New dashboard module: Traffic sources!

We added a new dashboard module today that breaks down your visitor count between up to 6 different sources. Picture says a thousand and all that so here you go:

This is something I've wanted to do for a long time but it had to wait for some other things to happen first, one of those being processing and storing links much more efficiently. Last week, basically the only thing I did was just that, and managed to shrink the amount of space we were using to store links and searches by 75%! The savings were so big because they weren't normalized at all.

Part of this new processing method is automatically categorizing sites based on their domain. It's not 100% accurate or complete but it does a pretty good job. For example, we decide a site is "advertising" if it has a sub-domain of "ad", "ads", "pagead" (google), including numberic versions (e.g. "ad2"). We decide a site is email if it has a sub-domain of "webmail", "email", "mail", or "mailcenter", again including support for numeric version of those. (This means unfortunately we can only detect this for people using web mail. Visitors coming from Outlook, Apple Mail, etc, don't send any referrer data so we can't know where they came from).

You'll also notice a "social media" number. This is for sites like digg, reddit, etc - we'll automatically filter those visitors out and categorize them seperately. Supported services are as follows: twitter, pownce, youtube, myspace, facebook, digg, reddit, netscape, sphinn, mixx, newsvine, sk-rt, shoutwire, stumbleupon, popurls, fark, metafilter, techmeme, ma.gnolia, flickr, yahoo buzz,, furl, and blinklist. Obviously we can't support EVERY site in this niche because there are thousands of them, but I think we got almost all the major ones. If anyone has suggestions for others, leave a comment.

Everyone has access to the daily figures shown on the dashboard. But premium members (any level - upgrade) get the added ability to click on these and filter down the visitors who fit into whatever category. For example here is a real popular site that uses Clicky, with the "social media" filter applied (note the filtering drop down menu is broken for this new feature, I'll get that fixed soon)

As you can see, the rumors are true - social media traffic really is a bit more hyped than it should be. 85% bounce rate! And this is a site that gets nearly 200K daily pageviews :)

Anyways, we think this is pretty cool. We just started tallying this data a few hours ago though so there is nothing prior to today, which is why the trend values are grey and clicking them doesn't show any history.

If you want to try out a demo of it, hit up the front page of Clicky and "try the demo" - we have this enabled on our stats. And by default, all new web sites will have this module in the top right corner. No existing sites were changed to add it in though, so if you want it, go edit your sites dashboard preferences! Although since it is part of the new default layout, if you haven't changed your layout at all, it will probably appear on your dashboard automatically.
25 comments |   Apr 28 2008 2:54pm

Update on translations

We're hoping to launch localization by the end of this coming week. All languages that are at least 80% completed will be available for use. There are currently only two languages above that threshold: Spanish (89%), and French (91.9%). Dutch, German and Portuguese are getting pretty close, but everything else still has a ways to go.

We'll be giving away free Pro accounts to the top 3 helpers for EACH language. But don't just go spam the translations in hopes of free Pro access... There is a lot more to this calculation than how many items you submitted or how many times you voted.

If you want to help out, the translation page is here.

A big thank you to everyone who has helped out so far!
10 comments |   Apr 25 2008 10:05am

FeedBurner's API done got broke

If you are seeing "NO TITLE" and "NO URL" items in your FeedBurner item views and click throughs, this is a problem on FeedBurner's end, which you can verify by looking directly at their API results:

As you can see, the NO TITLE and NO URL's are coming directly from their API, so there's nothing we can do to fix it. I dont know how long this has been going on as I don't check our FB data too often, but I would expect that it will be fixed relatively soon. This is a Google company, after all.
6 comments |   Apr 18 2008 3:40pm

Linksys Gigabit Switch SR2016: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE

I just spent 59 minutes on hold and talking to 3 different ESL techs before they finally approved an RMA for the Linksys Gigabit Switch SR2016 that died horribly last month on us, as mentioned here. So I figured, hey, I'll take this opportunity to publicly complain about this terrible product and hope that with this blog's good SEO puts this post near the top of Google et al. for searches such as "linksys gigabit switch", "linksys switch", and "linksys sr2016".

If you are considering buying this product, DON'T. You will regret it. This product is a lemon. Read the reviews at - everyone's SR2016 switch dies after 9-12 months. It happened to us and brought our service down for over an hour. It will happen to you. Spend the extra money to buy a quality piece of hardware instead. You will be glad you did. Here is another thread about people having the same problem with 12 ofthe 16 ports dying randomly (this is what happened to us).

That is all.

Update! Google has already indexed this post (man they're fast these days - seriously that was only about an hour!) and the results are fantastic!

Search for Linksys Gigabit Switch SR2016 - first result!
Search for Linksys Gigabit Switch - first page!
Search for Linksys Switch - second page!

That is satisfaction, and it almost makes up for the hour of hell I spent this morning in their phone queue.
25 comments |   Apr 15 2008 9:40am

New preference to open external links in a new window. PS: jQuery rocks

Somehow my blog posts always turn out to be small novels. So if you only care about enabling this new preference, and not the who/what/why etc, go to your site preferences, click "edit site", then check the checkbox "Open external links in a new window". Then all links in your Clicky stats that point to external sites (your own content/downloads, and incoming/outgoing links) will open in a new window instead of the same window. If you want some more background and to hear my rambling about how awesome jQuery is, read on...

There hasn't been huge demand for it but some people like external links to open in a new window. I didn't want to make this the default because for you (the users) there's no way to disable/change this behavior. Whereas if links default to the same window, you CAN change that behavior by middle-clicking a link with a multi-button mouse, or shift/control-clicking a link, both of which open any link in a new tab or a new window, depending on the browser you're using.

The only reasonable action was to add a preference to do this, but implementing the logic in our actual codebase to make links open in a new window based on a user preference was going to be irritating. But I finally needed to get around to this because we have a number of white label customers who are implementing our stats system into their own site with an iframe. The problem with this is that when you click an external link in an iframe, the entire iframe goes to the new site, and since iframes don't have a "back" button, there was no way to get back to Clicky without reloading the entire page again. This is obviously undesirable behavior.

Rather than having to add in logic to the 5-10 places in our code that output these links as clickable, which certainly isn't hard, but is mundane, repetitive and annoying (and adds bloat too), I thought jQuery could probably make this a lot easier, and of course it did (it always does). The entire thing took less than 10 minutes. I only had to add logic to ONE place in our codebase to check whether or not we're in "iframe" mode, and if so, it outputs the following javascript:


That's it! Now of course this is wrapped in a function so I can call it easily in a few different places without having to write it out every time (it needs to be re-called everytime a dashboard tab is clicked for example, to update the new links in that module), but that code is ALL it takes to make all external links on Clicky (or any web site) open in a new window.

I also added a preference for each site so that people could turn this on if they want it, rather than only having it available for iframed pages. This took a bit longer since I had to add a field to the database to store this preference and what not, but it was still a very quick process. If you want to enable this feature for your site, go to your site preference and click the "edit site" sub-tab, and it is a new checkbox on that page. It defaults to "off".

I can't stress enough how amazing jQuery is. If you're stuck on Prototype, drop it like the disease that it is and learn jQuery - it will change your life. It is the best thing to happen to web development in a LONG time, perhaps ever. All the magic of the Clicky interface (dashboard, spy, etc) is thanks to this library, and we would be nothing without it. Take a peak at our interface code and spy code and you'll see that the vast majority of it is all in jQuery-speak.
8 comments |   Apr 10 2008 10:52am

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