Symbian^3 resurgence myth. How Nokia Q4 2010 results show smartphone sales collapse well in progress
Most vocal current Nokia critics insist that it was doing pretty well before Feb. 11th announcement, and that “Burning platform” Elop killed the resurging Symbian sales. As a key evidence – they point us to Nokia Q4 2010 results. Especially to the Symbian^3 device sales in that quarter, and the jump in average smartphone selling price, caused by them.
Tomi Ahonen gives the best summation of this line of reasoning in his blog post today:
Then came the new Symbian S^3 on several phones, led by the new flagship phone N8 which set a Nokia record for fastest sales in a quarter. All declining trends were turned into growth – this tells us the market loved Nokia’s new smartphones on the new Symbian S^3 operating system and this is absolute proof that Nokia was on a come-back. Whatever you may have thought of Symbian prior to Q4 of 2010, became obsolete. Nokia had indeed on its hands, a true hit series of phones and a hit operating system with the N8 setting internal Nokia records for new phone sales. Look at the facts.
In Q4 of 2010, Nokia grew smartphone sales to 28.3 million units (7% growth). You cannot claim that Nokia’s Symbian sales were “declining” or in any way “suffering.” Nokia Symbian based smartphone sales were growing. That is a fact. And in size, Nokia at Q4 of last year was quite literally as big as all smartphones made by Apple and Samsung added together (these would both individually pass Nokia by Q2). That is a fact. Nokia ASP grew to 155 Euros (200 US dollars) which reflected a jump of 14% from just one quarter before. That is a fact. If we add in the trend line, that the ASP had been in continuous decline of about 7%, the actual jump in Nokia ASP was a breathtaking 21% !!!! Don’t tell me Nokia was not back. The phones were jumping off the shelves. And how did this impact Nokia revenues? In Q4 Nokia smartphone unit geneated 4.4 Billion Euros of revenues (5.7 Billion USD). That was a growth of 22% – in just one quarter! That is a fact. And what of profits. Nokia’s profit margin jumped —— 34% !!!!!! —- to 12.5%. That is a fact. And total profits of the smartphone unit powered by the new Symbian S^3 phones rocketed up by ——- 64% —– !!!!! ——- Sixty Four Percent —— in one quarter ! —— to 548 million Euros (712 million USD). That is a fact. See Nokia official Quarterly Results Q3, and Q4 to verify all those numbers, as well as the new official Nokia accounting reports for profitability of Nokia units in the 4 quarters of 2010.
It’s hard for me to believe that a respected analyst would consider a single quarter data to be enough to declare it to be an “absolute proof” of anything. But I digress. It sounds oh so reasonable, when all facts are presented in isolation, without any context. But let’s try and look at that wider context.
When Nokia N8 was shipped, On Sept. 30 2010, it was the first new Nokia flagship in 16 months. With previous one –NokiaN97 – being a huge disappointment and embarrassment for Nokia. Nokia N8 was announced 6 months before, and marketed as having the next generation of Symbian OS, which finally can do real touch. According to Nokia – “over 100 key operators around the world are ranging the Nokia N8 in over 40 countries” – that’s an enormous footprint and sales channel for the new device. And Nokia also said that “the N8 has received the highest amount of consumer pre-orders” in its history.” While they did not give the actual numbers – the preorders should have been in at least 1 million range to make that announcement, probably somewhere between 1 and 2 million. Nokia also had more mass market Nokia C7 Symbian^3 phones shipping that quarter, and even cheaper C6-01 shipped by the end of 2010 in limited quantities.
But Nokia N8 was the flagship. It was positioned to compete with Android flagships of the time – Samsung Galaxy S, HTC Desire and the likes. And it had a key advantage over them. While Android flagships retailed somewhere around 600 Euro, Nokia N8 cost around EUR450 (I’m using the actual retail prices in Europe, including VAT, for comparison). And Nokia N8 was positioned (by price) way above most popular/best selling mid-to-low end Nokia Symbian^1 devices like 5230, C5 or QWERTY E5, so there should be very low overlap and cannibalization of sales there. Most of Nokia N8 sales should be additive to the existing Symbian^1 device sales.
