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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

WebTrends Widget

I've updated my WebTrends widget to use the latest WebTrends ML2 web services, and give it a more ML2'ish look and feel. It's a very simple widget, which is another way of saying, I'm looking forward to other folks copying it and making it much more powerful (I have a long list of to-do's, so if you're interested in collaborating with me on improving it...please drop me a line!).

Any WebTrends On Demand customer can use this widget to view data for their account.

The basics:
  • Install Yahoo! Widgets if you haven't already
  • Download the widget
  • Run the widget, entering in various widget preferences: your username, password, account name (WebTrends On Demand account name), profile ID and which time frame you want.
  • That's it!
The new ML2 web services utilize SOAP to allow customers and partners to upload or download data. The upload capabilities are incredibly powerful for organizations who want to augment data collected (upload product data, or campaign information, or external visitor attributes, or ?!). I'm utilizing our data exchange service to query reporting data for this particular widget.

If you're interested in more of the guts of this widget, feel free to email me directly. As always, I don't speak for WebTrends...nor is this a WebTrends supported project...it's really just a tool to help folks think about how to use the data, and think of other ways to visualize data creatively. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

One View Of Widget Stats

Interesting "widget" stats from the smart folks over at Lijit. Their approach is to crawl blogs and look for "any regularly-occurring functionality on a blog powered by an external service, voluntarily installed by the blog owner, and powered by Flash or Javascript". Most of those widgets are analytics tools, along with ad providers, and other social networking tools.

The information is a great commentary on our industry...look at the list of analytics providers. Does anyone else see our industry as a page torn from The Innovators Delimma? Where are the usual suspects you think of when you think of web analytics? Instead what you see are small, scrappy, smart solutions that are moving core analytics to a commodity service.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Behind Screen #3

The NYTimes has an article today discussing how content providers are plowing ahead with big plans for mobile devices.  The very smart folks at ESPN are at the forefront of this industry, as they've figured out how to deliver the right content, at the right time, to their customers.  They see the mobile "screen" as a critical delivery tool:

“People talk about it being the third screen,” says John Zehr, senior vice president for digital video and mobile products at ESPN. “I talk about it being the first screen because it’s the closest to you.”

The article notes that they are leveraging data derived from one screen (computer) to better understand what types of content to push to another screen (mobile):

"For its part, ESPN is not holding back. It already tracks what computer users read on its Web site to determine what like-minded sports fans want to view on their phones, and is pursuing a patent to protect the technologies underlying its multiscreen effort."

And reading on, it's clear that they aren't just looking to match up the right content to the right group of viewers.  They are also working hard to deliver highly relevant, visitor-specific content to their visitors:

"The goal is to monitor individuals’ interests on the Web site and then
use the information to match cellphone content to their tastes. If
someone is watching a football game on ESPN.com
and has to hit the road, Mr. Zehr says, chances are that they would
like the game to appear on their cellphone 20 minutes later."

Now that's targeting.

Some nuggets of data from the article:

  • 9+M people visit the ESPN cellphone web sites each month
  • 64% of 18-24 year-olds watch TV with their cellphones almost always nearby
  • 44% of all cellphone owners use data services
  • >75% of 18-26 year-old cellphone owners use data services

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Flash Tracking (and good music too!)

The creative folks over at Coke continue to innovate with their web properties. They are very heavy into Flash, and as usual, have some very fun marketing programs in place (check out the Virtual Thirst campaign which has been using MySpace, Flickr, YouTube and Second Life to reach out...wow!).

They have a music player featuring "fresh new music" with some great tunes. The Flash-based player (which undocks from the site so you can continue listening if you leave their site) is instrumented to send analytics data for various activities (start, pause, next song, song rating, etc.). Very smart use of analytics.

Disclosure: Coke uses WebTrends for analytics...but I haven't been a part of their implementation...I just stumbled on their site while looking for something else!

Filed in: analytics, web+analytics, flash

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Open Web Analytics

I just came across this wiki, and blog, documenting "Open Web Analytics". The site bills itself as the "open source web analytics framework". The content is a bit fresh (read: some of it is clearly in development), but it looks like there could be some good useful stuff in the works.

Is anyone using this tool?

Filed in: analytics, web+analytics

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Non-Profit Year 2 - New and Improved Analytics too

Last week we put the finishing touches on our updated online "store" for parents to buy school supplies for their child(ren) through Schoolhouse Supplies. This year we added 5 more Portland Elementary schools to the program. We made a few important modifications to our site to accommodate the additional schools, plus we're now offering a method for parents to donate directly to Schoolhouse Supplies if they'd like.

As I've noted previously, we are taking advantage of some great technology to pull this together. We're using .NET on the front-end, with credit cards processed directly through API's setup by AuctionPay, then each order is stored (as a closed opportunity, with account and contact records added) in Salesforce.com. Of course, Analytics and Marketing Warehouse data brought to you by WebTrends. All of these tools are provided free to our non-profit...many thanks to these companies!

We also made a few analytics changes this year. We updated our collection of WebTrends data to include:
  • Capturing form information
  • Capturing button selections to give us a better feel for usage of some of the features
  • We changed around our tracking of scenario steps for more streamlined reporting in the WebTrends Warehouse
  • Capturing the Salesforce Contact ID value we create for each customer when we add the customer into Salesforce, and collecting it
That last item is particularly slick. After a successful credit card authorization, we insert records into Salesforce, then query back out the new Contact ID and place it in a meta variable for our WebTrends javascript to pick up on the confirmation page. Now we can easily pull our WebTrends Marketing Warehouse data and Salesforce data together for some slick reporting. Cool!

More to come on this as the orders start coming in!

(side note - many thanks to Nate, Anu, Mike and Jeff for their volunteer hours on this!)

