Surveys, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the silent majority

Luke Schierer lschiere at
Fri Jan 9 10:05:44 EST 2009

On Fri, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:11:15AM +0000, Phil Hannent wrote:
> Casey Ho wrote:
> > Demographics
> > -------------------------
> > - At least 1/3 of Pidgin users have Pidgin installed on both Linux and Windows.
> > - The top reasons why people use Pidgin: It's free (89%), it supports
> > all accounts (73%), and it has no ads (70%)
> > - The top protocols: MSN (67%), Google Talk (51%), ICQ (44%)
> This was a surprise to me, ICQ while being one of the oldest chat protocols
> seemed to me to be one that was on its way out.

I'm surprised it is still used at all, given how little attention AOL
gives to its servers.


> The survey is kind of interesting in that by asking users about the client, they
> are responding by saying they are happy with it.  Which is kind of what you
> would expect, if people were not happy with Pidgin they would find another
> client which they were happy with.
> I would be more interested in a survey that asked users of other IM clients what
> makes them choose their current client, that way you might learn something that
> is missing.
> Regards
> Phil Hannent

That would make sense if we were a company looking to increase market
share.  It would also make sense if we, like some involved with open
source, thought that global dominance is a necessary goal for a project.

We take a very different view though.  Some of those unhappy with Pidgin
like finch, others choose Adium.  Still others really like Meebo
(spelling?).  Others like other clients that aren't libpurple based.

THIS IS GOOD.  Software diversity is a good thing, because it is not
possible to write a client that will excite everyone.  The same holds
true in other areas, I really dislike using the GNOME and KDE
environments, but because global domination has not been achieved, I can
use fvwm.

Our goal is to please those users we can, which is basically those users
most like us, and those users whose desires overlap more with ours than
with any other client they have tried.  If, on the other hand, kopete or
telepathy or whatever else floats your boat, I'm glad you have that


More information about the Devel mailing list