Google Analytics

Google Analytics Screenshot

After checking out both Mint and MeasureMaps in this post, I figure I should check out the new Google Analytics, which is a rebranded Urchin software. Analytics, while not entirely similar to either Mint or MeasureMaps, still provides essential stats about your visitors to your site. Google bought up Urchin last year, and Analytics is the result. From what I can tell, it’s an older version of Urchin, possibly because it is the stablest for Google to work with.

Analytics is full of graphs, numbers, and options for you to choose from. In fact, it’s so loaded, that it would be easy to feel overwhelmed, which isn’t a problem with MeasureMaps or Mint. However, it is a good thing, as it covers just about everything you could possibly want to know about your site, and the visitors that come there. Installation is simple; just fill out a few details, and Google hands you a javascript code to put on your site, and 12 hours later, Google has all the information presented for you.


The Latest Stat Tracking Services

As a web designer, I’m afforded one of the luxuries (read: addiction) of checking to see who visited my site, other sites that have linked to mine, and what search terms were used for search engines to refer traffic to the site. It’s always fascinating to see what other sites have to say about your site, or a particular topic you wrote about. Think of it as a mild ego boost, readily available at your command.

There are two new services that give you the power to track your stats; Mint from Shaun Inman, and Measure Map from the folks behind MovableType. They’re both a bit different, and don’t warrant a comparison. Mint costs $30 per site, and Measure Map, as far as I’m aware, is free. Mint is available now, while Measure Map is still in an alpha state and you need an invitation to try it out, which I did; hence this post.

Mint Screenshot

Mint is for the hardcore stat junkie, as it has everything you could possibly want to know, and then some, thanks to the extensions known as Peppers (get it, Peppermint?) It is easy to use, features a great design, and presents all the infromation in a fluid way. Thanks to further support from other people out there, you can easily install a Pepper that adds even more functionality. While $30 is a bit steep if you just want to track stats on a simple blog or website, it’s worth it for larger sites. Not to mention it supports Shaun Inman, who deserves the support.

Measure Map Screenshot

Measure Map, while not feature complete yet, is still quite nice. It features a simple, concise design that won’t confuse you. While the information could be presented better, it will be more user-friendly to those who haven’t jumped onto the stat tracking bandwagon yet. It also features some Flash goodness to give you a visual indication of how many people are using what browsers, what countries they’re from, and more. I can see Measure Map becoming a popular service, as long as they offer it for free.

Personally I plan on using both, as they complement each other, and well, I’m a stat junkie, too. Both are worth trying out.


Won Another Prize From Blingo

You may remember that I had won a movie ticket from Blingo, which promptly got here within 3 weeks. Today I’ve won my second prize, a $25 Visa Gift Card. While it’s not as nice as an iPod Nano or Sony’s Playstation Portable that they’re also giving away, I’ll certainly take it.

Blingo Winning

How does Blingo give away prizes for free? Here’s how it works:

Blingo operates based on advertising, and by offering incentives, they increase the traffic to their site. More traffic means more money, which makes Blingo happy. Random prizes, and the fact that Blingo is powered by Google makes users happy. Google is happy because they get a cut of the profit.


Netvibes – Personalized Start Page

Netvibes

You may remember I had posted about Protopage, and really liked it. Well now I’ve found a new, better service that I have replaced it with, called Netvibes.

Netvibes Screenshot

Netvibes allows you to import feeds from other sites with a really slick built-in feed reader, add new ones in a pre-built list, show weather in your city/town, unread email from Gmail, post in sticky notes, and search in Google, Yahoo, and more. The nice thing about it are upcoming features that makes the service even better. It features a nice, clean design, and it’s really easy to figure out and use.

Some reviews of Netvibes can be found at DigitalTechLife and SolutionWatch.