Web 2.0 Web/blog analytics come of age

November 14, 2005

I just read about Google’s latest offering, Google Analytics via Seth Godin’s blog. Like other offerings in this space, Google Analytics sits in your website as a snippet of JavaScript that captures relevant information and presents it back with intelligence. It’s really interesting, as I’ve been playing around with MeasureMap to see what they offer. I’ve always been interested in these types of analytics to get a little more data besides that standard or extended webserver logs offer.

In my journey to usage analytics, I started with Dean Allen’s Refer tool that tracked basic usage like referrers, search engine usage and it persisted the raw data in the database so that you could use that for additional reports. I used Refer for years before discovering Shaun Inman’s Mint. Mint is a PHP based that provides analytics on your site usage including browsers, referrers, page usage and many others. Mint is also extensile as it has an open-API that enables developers to write Peppers to extend and add additional functionality. Mint cost $30.00 per site but does offer some great functionality.

Just recently, I got an invite to test Adaptive Path’s MeasureMap. MeasureMap is comparable to Mint with a lot of new features still under development. At this point, Mint and MeasureMap are comparable but I am guessing MeasureMap will soon leapfrog Mint in terms of functionality. It’s also funny to see how these Web2.0 apps are getting all the attention when there are tons of old applications that essentially do the same thing, without Ajax.

Future & Issues

Now that Google is jumping into this space, I think it’s going to throw the whole space into turmoil. How do you justify paying $30.00 for Mint and whatever MeasureMap is going to charge vs. getting the same service from Google? I guess I am jumping the gun on the functionality Google is going to offer, as I haven’t been able to get in Google’s site since I signed up this morning.

Another major issue is see with the current approach of using JavaScript is the lack of total coverage. For security reasons, people disable client-side JavaScript. Sophisticated users would disable JavaScript not coming from the host that the content is being loaded from. So you are potentially missing a part of our audience in this measurement. Functionality like Adblock is another major issue Adblock allows you to remove ads from websites and most people I know (including me) use it to disable JavaScript as included js files from being loaded as well. On my blog, 90% of the traffic is from people that load my RSS/ATOM feed in a feed-reader of their choice. The JavaScript solutions are not really doing anything for the feed-readers. I know I track usage in numbers using a single pixel image in my RSS feed but that’s not a real solution. I’m interested to see how Google does in this space and if it ends up killing MeasureMap, Mint and many other commercial ventures out there.

Web2.0, Mint, MeasureMap, Google, Google+Analytics, JavaScript, Adblock, web usage

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One Response to “Web 2.0 Web/blog analytics come of age”

  1. […] I just got this in my email as I suspect did all of the other beta testers of Measure Map, Adaptive Path’s blog analytics tool.  I really like Measure Map and I blogged about how Google was going to put this space in turmoil by removing the financial upside of these services.  I still use Mint and Measure Map and hope to continue using them to get a better idea on who visits my blog and why.  This looks like a good move for both parties involved.  With Google Analytics, Google took a huge chunk of the market that wanted blog analytics but didn’t want to pay the fee Measure Map would surely have charged.  So what do you do with a decent product that has a fairly active and loyal user-base – dump it for cash and I hope Adaptive Path got some money for it.  Measure Map was pretty innovative with their use of Flash and AJAX together and I hope the Measure Map team continues to flourish at Google. […]

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