An interesting piece of data collection just surfaced for me. A lot of people use search engines. It makes a big difference what operating system people use… 32% of users of that other OS use search engines. 14% of users of GNU/Linux use search engines. When you consider people searching for local resources then the share of usage for users of GNU/Linux shoots up to 36% (tied with iOS on mobile devices). Only 23% of users of that other OS search locally. Local businesses with bricks and mortar establishments cannot afford to ignore the existence of users of GNU/Linux. It seems that users of GNU/Linux have a much larger share of local searches than their numbers (share of OS usage) would indicate. Walmart, are you listening?
Why the differences? It’s beyond me, unless users of that other OS practise sending money to a “virtual business”, M$, while users of GNU/Linux tend to want to see more details…
In my own searching, I mostly search the web for information about the blog and other information like how to grow this or that, and what a pangolin eats… but I hate to drive 50 miles to shop and not be sure of what I will find. I check out web sites for local shops to be sure they have what I want and that it’s in stock. I did that for the components of my little yard-wagon, choosing Princess Auto in Winnipeg because they had everything I needed in one place. I did buy some welding electrodes and tools at another local business, Welders Supplies, because they specialize in welding and I have long been a customer. Their prices and selection were good, too. I really like E6011 because it blasts through paint, rust and oil so I don’t have to clean a joint before welding. The price for this product was about the same for both businesses but Welders Supplies had a 20kg package (probably lasts me a lifetime…) while Princess Auto only had 5kg packages. It was simply less effort to move the product from the store to the vehicle to my shop with Welders Supplies, so I drove out of my way to shop there for that product.
I am also doing searches of local businesses for trees. I am frustrated as is “the little woman” because local businesses may offer very general information rather than price and availability which we need to make a budget for our landscaping. I am strongly tempted to buy seed from a distant supplier instead of trees from a local supplier. Are you listening Shelmerdine’s and Schriemer’s? One local business does have a few trees with decent prices shown but they don’t have the particular species “the little woman” wants. I am growing my lawn and garden from seed. I could do the same for trees… I will have half my yard seeded by noon. I am a DIYer (Do It Yourselfer) and I use Debian GNU/Linux. I am not alone.
When I built (and rebuilt) Beast, I chose components and compared prices from a business 1500 miles distant but the same logic applied. I prefer to do business with an outfit that has a website and the performance of that website affects my decisions. An outfit that serves only IE will not have me as a customer.
Perhaps I am the archetypical user of GNU/Linux. We may soon have another user of GNU/Linux in the family. One daughter let my grand daughter trash her PC so I am fixing up a notebook for her. She doesn’t need a LAMP stack but she does a lot of multimedia, so I rejigged the whole thing and tossed the Debian repositories it was spinning… I do see the global picture, but if FLOSS is to advance users of FLOSS have to be the salesmen.
see also Chitika – Study: Search Traffic Pattern Investigation by Device Operating System