IF YOU HAVE typing skills above 180 words for minute, you might have a future as a Google Autocompleter. In this clip, Michael the psychic explains why you should try to learn all the lyrics to all the songs on the planet.
I'M LOOKING AT the kinds of images people viewed when seeking Irish content on St Patrick's Day. The task is part of a module in Web Analytics taught by Tipperary Institute in the Absolute Hotel of Limerick. It's interesting that my most findable Irish pub is located in Berlin. Perhaps it's time for me to promote authentic Irish pubs.
AS A LONG-TIME FAN of Newsweaver, I've embarked on a 14-week living analysis of its capabilities. In fact, I'll be using Newsweaver to power part of both the retention and web analytics dimensions of the Web Promotion for Business course, a special purpose award being run by Limerick Institute of Technology and the Tipperary Institute. A small group of 18 ex-Dell employees will begin this training in late February. Behind the scenes, Newsweaver will power a weekly newsletter written and analysed by the students in the course. In Tipperary Institute, another group of students will use Newsweaver to stoke interest in the Pen and Pixel exhibition in Clonmel and the annual Schools Conference in Thurles. By May, we'll have a case study that shows how training graduates to enter the smart economy is well-served when learning to leverage Newsweaver.
LATER THIS YEAR, I'll mark the 10th anniversary of actively blogging but before that day arrives, I'm drawing several conclusions about the effectiveness of my online writing. One of the first facts worth considering is the gradual decline in blog readership. As the screenshot from Statcounter shows, my blog readership has tanked. However, when considering actual engagement, I think my online presence remains as strong as ever. I've 3.3m recorded page views for my weblog and nearly two million more views or listens in other places. Here's the breakdown:
AS GOOGLE APPROACHES the zettabyte level of indexed pages, things just got faster when using the search engine to find info. A few months ago, after Caffeine improved Google's index, I noticed I could get to Facebook just by typing the letter F into Chrome's URL window. A whole host of single letter sites appears below the break. When using Google Instant as my search tool, things feel like magic. For advertisers, Instant should improve Click-Through Rates because viewers can see site summaries quickly--and there's no more "I Feel Lucky" option. I like being able to search as I type. It's dynamic, predictive, scrollable and (in my case) it incorporates results from my social network.
FLICKR STATS IS DESKTOP software that downloads Flickr Stats data for Flickr Pro. When I use it, I can store Flickr data locally from more than 28 days in the past. Flickr Stats uses an API call to compile a single SQLite database file. I'm using the database in a third level web analytics module where I teach students how to effectively measure online activity. The Flickr Stats package also shows spark-lines charts of collected data (yearly, monthly, daily).
I SPENT A FEW HOURS in Dublin's Googleplex to hear Matt Cutts' take on "How Google Works" and took away four thoughts that I will add to the Web Analytics, Social Media and Media Writing modules at Tipperary Institute where I work as a lecturer. Based on the event's Twitter chatter, I may elevate all four main takeaways to Final Exam status. The Dublin Chamber of Commerce arranged the well-attended event and Matt Cutts did the assembled group a big favour by bringing the warmest day of the year to Dublin during his visit. That personal feat also earned Matt a Dublin sunburn, something many Irish yearn to obtain.
An important note on the takeaways listed below the break: some of the commentary is mine, informed by current practise, while others are all Matt Cutts'. You can tell the difference by listening to the pocket audio recording that accompanies this post. If you're subscribed to my blog using Google's handy Listen application, you'll hear the background rumble of the warm weather air conditioning in the meeting venue.
WHILE LISTENING TO John Collins talk about browsers on Morning Ireland, I glanced at my own blog's stats and saw how visits from Chrome browsers keep increasing while visits from Internet Explorer actually held steady at 37% for the last quarter. Visitors using IE6 dropped to 6% from 10% since late in 3Q 2009. The biggest surprise for me was comparing the growth of Chrome (just rose to more than 10% of visitors here) to the decline in visitors using Safari (down to 6% of visitors). I attract as many readers using Nokia browsers as Sony Playstation browsers.
THREE SIMPLE PEAKS from Statcounter document something I've suspected: if you want to reach people, you should offer a message in more than one medium because social sharing is driving web traffic. The graph above from the Irish-developed Statcounter site shows peak traffic on InsideView.ie as a function of three separate sources of traffic. The first spike came a day after a Sunday news report that I filed on Qik.com. While Twitter and a feature in the Sunday Times Culture magazine played key roles in driving traffic onto my Qik clip, the source of the referrers sits in my Qik clip. The second spike illustrated above occurred as people clicked from a Facebook paragraph over to the main source. I suspect many arrived because I cited an image in the excerpted paragraph but the cited image did not appear in the Facebook newsfeed. The third spike is the largest. It comes from a burst of traffic spawned by Google Buzz. The Buzz traffic pushed my blog's newsfeed into Google Reader subscriptions of hundreds of people. Over the past month, according to AddThis, sharing through Google Reader is up 35 percent. At least 15 new people (shown in gold at the bottom of the graph) arrived to read about Ireland's smart economy. At least 10 more arrived because they were using Google Alerts for the term "smart economy."
FROM 2002 TO 2009, according to Statcounter, the number of unique visitors to my blog ticked over 1.9m (just a little more than otherprominentbloggers in Ireland) but as the area chart suggests above, the 2009 traffic represents a downward trend, something I've written about before. For the record, the 2009 brought me 325,340 page loads, 245,591 unique visitors and 230,350 first time visitors. I'm happy knowing I attracted three times more first-time visitors than the Rock of Cashel in the same year. I'm also comfortable with my slide towards niche traffic because I can use my blog as a case study in a Web Analytics module I teach next semester. I can also continue using my blog as a moblog (something I update most of the time from my mobile phone), teaching teens how to hone that skill as well. And on top of those things, my blog keeps teaching me things--something that makes updating it all the more worthwhile. Here are the posts I shared that attracted the most people throughout 2009. They're significant because in each of the cases, I received direct email or voice mail follow-ups. That behaviour confirms something that confirms a regularly updated blog in the virtual world can convert visitors into foot traffic in the real world.