And Q4 was a Christmas quarter – the biggest quarter of the year for Nokia, and every other mobile vendor. A quarter, when Nokia usually sells 30% of it’s smartphones for that year (way more then in previous quarters). In Q4 2009 – when Symbian was still doing pretty OK, when overall smartphone market grew by measly 5.4 million units from Q3 2009, Nokia was able to grow it’s sales by 4.4 million million units (81% of the total smartphone market growth between Q3 and Q4 2009 could be accounted by new Nokia smartphones). That’s what a healthy Nokia Symbian growth looked like.
Now let’s go back to Q4 2010, and sum up all the things that Nokia had going for it. Q4 is the best quarter of the year for Nokia and every other gadget maker, usually accounting for 30% of yearly sales. At the very beginning of the quarter Nokia launched it’s biggest update to it’s portfolio in years (Symbian^3). With a flagship, that even before shipping, maybe before the quarter even started – already had somewhere between 1 and two million units in the bag on per-orders. A flagship that is on the way to 100 operators in 40 countries. A flagship that has a huge pent up demand from loyal Nokia fans. A flagship that is priced so above the Nokia’s smartphone portfolio from the previous quarter, that most of it’s sales should be additive to overall Nokia smartphone volume. And a flagship, that is priced 25% below competition it is targeting.
And, to make things potentially even better for Nokia – a quarter where overall smartphone market grew by 29% and added more then 20 million new smartphones compared to Q3 2010.
So how many new Symbian smartphones did Nokia manage to add during Q4 2010? A measly 1.7 million, compared to 2.5 million in Q3 2010. Yes with a Christmas/Holiday sales season, with the biggest OS upgrade in years, with huge pent up demand (counting in millions) for high end Nokia flagship, with a million or more Nokia N8s pre-ordered, many of them before Q4 even started, with most N8 sales adding to existing Nokia smartphone portfolio and with a market growing by 30%, Nokia managed to grow it’s quarterly smartphone sales by 800K units (or 32%) less, then in Q3 2010, when it had none of those things going for it.
And how did it manage even that? By shipping (not actually selling) 5 million Symbian^3 phones, estimated 4 million of them –the most expensive N8. The sales of the older Nokia Symbian portfolio – Symbian^1 and S60 3d ed smartphones – were already crashing in Q4 2010. Nokia sold only 23.3 million older Symbian smartphones in Q4, compared to 26.5 million sold in Q3. That’s a unit decline of 3.2 million (or 12%) in just 3 months. In the best quarter of the year. And don’t tell me – it’s because those 3.2 million lost Nokia S^1 customers switched to buy Symbian^3 smartphones. Some of them may have done that. But can you honestly argue that people buying smartphones for an average of 136 Euro ( Nokia smartphone ASP in Q3 2010), will start switching en masse to a smartphone that is 2 times more expensive (N8)?
And that 14% average selling price jump in Q4 2010? If your cheapest device sales decline by 3.2 million, or 12%, and you add 4 million new devices that are at least 2 times more expensive, of course your average selling price will go up a lot. But does it mean anything? If the trend continues for a while (a quarter or two) – it could be an indication that you are on the right path. If it does not – it’s just a one quarter blip, caused by a confluence of extremely positive, one time factors. Which is exactly what we had in Q4 2010. As Nokia results in Q1 2011 prove.
Ah yes. Q1 2010 and February 2011/burning platforms thing.
When we are talking about Nokia quarterly results, or any other mobile vendor for that matter , we are talking about the number of units shipped to distributors/mobile operators. Not the number of units that consumers actually bought. There’s a lag between those two of about four to six weeks. So 4-6 weeks before then end of the quarter – most of what a company is going to sell during that quarter – is already in the bag. The contracts are signed, phones are in production and/or on the way to distributors/operators.
