Monday, June 27, 2011

Web analytics on MarkKB’s Web – what that means for you

I’m now using Google Analytics on some parts of my website to gather data on who visits my website. This data is completely anonymous – in other words, there is no way for me to know who is visiting my website, just what you visit, as well as a few characteristics.

This data includes:

  • What pages you visit
  • How you got to this site (e.g. via a link, a web search, ect)
  • Your browser, its version number, and what versions of Flash and Java are installed.
  • Your screen resolution
  • The country, state, city and ISP you are browsing this site from

So, what can I do with this information? Well:

  • I can tell what programs and parts of the site are popular, thus allowing me to focus my attention on stuff that matters to you
  • I can get a good idea of what browsers the people who read this site use, so I know which browsers to test for, and thus make your browsing experience better
  • I know which operating systems are interested in my stuff, so I can have a good idea of which ones to support in my programs
  • I know where my audience comes from, and so can target them appropriately.
  • Let’s face it, these kinds of statistics are facinating, and it’s kinda cool to know these kinds of details. (I got a hit from Moscow the other day, and a few weeks ago someone using Windows 2000 visited the site. I mean, wow.)

So, this is mostly good for you guys, as well as good for me (and my ego! :D)

Another thing: right now, there are only a few places where I’m monitoring this stuff, but over the next few months I hope to roll it out across the website.

And finally: If you do not wish to be tracked in this manner, you can use Google’s opt-out addon to stop Google Analytics scripts from running.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why the devs Peter Bright wrote about are wrong (and why Peter Bright is right about what to do about it)