Twitter Mania - the best update we've ever released

If you are a Twitter user, or at least understand the value of the data that's available from their real time search engine, this update should blow you away.

We use Twitter to heavily monitor what our competitors are saying, and what other people are saying about them. Amongst other things. You can get any search result from Twitter via RSS, which is handy, but it's just a raw stream. I've wanted to summarize this data for a while now so I had it all in one place and could easily sort through it. I'm not a fan of any of the tools currently available, so I decided to bake one right into Clicky.

Twitter brand monitor

Hence, Twitter brand monitor is born. I don't think much explanation is needed. Everything in the familiar dashboard boxes summarizes all of the Tweets at the bottom, and clicking on any of them will filter the Tweets by that criteria. You don't need to run a business or have "competitors" to find this tool useful. Use it to monitor any topic you want!

Try out the demo here







Alerts!

One feature request we get quite a bit is some kind of alert system. The typical alert system is via email. Boring! I mean sure, we did that, but we also took it a step further and can send you alerts straight to your Twitter account. (You will need to follow getclicky to receive alerts, however, as they are sent via Direct Message). We use the shortest links possible to link you straight to the session ID for this visitor, so they fit perfectly within the 140 char limit.

The alert system is fairly basic right now (you can only setup alerts for searches, referrers, goals, and campaigns) but we plan to add more options in the near future. Namely, alerts on tweets, custom data, downloads, outbound links, and page views. You can setup alerts in your site preferences.






Hourly data

One thing you may have noticed from the first screenshot is hourly data. Yes, we are now tracking hourly figures for certain types of data: visitors, actions, and tweets. This has been a huge request as well. Any time you are viewing a single date, and the data you are viewing supports hourly data, it will default to showing you that date, as well as the day before for comparison's sake. We already programmed it to use your dashboard pref to compare vs 7 days ago by default if that is your preference, but we don't yet have 7 days of data - so this doesn't happen automatically just yet.

UPDATE There is now a dashboard preference to disable showing hourly data by default. I think defaulting to hourly data makes sense for most people though, since Clicky is more about the "right now" than anything else.






Other tidbits


- Twitter monitor is a Pro-only feature. It sucks up a lot of bandwidth and space, analyzing and storing all of those Tweets. Alerts are currently Pro-only as well although we do want to offer that to everyone. We're going to be monitoring the alert system to make sure its resource usage isn't too high. If all seems well, we'll release it to everyone. Currently, any alert will max out at 100 per day, as we don't want to spam Twitter or your email servers.

- The Twitter monitor has a dashboard module as well, although it only shows you the total values for each search you have setup. You have to click through to each of them to see all the details. This basic data is also available via the API (type=tweets) and email reports.

- There was a bug with the API that was returning the incorrect "unixtime" value. This has been fixed. Your application may require an update if you were relying on this value.

- Many of you informed us of this post on the Google Analytics blog. They are messing with referring URLs again. We've already implemented a fix, although it wasn't live until just now. Hopefully you won't be seeing many more referrals from just "http://google.com" anymore.

- Replying to Tweets directly from Clicky - this will be coming soon. It didn't make it into the initial release.

- When viewing your Twitter search results, keep in mind that the summary data is only for the date you are looking at, which defaults to today. So if the search you have setup is fairly low traffic (e.g. averages just a few hits a day), changing the view to 7 days or 30 days will give you a better overall view of activity.


UPDATE Reply and Retweet icons have been added in the tweets list, next to each one. However these simply link to Twitter.com with the appropriate params to do as requested. A future release, we'd like to integrate that directly into our service, but that will require a bit of work to make it sexy. It will also require us to store your password in our database, which we don't really want to do.

Also, when viewing one of your searches, if there are more than 100 tweets, you can now view "next page". I don't know how I managed to leave that off the initial release :)
19 comments |   Apr 23 2009 2:27am

We're looking for testimonials for our new landing page

Hi everyone, we're working on a new landing page for getclicky.com, and we're looking for your personal testimonials to showcase to new/potential users. We'll be putting our favorite 5 or so on the new front page, and there will also be a link to view more of them on another page.