This 4-6 week delay was actually confirmed by Nokia’s profit warning this May. Public companies must announce things they know, that can materially affect the stock price, as soon as they are sure about the facts/outcomes. There are severe legal consequences if they don’t. Nokia has announced that Q2 2011 sales will be way below expectations on May 31st – 4 weeks and two days before the quarter end. Before May 31st – Nokia could scramble trying to improve it’s sales, offer discounts and various bonuses/incentives to distributors, getting them to buy more Nokia smartphones. Before that day, Nokia could tell anyone, in good faith, that they are not sure how this quarter will end, that they are still working and think they have a good chance to close these other deals that will put Nokia smartphone sales to where Nokia guided they will be in their Q1 report. But 4 weeks and 2 days before the end of Q2 Nokia was absolutely positively sure, that their Q2 projections were crap. All the contracts for Symbian smartphones in Q2, that Nokia was going to sign – were signed, and all the phones that were going to be ordered in Q2 were ordered. So they had to inform us about it.
Now, let’s look at how February 11th could have affected Nokia sales in Q1, taking into account that 4-6 weeks lag. On February 10th 2011, Nokia already had binding contracts/orders for their smartphone deliveries for 4 to 6 weeks in advance. If we take the outer- 6 weeks range – from February 11th, that brings us to March 25th – just 5 working days before the end of the quarter. If we take 4 weeks – that’s a total of 15 workdays for all Nokia distributors to react and start Nokia smartphone boycott. By February 11th Nokia had at least 2/3ds of all Q1 sales in the bag. Knowing what’s coming – they were probably pushing to close all the Q1 affecting deals they could, offering incentives/deals for those who would sign early.
Can anyone honestly say, that operators and major distributors all around the world can move that fast (5 to 15 workdays), redraft all their purchasing plans, decide on what will replace the Nokia phones they had planned to order, get assurances from other vendors that those additional phones will be delivered in time, by the end of March. In an industry, where most successful vendors are at max capacity already, and can’t make enough smartphones as it is? The most obvious answer is – no way. There was no way that Feb. 11th could have had any significant impact on Nokia’s Q1, 2011.
And if it was too late on February 11th to significantly affect Nokia Q1 results, if Nokia already had the binding contracts/orders for almost until the end of Q1, by February 10th, if it was too late for Nokia distributors to redraft all their purchasing plans – how do you explain what happened to Nokia in Q1 2011?
Why did Nokia smartphone sales drop by 4 million units?
I just showed you, that the sales of older Nokia smartphones have been already dropping precipitously (3.2 million drop) in Q4 2010, so it is very likely that they have continued to drop in Q1. And by Feb. 11th, Nokia has booked at least 2/3ds of of all possible Symbian^3 device sales for Q1 -including the expensive N8, and even more expensive new E7. Why then, if Symbian^3 was such raging success, did Nokia’s smartphone ASP drop so much?
The most obvious answer is – Symbian^3 wasn’t such a big success after all. For a company with Nokia’s distributing and marketing power, and the amount of money it poured into promoting N8 – 5 million units shipped in 3 months, during a Christmas quarter, is actually only a rather moderate success. It’s even more moderate, I’d say even disappointing, if you take into account a pent up demand from S^3 delays and all the hype and build-up associated with a new launch of a next generation device. How long did it take Apple to sell 5 million iPhone 4s? How long will it take Samsung to sell 5 million Galaxy S2s? And Samsung doesn’t even have an eager fan base counting in the millions, waiting to replace their aging 16 month or older flagship with a next generation device. I’m sure that most of the original Galaxy S owners are not even thinking about looking for an upgrade just yet. So most of Galaxy S2 buyers have to be new customers to Samsung smartphones.
And as to what happened in Q1? Here’s most likely scenario: Nokia was able to convince operators and distributors to take on those millions of Nokia N8/S^3 devices before holiday shopping season even started. Shipped and booked those devices as sales for Q4. But the actual demand for Symbian^3 – people going into mobile shop/operator store and buying the device- was actually much lower then expected. By the end of 2010, Nokia distributors clearly saw that – all those Nokia phones just lying on their shelves – and started reducing orders for S^3 phones even faster then they were reducing older Nokia smartphone orders. So by February 10th – the time that most of Nokia Q1 sales were already booked, high ASP Nokia S^3 devices made a much smaller part of Nokia portfolio then it did in Q4 2010. Hence the drop in ASP.
