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

Outbound clicks and file downloads!

We're now tracking outbound links from your site, as well as file downloads such as JPG and ZIP files. You should start seeing them relatively soon in your stats, well, if you have such content anyways. This feature does require JavaScript, though - sorry all you users, what can I say! Email PhotoMatt :)

This feature can be customized to meet your needs, or disabled if it is causing any problems on your site. (If it is causing problems, please let us know!) However, it was written to be as compatible as possible with any other services you might be running that perform similar functions - MyBlogLog, for example. These actions will show up in the standard page view pages (clicks, and spy), but will soon have their own dedicated pages as well.

There is a lot more information here, including how it can be customized and disabled. The customization is somewhat basic at the moment, but is the first step towards being able to track any data you want for your visitors - usernames, cookie values, and more. That is just around the corner.

This feature is open to everyone right now, but it will likely be a premium only feature in about a month or so. Our site will soon be going through a somewhat major redesign, in terms of what content goes where. And there will be pages dedicated to just analyzing outbound links as well as file downloads. For now, however, it is just mixed in with the standard page views.

9 comments |   Mar 22 2007 7:19pm

Timezones and Daylight Savings UPDATE!

We got this daylight savings nonsense all sorted out. In addition to the timezone, there is now a DST option for each site. There are four options, as shown below:

If you live in the USA or Europe, which is 90% of our users, you will see there are options for you to change DST on or off automatically at the appropiate date. It's not feasible to do this for every country or nation unfortunately, so for everyone else you'll have to turn it on and off manually when the change occurs in your country (if you even have DST - I envy those of you who don't).

Everyone has defaulted to "USA" mode, because that's where a slight majority of our users are. Sorry if this upsets anyone, but it only makes sense to default to the option that applies to the most people.

While I was mucking around in this area, I also added a feature that has been requested by a few people, and that would be support for the couple of "half hour" timezones out there. When I originally wrote the timezone code, the list of timezones I was using was apparently incomplete, as I didn't even know there were timezones that weren't "on the hour". Anyway, I have added these in, so if it applies to you, change your site preferences, and enjoy.
0 comments |   Mar 15 2007 12:07pm

Timezones and Daylight Savings Time

Damn near everyone outside the US is now seeing times off by an hour. I'll be honest - the switch to DST caught me completely off guard. Not the "three weeks early" part (effective this year in the US), but the fact that every country has their own set of rules for when it starts, or if such a thing even exists.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle this. It'll probably be a few days, maybe longer before it's fixed. In the meantime, if it is bothering you, please just change your timezone off by one so your times display correctly. I'll post an update here when it has been resolved.
3 comments |   Mar 12 2007 7:56am

Couple of updates for you

Our IP ignore/filtering system has been updated a bit. You can now attach description to each IP address, so you can remember who each one is or why it is being ignored.

This is also a new option to set a cookie to permanently ignore visitors from your computer to your web site, no matter what its IP address is. To do this, go to the IP ignore page for that web site and click the "cookie" link. If you have more than one web site, or want this enabled on more than one computer or web browser, you must do this step for each individual site/computer/browser. I can't tell you how many times this feature has been requested, so go and enjoy it! :)

The user homepage has also been updated a little bit, to make better use of space - it was getting a bit cluttered. Expect some more updates to it soon as well. MyBlogLog has been disabled for the moment but it will be back.

Our help section has been completely revamped, and includes a number of new questions and answers, including a lot more details on our affiliate program. It's also now organized into different sections via the tabs at the top, so it's not just one huge wall of text anymore.

What's in the pipeline? Currently we're working on outbound click tracking, export to CSV, and an API to track custom data, which will be especially well suited for AJAX sites. We are hoping to have all of these features available within a few weeks, so stay tuned.
6 comments |   Mar 10 2007 2:38pm

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