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Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Richard MacManus has started an intriguing series on Microcontent Design. This first post is a general overview of ideas and terms, where he does a good job of quickly articulating definitions around:
  • Data sources and formats (xml, RSS)
  • Current endorsements (Yahoo=Microsoft=RSS while Google=Atom)
  • Structured blogging (publishing content in formats readable by aggregators)
  • Microformats (built on XML to add metadata to define objects)
So, if you're providing microcontent to the world, how will you measure the usage of it? What data will be important for you to analyze? How will you define successful uses of your data?

It's probably safe to say that it will not be measured in terms we use today!

Filed in: analytics

Word to the Wise

A good article from Business Week that Winthrop Hayes was kind enough to post on the Yahoo board.

There has been so much discussion about cookies over the past year+ in our industry. The article boils it all down to this sound byte:
"Concerns about privacy are leading an estimated 10% of Web surfers to erase their Internet cookies on a regular basis." All of that research, and the world gets "10%". Oh well...at least the concept is simplified for the readership of Business Week to understand.

The article goes on to say, "The race is on to find new ways to track customer behavior." This will be a good race indeed!

Another great quote from the article, "What's more, in
display advertising, even the more concrete metric of clicks is
questionable. "Click measurement has been abused," says Greg Stuart,
president of the Interactive Advertising Bureau in New York, an
industry group. "There's no relationship between clicks and brand

Monday, March 20, 2006

WebTrends Marketing Lab Buzz Update

Since my previous post on March 4th, there have been quite a few new articles written about the new WebTrends Marketing Lab. I have been watching the buzz via Technorati, IceRocket and others, so I thought I'd note what I've found. There are, of course, other sites who can help track the buzz...I like these two as a starting point.

This is more of a list than an analysis of the buzz, but it's a reference point anyway. The major sites I've seen thus far on IceRocket include:

"blog" search:
WebTrends Expands Beyond Website Analytics Into ... InternetWeek ( Focus Exclude Subscribe! ) 371 links from 248 blogs
WebTrends Expands Beyond Website Analytics Business Intelligence Pipeline ( Focus Exclude Subscribe! ) 199 links from 69 blogs
WebTrends Expands Into Marketing Performance Measurement Systems Management Pipeline ( Focus Exclude Subscribe! ) 164 links from 88 blogs

"web" search:
destinationCRM.com: Come Up to the Marketing Lab
Web Host News | WebTrends Launches Marketing Lab
WebTrends to Launch Data Warehouse Product

"news" search:
Firms get better online marketing analysis
WebTrends Unveils WebTrends Marketing
WebTrends Expands Beyond Website Analytics
WebTrends expands into online marketing metrics

Technorati notes a few different items:
WebTrends Launches Marketing Lab In Web Host Industry Review | Fin...
10 Quick Wins for Email Marketing In iMedia Connection: Connecting ...
WebTrends To Release Marketing Lab By Pat McCarthy in Conversion Rater
How WebTrends will be positionned after the... By Rene Dechamps Otamendi and Aurelie Pols in WebAnalytics.be Blog
Launch Update: WebTrends Marketing Lab Webcast By Rene Dechamps Otamendi and Aurelie Pols in WebAnalytics.be Blog

Filed in: analytics webtrends buzz

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Changing the Recipe at Delicious: Private Bookmarks

Del.icio.us launched (beta) their "private saving" feature tonight. This allows you to bookmark an item with a new "do not share" flag to keep items from your public bookmarks.

This change is somewhat controversial as some folks don't want to see the social networking power of Delicious reduced by offering a means to make bookmarks private. The folks at Delicious are obviously aware of this, and will be monitoring the effects...as Joshua notes in the announcement, "we will be watching how this feature impacts the community".

I see it as an opportunity to increase the social network fabric by giving individuals another reason to use the tool, or use it more frequently. Many folks will use it to store bookmarks of important but not public information, which hopefully serves to increase the overall usage of Delicious in the process.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

MapSurface Has A Great Product!

Glenn Jones has created a couple of very slick tools. I have installed his MapSurface tool this week, and you're welcome to check it out. Visit my site and press Alt-X. You'll see the MapSurface widget pop up to give you some general stats.

First, note that you can move it around on the page. Cool, eh? Now click on the "map" link to see an overlay of link data on the page. And if you'd like to see more, you guessed it, click on "more". Go ahead...I'll wait.

Impressive, yes? I'm very impressed. I like this approach: Build a useful tool, that's simple enough to use, and leverages very cool technology. Oh, and while you're at it, deliver a new way of thinking about analytics to the industry. Nice!