So much for S^3 resurgence, or Nokia’s “great” Q4 being absolute proof of something.
And one more thing.
It’s funny how those former Nokia fans, now blinded by Elop hate, and even some respected analysts, used to insist – that market share is the most important thing in current smartphone wars. That anything else – even profits or declining ASPs – do not matter at all, as long as you can keep market share without losing money. And how Nokia is the king of the hill because it is keeping it’s market share, even if a smartphone ASPs and overall profits are declining rapidly. And how they are now all about market share again, pointing how fast Nokia is losing it, because big bad Stephen Elop is either an incompetent psychopath, or Microsoft Trojan Horse. Then, they are confronted with the facts that all current Nokia loses in market share and unit sales can easily be explained by simply extending the market share loss trends from Q3 and Q4 2010. Well before Elop could do any significant damage.
And what do they do? Suddenly they forget about the years of their insistence that market share is THE key metric of success in smartphone market. Turn 180 degrees around, and start insisting that – no, no, no, – just for Q3 and Q4 of 2010, Nokia market share loses do not matter. Yes – they mattered a lot before Q3 2010, and they matter a lot after Q4 2010. Just not in the meantime. What matters for Nokia Q3 and Q4 2010, and only for Nokia in H2 last year, are:
- anemically growing unit sales volumes (with new major platform upgrade during Christmas quarter bringing in a unit growth smaller, then a quarter before)
- growing ASPs (in just that one quarter)
Tell me, why would anyone treat just 2 quarters in company and market history so differently, from what one preached for years and continues to preach now? Because those two quarters show an inconvenient truth that can not be reconciled with the new great theory of Elop’s guilt? The willful ignorance and thought flexibility involved in this mental exercise just makes my head spin.
Of course – those critics will now try to point out that my arguments above might have made sense before May 31st profit warning, and the actual Nokia Q2 results. But Q2 proves that they were right all along…
Sorry guys, I already covered that and explained why Feb. 11th had very little to do with what happened to Nokia in Q2.
Telling me to F%&^k off, calling Skype Boycott Qs “utter rubish”, deleting all my comments? @tomiahonen Thank you!
Update: There was some misunderstanding over the use of the “F%^&k off” word in this post headline. For the record – Tomi never used that word in his communications with me. I never claimed that he did and I do provide a full transcript of our conversation in the post below.
What Tomi said to me was “I don’t have time for you. Don’t come back to my blog anymore” . “F%^&k off”, IMHO, accurately reflects the meaning of these words and his further actions deleting all my comments. So I used the word for a catchier headline. Poor choice of words? Probably. But mostly because it allowed Tomi to start picking on “F%^&k off” word to evade talking about the real issues discussed in this post.
I’ve been an active commenter on your blog for months now. And, I believe, we used to have a lively and mutually useful discussion. Even though you have been breaking your promise, given almost after every article, to respond to every commenter for more then a month now, leaving almost half of comments unanswered, and, most likely even unread, that was OK with me. Conversations I had with your other readers made it well worth it.
If not for the discussions on your blog, I probably never would have gotten around to write my “How Nokia was disrupted” series, and quite a few other posts.
But yesterday you did a really dumb thing. You deleted my comment where I raised questions about the reliability of the sources you used to make your “Skype boycott” claim. The comment, that provided clear, undeniable proof, that your sources are indeed not reliable. Without even bothering to read it or follow the links that I included as my proof. (Here’s a screen capture of deleted comment that started it all).
Then, when I asked you on Twitter about the deleted comment, you turned to insults, calling my comment “utter rubbish” and “waste of your readers time” (though I didn’t hear any of the readers complaining when we lively discussed similar issues on your blog for a few weeks when you were traveling). And demanded a public apology from me to allow me to comment on your blog again. When I insisted that your sources are indeed not as credible as you think, and started providing links to show you exactly that, you told me to “go away and don’t come back to your blog anymore, because you don’t have time for me”. (Screen grab of the twitter discussion between me and Tomi is here)
And then you went and deleted all of my comments from all of your blog posts, no matter how relevant to the discussion or how long ago they have been made. Real mature way in dealing with your critics. But it’s your blog and you can do whatever you want on it, I guess.
