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RE: Efforts to attract more users?

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Efforts to attract more users?
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2010 09:56:01 -0700

> I'm not sure if Emacs is attracting new users the way it used to be.

You're not sure.  Neither is anyone else.

> Certainly search volume has been going downhill for more than 
> several years (http://www.google.com/trends?q=emacs), and yet I
> don't hear this issue being addressed here strongly enough.

What issue?  What isn't strong enough for your taste?  Be specific.

While you're at it, look at the Google trends for "software", "electronics",
"web", "computer", "hand-held", "xml", "java", "lisp", "oracle", "ibm", "linux",
"gnu", "open source", "intellectual property", "programming", "database", "user
interface", "compiler", and "monitor".

These are all "going downhill" in a worrisome way, the same as the Emacs trend.

So are the trends for "music", "art", "genetics", "mathematics", "biology",
"law", "disease", "united states", "europe", "washington", "new york", "san
francisco", "mountains", "human rights", "literature", "magic mushrooms",
"science", "agriculture", "industry", "commerce", "television", "university",
"education", and "learning".

Someone should alert the UN *now* - these important terms are not being defended
anywhere nearly strongly enough.  "United nations" itself is on the decline, but
"un" is up.

On the other hand, trends for the following do not have a pronounced downward
trend: "god", "eggs", "peace", "war", "profit", "peanut butter", "heaven",
"crisis", "equality", "taxes", "liberty", "visual studio", "chocolate",
"market", "china", "apple", "shanghai", "paris", "darwin", "cassoulet", "bob
dylan", "rolling stones", "microsoft", and "coca cola".

It's hard to find anything flatter than "beer", "hamburger", "beauty", and
"house", but "woman" and "breakdown" come close.  Oh, and "duration" is also
here for the duration.

"Pizza" climbs steadily.  "Watermelon" buzzes only in the northern-hemisphere
summer, mirroring "depression" and "plow".  "Riviera" is apparently only
interesting when no one is there.  "Kama sutra" has had a slow decline, except
for a worm spike.  "Martin luther king", "valentine", "easter", and "aids" blip
onto the radar only for their nominal days.

"Skill" is slowly on the rise, but "knowledge" is in precipitous decline.
"Wisdom" pretends to steadily motor on, but "enlightenment" has no idea which
way to turn.

The good news is that the buzz for "happiness", "porn", "google", "twitter",
"facebook", "iphone", "texting", "walmart", "mcdonalds", "carrefour", and "gin
tonic" deafens!

"trends" itself is slowly on the way down.  Write a thesis on it.

Summary: Emacs "going downhill" does not seem particularly noteworthy, at least
as judged by your demonstration.

Maybe the Emacs buzz, like the buzz around some of the other terms, is in fact
slowyly droning down.  So what?  Buzz does not equate to attraction of new
users.  And attraction of new users is only one among many things that Emacs
development should aim for.

Periodically someone posts a message like yours here.  There is a brief flurry
of messages suggesting that Emacs urgently needs to add this or that feature of
some other editor, UI, IDE, program, website or video game.  The thread then
goes downhill rather quickly.

I would google-trend "emacs trend emacs-devel" right now, but I'm over-quota.

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