Category Archives: Google Analytics

April 2014 Web Analytics Wednesday at Enlighten, a meeting non-summary

We had 11 in attendance for the April 2014 edition of the Ann Arbor Web Analytics Wednesday group, which meets roughly monthly at Enlighten on the west side of Ann Arbor. This month’s meeting was sponsored by Tealium, a tag management vendor. Thanks to Chris Grant for being my co-organizer for the event.

I won’t try to summarize what was said by whom in what order, because discussion went around and around the table a few times. What I will try to capture is some of the topics we talked about, or talked about wanting to talk about more at future meetings. This includes (in alphabetical order)

If any of these terms resonate with you, please consider coming to a future Ann Arbor Web Analytics Wednesday! We organize with a Meetup group, or you can go to the Web Analytics Wednesday main page and find future dates.


Analysis paralysis


I have a bunch of tools that tell me what people have looked at on the net, including Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Clicky, and some Twitter tools. It’s fascinating to see people’s attention move around and occasionally reanimate something that I wrote months or years ago.

What these tools don’t easily do is tell me what to write about next. Yes, sometimes they suggest missing things that should be expanded on, and looking at Twitter stats is endlessly fascinating. But that’s a large part of the problem – the endless fascination gets in the way of applying fingers to the keyboard and creating something brand new.

It’s easy to get distracted by the sorts of things that are meant to help you out. It’s hard to be analytical and dispassionate about your past work while at the same time you’re trying to create new work. Not everything worth writing has to rank highly on a search engine or get lots of referral traffic; sometimes, you just need to create something even if it’s only for you to stretch your fingers.

Ann Arbor Web Analytics Wednesday planning

I’m working with a few other folks on setting up a relatively regular local group that has discussions of tools like Google Analytics and other systems used to instrument web sites and web applications. We’re looking at a date in January 2014 to start, and a Wednesday as the day of the week we think might work best. Let me know if you’re interested, or join the Ann Arbor Web Analytics Wednesday meetup.

I’ll miss Google Reader, but it’s no longer how people read this site

Screen shot 2013-03-13 at 11.29.45 PM
If my Google Analytics reporting is to be behaved, the peak of Google Reader usage for me was in mid 2008, and by early 2010 it had been reduced to background noise. I can understand based on this graph (and perhaps millions of other graphs like it) that it might be time to call it quits.

It looks like from other charts (that I won't show here) that Twitter picked up the slack, as did Facebook. 

Google's "sunset" announcement for Google Reader says that you can get your data out; I'm sure that at least one service will appear to let you load it in and carry on reading.

Google Analytics real time vs. mybloglog

We are writing to inform you that you have now been added to the beta for Google Analytics Real-Time! As we announced the Real-Time reports show you what is happening on your website as it happens.

Once upon a time, there was mybloglog. It was great, and then Yahoo bought it, gave it the big purple Yahoo squeeze of love, and then killed it.

Google now has a real time version of Google Analytics, which does some of the things that mybloglog once it. It tells you in real time what pages are being looked at, where people are coming from to look at them, and which keywords and referring sites are driving traffic. It scratches some of the same itch that mybloglog used to scratch, when there’s some kind of burst of news and you want to know what’s going on in real time and not on tomorrow’s reporting.

mybloglog had something that GA doesn’t have and really hasn’t had: tracking of clicks not to the site you’re looking at, but to something out there in the world that you linked to. That was great to use – and something that made it easy to see that you were successful as a blogger because you were driving traffic elsewhere. That’s gone; maybe someone will build it, but maybe they won’t.

As for the big purple squeeze of love, see also delicious, mangled by carpetbaggers after being abandoned by Yahoo. I have to wonder whether there’s a web 3.0, the clipped corner remake of web 2.0 properties that were acquired and then sunsetted.

mybloglog is officially dead

You have been identified as a customer of Yahoo! MyBlogLog. We will officially discontinue Yahoo! MyBlogLog effective May 24, 2011. Your agreement with Yahoo!, to the extent that it applies to the Yahoo! MyBlogLog, will terminate on May 24, 2011. 

It really died a few years ago, but this at least makes it official. I really liked the service when it was under active development, especially because it tracked click-through on links quite effectively; I am sure there is some way to replicate that using Google Analytics, but I didn't get far enough into the new event tracking parts of it to make it work.

MyBlogLog report on 4x6 card, Cornell Notes style