But you publicly insulted me by calling my writing “utter rubbish and waste of your readers time”. When other people (Eldar Murtazin) joined, questioning your actions, you kept adamantly insisting on reliability of your sources with tweets like: ” I quoted a published story in the San Francisco Chronicle, another in the Boston Globe, separate stories on same fact? “, “I quoted previously from three separate news sources, all identified clearly on my blog. Are u Eldar suggesting am wrong?” What do you suggest Tomi Ahonen should ‘rethink his position about sources of info’ ? Which source is unreliable?”
Since many haven’t had a chance to read my comment proving that your sources are unreliable, and may wonder what all the fuss is about, I’m going to respond to your claims about reliability of your proof.
Tomi Ahonen calls a total of 6 visits to carrier shop, by 3 writers “an independent surveys by U.S. newspapers” , and then uses them to invent a far reaching assertion that carriers started Windows Phone boycott over MSFT/Skype deal
Let’s start with Tomi’s tweets I quoted above.
How much sources did he claim to have provided? 5 or 3? The impression is that it’s 5 sources – SFC, Boston Globe and “3 separate news sources quoted previously” in the next tweet. But if challenged, Tomi can always claim that he was talking only about 3 separate sources. Because this is a true number of sources he provides to back his Skype Boycott theory through all the posts in his blog. Can’t be sure about the comment section – read most of them at one time or the other, don’t remember him mentioning any additional sources in comments, but can’t be 100% certain that he didn’t.
Interesting statement/tweet acrobatics here to create an impression of a larger amount of “reliable” sources then Tomi actually has.
Now let’s see what sources exactly Tomi is using to back his claims:
Tomi first talks about WP7 troubles in carrier stores in his June 10 “Steps to save Nokia” post:
“… We now hear that since Microsoft announced the Skype deal, apparently several of the carrier stores are now also actively steering buyers of (non Nokia branded) WP7 phone buyers to select rival phones using Google’s Android OS. “
No Skype Boycott theory yet, and no sources mentioned.
On June 13th, in “Other bloodbath news” post, Tomi’s invents his Skype Boycott theory:
The San Francisco Chronicile and PC Week and other sources are now reporting that the resellers have put all Microsoft based smartphones on boycott. They will switch the customers to Android phones instead.
We have 2 sources mentioned – PCMag and San Francisco Chronicle.
On June 24th, in a “Real Stephen Elop” post we have a second mention of Skype Boycott assertion:
When Microsoft bought Skype, that sealed the fate of any Microsoft-powered smartphones. Suddenly all Microsoft phones disappeared from stores, as reported already by independent surveys by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Globe. That is only the beginning
Here we have San Francisco Chronicle again, and then Boston Globe is added.
4. Another rant about Skype Boycott on July 5th, in “Bloodbath update” post:
This was already reported by severeal US newspaper who surveyed US resellers (Microsoft’s best market) and found that there were no Microsoft phones, or the only phone on exhibit was a broken phone; and that sales staff were very actively steering customers who asked for Microsoft phones, to buy Android.
No concrete source mentioned. Just some abstract “newspapers”
6. And the last one – on July 6th in “Nokia CEO quiz” post:
Because of this new acquisition the carriers/operators started a boycott of Microsoft in May of 2011, and the carriers are now telling you, they will never support Microsoft based smartphones
No sources mentioned.
There you have it. I went through all Tomi’s posts where he talks about this mythical Skype Boycott, and found him mention 3 reputable sources that carried out independent surveys, which prove prove that carriers are now boycotting Skype. They are PCMag, San Francisco Chronicle and Boston Globe.
