Relevant Metrics Before we start looking at specific tools, we should define what metrics are relevant for us. These are metrics I look at with my own blogs and blogs where I contribute content. Depending on your goals you may need to look at different things. How engaging is my content? I define engagement through comments, shares, subscriptions, likes and mails. Reading time may be relevant too but it often gives wrong numbers depending on the style of the blog. Similarly you properly get wrong numbers from shares if you mostly publish linkebaits. It is important to understand how your content works to properly measure it through numbers. And you need good numbers to better understand how your content works. Crazy. Who are my readers? Some blogs want a very focused readership, others want it as broad as possible. Niches are mostly easier to address but there are enough topics that engage whole populations because of the mix (think mass media) or because of “nice to know” topics (“lifehacks” etc.). I would love to know their social profiles, but that’s in most cases not possible. Therefore I settle for basics like language, location and the likes. Also how often the are here and so on. Where do they come from? You probably want a good mix because if one source of readers dies away (eg. facebook page suspended) you still want other ways to reach them. Where do they go? I love sending readers to more interesting things than my own blog. Do they actually go there? How do they read my content? Device, OS, screen size, connection speed, reader,…. Top Down vs. Bottom Up I want the big picture and drill down (most shared, most comments, most whatever) and the little one to look up (where was it shared how often, who interacted with it, and so on). Tools These are those I use. They aren’t perfect and don’t offer everything needed. Google Analytics Thanks to filters it top down and bottom up. But ignores what happens outside. Piwik as a great self hosted alternative. Or Clicky. WordPress.com Stats These are the essentials and they are quite good if you look only at the basics. What’s popular, where do readers come from and where do they go in general. Only top down. SumAll SumAll combines different metrics but they are too complicated and unflexible at the moment to be used properly. But they can add an important perspective on the things that happen outside the blog. But neither a properly top down nor a bottom up look is possible. By Hand In the end I often combine the engagement things in my head. Not the best tool for longtime analysis but great for bottom up. Take a blogpost, look at the comments, got to different social sharing platforms and see how well it has done. Compare it to other posts. For WordPress there is a plugin, that gets the sharing numbers through APIs but I prefer to actually see how the content got shared.
Question: Which analytics tools for content/blogs would you recommend? Apart of Google Analytics.— Andreas Klinger (@andreasklinger) December 29, 2013
Now. Brief. Reach everyone.
The best tweets are about things that are happening now. Small and big events condensed into few sentences. A thought is an even too. Instead of lengthy insights fast information. Instead of editing existing pieces new updates. The past is already gone. Twitter isn’t even RAM, it’s the cache of the processor. Speed. I want to get information first and often. Several sources that complement each other.
I don’t care about well crafted tweets as much as I care about the design and structure of blog articles. They need to be scanable but that’s it.
First hand information rules. Editing, linking to websites and retweeting, is fine too. As long as it happens now. If someone uses buffer or another tool to share things later I assume the information is old and they aren’t really active. They add clutter to my realtime feed. Either share now or on a platform where timeliness isn’t crucial.
I love that I can write an @reply to anyone on Twitter. It is easy to find people and react instantly or reach out to them.
Complete. Archive. Groups.
Facebook is a great login provider and interactive contactlist. It helps me find contacts on other platforms and holding everything together.
Going through my timeline gives quite a complete view of what I was doing at a certain time. I like to dump activities from other services there.
The groups work quite well to discuss stuff and connect with like minded people.
Time isn’t that important on Facebook. I often see updates from hours ago. I like to browse through photo albums or have discussions in comments. Facebook handles duplicated updates quite well and browsing through the feed isn’t that bad once one removed or hid all annoying people.
Links are nice but with blogs it’s often hard to find everyone who reacted to a specific article. Track- and pingbacks helped but the integrated way of tumblr reblogs works better. Reblogging is fast and I can react to content easier. My readers see the content, my reaction and the reactions of others. It doesn’t scale well though. At the same time it can give content greater reach. A reblog is more than a retweet. People don’t have to click on a link but the content itself is in their feeds. This also brings people closer together. And people are much likely to be an asshole when they need to post their asshole reaction to their blog in order to make it available from the original post. This is more powerful than real name policies which I never really trusted to work.
It is so easy to follow and unfollow people. I love to like things and see who else liked something.
Focus on the content.
It’s as easy to get to the frontpage as a new user as it is for the oldest users. You don’t build up an audience, you deliver great content and it reaches more people. Powerful.
Subreddits for nearly everything.
(Bad things sometimes else.)
There are only the people I fully trust.
(Got interrupted by my child and lost several thoughts. Maybe an updated version in the future. Or not.)
We all have a general understanding of what language is spoken in different countries, but this visualization shows a different perspective on how these languages are represented across the globe. This visualization gathers its data from Twitter’s API, analyzing what languages tweets are written in.
