Eish!!: Top SA Blogs bandwidth survey results

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Top SA Blogs bandwidth survey results

At the end of last month I wrote a post complaining about the month end bandwidth overusage. At the time of writing, I couldn't help but wonder what effect this would have on the general surfing habits of the SA's internet users and obviously blog reads.
So I sent a survey to a couple of SA's top blogs asking a few questions around this phenomenon. While not earthbreaking the results were interesting and brought up a seperate rather depressing trend.

My survey was short and sweet, we don't want to keep them bloggers from blogging now do we? Just three questions. From these three I would be able to spot the trends.
Let's start at the last question first.
  1. What effect, if any, does the month-end congestion have on your site's response time, down time & hit rate? All respondents bar one replied that they do not see any noticeable effect. Eric Edelstein (ericedelstein.com/incuBeta.com/TrafficSynergy.com amongst others) also didn't "see much difference - although I do see differences on the different hosting company's I use - regardless of where they are based." So the slow response experienced by some users is not preventing them from reading their favourite blogs. That's good news. It could also mean that because critical mass has yet to be reached in SA we are still at the stage where it's the hardcore users that are viewing blogs in a regular basis. These guys and gals are not going to logoff and wait for tomorrow. They will rather open a few Firefox tabs, go make a cup of coffee and come back once their favourite, favourites are loaded and ready to be viewed.
Knowing the slow response inevitably effects those trying to surf sites hosted internationally more than those hosted locally, my first question was actually
  1. Is your site hosted locally or internationally? Just short of 80% of all those polled use international hosting companies. If you consider that Rouvanne van den Berg's websites currently hosted locally are soon to be moved overseas and the Eric uses both local and international hosts, this percentage could actually be even higher.
Of course, I had to ask the important follow-up question :
  1. What was your prime motivator for hosting decision? This was where the stark reality of our current internet costs become evident. The overriding reason was cost or, as Rafiq Phillips of Your Group of Web AddiCT(s); puts it "cost, cost, cost." Vincent Maher of My Digital Life and, of course Amatomu, fame goes one step further, "Its a blanket policy of mine because I feel that local ISPs are overcharging and their service is poor." Neville Newey, www.muti.co.za, lists support for python, a "cumbersome sign up process",bandwidth speed, reliability and the lack of cap as his reasons for using international hosting services. Vaughn of Ninjamonkeys.co.za illustrates how "for the same price you get 2gb bandwidth here, or 20gb in Germany."

So to summarise it seems that the month-end congestion is becoming less and less of an issue. The big issue is the cost of bandwidth & hosting fees.

Uno deWaal proposed bloggers should be taking action in his post "How to fight for Local Bandwidth." This proposal did not get much traction. Why not? The answer is simple and is illustrated by the results above. It's way simpler to use an overseas hosting company. Better, service, cheaper costs, easier sign up procedures. Who can argue with that? Nic @ nicharalambous.com emphasises the point in yesterdays post titled : "Locally Hosted SA Site Will Not Succeed." His very success with SA Rocks is what caused the site to go down. Sure this happens worldwide, as is evident by the common "Digg Effect" complaints, but that is as a result of many multiples more bandwidth usage and usually on those sites hosted on free services .The fact that his hosting company had to be "gracious" doesn't sit well with me.

Let me end by thanking all those bloggers who responded to my mail. The SA blogosphere is a fantastic community to be part of, however small that part may be. Everyone is so willinug to cross promote, give advice and contribute to the greater good, blogging. Let's hope it stays that way. Sure, it would have been nice if those bloggers affiliated to commercial entities could also have responded but, hey, can't expect too much now can we?

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Hey Eish, thanks for the mention, just a little correction: Nic HARALAMBOUS is the last name, it's a tough one so no stress!!

Good post!

Oops, my editor must have missed that one! His fired :-)

Your post suggests that things get congested at the end of the month. I would have expected the opposite, as bandwidth caps start coming into effect and people exceed their allowance.

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