Only by claiming that he “clearly identified 3 separate news sources on his blog”, Tomi does not follow the standard blog publishing practice – providing a link to the source he is talking about. He only mentions some abstract articles about WP7 survey in these 3 newspapers/sites, leaving it to the readers themselves to figure out what particular articles he is talking about. Which is no easy task, that only very few or none of his readers will perform. But Tomi achieves his purpose with this neat trick. To create an impression that he is basing his Skype Boycott speculation on an authoritative research, carried out by 3 independent and respectable Mainstream Media publications. And that this research actually shows that carriers only started boycotting Windows Phone in late May, after Skype deal, and this proves that boycott exists and that the reason for it is Skype.
Another instance of claim acrobatics, creating an impression that your statements/sources are more authoritative then they really are? Do I see a pattern emerging here?
Well, I took the time to track all three articles in all three sources that Tomi was talking about. PCMag, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Herald. Yes, Boston Herald. There is no article on WP7/carrier shop survey at the time in Boston Globe, Tommi made another mistake. The article he talks about appears in Boston Herald.
Here the three articles:
San Francisco Chronicle: Microsoft Windows Phones Are Getting Buried At Carriers’ Stores
Boston Herald: Survey reveals bias against Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 . BH article has been moved to a paid archive, but fortunately we can read it in full here.
If you read all these articles, you’ll notice quite few few very interesting things:
- both SFC and BH articles use the core findings of PCMag article as the basis for their reports
- all the “survey” PC Mag did was to visit 4 carrier shops in Manhattan. 1 shop for each carrier
- the SFC article is not actually an SFC article. It’s an article from BusinessInsider.com , syndicated on San Francisco Chronicle website.
- all the additional and independent research SFC, er… sorry, Busines Insider reporter did, was visit “several AT&T stores in San Francisco”. That could mean that only two stores in San Francisco were visited. And only for one carrier – AT&T. And, btw, BI couldn’t even report active boycott or customer steering away from Windows Phone. Only that WP7 phones are “given low prominence, behind iPhone, Android and Blackberry”.
- all the additional reporting Boston Herald reporter did – was to visit 2 or 3 carrier stores in Boston. It’s a bit contradictory, because report says that she has visited several Verizon, AT&T and Sprint wireless stores, but then recounts only 2 experiences from Sprint and Verizon. Could it be that she had a different experience in the third shop?
So, let’s sum up what do we have:
- Instead of 3 independent sources – we only have only one primary source – PCMag, the other two using PCMag as the basis for their articles, and for more then 50% of data they base their reports on. Some independent confirmation from 3 sources I’d say.
- What about the objectivity of the surveys? The whole set-up just screams “possible bias”. Even at PCMag, a reporter hears somewhere that there is this problem with Windows Phone buying experience in shops – there were plenty reports about this online since WP7 sales started in October/November. Gets an idea for an article and sets out to look for data supporting her argument. If she doesn’t find any – there goes a day of wasted effort. So there is a pretty strong incentive to find some. And SFC/BI and BH reporters? They already have most of the story and data ready from PCMag, all they need to do is add a sliver of original reporting – supporting that data. Except that if they don’t find the supporting data – there goes their own story with a catchy headline. PCMag says one thing, we, in some shops found another. Hmm contradictory data, requiring some serious research effort to prove one way or another, for little gain. Talk about possible bias and an objective surveys.
- And then we have the sample – 4 carrier stores in NYC, 2 in SF and 2 or 3 in Boston. The only thing it can prove is that there are Android and IPhone biased sales people who don’t know much about Windows Phone in 8 carrier stores. Out of thousands or tens of thousands out there.
Yes, these anecdotal experiences might be a great material for a catchy headline with a question mark at the end. But I wonder, how can any unbiased observer, let alone well respected mobile analyst, consider these 3 “surveys” reliable enough to prove anything. Let alone such a far reaching conclusion as the existence of Skype Boycott. Especially since there were hundreds of very similar WP7 retail experience reports well before MSFT/Skype deal .
I rest my case.
I think I proved beyond any reasonable doubt that it’s Tomi’s claims about Skype Boycott and reliability of his sources that is “utter rubbish”. And that he is either afraid, too lazy or incapable to even consider any contradiction/argument challenging his assertions, because of his extreme bias to spin every bit of information he can in Nokia/MSFT negative way, while ignoring all the positives. And he’ll better delete and hide from his readers comments proving the flimsiness of his arguments, then examine them, respond and admit his mistakes.
