The more I work with web analytics tools, the more it becomes clear that modern internet is not all about the hyped social networking, user generated content, ratings, rankings, peer-to-peer networks etc. On the contrast to this anarchy-looking front, internet services behind the “hood” are actually emerging to be a highly analytical discipline – even from an invividual bloggers. I bet most of the blogger keep on doing the following to a growing extent: 1) checking the stats-part in their blogs; 2) checking whos is referring and reading their posts and 3) becoming either motivated of dismotivated of the lack of readership or comments or at best becoming very motivated because of broad and specialised interest towards their contributions. I do know about you, but at least I tend to doing this more and more often with my blogs.
One of the key shortages that I have found so far in the blogging platforms it the whay how limited the stats-section actually are. With this I mean in their basic features. Yes, I know that one can install e.g. Google Analytics (GA) -tag to the CSS-template and start getting much richer data. But seriously – tell me an average blogger who would do this? Not even in Google’s Blogger the Analytics-part is well integrated into the system. Why could not Google make an limited, but blog customised version of their product available to all Bloggers? I think they should. Moreover, Google acquired last year Measure Map – the simple blog analytics suite. How about integrating this to Blogger & GA?
Anyway, the question that I posed in the title was about web analytics being part the web 2.0 phenomena. I try to discuss it here a bit more in detail:
“Yes – web analytics is part of web 2.0”
- WA broke mainstream in 2005 – so did web 2.0 – thus it is part of web 2.0.
- Modern internet is all about understanding internet lifestyle – essential part of this is using statistics
- Every business and brand are starting to use WA as part of their next generation web sites – thus WA is web 2.0
- No-one can no longer be in control of the massive flow of internet users. Web analytics gives better control over this and thus is important for any web 2.0 – enthusiastic to master
- Web 2.0 is about empoworing consumers – what could be a better way to do this than empowering the citizen journalists with tools that in the past were barely available to incumbent media giants
Argument for: “No – it is different phenomena”
- Web 2.0 is all about networking users – what does stats got to do with this?
- Web 2.0 is about allowing consumers to connect to interesting and new sources and people- it is much more important to look at how this can be done instead spending time on crunching data.
- There is already too much of “big brothering” going on – why should we get more of this? Are we loosing all the spontanity in connecting to others?
As you can read between the lines, I am in favour of that web analytics is an essential part of web 2.0. We are more are more into knowing transparently how much readers each “publication” attracts. Many heavy-bloggers even let their readers to log-in straight to their analytics tools. Calvinistic approach, “I have nothing to hide, look from here”, prevails in this genre. Think if we were able to look publicly at e.g. New York Times’s usage data. Media transparency or what?
Anyway, please let us know about your experiences in using web stats/analytics in your web 2.0 cases? What makes you tick on them? Or are they in your opinion totally useless systems, targeted only for corporations? Comments welcome!