For us web2.0 geeks, he's not actually leveraging AJAX, but rather he's using "a combination of on-demand script loading and JSON data transfers." He's taken the time to give us a great write-up of some of the technology, which includes a reference to the very helpful Yahoo developer page on this topic.

Thanks for the great tool Glenn! Well done!

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bitty Browser for Web Analytics

Bitty Browser is a slick idea. It provides a more interactive experience with lists on your site. I created an OPML file of various Web Analytics sites and embedded the file into the Bitty Browser.

As it is stuffed into the right hand side of my site it's a little awkward. If I could control it a bit further, I'd make the font a little smaller, and get rid of a few extra spaces. But for the most part, it's a very cool idea.

For those of you who only read my feed, you'll need to go to the site to appreciate this one.

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Vast – Open API Search Tool

An interesting new search service, and business approach. Built as an open API source of data - ready for the mining. From TechCrunch:

vast logo

The key to Vast is that they have done an excellent job of aggregating the long tail, as well as the top sites, and they want developers to now ’steal this site’ (as it says on their homepage). Vast is making all this information available through an API which developers and site owners can use to integrate with other services or to build their own services with. The licensing terms for the API are as liberal as they can get – they just ask that you don’t do anything illegal and that you attribute Vast as the source of your data. Developers can now build their own implementation of the world largest auto search site in a matter of days and do what they like with it (place ads on it, etc.). In fact, the Vast.com site itself is an implementation of this API that took only a couple of weeks to write.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Buzz 101

Andy Beal, with Fortune Interactive, has penned a great resource guide for monitoring your "Online Reputation". He offers some helpful hints on getting started, including:
How to track?

• If possible, monitor hourly as early action is crucial.

• Create custom RSS feeds based on keyword searches: Feedster.com, Technorati.com, IceRocket.com, Google.com/blogsearch, Blogpulse.com, MSN Spaces, Yahoo! News, Google News, MSN News and PubSub.

• Filter all feeds into one RSS Reader for easy and time-efficient monitoring options include: Newsgator.com, Bloglines.com, Google Reader or Pluck.com.

• Sign up for Google and Yahoo email alerts using your desired keywords (http://alerts.yahoo.com/ and www.google.com/alerts).
That's quite a list! Even if you did some of it though, along with some of the other items he suggests, you'd be headed in the right direction.

And, I would add Attensa Outlook to the options in the RSS Reader category.

Finally, I would also recommend looking at this transcript from an online Q&A session with Steve Rubel. This piece of the industry is clearly in its infancy.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

RSS In Online Retail

The NYTimes has a good article today on the trend toward using RSS in ecommerce applications. Check it out, and if you don't have a RSS strategy today, you'll understand better why you need one. RSS is disruptive.

Inserting RSS into your marketing and sales process requires some advanced thinking about analytics. RSS is simple. Really simple in fact! Analyzing RSS is not so simple however, mostly because there are many ways to deploy RSS, and each has its own analytics requirements.

However, you shouldn't let that stop you. Open a Feedburner account to get started at least. They have a terrific set of tools, and are building an amazing infrastructure for managing feeds. Or, you can analyze your web logs to quickly understand your RSS traffic (I know...old school...but it is still extremely useful). If you have questions on how to approach analyzing RSS, drop me a line (elbpdx at gmail) or add a comment below.

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

WebTrends Marketing Lab Buzz

I'm going to try an experiment. WebTrends is going to release the WebTrends Marketing Lab soon. As you know, I'm in the R&D organization at WebTrends, and I definitely do NOT speak for our company, or our products. I generally do not write about our products, except to possibly provide examples, or new tools (widgets of course), and analytics ideas.

The WebTrends Marketing Lab will be very cool, but I'll let our fabulous marketing and product marketing folks give you the full story. (Ok, maybe I'll write about a few new slick features...but not until we launch it.)

What I'd like to do via this post is to see if I can capture the buzz of the WebTrends Marketing Lab as we launch it to the industry. I'll update this post with more items as I find them.

  • The fabulous OX2 team in Belguim is getting the word out to their customers (and future customers!), noting that "we are very excited at OX2 with this new launch that will help our current and future clients to better measure and optimize their online activities."
  • Mike Keyes has written the first post that I've come across. He says he's "looking forward to seeing more of this new version". Sweet. Thanks for starting the buzz Mike!

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webtrends reinvigorate analytics