My thank’s and best wishes to Tomi Ahonen
You demanded that I apologize publicly on your blog. But since I just proved your sources are indeed unreliable, I can not do that. And you told me not to comeback to your blog anyway.
But I’d like to thank you.
When calling you out on Twitter I expected a lively discussion and, maybe, even some overreaction from you too. This is not the first time you respond to my questions with fiery indignation. But that your I don’t have time for you, so fuck off reply? Wow! It was a perfect Twitterbate It brought me 30 new Twitter followers in an hour. So thank you very much for that.
You deleting all of my comments I ever made on your blog, really pissed me off. I have invested considerable time and effort, did research and provided facts and arguments in these comments, I haven’t posted anywhere else. I was still going to some of those comments for information and additional arguments/ideas for my articles. And they had nothing to do with our current disagreement. So you deleting them all was really mean and childish and caused me some inconvenience. But most of them were first written in one of my Google docs accounts and copy pasted to your blog, so they must be safe and I just have to track them down among all those “untitled documents”.
But the deletion finally prompted me to revive my own personal blog. I didn’t post here for a few years, forgot to pay my old host and the site was removed from host’s servers. Tracking the old database backups and installing the blog at a new host required some time&effort and it were your actions that finally pushed me to do it. So thank you for giving a good kick in the ass to revive my blog.
And finally, I would like to wish you to get well.
Your “Elop muppet” rants over the last couple of months are starting to look like an obsession. And your loyal readers, who used to come to your blog for insightful data driven analysis are noticing – just look at your comment section of your last 2 posts while hunting for comments referencing our current spat to remove. Your blog is becoming a club of Nokia fanboys who feel somehow betrayed by Feb. 11th burning platform switch, to vent their feelings and frustration. Try to relax and forget about your Elop hate. Try looking at all that is happening to Nokia objectively and at least listen to contrary arguments.
Nokia is only a business company, it may survive and prosper, or it may be run to the ground. It does not matter, it is not worthy of hate or obsession. And it’s especially not worth wasting your hard earned reputation over, with endless, often unsubstantiated rants.
So thank you again for the interesting discussions we had over last months. I don’t hold a grudge or hard feelings over those stupid comment deletions. And, if you ever wake up from your Elop induced nightmare and are open to discuss things Nokia and mobile with me again, I’ll be happy to oblige.
Just recently I found out about the new e-mail going around. Thank God I did not receive it. I might have had a heart attack.
The e-mail goes like this:
While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense
account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since
keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our
advertisers in the future, we’ve decided to disable your account.
Please understand that we consider this a necessary step to protect the
interests of both our advertisers and our other AdSense publishers. We
realize the inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you in advance
for your understanding and cooperation.
If you have any questions about your account or the actions we’ve taken,
please do not reply to this email. You can find more information by
The Google AdSense Team
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
And then it goes to say: sorry, we are joking, we are not from Adsense, we are just promoting our (paid) service to prevent such thing happening to you.
Holy m%^&$f%cKi%^nof… How many people stopped reading after that “Sincerely” and break…. And got scared sh%^&ess?
Is that the way to promote your service? By impersonating Google and scaring people? FU uniCliqs or whatever.
And you got the initial idea so right. Such hosted service can be useful and needed.And the idea of making it into a guest posts is great. Even problogger picked it up initially, until he saw the details of your e-mail campaign.
It probably could have ended on much more high profile blogs if you did it right.
But you decided to go the stupid way for a quick buck, by scaring people into subscription instead…
One of the best things about having a personal blog is the discussion that you get involved in via comments.
But the comment implementation in WordPress really sucks. Even numerous plugins for the comments area do not help much. Believe me I tried.
I had a vision of how my perfect comment area should look like. Threaded comments, ability to edit them, spell checking, links opening in a new page/tab, preview option before posting, avatar next to the post, subscription option, etc;
I tried to make all of this work for more then a week and failed. I was able to implement less then 50% of my wishes.
