Brad's Books and Organizations

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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Blog Analytics

Comments (16)

I’ve always loved numbers (especially primes and multiples of 3) – that partially explains my interest in web analytics and my fascination with looking at data trends.  Over the past year, I’ve created my own little data laboratory – my blog.  When I started blogging on 5/4/04, I obviously had 0 subscribers via RSS (by 5/8/04 I had 4, by 5/31/04 I had 60, today I have 3500 according to FeedBurner).  Thanks for contributing to my laboratory (hopefully you are getting some benefits from it also!)

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been paying a lot more attention to and experimenting with the various things you can measure on a blog.  While the absolute numbers are occasionally useful, the trends are really what I’m after, so the law of large numbers works in my favor over time to improve the validity of the trends.  I’m also trying to understand what impacts the trends – the deeper post specific data really helps with this.

I stepped back from it all yesterday and did an inventory of the various data I’m measuring on a daily basis.  Following is the list of the services I’m using:

I’m also using a number of these services to enhance my blog, all which collect (or generate) other stats.

  • Amazon: Reading Now, Read Recently, Toy of the Month
  • Jinzora: Listening Now
  • Word of Blog: Promoting Now
  • MyBlogLog: Outbound link tooltip
  • FeedBurner: FeedCount (subscriber count), BuzzBoost (republish Mobius PR feed)
  • NewsGator: Subscribe button
  • Bloglet: Email subscribers
  • Google: Search on blog
  • Page Two: My random page where I play with stuff until I put it in production

While FeedBurner and AWStats form the core of my analysis, I’ve been spending more time in the other tools recently looking at the data.  It dawned on me that I’m missing a classic “CIO dashboard” view across all my data.  Much of this data is “open” and freely available via APIs and web services although some isn’t easy to get.  Now that I’ve got a suitably large set of data, it’s time to step back and see if there’s a better way to consolidate / represent it.

  • http://www.newestindustry.org/ Stephen Pierzchala

    But how is your site’s performance?

    Just added your blog to my monitoring tool — http://www.grabperf.org/

    smp

  • http://www.petercooper.co.uk/ Peter Cooper

    Yeah, I’m totally addicted to the whole ‘dashboard’ idea myself. I’ve been more interested in news (and ‘buzz’) dashboards, but am stumbling into the same issues with collecting information. Luckily about five of these different areas are in the development plan for Feed Digest, so I’ll improve my situation soon :)

  • http://tachophobia.com Rick

    It would be awesome to use RSS to easily assemble all the key data from different metrics on one page.

  • http://www.exertrack.com Leslie

    Excellent commentary, as usual. If someone solves the ‘stats dashboard’ issue, I’ll be the first taker. I also use a combination of Crystal reports, awstats, rss feeds, etc to try to assimilate a decent, meaningful picture, but it could be MUCH easier! Off the topic, I’ve been monitoring your blog, and given your depth of experience, what’s your take on the current software licensing model discussions – buy vs subscribe vs ‘micro payments’ – where do you see this going?

  • http://www.corante.com David Evans

    Perhaps a LazyWeb request is in order. I’m developing a dashboard for corante.com, we use a lot of the same services you mention. Total nightmare when it comes to crunching metrics. Lot’s of redundency across services you list and AWStats? Ugh, very 1999, surprised someone hasn’t come out with AJAJ-powered stats page that is an RSS feed. How difficult can that be?

    FeedBurner is great, lot’s of new stuff coming soon which will make it easier for us blog publishers to manage stats across entire network, subdomains, etc. Sexiest stats in the business, if the ad network is any good, should be a good solution for the near future. Who knows what’s coming out 6 months from now, at least most vendors make it easy to disengage from stats and RSS ad programs.

    The fact that most RSS advertisers do not carry ads for blog sidebars, raises my ire. Make my life easier, not more difficult. Most know very little about how advertising runs on websites, what the ad manager’s day is like, useful metrics, and so on.

    If MovableType intergrates all of this into the MT control panel, that will be a cause for celebration.

  • http://www.joshgreene.com Josh Greene

    I just wanted to let you know how much I liked the post. Provides a great reference for bloggers to make sure they have all of the different tools set up, and can take optimum advantage of them. It inspired me to get my FeedBurner feed set up as the only feed, so as to improve my stats.

  • http://www.weblogswork.com/?p=184 Weblogs Work

    LazyWeb Request: Integrated Blog Metrics

    Brad Feld sort of makes a LazyWeb request, noting all the various places he looks to learn from his blog readers and wondering aloud about how he can easily integrate all those measures into a dashboard.  Here are the things he’s looking at…

  • http://bobwyman.pubsub.com Bob Wyman

    have you considered using PubSub SiteStats? The stats we have for you can be found at:

    http://www.pubsub.com/site_stats.php?site=http://www.feld.com

    bob wyman

  • http://www.ishkabible.com/archives/2005/09/blog_analytics.html ishkabible

    Blog Analytics

    Brad Feld has a post on the tools he uses on his blog, Feld Thoughts … Blog Analytics, August 16, 2005 … he’s since moved to FeedBlitz instead of Bloglet ……

  • http://www.kevinelliott.net/ Kevlar

    Thanks for taking the time to write about some of your favorites. Has this changed at all recently (since this post was from 2005)?

    Did you ever find a good dashboard?

    Kevin

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    I updated this recently with a new post

  • http://www.nitroautotransport.com auto transport

    Are there any new updates for this article? I hope you do have one.

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