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.