Direct visits: A referral data black hole

“Facebook drives more traffic than Twitter” ran the headline in May, after a Pew study seemed to show that Twitter just wasn’t as good for traffic numbers as people had thought. But there were problems with the study’s methodology, as many people, including Steve Buttry said: The PEJ report acknowledges that the Nielsen Co., the source of all the data… Read more →

LinkedIn as a source of traffic

Earlier this year I did some work for, a citizen science project that is transcribing weather and other data from old ships logs. As part of their website progress assessment, I hand-analysed their web traffic referrers to see where people were coming from and whether we were reaching our core communities. One of the things I found was that… Read more →

Life is not a marathon, it’s a series of sprints

If you can get past the slightly rambling intro, this conversation between Jonathan Fields and Tony Schwartz is a fascinating look at what’s wrong with the way we currently tend to work. It really starts to get interesting about 8 minutes in. Although very focused on American business and culture, pretty much everything they say relates to British and European… Read more →

Conflict of interest: Success vs the user

I’m very wary of what sort of metrics and definitions of success are used to decide whether a project is working or not. To often, the wrong metrics and definitions are used, resulting in bad managerial decisions that are based on flawed assumptions. A couple of good posts about how metrics and definitions of success (and, therefore, business models) can… Read more →

Fun makes for passionate users

How much enterprise software is truly fun to use? Aarron Walter discusses the importance of fun in his article Emotional Interface Design: The Gateway to Passionate Users. It’s a very interesting read with some enlightening examples. But to take the ball and run with it a bit, I think ‘fun’ is one reason that people who use social media can… Read more →

The Tyranny of the Explicit

Johnnie Moore has a great podcast episode talking with Viv McWaters and Roland Harwood on how an undue focus on metrics can get in the way of real thought and understanding. I see this frequently myself, too, when people want to focus on ‘return on investment’ or ‘success metrics’ for social media at the cost of understanding the intangible results,… Read more →

The lure of the partial post

Friend and colleague Stephanie Booth writes about the blogazine, which I’ve covered here already, and the frustration she feels when faced with blogs that only post excerpts to their front page (and, I’d add, RSS feeds). I want to pick up on the point about partial posts and want to say in no uncertain terms: Partial posts or excerpts are… Read more →

Metrics, Part 4: Subjective measurements

(If you haven’t already read them, you might like to take a look at Part 1: The webstats legacy, Metrics, Part 2: Are we measuring the right things?) and Metrics, Part 3: What are your success criteria?) In the last instalment of this series I mentioned that sometimes there just aren’t objective metrics that we can use to help us… Read more →

Metrics, Part 3: What are your success criteria?

(If you haven’t already read them, you might like to take a look at Part 1: The webstats legacy and Metrics, Part 2: Are we measuring the right things?) It’s never been more true to say that just because we can measure something it doesn’t mean we should. The temptation to amass as many stats as possible about our social… Read more →