But there’s a hope. Soon we’ll have a new service that will be focused on making your comment area into a real discussion forum.
I am pretty unhappy (to put it mildly) with the results from the last Google Page Rank update. While getting PR3 for Staska.net was a nice thing for a blog that was barely a month old, my other sites did not fare that well.
The thing that really pissed me off, was the reduction of the toolbar pagerank for my main cellphone blog. I’ve got PR5 for it last July and it has been steadily there until April 2007 update.
Since this January, when I resumed my blogging activities, I at least doubled (maybe even tripled) the number of incoming links to this blog. And a lot of the links were from PR7-8 sites like Engadget, Gizmodo or CrunchGear.
So when I saw my PR start to fluctuate on various Google datacenters in the beginning of April, I was pretty sure that I’m getting a bump to PR6 for the cellphone blog. Only to find it brought down to PR4!
I am a bit late to report my online earnings for April 2007, mainly because I wanted to have a more detailed look of how each of my blogs was doing.
To do that, I had to make a breakdown of all earnings per blog and check the traffic each blog was generating from the begining of this year. I have all the figures now, so the results tracking exercise should be much easier from now on.
Here are my online earnings results for April 2007:
Combined April traffic for my blogs was 137 605 page views from 110 201 unique visitors, which gets me something like $10 eCPM overall.
April 23 was one month since I relaunched Staska.Net. It’s a good time to follow my own advice, sit back, look at the results and decide of how to proceed further.
On March 23, before my “Happy birthday John Chow dot Com” post, Staska.Net had 1 post, did not have any visitors, inbound links, Technorati or Alexa ranks.
Last 30 days results:
- No. of Posts: 24
- No. Comments (including trackbacks): 228
- No. of RSS subscribers: 52
- No. of unique visitors: 25 101
- No. Pageviews: 30 625
- daily visitors: ~200
- Alexa rank: 257 484
- Technorati rank: 17 383 (304 links from 220 blogs)
- Google Webmaster Central incoming links: 17 780
- Yahoo Site Explorer inlinks: 5172
- Income: $18.20
Wow. Mitch from HarpzOn.com just called it quits and is selling off his domain.
Mitch was one of the more interesting new entrants into (pro) blogging advice club with a novel and interesting idea of how to get to the top.
In addition to relying on good content, word of mouth and traditional promotion tactics, he decided to throw a pile of money at the problem, targeting top bloggers in his market segment for paid review of his blog.
Well, unlike many of us, Mitch is already successful online entrepreneur, so he could afford it. And his tactics appeared to be working. He had good content. He’s got a quite a few links from a number of highly respected bloggers.
All of which helped Mitch attract a bunch of subscribers to his feed and mailing list and get to the level of about 1000 visitors per day, in a few weeks. And his became one of more interesting daily feeds in my feedreader.
So it’s a pity to see Mitch go. If he is really going, that is.
One of the most common pieces of advice for bloggers goes like this:
- Find Long Tail (rarely used, uncompetitive) keywords through which new readers get to your blog in search engines.
- Write more posts using these keywords, to improve your rankings and get more readers
I may be missing something, but I really don’t understand how this can work/help?
Long tail keywords are called that way for a cause. Almost nobody uses them. And if nobody searches for them, how will they bring new readers to my blog?
OK, you may say. Just use a lot of them, post a lot and if each LT keyword will bring a reader a week, soon you’ll be looking at a steady stream of new visitors from search engines.
But I already do that with every post. And you do that too. Every post on every blog is filled with the combinations of words that someone somewhere looking for something might use someday.
There were 5 monkeys in the cage. The researcher have hung a bunch of bananas on the ceiling and placed a ladder underneath.
One of the monkeys saw the banana and started getting up the ladder to get it. The researcher turned on the fire hose and knocked him down from the ladder, hosing all other monkeys with cold water as well.
After a while, another monkey decided to get the banana. He started getting up the ladder and was knocked off it again. All other monkeys got their share of cold water from the fire hose.
After a number of such unsuccessful attempts and cold showers, the monkeys stopped trying to get the bananas.
Then one monkey was replaced with a new one.