More: The Language of Twitter
This tool by MIT analyzes with whom I collaborated via Email. It only takes mails in account from person to whom I sent at least one mail. To make sure that it only analyzes real personas. It says I exchanged 98,797 mails with 349 people over 6.9 years.
Much more interesting to me is the visualization which shows how much mails were exchanged with a certain person and how they are connected.
The blue circles are workrelated from the agency I worked with in Vienna. Obviously we exchanged a lot of mails. And at a time it really annoyed me. The bluish right beneath it are clients.
Green is the work|i|o team. My startup.
Orange my family. My mum loves to mail.
Red are friends with whom I sometimes cooked and had great adventures.
Blue-greenish is the Viennese web scene. We planned certain projects together and had conversations about various topics.
Red-brown at the bottom left are people I worked with at the University of Vienna.
Next there is a simple volume graph.
Over the years I write less and less mails. I am not sure why. One factor is other communication tools. Twitter and Facebook are surely the most important.
Emails received on the other hand is still growing. But I answer less of those.
The amount of new people in my inbox is dwindling too.
Analyze your own mails: https://immersion.media.mit.edu/viz
For those looking to get a Kickstarter project funded, the site provides some interesting statistics about different project categories. I was unable to calculate median values based on the available data, but they did provide enough to derive averages for each project type. I’ve graphed these here, separately for successful projects that met their funding goals, and unsuccessful projects that missed their targets. Each category’s color shows the percentage of its projects that met their funding goal.
Dance, theater, and music are the most likely to be funded, and the only three above the 50% mark. Fashion and publishing are the least likely, both succeeding less than one-third of the time. In terms of average funding per project, technology and games bring in the most money (~$68K), with design a distant third (~$46K). Successful dance projects, on average, bring in only ~$4K; their low funding targets may explain why they are the most likely to hit their marks.
Data source: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/stats
DataVizKit generates embed codes of interactive visualizations from .csv data. This makes it easier for everyone to present their data in a better way.
Right now they only support google charts but that should be enough for basic usecases.
"Voices In My Head P3" Tales Of Mere Existence (by AgentXPQ)
Happens to me from time to time. Especially at night. But I never would have called it an anxiety attack.
The World of Verified Twitter users
Twitter constructed a nifty visualization map of the mutual follows between 50,000 users with verified accounts. The map categorized the users by color: news (blue), government and politics (purple), music (red), sports (yellow) and TV (green). Twitter found some interesting trends:
One of the many fascinating things about this diagram is that it shows which accounts tend to follow those outside their category. For example, the reason that blue and purple almost seem to merge into one another is that journalists tend to follow politicians, and vice versa. The same is true of TV and music, down in the bottom right, with musicians and TV stars following each other often.
We can even see how usage varies by country. For instance, on the left you have a purple swath of government users following yellow sports users — it turns out these are largely UK politicians following prominent athletes. In the top middle, a line of Spanish-language pop stars, TV companies, sportspeople and government bodies. The purple outcrop at around two o’clock is Japanese politics; the red island below it is Japanese music.
Images: Twitter Media Blog, interactive map (bottom is zoomed-in image)
I want that data.
Hello Mr. Gaiman! Before anything else please give me a moment to fangirl over the fact that you could be reading this right now (laskhflkjwehskjfhw). Anyway I’d just like to ask: do you ever procrastinate? This isn’t meant to put you in a bad light or anything, I just kind of want to know, how…
I don’t even procrastinate right now because I haven’t decided what I should be working on. Until this moment. I need to make a plan. What I want to achieve by the end of this year and what steps are necessary to get there. One result should be a steady income. But it isn’t the goal.
I want to write. Should it make money? What do I want to write about? There are so many things in my head.
I want to help people. This should make money. At least half the time.
I want to learn. I don’t expect money by itself.
“That’s the sort of thing you could have done as an academic study based on this data, but maybe half a dozen people would have read it. This is an almost automatic byproduct of putting this into a single open dataset.”
I am working with WordPress since several years and always made kinda regular backups. Some weeks ago I started playing around with modx and really loved the approach. I made some nice templates for my twitter visualizations to create new ones faster and to be able to update them more easily. It was a bit complicated because I had to rewrite some stuff but worked nicely in the end.
Two weeks ago I wanted to upload a new visualization, but it didn’t work and there was only a white page. I didn’t think of it as a big problem, googled a bit and it seemed like the solutions was to clear some internal cache. There was also an update for modx waiting. I thought that the cache would probably get cleared when I made the update. Already too used to WordPress automatic updates, I looked for such an option but didn’t find one. So I made a manual update through FTP. And didn’t make an backup beforehand. Because I couldn’t think of anything going wrong. I had a backup of the database. But not of the files. After uploading and starting the upgrade process there wasn’t one. It only gave me the option to install modx from slate. Fuck. And then I learned that modx saves templates as files and not in the database. Fuck. I tried to restore the old files with no luck. After that I was so annoyed that I didn’t touch anything code related since them.
Stupid childish behaviour.