Filed in: analytics, salesforce.com, nonprofit, web+analytics

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Monday, April 09, 2007


Nothing to do with analytics...I bought a Mac (MacBook) this weekend. I've never used a Mac before. What a great experience. I turned it on, answered a couple of questions and I was connected and on my way. The kids love it...and I do as well.

I'm trying to figure out if I should get a .mac account, or just use Yahoo or Google for everything. Anyone have any preferences?

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Attention Metric from Compete

Compete has just launched a new Attention metric, defined as "The total time spent on a site as a percentage of the total time spent online by all U.S. internet users". They now have daily updates, measuring the "velocity" of change in attention as well. It's an interesting view of overall traffic, and the tools provided by Compete are pretty cool.

The WAA has a research committee focused on measuring "new media", providing useful methodology and best practices that is also worth checking out if you're interested in more specifics on this topic.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Video Advertising

Picked up this info from MarketingVOX. This is pretty cool advertising built into a video. Check out this Kohl's ad, and look for the rectangle overlays on the video. Clicking on one of them pulls up the product you're viewing on the Kohl's site.

Think of all of the placement advertising possibilities!

The analytics behind the scenes are interesting as well. MSN looks to be tracking whether you mouseover the product (the rectangle). Nothing is sent to Kohl's, so they must be relying on MSN for in-video analytics for now. When you click on an item and visit Kohl's directly, the referrer is the MSN video site, but they don't look to be sending the specifics about the ad placement (for example, the same item shows up in different scenes...I'm sure the folks at Kohl's want to know which scene had the highest conversion).

Cool stuff. Congrats to Kohl's and MSN for putting this together.

Filed in: advertising, analytics, web+analytics

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

More Thoughts On Page Views

Steve Rubel continued the discussion of the replacement of the Page View as the metric of choice in our industry. He suggests that Events, Unique Visitors and Time Spent are likely candidates for replacement metrics (with Events and Time Spent as the two likely leaders).

The article is worth a read...as are the comments.

Filed in: analytics, web+analytics

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

RSS for Salesforce.com

I've been following Charlie's development of the Spanning Salesforce tool for awhile now. He visited Portland last year and a few of us got together with him to talk RSS geek talk. Charlie has a very compelling story. Using RSS to follow salesforce data more closely. Check it out if you haven't already.

Today, NewsGator and Spanning Salesforce announced a partnership. Great news...congrats to both teams. Wider consistent adoption of RSS across the enterprise is an important concept, and this is a good example of an important marriage to help that adoption.

And in unrelated, but very interesting news, last week NewsGator announced their On Demand service for RSS. Very smart.

Filed in: rss, salesforce.com

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Engagement and Machine Tags

Note the 8th item on Fred's list of things learned from Flickr:
8) Engagement metrics like comments, favorites, views, can and should be used to drive discovery (the most interesting algorithm)
I'd love to hear more about "discovery" as an engagement metric. Perhaps EricP can mull this one over a bit.

The other item on his list that is very intriguing to me is #10:
10) Machine tagging (autotagging) is the next big thing in web 2.0
Machine tags sound like a very interesting next step in tagging, and a smart extension to the tagging process. More good consumer generated content that seems quite ripe for analytics tools to leverage to better understand visitors. Great stuff.

Filed in: analytics, web+analytics

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Tagged - 5 Things

EricP tagged me over the holidays to share 5 things about me that you may not know. Although I hate chain letters, I appreciate Eric very much, so here goes...

1) I have 4 amazing children who are already way smarter than me. I've kept a journal of funny things they have said over their short lives which has turned out to be a wonderful collection of endearing moments.
2) I'm an alum of UCSC (Economics), the home of the mighty Banana Slugs (tshirt anyone?).
3) I started out as a computer science major. One night (or rather, early morning), I looked around the dark, fuggy computer lab where I was working on a program (to automate a traffic light I believe), and realized that I definitely did not want to spend the rest of my life around computer geeks. So, here I am...a computer geek.
4) I've written, recorded and performed songs live...not well mind you...but I enjoy it! (no modesty there...I'm really not very good...but I do enjoy watching live music a great deal and am still to this day a fan-club-card-carrying Plimsouls fan).
5) I've written a children's story for my kids that I'd like to make into a book someday.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Analytics Tools In The News

A couple of newsy items in our analytics space:

1) Martin pointed me to the news that WidgetBox has released an analytics tool for WidgetBox customers. This is a smart idea, and very helpful for those using WidgetBox. From their post on why analytics matter:
With our Syndication Metrics, you, the widget developer, can assess the popularity and effectiveness of your widgets at a very fine level of granularity. We think it¹s like Google Analytics but for widgets. Now, you can track the spread of your widgets across the Internet and identify your biggest users are as well as most influential. You can also figure out the external triggers driving subscriptions, and make adjustments to maximize your widget’s exposure. You can identify which sites are driving the most traffic through your widget and forge strategic relationships. For the first time, the fog will lift and you’ll clearly be able to see which of your widget efforts are truly working.
2) The fine folks over at Performancing have sold off their analytics tool to PayPerPost. I really like the Performancing analytics tool. They were the first to put out a simple RSS feed of analytics data that was easy to use. Here's how my data looks in an RSS feed if you're interested.

I'll be interested to see what happens with this. PayPerPost definitely needs analytics data to provide to their customers, so it makes sense they'd pull something together.

Performancing keeps their ad network and PFF (performancing for firefox), which are terrific assets. PFF is now ScribeFire, the ad network will be renamed soon.

Update: The deal is off...wow, what a turnaround...Nick notes that they can no longer run the metrics tool and that the code will be given to open source. Best of luck to the Performancing team!

Filed in: analytics, web+analytics, performancing

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webtrends reinvigorate analytics