If you want to participate, please post a comment here about why you like Clicky, and/or why you pay for it when there are so many other free options available. Be sure to include your name and web site! 2-3 sentences is best, but feel free to say however much you want. We may make minor grammar changes to some of them, but otherwise they will be posted word for word.

Thanks for your time, we love all of you dearly.
58 comments |   Apr 14 2009 4:09pm

Microsoft's spam bot has been blocked

We've been getting more and more complaints of how annoying Microsoft's crawler for search.live.com is. In case you haven't seen it yourself, what it does is pretend that it's a person and spams your sites with tons of hits and fake searches. Check out the screenshot below to see the kind of traffic we see in our own stats every single day.

But no more. Anytime we see a referrer from serach.live.com, we check if the IP is in the range of known IP addresses for their crawler, and if so, we just ignore it.

Microsoft ought to be ashamed of themselves for this type of behavior. This has been going on for a long time (just search Google about it) but it seems to have gotten a lot worse recently. I don't know if they're trying to falsely inflate their market share when people view their stats or what, but whatever the reason, one thing is certain - I'll never use search.live.com for anything, ever.

17 comments |   Apr 09 2009 12:27pm

Mega spy out of beta + new features for free accounts

Mega spy has come out of beta. It is now just "Spy", and the old Spy is now called "Spy basic". This also means the new Spy is now only available to Pro members, as was originally announced.

We didn't have time to make as many improvements as we wanted but don't worry, we will be visiting this again in the near future. We did manage to squeeze in the top 2 most requested features though - linking to external searches, and showing the visitor's location in a tool tip when you hover over their flag in the right hand side.

For consistency we've been trying to make it so ALL external links in your stats are accessed via that little grey arrow you all know so well, and all other links (in your stats) are generally for navigation or to apply visitor filters. Spy's new layout was too cramped we felt to do this all with, so now all external links in the action stream (to your own pages, or to referrers/searches) just link directly to those external pages.

New features for free users

We've been wanting to offer some more features to our free users for a while now. We really wanted to offer the basic version of Spy to all of you - but it just sucks up a ridiculous amount of resources supporting that, so we can't do it. The load averages on our tracking serveres were averaging more than 4x their typical load during the last 2 weeks when all sites had access to both versions of Spy. So we can't give you that, I'm sorry.

But we did give you 2 more features: Bounce rates, and IP tags and filters (but you are limited to 10 max). Also "most active visitors" was for some reason a pay-only feature, which I don't ever remember deciding on, and it's not like it's the most amazing feature in the world that will get everyone to sign up for paid service. So that, along with bounces and ip tags/filters, are now available to free members.
17 comments |   Apr 01 2009 6:06pm

Mega Spy now in public beta

Mega Spy is now in public beta, which means all users have access to it.

Go to your Spy page, then click the "test the mega spy beta" link to check it out. It still has some issues and is not yet feature complete, but we've drastically increased the performance since the original beta was released on Friday. It now runs very fast on all browsers, including MSIE. This will also really help you out if you have a slow computer.

By this coming weekend we plan to add in support for goals and campaigns, and maybe organizations and hostnames, if the performance hit on the server end isn't too bad. We'll also be trying to add a nice highlight effect on the popular data view, so you can more easily tell which data is actually changing when it refreshes.

Free accounts also have access to both versions of Spy during the beta period. Once you get a taste, we think you'll have a hard time resisting that upgrade. Mega Spy will be a Pro-only feature when the final version comes out. Blogger accounts will only have access to the old Spy. Sorry, but all the new stuff that the new Spy is doing is quite intensive on the server end. If we could offer Clicky for free to everyone - we would!

Please leave all feedback as a comment on this post. Enjoy!

28 comments |   Mar 16 2009 11:53pm

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