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About Furbitron

What Furbitron does

Furbitron provides third-party metrics for furry art sites.

If you visit more than one furry art site, it's pretty easy to see that some of them are more popular than others. Furbitron attempts to quantify this, by looking at the number of submissions over time for several art sites.

How Furbitron works

Once every 24 hours, Furbitron looks at the latest submissions on each art site it supports. If the art site provides an API, Furbitron uses that. If not, Furbitron just fetches the main page of the art site and parses data out of the HTML.

Furbitron records the submission ID and the date and time of the latest submissions. Once the data is collected, Furbitron generates updated graphs and statistics for each art site.

Data from before Furbitron started actively monitoring an art site is from querying the art site's API for a particular series of dates, or from looking up a series of past submissions and parsing data out of the HTML, or (for e621 only) from a database dump provided by the art site.

Data from Furbitron's active monitoring, starting for most sites in late September, 2021, is shown on the graphs as "live". Data from before that time was mostly collected in mid-September, 2021, and is shown on the graphs as "history".

Note: Furbitron doesn't currently have any way to account for deleted submissions. For example, some artists will post a new submission with a "now streaming" image when they are about to stream, and then delete the submission when they're done streaming. Or, an artist might post new submissions for a work in progress, and then delete them after they post the finished work. These drive up the submission IDs, but they don't mean that the art site actually has that many submissions on it.

Questions and Answers

Why doesn't Furbitron support a certain art site?

There are already analytics packages for "big" platforms like Twitter. Also, finding just the furry art on all of Twitter, or another big platform, is a non-trivial problem.

Furbitron will not support InkBunny.

If there's an art site you think Furbitron should monitor, feel free to suggest it.

Can art sites game Furbitron's monitoring?

Yes, although they probably won't.

An art site could just not use certain submission numbers - for example, if it assigned only even numbers to new submissions, it would instantly appear to Furbitron to have twice as many submissions as it actually does.

If someone posts a large number of new submissions to an art site, and then immediately deletes them, it will still increase the submission count seen by Furbitron.

I work for or volunteer for one of the art sites Furbitron monitors. How do I stop or change Furbitron's monitoring?

Send Furbitron a note, private message, or direct message from your owner, staff, moderator, or administrator account on the art site. Furbitron has a user account on all of the art sites it monitors - see Furbitron's contact page for a list.

You can also send email - see Furbitron's contact page - but requests that come in via email will be deferred until Furbitron also gets a message on the art site. (Email is easy to fake.)

How accurate are Furbitron's numbers?

This is difficult to answer for Buzzly, FurAffinity, FurryNetwork, and Weasyl; those four sites do not publish their idea of how many submissions the site currently has.

Furiffic publishes an approximate number of submissions they claim to have at the end of the "Latest submissions" bar on their front page. As of early November, 2021, they claimed approximately 124,810 submissions, and the latest submission ID seen by Furbitron was about 205,000. This implies that only about 60.9% of the possible submission IDs are actually used. In other words, Furbitron probably over-estimates the number of submissions on Furiffic by about 64%.

FurryNetwork does not publish their idea of how many submissions the site currently has, so it isn't possible to determine how many of the possible submission IDs are actually used.

FurryNetwork uses four separate submission ID sequences: artwork, photos, writing, and multimedia. (All the other sites Furbitron monitors use only one submission ID sequence for all types of submissions.) Furbitron only monitors the artwork submissions on FurryNetwork. As of early November, 2021, artwork submission IDs made up about 93.6% of the total submission IDs on FurryNetwork. In other words, Furbitron may under-estimate the total number of submissions on FurryNetwork by about 6.8%.

SoFurry publishes the number of submissions they claim to have at the bottom right corner of their front page. As of early November, 2021, they claimed approximately 1,146,080 submissions, and the latest submission ID seen by Furbitron was about 1,718,920. This implies that only about 66.7% of the possible submission IDs are actually used. In other words, Furbitron probably over-estimates the number of submissions on SoFurry by about 50%.

e621 publishes the number of submissions they claim to have at the bottom of their front page. As of early November, 2021, they claimed approximately 2,562,750 submissions, and the latest submission ID seen by Furbitron was about 3,008,660. This implies that only about 85.2% of the possible submission IDs are actually used. In other words, Furbitron probably over-estimates the number of submissions on e621 by about 17%.

e621 also publishes a dump of their database every day. As of mid-October, 2021, the database dump showed approximately 2,528,690 active submissions, and the latest submission ID in the dump was about 2,971,460. This implies that only about 85.1% of the possible submission IDs are actually used, which is comparable to the percentage found above.

In theory, it would be possible for Furbitron to request every single submission ID on all of the sites it monitors, and note how many of those correspond to valid submissions. This has not been implemented, because it would take a long time for some sites. If Furbitron requested one submission ID per second, continuously, this would take about a day and a half for Furiffic, up to 17 months (!) for FurAffinity.

Why does Furbitron look terrible on my phone?

Furbitron is designed to look good on a reasonably-sized screen in landscape. This includes some newer phones and tablets.

There are no plans to make Furbitron look good on small or portrait screens.

Can I get the source code for Furbitron?

No.

Can I get the data that Furbitron collects?

Probably not. Asking is free, though.

e621 publishes a dump of their database every day; links to it are available on e621. If you can't find the link, ask us for it.

Who owns Furbitron?

Furbitron is privately owned and operated by one person, who has been in the fandom for a couple of decades now. That person is not affiliated with any of the art sites Furbitron monitors, or any other furry art site, in any paid or volunteer capacity.

Furbitron is privately funded by its owner.

Furbitron is not owned by or affiliated with any company that does audience metrics for broadcast TV, satellite TV, cable TV, broadcast radio, satellite radio, or web sites.

What user data does Furbitron collect?

Furbitron does not use cookies.

Furbitron does not have advertising.

Furbitron does have web server logs, which include the IP addresses of all visitors. These are stored on the server, and normally not reviewed in detail, unless there is a problem. The web server logs are deleted after 30 days.

Furbitron is hosted in the United States, in the state of Illinois.

What software does Furbitron use?

Server: Apache on Linux.

HTTPS: Let's Encrypt TLS certificate.

Markup: Based on the "Start Page Template" from w3schools. Uses w3.css.

Every day: Vixie cron, bash, perl, Firefox, and gnuplot.

Development, maintenance, and changes: vim, HTML Tidy, wget, lynx, and micro_httpd.

Change log

2021-12-20

Changed stats script to correctly include 7, 31, and 365.25 days of data in the past-week, past-month, and past-year measurement periods. It had been using only 6, 30, and 364.25 days of data. The all-time measurement period was already computed correctly.

Changed FurAffinity scraper to correctly deal with the times of recent submissions. FurAffinity, by default, apparently uses a fixed offset from UTC, which does not change with daylight savings time.

Removed the "Furiffic history" label from the "all except FA, past month" graph, as there is now more than one month of live data available for Furiffic.

2022-02-12

Added support for Buzzly.art. Shout out to Deer Spangle, who provided valuable insight into Buzzly's GraphQL API. This made Buzzly support happen much more quickly than it otherwise would have.

2022-06-03

Removed live querying of Furiffic. Furiffic announced in March 2022 that they would shut down on 2022-06-01, and they did. Furbitron will still display the last available data for Furiffic in the graphs and statistics, but that data will no longer be updated.