Brief hiatus

I know you're all used to constant updates and new features, but unfortunately there's going to be a few weeks that go by here without anything new. Two reasons for this. One is that I (Sean, lead programmer) am going to be out of town for 6 days, starting this coming Wednesday. The other is that we have a massive update in the works that is going to rock your world, but it's such a radical change that it's going to take a while to complete. There will be an open beta of it before it makes it to the "official" site, for feedback and testing purposes, so keep your eyes peeled.
4 comments |   Apr 13 2007 7am

New RSS features let you keep up with trends as they happen

The RSS feeds haven't changed much since introduction, so I'm glad to finally get an update out the door. Check out your RSS page and you will see it has changed a bit. There are some new feeds for "popular" stuff. The best part is that now ALL the feeds can be customized in terms of how far back in the past they pull their data. By default they all do the last 24 hours, but as is mentioned on the RSS page itself, you can change this value anywhere from 1 hour to 96 hours.

Why is this cool? Two reasons. One, for those of you with very low traffic sites, pulling the data from a larger time period will give you much more interesting results. Second, you can use any of the "popular" feeds with a low hour latency as a kind of "trend watcher", for lack of a better term. For example, suppose you write an article and it appears on the digg home page. If you were using the "popular referer" feed with the hours set to just 1 or 2, any big changes regarding your incoming traffic would become immediately apparent, and you could react accordingly (if needed) or you could just smile with satisfaction knowing that yet another site is linking to you and you knew about it right away because Clicky rocks so hard. This is something that will be also implemented within the web site itself very soon, as many people have been requesting to see data from more than just one day.

Lastly, because we love you all so much (seriously - can you feel the love?), we have increased the amount of data returned from the feeds (up to 100 results instead of 30), and we have changed the RSS cache time from 60 minutes to 30 minutes. Most online readers update their feeds once per hour and no more, but if you are using a reader that lets you customize the update time, you will now be getting RSS updates twice as often.
1 comment |   Apr 03 2007 5:07pm

Performancing Metrics

Have you seen the new Performancing Metrics? Clicky users may notice some rather striking similarities. No, we have not been purchased - they have just licensed and rebranded our software because they think it rocks, and I may be biased but I'm inclined to agree. I don't know why they chose to go this avenue instead of re-releasing the old Metrics, that is none of my business. But I do know they wanted to release a solid analytics product to their 40K+ userbase, and we fit the bill.

So why would you use Metrics instead of Clicky? One of the main advantages is that it is tied directly to existing accounts. They offer a variety of services to their members, all from one login, and I made sure that the new Metrics fit right in. I think this is a great partnership and I look forward to working with them.

Unfortunately there was a bit of negative reaction surrounding this release. Nothing to do with the product itself, most everyone agreed it was good. Most people just seemed to be upset that Performancing didn't disclose this information up front, and others thought they had just ripped us off. I don't really understand this viewpoint, I don't see why it's a big deal to rebrand a product, as long as the product is solid. So that was a bit disappointing. Some other people thought that this was just an affiliate thing, or MLM. Obviously we will not disclose the nitty gritty, but I assure you that this is not some sort of affiliate relationship. Money you pay for Metrics goes to Performancing, not us.

But there was still plenty of good to be said around the web. Some examples of people who absolutely loved it:
Performancing Metrics: Simply Wonderful
Close to perfect metrics software for bloggers
Performancing Metrics is the best blog analytics program
PMetrics Returns

Someone even made a screencast comparing Metrics to Google Analytics (digg it). He mainly did this to defend Google a bit, since our comparison chart is a bit on the negative side for Analytics. (Hey, we got a lot of features that they don't!) But I think it's a great screencast, and it really drives home the fact that while Analytics is powerful product for "serious" web sites, it is also a confusing mess. There are several points in the video where he is trying to directly compare certain features of Metrics vs Analytics, and when he goes to Analytics to load up the feature, it takes him 10-20 seconds just to find it. He even kind of laughs about it a bit and mentions that it can be a little confusing. That really made me smile, because our product is simple, well organized, and straight forward, and it's super easy to find the data you want.

So Metrics is doing good. In just a few days time, the traffic to Metrics is already nearly 50% of the traffic we receive at that has taken us almost 5 months to build up. So obviously, people are using and enjoying it. :)

Licensing is an avenue we will be pursuing with other companies in the future, in case anyone is interested in offering a rebranded version of our product to their own customers. I know there were a few comments about this in our original payment plan post. We'll have more details soon!
4 comments |   Mar 29 2007 2:51pm

Sponsors and Ads

We've had ads going the last few weeks for our free users, and today we have added the sponsors sidebar. Sponsors are going to be shown to all users. We greatly appreciate everyone who has supported us by signing up for a premium account, it has helped us out a ton, but our fee is so ridiculously affordable that it's nowhere near enough to support us full time! Remember we were originally planning on charging twice as much, but we all know how well that went over :) Sponsors are mainly going to be text ads, so they shouldn't be distracting. Graphical ads will be limited to 125x125, no animations or sounds.

Continuing along our "ridiculously affordable" theme, being a sponsor fits right in. If you want to drive some traffic to your site, this page has a lot more details, including pricing - it starts at just $10/month for text ads!

Our first sponsor is PayPerPost - we have a lot of bloggers on our system and they have the same target demographic, so it's a perfect fit. Check out their site if you are interested in making some easy money with your blog!
6 comments |   Mar 26 2007 3:28pm

Rethinking analytics

As my man Steve Rubel is fond of saying, the page view is so Web 1.0. I don't think it will ever fully lose its relevancy -- there are still plenty of people who wrongly believe the number of megahertz in your computer is all that matters -- but in an ever-growing Ajax world, there is a lot more to your traffic than this aging metric.

The release of our new tracking code allows us to track some new user interactions with your web site out of the box: Outbound links and file downloads. But a lot more is on the way. For those of you with Ajax or JavaScript heavy sites, Clicky will soon enable you to track every action a user makes on your site.

For example, on our site right now we have no way to know how often people are clicking the Calendar popup box to change the date. Sure we can see date changes in the logs, but that's not a very friendly interface to get that data. With our upcoming API, we will be able to attach an action to that popup window, and can track that action by a custom name in our log such as "Calendar popup" so we know a user clicked that. If your Ajax site supports "states" that can be recreated via GET variables, you can log that too. That way when viewing your action log, you can be taken directly to what your user saw as the result of anything they did on your page. No other service offers this.

We think "actions" is a good name to group all of this stuff under. As you will see, there is a new section called "actions" that shows every user interaction with your web site that we are able to track at this time. This is very similar to the old "clicks" page, except now it shows a lot more than just page views. By default you'll see everything, but with the new subtabs you can filter the actions down to searches, links, outbound links, file downloads, or good ol' fashioned page views. Once the API is done, there will be a new subtab called "custom" which will show all the actions you have created within your application, with additional filter options to see just the ones you want.

We're so excited about this. Stay tuned.
4 comments |   Mar 24 2007 1:34pm

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