Jan-Lukas Else

Thoughts of an IT expert

Website statistics and the influence of numbers

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Short link: https://b.jlel.se/s/120
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Yesterday I found this article by Garrett Dimon about “Quitting Analytics”.

What over a decade of number-crunching analytics has taught me is that spending an hour writing, sharing, or helping someone is infinitely more valuable than spending that hour swimming through numbers. Moreover, trying to juice the numbers almost invariably divorces you from thinking about customers and understanding people.

I think better don’t let yourself get influenced by numbers when it isn’t absolutely necessary. I (for example) just track the absolute basic stats on my website. Just page views, referrer hosts and parts of the user agent, but not how long people visited the page or their history of page views. (I built my own tool just for that.)

I don’t blog because I feel good when I see my recent article got loads of clicks, I blog for other reasons. Remember, that nobody can tell you that those numbers are even correct. When tracking page views, it doesn’t contain people reading posts via RSS (which contains the full text with my blog). Or it contains a lot of bots but no real humans.

I only track those basic stats to see trends in what people are interested in, what older topics I should write about again, which articles I should update, or when an article is trending on Hacker News.

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Jan-Lukas Else
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