Friday, July 25, 2008

Antics with Google Analytics on my 50th

My %0th Post

Tēnā koutou katoa - Greetings to you all

I’ve been having fun with Google Analytics recently.
I have to say that at first sight the software all looks very impressive. Not being a statistician, however, I take everything with a chunk of salt. My head spins, not with the data so much as with the implications of the results. I suspect that much of what I’ve gathered isn’t too useful, considering GA has been running on my site for only 10 days, I’m new to blogging anyway and this is only my 50th post – but who knows?

Some numbers that may show a few home truths are visits according to locality. Of all the 140 visits since recording started on 16 July, 67 of them were from my home town of Middle-earth. Next is the whole of USA with 32 visitors.

I suspect that data to do with Middle-earth could we
ll be skewed for a raft of different reasons. I’m strongly tempted to discount those as useful indicators, at least for the time being. Ten days isn’t a long enough time to collect data that’s likely to be useful.

Firefox clearly ahead

What is probably more valid, but less useful to me as a blogger, is the Technical Profile on browsers, which shows clearly that Firefox is head and shoulders above its rivals. I suspect that this statistical ratio is similar to results gathered at other locations and is more or less universal rather than blog site specific.

Chart of Technical Profile
I’m off to Queenstown for three days (dig the scenery on the link!), to the NetSafe Conference with a view to genning up on all that’s new in the field of cyber-citizenship. I’ll try and keep you posted.

( 9 ) ( 8 ) ( 7 ) ( 6 ) ( 5 ) ( 4 ) ( 3 ) << - related posts - >> ( 1 )

Ka kite anō - Catch ya later


Britt Watwood said...

I am making an assumption, but I assume these analytics do not pick up anyone reading your blog via a RSS aggregator. I check your updates when ever they appear in Google Reader but usually only click on the site if I want to comment. So you might have higher numbers than you think. Does anyone know for sure?

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Britt!

Funny you should mention that, and thanks for doing so! I wondered about that too, for I often read the whole of a post and only bring up the site if I wish to comment, same as you.

Frankly, I have evidence that suggests that you may be quite right in that assumption.

BUT I also know that some people in certain areas must have accessed my site, for they put a comment on a specific post. Yet when I check the Analytics I can't see the evidence that they spent any time writing a comment at all. Now one way this could perhaps occur is for the commenter to read the post in RSS, write their comment in Notepad or equivalent and copy it to clipboard. Then with lightning speed they bring up the site, paste in the comment and all the other required information and hit PUBLISH COMMENT. Very unlikely I'd say.

This suggests that there are other effects that affect the way GA records the data, and that it's not always feasible that what actually has been accessed is shown in the data.

Thanks for your thoughts on this. I will plod on, hoping that I'll be able to make some usefulness out of the data some day.

Ka kite

Ken Stewart said...

Ken, I was very enamored with GA when first I saw it, and I think it could be most useful if I spent time. However, early in my blogging career as well - I rely on StatCounter to look at information to help me determine where I'm successful and where I need to spend more time.

I do actually run both on my site, and have found it interesting trying to look at more aggregate numbers over longer periods of time. However, what I have been struggling with is an easy way to translate peaks in traffic with certain topics or posts...

I would also agree with Britt, in that I have discovered that one downside of RSS is that it does drop the hits to my site directly. I do track my subscribers, but would love some feedback mechanism as to whether I'm on target with them, what topics they find most rewarding, and increasing overall interaction.

Suffice it to say, my most rewarding readers are those who post return comments. I love the interaction and provocation of thought.

Keep plugging. Great thoughts, and Ken - what a great name!

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Ha, Ha, Ken!

I'm glad you like the name. I've always thought there was something special about it - that's why I kept it :-)

Thanks for the thoughts on GA and the extra information on StatCounter. I will check that one out.

Ka kite!