Why you should use Google Analytics

For anyone out there trying to do any form of semi-serious work on the internet (notably with websites), you often end up asking yourself: is what I’m doing having any effect whatsoever? It’s an important question — especially if there are monetary values attached to the work you’re doing — and it’s not always the easiest one to answer.
That’s where analytics packages come in handy. They can tell you who is visiting your site, where they’re from, what browser they’re using, their navigation path, search terms, etc. From a metrics perspective, it’s  indispensable  information. And there’s a lot of packages that’ll help you get all that.
But only one of them will get you into Google’s search index almost instantly.
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Make April 1 "IE6 Dies" Day

At the moment, IE6 still holds about 20% of the market (according to today’s metrics from NetMarketShare). That’s far too large a share for a 8.5 year old browser, especially one that has been  superseded  by successive releases of its own code by two versions. It’s far too much for a browser that costs too much to support, and despite several service packs still bears significant security issues. It continues to haunt the internet, acting like a lazy bouncer allowing the seediest of activities to go on unchecked.
I propose April 1st be “IE6 Dies” Day.  It’s time that IE6 be shown the door. But we’ll need help.
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I (heart) Google Chrome

Not 45 minutes ago, Google released their latest contribution to the internet: Chrome. This effectively ended years of speculation that Google was writing a browser, that it would throw its hat into the ring and kick off another heated browser war.  
Figures that Google wouldn’t just drop a bomb, it would lay waste to the expectations of a browser. My hat is off to the Chrome development team — you guys pulled off a doozy.  
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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.
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There's nothing quite like a good ego boost

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been approached by a number of organisations looking for “talent”. (I use the term loosely, mostly because I don’t really see myself as “talented”. I like to keep that word for the artistically-minded. I prefer “skilled”, since it’s something I’ve learned, and something anyone else following in my steps can learn. But I digress.)
It doesn’t really matter how they found me, only that they approached me. Hey, I’m talking my ego here — believe me, it needs all the help it can get. Working at an agency with extremely skilled and talented people on demanding accounts will often leave you wondering: Am I really any good at my job?
Then opportunity knocks. It’s really quite validating.
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Web 2.0 Expo: Even Faster Web Sites

Hanging out with Schill today, and he’s giving me some really great suggestions on what to see. Although the CM team did suggest something different, he’s saying we should see this one. Naturally, Schill knows the guy, but from his POV, this is a cannot-miss session.
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Web 2.0 Expo: Friday Keynote

Maybe it’s just me, but running keynotes every single day of a conference seems really silly, and waters down the value of the concept of a keynote. But I digress. Either way, this morning features Tim O’Reilly (again), Jonathan Schwartz (Sun Microsystems), Fake Steve Jobs (aka Daniel Lyons), Matt Cutts (Google), and Matt Mullinweg (WordPress).
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Why I pick on Microsoft

You’ve probably noticed a few posts about Microsoft on this site. Most of them are rants. And, indeed, there are those who’ve noticed me picking on Microsoft on Experience Matters as well. (Certainly, Neil‘s noticed it and taken me to task on that.)
But I don’t do it for the sake of doing it. Ranting (bitching, complaining, whatever you want to call it) is pointless without reason. And it’s only with a bit of retrospect that I’ve come to the root of my problem with Microsoft.
In short, Microsoft doesn’t suck. But it could be a whole lot better.
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How much of the internet is a waste of time?

So the other day, one of my coworkers starts laughing about how there’s this video out there, two somewhat-scantily clad women with tinfoil-wrapped boxes on their heads, doing a choreographed “dance” to Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.
Then it hit me.
Someone — namely these two people — had to spend a considerable amount of time creating this. Thinking up the idea, practising it, filming it (with however many takes to get through the mistakes and undoubted laughter), and editing it.
Then it really hit me.
How much of the stuff out there is a complete waste of time?
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Google Maps in (a) Flash!

Yesterday, we posted a new part to Rolex.com: the ability to find a local Authorised Rolex Dealer. This on its own is hardly breaking any new ground — it’s a fairly routine piece of functionality. To help you find your local dealer, we provided a map — a Google Map.

Google Maps Flash Interface

Those of you who know the two technologies are probably now scratching your heads. Google Maps. Flash. Aren’t they incompatible?
Not any more.
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Google starting to slip

Admittedly, this is more of a question than a statement, but make no mistake — I’m not merely asking if this is true.

Google Slipping Stock

For the last several years, Google has been a juggernaut, able to release whatever they felt like and it was received with open (and anxious, often with reckless abandon) arms. We’ve all enjoyed such wonders as Google Search, Google AdWords, Google Maps, Google Translate, Google Earth, Blogger, Gmail, Google Groups, Google Analytics, Google Desktop, and the Google Search Appliance.
But I wonder if Google’s run out of cool stuff to freely hand out, and are beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
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Could Google do evil?

My coworker Martin sent around a link to an article that paints Google as being a great big source of evil, tantamount to being the core of a near-police state. To say that it’s a little alarmist is putting it mildly.
I have one fundamental issue with the spin this article (which is more a work of fiction than journalism): Just because people use Google data for malicious intent does not make Google itself evil.
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The patent process is now officially broken

I’ve ranted about [[Reform the US Patent Office!|this topic before]]. I’m loathe to see that nothing’s changed, and it’s only getting worse.
Back in the old days, a patent meant something. It meant you’d spent time, money, and a lot of effort to innovate. To discover something (be it an object or process) that gave you an edge of your competitors. You patented it so you might be able to make your investment back, and be able to block competitors from using your idea for a certain period of time.
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