Archive for the ‘Blog Statistics’ Category
If you love tracking your blog’s statistics, there is one piece of software that has had a lot of press, especially today, as Shaun Inman’s Mint gets an upgrade. Shaun talks about the changes on his newly redesigned site, as well as the upgraded design of HaveaMint.com. He also launches a site to track the extensions on mint called Peppermill.
What’s new in Mint 2.0?
- staggered loading of Pepper panes improving Mint page load time
- tons of interface and hierarchy refinements (including support for custom styles)
- improved pane tiling that reclaims wasted screen real estate
- css-based Visits graphs
- a bunch of tabs can now be filtered by timespan
- a new Domains tab added to the Referrers pane groups referrers by domain and sorts by the number of referrers from each domain
- Watched tab of the Pages pane has been expanded to display referrers of Watched pages
- Searches differentiates between image and web searches
Jonathan Snook makes a good point in his post, entitled “Pay to Upgrade?”, where he expresses his shock that everyone assumed this upgrade would be free. It does in fact cost $19 USD per license to upgrade, unless you purchased after January 1st, 2007. To get a whole new license, you are still looking at $30 USD a domain. So if you have ten sites, getting them to the new Mint 2.0, you are looking at between $190 to $300, unless you can get a special volume license from Shaun. Not cheap, but depending on how many Peppers, extensions, work with this new version, it might be worth it, especially for the RSS feed statistics.
RSS Feed Statistics?
One of the new additions to the included Pepper list is Bird Feeder, a tool that watches your various feeds.
From Shaun’s blog:
Your RSS and Atom feeds attract all kinds of colorful wildlife, Bird Feeder is a window onto that activity. It highlights subscription trends across multiple Feeds and clicks on individual Seeds. Whatâ€™s a seed? Thatâ€™s bird-ese for an article or link within a feed. Poo-tee-weet?
Bird Feeder is savvy (and a fan of Kurt Vonnegut apparently). Online aggregators usually provide the number of subscribers for whom they fetch your feeds. Bird Feeder takes note of this so numbers should be comparable to hosted services like Feedburner. It even integrates with an updated User Agent 007, adding an additional Readers tab so you can see which tools are being used to subscribe to your feeds.
A very interesting addition, and it says a lot about the types of features that can be added to the software. Not to mention, the new design looks pretty slick.
Check out Mint 2.0.
Darren Rowse pointed out some startling news, it seems the deal between Performancing and Pay Per Post wasn’t set in stone, and has now fallen through.
When I saw it, my jaw dropped as many of the people I know were not happy with Pay Per Post taking over Performancing’s Metrics blog stats package, and now that is no longer the case. Though this really means the end of the Metrics service as they state in their posting on Performancing.com:
After much discussion, we’ve decided that the deal proposed by PayPerPost just isnt right for us or our community. It’s regrettable that we should part ways as I still feel that Dan and Ted are stand up guys breaking new ground, but in the end, the deal was just not right for them or us.
Our free blog statistics package, Metrics will be given back to the community with our thanks — we can no longer run it, which means the service will end, but we hope that the developer community will make good use of the code and that we can continue to help the project by hosting it and providing support where we can.
It looks like four seconds is considered the average cut-off mark now for getting something readable on the screen of your visitors, before they stop waiting and move on, so optimizing your site is ever more important, even with the adoption of broadband around the world, you still need to make sure your site can be downloaded, and rendered in under that four second window, or who knows how many potential visitors your blog is loosing out on.
Akamai and JupiterResearch recently ran a study dealing with e-commerce sites to find this four second conclusion, but that does not mean that the statistic isn’t also useful to us blog operators.
Based on the feedback of 1,058 online shoppers that were surveyed during the first half of 2006, JupiterResearch offers the following analysis:
- The consequences for an online retailer whose site underperforms include diminished goodwill, negative brand perception, and, most important, significant loss in overall sales.
- Online shopper loyalty is contingent upon quick page loading, especially for high-spending shoppers and those with greater tenure.
Like I mentioned, this translates over to bloggers as well, as we continue to add widgets, flash objects, multimedia, and call objects from other sites, like stats scripts and flickr photo streams. We have to realize that adding too much to our site takes away from the user experience. If I am on your blog, and it takes too long to load, I won’t care how great your content is.
And don’t think because you have the fastest DSL, Cable or Fibre to the home connection on the block that everyone has those kind of connection speeds.
Some quick tips include:
Optimize your images and image sizes. Lowering the quality of your images by ten, twenty, or even thirty percent can greatly reduce loading times, without really making a noticeable change of appearance.
Never use a Bitmap (BMP) on your site. (I know this seems like common sense to some, but I have seen it more than once.) Learn about JPG’s, GIF’s, and PNG’s.
Limit the amount of items you load from remote servers and services. If your site is to display the latest YouTube videos, I can’t help you, but do you really need your Flickr photo stream on every page? In WordPress a simple is_home() conditional statement will make it only appear on your index page.
First impressions count, so what are you doing to better your users experience?
Tris Hussey talks about a post that Lee Oden wrote on RSS Readers.
Lee mentioned that his biggest RSS subscriber base was via e-mail. Not bloglines, or anything else, but e-mail. People still love that delivery system, and if they have an e-mail account, they don’t have to subscribe to another service. I like RSS to e-mail services as well. The idea that my grandma can get my weekly postings in her inbox to keep up with how I am doing delights both of us.
Bloglines, Pageflakes and Feedblitz are the top three for Tris, but he thinks that many people are still used to getting information in their inbox.
I use Bloglines for almost all of my subscriptions because my e-mail accounts are cluttered enough as it is. What do your users use to subscribe to your blogs? Also, what do you use?
Let me preface this by letting you know that I am Canadian and as such I have a sweetspot for blogging statistics for my own country.
Over on Canoe.ca, a popular news and information site, they have an article up that takes a look at the popularity of blogging in Canada, and while there are a fair bit of people reading blogs, percentage wise, we are not a big blo writing community.
According to the Environics Research Group, only seven per cent of all the people surveyed have written their own blogs while nine per cent claim they have posted a response to one in the timeframe studied.
Canadian youth appear to be spurring the blogging trend with 51 per cent stating they read blogs on a regular basis. That is more than twice the national average. Nearly one quarter (22 per cent) say they also write their own blogs.
It is interesting to see how low the adoption of writing in a blog is in Canada, and I would be interested to see how this compares to the rest of the world. I am amazed that around fifty-one percent of youner Canadians are reading blogs on a regular basis. That’s not just a geek community activity. I would be interested to see what people consider blogs though because if MySpace pages/blogs count, I hang my head in shame.
There have been many reports about the Google Sandbox over the ages of blogging, but recently Pearsonified has put up a great graphical look at leaving the Sandbox, and I thought the article deserved to be featured here.
It really is amazing how powerful Google is in terms of pushing traffic all over the Web. I have literally been wowed by the rate at which my traffic and other metrics have increased over the last two months, which is basically the time frame in which I crawled out of the Google sandbox.
When I first got into blogging, I had no idea that there was such a thing as the Google Sandbox, and for the most part, it remains a mystery to me why Google will allow certain sites out faster than others, or allow certain sites to bypass it all together. I understand its usefulness though, and it is something that should always be taken into consideration when embarking on any site, be it a blog or otherwise.
I recently stumbled upon a July 2006 report by PEW Internet entitled Bloggers: A portrait of the internet’s new storytellers (PDF) and I was intrigued that the word WordPress did not appear on the text a single time. In the telephone survey done to determine blogger- and blog-related data, the most used blogging platform was LiveJournal, then followed by MySpace, then Blogger.
Where is WordPress here? I thought WP was almost synonymous with blogging already? Perhaps it’s bundled in with the 17% “something else” group, and the 38% “don’t know/rather not say” group. At any rate, I think it would also be interesting to know what BloggingPro readers use. Here’s a simple poll I made.
Free Poll by Blog Flux
The poll is limited to five choices, though. If you choose “Other,” please do leave a comment on what software you’re using. I would also be interested to know what made you choose the blogging platform you’re currently using, be it included in the list or not.