bunn (bunn) wrote,

Bunn is watching you (and is not alone)

Just so you know, I have Google Analytics installed on this journal.  Google Analytics is a free website visitor analytics system which I use routinely on most of the websites that I work with.  It logs information like :
  • what searches were run that brought searchers to this journal
  • which posts did people look at?
  • what other sites linked people to this journal?
  • what operating systems, browsers, screen resolutions, network locations did those people use?
I do this because I use Analytics all the time and find the data it gives me fascinating.  I love Analytics with an unhealthy passion.  And given that I'm sitting here typing all this stuff in, I don't think it's unreasonable for me to know a little about you, dear reader, even if you do not wish to leave a comment.

Analytics does not record
  • the name, email address, inside leg measurement or preferred salad dressing of the person using the computer to look at this. 
  • Anything that your machine/network isn't set up to disclose routinely.
Analytics does make a guess at your location, and I can see some very pretty maps showing where it thinks you all live. These guesses come from information that the people that run your Internet Service provider's network choose to make available (possibly for £££).

Wow, look at all of you who have stopped by in the last month!  Note that because I live in Britain, Google has kindly put me right in the middle.  This makes me feel very important.
A lot of you seem to be using networks that say you are in Britain too.  You are in the centre of the world, like me!  But where, in our central little island, do you live?

Hmmm.  there's something odd there.  People who know where I live will notice that there is no blob over MY location. Do I not look at my own Livejournal account? Of course I do.

  And in fact, the geographical guessing system is far from perfect.   My ISP, Zen Internet, is obviously not dispensing particularly accurate data about the location of its customers.  Looking at the location of those blobs, I think Analytics is guessing my location to be either Crawley or London.  There are blobs over Plymouth and Truro, which would be closer, but when I break down the reports for those locations, I can see that they are not me, since I do not typically visit my journal by googling for custard buns or Birchenhayes orchards.

The geographic sensing has improved though.  There were several years when I connected via Claranet  when Google geosensing was adamant that I lived in Germany, to the point where I had to override defaults to get a version of Google that wasn't in German.

Which brings us to the searchers.
Custard bun seeking people, (what a lot of you there are too!) if you have read this far - I'm afraid that this is NOT a journal all about buns, though I can see how you might come to that conclusion from the username.  However, I did once post a custard bun recipe here. I later made the recipe and it was quite good though I thought the buns were a bit sweet. 

People who are looking for hairy lurchers I do have a hairy lurcher staying with me who at time of writing, will be available for adoption very soon.  She is 14 years old and her name is Kya.   All her details  will soon be on the Oldies Club website.  In the meanwhile, here are some photos.  She will need a home where there are no resident or visiting children under the age of 10.

 Eagle of the Ninth fans who want to know what Esca's name means, I wrote a short story about that. Then the idea grew on me and  I wrote a much, much longer story.  However, if you just want to know what the name might mean, this post (not by me) is probably more historically accurate.

People who want to know about Esca's dad Cunoval, I wrote a story about him too.  But it is pure fiction.  The name means something like 'famous hound' - you could try googling the Cornish spelling too, which is Kenwal.  

People who don't like Exway Coachworks
, I can only say I share your experience and I hope they eventually give your car back.

People who are growing Birchenhayes cherries or Morwellham pears - I've only had my trees a couple of years so I can't honestly tell you much.  I will probably be posting about them again in the future though.
Why I love Google Analytics & website traffic analysis in general.
Website visitor analytics offer a brilliant way for the people who build and own websites to understand what the visitors are wanting, without having to intrude and demand time and effort to explain directly. 

Knowing how people use a website, what they searched for, which pages they visited and in what order,  helps the website owner either to help people find stuff they want more quickly and easily, or make it clearer that that isn't what they do.  

This makes the web better and more useable for everyone.

Now OK, this is my personal journal : basically what it contains is stuff that caught my eye as being shiny or irritating or took my attention for any one of a thousand reasons.  It doesn't actually have a customer service ethos. But for sites that do, analytics is a really important and honestly, not particularly intrusive tool that can help make the world a less irritating place.
Tags: analytics, technology, wittering, work

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