” said the statement obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.

Among the blocked Web sites was popular Bahraini blog www.mahmood.tv which is often a forum for political debate and government criticism. It re-opened under www.alyousif.tv, with a photograph of site owner Mahmood al-Yousif wearing a gag.

“It’s unreasonable. Whether you like it or not, everybody is discussing the Bandergate issue,” Yousif told Reuters. “The main issue here is much bigger than Bandergate or registering Web sites. They’re trying to get us to rescind our public freedoms.”

An Information Ministry official, who declined to be named, said some sites were blocked because they did not register with the government. The official said the law requiring registration aimed to prevent misinformation and insults against the state.

Sectarian tensions often cast a shadow over politics in Bahrain, a U.S. ally which is ruled by Sunni Muslims but has a Shi’ite majority.

((Reporting by Mohammed Abbas; editing by Robert Woodward; +973-1752 4430; Fax + 973 17536194; Email: [email protected]))

The story is now on the wires, that means by tomorrow morning hundreds of papers will pick it up…

and I have just been informed that the Ministry of Information has submitted cases against “websites” with the Public Prosecutor who, in turn, started its investigation over the Ministry’s claims.

I fervently hope that the Public Prosecutor will show its independence by throwing the cases out, as they should be.