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WordCamp Las Vegas: By the Numbers Presentation

WordPress NewsLast weekend I presented “By the Numbers” at WordCamp Las Vegas, covering web analytics and blog statistics. I spoke about which numbers you should be paying attention to, and which you can ignore, and ripped apart some myths around the stats we love to watch.

The focus was on the statistics we get with our WordPress blogs by using Google Analytics, Woopra, WP-Stats, Stats, and other blog traffic tracking and analytics tools. By learning more about the numbers, we can learn how to use them in our blogs to our benefit and the benefit of our readers.

I also showcased , my favorite real-time live web analytics program, showing the audience how you can see what is happening on your website or blog right now. We watched the traffic and interaction on four WordPress blogs.

The Ustream WordCamp Las Vegas Live Stream went out with my presentation, but unfortunately, it wasn’t archived. So this Viddler video is a reproduction of my presentation.

It’s about 53 minutes long and over 240 megs in size. I’ll be releasing shorter versions later, with a captioned version coming soon.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted January 19, 2009 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    I was looking forward to a juicy intro to wise use of stats, but I was left a bit confused. 15 mins of highlighting how distracting most stats are, 5 mins of what’s good, then 40+ mins of spotlighting – in your friend’s words – “stat crack”! I skipped a few bits but tried persisting to get to where you’d tell me why “live” stats are actually useful and not pure eye candy. Did I miss something? Is there anything at all useful about live stats, or might they be even more distracting than everything you listed at the start?

    • Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Why are live stats useful? I don’t know, maybe because they are “live” and not 12-24 hours old? Anything you can respond to NOW helps you be proactive rather than past tense reactive. The talk was about statistics in general, not totally Woopra, and left out all the interaction and discussion from the presentation. This is a summary video, not the actual presentation. I stuck to the key points.

      Woopra is exciting because it allows you to see in real time who is on your blog. You can see their avatar, country, and the pages they visit. You can track the most popular pages in the moment, and track what people are hunting for, and maybe give them what they want.

      Different people have different uses for responding to information in the now. For some, it’s the sheer joy of seeing someone on their site right now. For others, it’s responding to server needs immediately if there are sudden traffic spikes. For others, it’s watching for trends and digging deeper into the numbers updated constantly, making decisions on where they should go with their site. Woopra tracks live stats, but as shown in the video, it also tracks historical stats, giving you information you need for analyzing your site stats.

      What would you use live stats for?

  2. Posted January 21, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I guess it’s down to what you want as well as need. I wouldn’t want live stats because I’m usually trying to reduce distractions where possible, and nothing I do is compromised by day-old site stats.

    I get the eye-candy side, but a lot of the things you mentioned at the start regarding the “distractions” of various metrics are exactly the kind of thing that most people got geeky and glowy about when good analytics services started popping up.

    If Woopra does historical stats better than other services, that’s another story…

  3. Posted January 26, 2009 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I finally got approved to Woopra.
    I am thinking of moving to Woopra from Google Analytics. Google bought Feedburner, I have noticed a lot of my tools are google. I don’t like the fact that I need a google e-mail address.

    Would it screw things if I kept the Google Analytics and Woopra code together? Would Google report Woopra’s activities on my site and vice-versa?

    Google is kind of becoming a monopoly. I don’t see Google going bankrupt anytime soon but I don’t want to have all my eggs in one basket. I want options.

    I like most of google’s services (I got cut off from adsense, nothing I did wrong and I won’t even go there) but argh. so many services.

    I do finding the fact that with one login, I can access all the services. But at the same time if someone hacks my password……

    Lorelle, help.

    • Posted January 26, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      @Miroslav: You can keep both GA and Woopra, no problem. There are still some reports that GA does that Woopra doesn’t offer yet, and a lot that Woopra does that GA doesn’t. Don’t make any final judgments as Woopra is still in development.

      As for the monopoly of Google, this same issue of all the eggs in one basket worries me, too. Right now, sometimes there aren’t a lot of other choices, so I’m waiting and watching and hoping. But you can definitely run Woopra and GA together. That’s the best I can do for you on that part of the issue. 😀

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] My presentation was not archived due to a Ustream glitch, and a summary screencast can be found at WordCamp Las Vegas: By the Numbers Presentation. […]

  2. […] WordCamp Las Vegas: By the Numbers Presentation […]

  3. […] I summed up the event in WordCamp Las Vegas 2009 Summary and showcased my talk in WordCamp Las Vegas: By the Numbers Presentation. […]

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