Web Analytics Porn

So this morning, I’m scanning through my Twitter feeds on Twhirl, and I came across a rather interesting note by Dave Fleet, which said:

@cspenn planning to install it tonight. Waiting for the confirmation email. Long-winded installation process!

Things like that tend to pique my curiousity. I’m a curious person. So I decided to see what Christopher Penn had wrote about it. I quote:

OMFG. Just installed Woopra and it really is web analytics porn.

That just sooooo necessitated a look-see.

Woopra, as it turns out, is free. I like free. Free is always good for evaluation, and if the evaluation goes well, I’m rarely objected to purchase. But that’s just me. The sign up process was a little slow, as I had to wait for an approval code first (it’s still in beta), but once it was set up, away I went.

I’ve been using Google Analytics for a long time (though I only realised this morning that I’d accidentally forgotten to put my new code in with the Mandigo theme, so I’m out of stats for the last month or two), and I’ve also relied heavily on Feedburner‘s stats to get an idea of how my site’s been performing. Overall, I’ve had little to complain about, but I missed having something real-time.

A few years ago, Scott Schiller turned me onto a tool that provided real-time stats. It was pretty cool to see the numbers come by, see where people were visiting from, and so forth. Compiled stats aren’t as interesting — it’s like reading the newspaper. It’s yesterday’s news. I want something that can tell me what’s happening right now. Not because I have a business need, but because I’m a nosey little bastard.

Woopra is stats porn. Wow.

Installation is simple: a snippet of JavaScript code not unlike putting in Google Analytics. You can then use Woopra’s site to see what’s going on, or you can download the (also in beta) desktop app. This is where you go hardcore.

Not only is there a crawl at the bottom of the window (think stock ticker), you can see real-time where people are coming from and what they’re doing. The tools allow some pretty deep-diving for information, too.

Does this hold up against other tools like Google Analytics? Yep. Some features aren’t the same, but it’s still in beta so there’s a lot of things they can yet change. Does it stand up to things like Omniture? Hell, no. Not yet, anyway, but taking on the 8,000 lb gorilla of web analytics is just not a wise idea, anyway.

Woopra, if you’re listening, can I suggest a couple of changes?

  1. Allow me to exclude my own IP from the stats. I can’t see anything in the interface for this.
  2. Let me set how long items stay in the live feed. I don’t have the most active site, and I’m a curious S.O.B.
  3. Let me copy and paste items, like referrers. Just ‘cuz.
  4. Put a sort into the search results — there’s a lot of neat stuff that can be seen merely by sorting, before filtering.

For an average schmuck like me, this is just plain fun. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got website stats to watch.

One Reply to “Web Analytics Porn”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *