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  1. #51
    Non-Member coo_t2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys
    I don't think Chris has really pointed out much of anything. He's made baseless claims...
    I don't believe they are baseless. I have to believe that a service that has as much "reach" as analytics would have less biased sample data.
    I doubt it can be proven, but I wouldn't call it baseless.

    And as you suggested earlier, because the sample size is smaller, there is more likelihood of the result being skewed. What if a few _huge_ sites that target a particular demographic(s) use Dan's service? There is more likelihood of the result being biased and skewed.
    But this should become less of a problem with time.

    but assumptions about biases that may exist don't mean anything unless they actually do exist--and we have no way of telling whether that's the case.
    I agree. We'll probably never really know. All statistics from web apps(and statistics in general) should be treated as somewhat suspect.

  2. #52
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I put my first website online in 1997. I have not observed any correlation between the subject matter of sites made and the experience of the webmaster.
    While we're measuring johnsons I'll just say I put my first site online in 1994, and was working on it in 1993. So there 1999 is when I started publishing sites commercially, and of course I got you beat in membership here by 4 years.

    But like I said before, I'm done with this argument, one of the others who agree with me can carry the torch if they want.
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  3. #53
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamscape
    There's a world of difference between syndication services and hit counters.
    That may be true, but it's really irrelevant to the analogy. Chris seemed to contend that larger sites don't use free services that require a link back. I suggested that, yes, they do--and Feedburner is an example of one. Regardless, Dan's service offers a paid version without the link back--so any larger site that likes his service but doesn't want the link can pay a nominal fee to remove it.

    Quote Originally Posted by coo_t2
    I don't believe they are baseless. I have to believe that a service that has as much "reach" as analytics would have less biased sample data.
    I doubt it can be proven, but I wouldn't call it baseless.

    And as you suggested earlier, because the sample size is smaller, there is more likelihood of the result being skewed. What if a few _huge_ sites that target a particular demographic(s) use Dan's service? There is more likelihood of the result being biased and skewed.
    But this should become less of a problem with time.
    We're in agreement on that one. Though, Dan did say that because of the way his stats are set up, sites large and small are more or less treated equally (the global stats are apparently based on only the last 25,000 pageviews served within the past 30 days).

    Quote Originally Posted by coo_t2
    I agree. We'll probably never really know. All statistics from web apps(and statistics in general) should be treated as somewhat suspect.
    Though, I think if you look at a certain metric, and W3Counter, TheCounter, OneStat, etc. are all within a few percentage points of each other, it is safe to assume that the number approximately represents the Internet as a whole (at least the English speaking Internet, since I would guess most of the English speaking counter service tend to track mainly English speaking websites--by virtue of the fact that webmasters will likely use services in their native tongue if they exist).

    I still think W3Counter's stats are probably fairly accurate--and will be more so as the sample size grows. But of course you can paint a far more accurate picture when you check the W3Counter results against other aggregate stats that are available.
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  4. #54
    Non-Member coo_t2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys

    [snip]

    Though, I think if you look at a certain metric, and W3Counter, TheCounter, OneStat, etc. are all within a few percentage points of each other, it is safe to assume that the number approximately represents the Internet as a whole (at least the English speaking Internet, since I would guess most of the English speaking counter service tend to track mainly English speaking websites--by virtue of the fact that webmasters will likely use services in their native tongue if they exist).

    I still think W3Counter's stats are probably fairly accurate--and will be more so as the sample size grows. But of course you can paint a far more accurate picture when you check the W3Counter results against other aggregate stats that are available.
    Yeah, all I meant by the "somewhat suspect" remark was that all statistics shouldn't really be taken as gospel, especially web stats. Getting an unbiased sample from a web counter/tracker seems pretty close to impossible. So you kind of have to use your own common sense and experience in interpreting stats and determining what to do. But I agree that you can get a good enough sample that the resultant data is useful enough to use in making decisions.

  5. #55
    SitePoint Wizard dreamscape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys
    That may be true, but it's really irrelevant to the analogy.
    What analogy would that be? All you compared was that Feedburner is a free web service as W3Counter is a free web service. That's not an analogy at all. It's just a normal comparison, which is pretty obvious, and is not that strong. Doing a simple comparison, you'd be better off to compare similar web services, such as W3Counter to other stat tracking services or W3Counter to the hit counter fad of the 90's for example.

    An analogy would be something like this:
    Network affiliates are to broadcast media as Feedburner is to Internet media.

    OR
    Nielsen Ratings are to television stations as W3Counter is to web sites.

  6. #56
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    now that we've agreed that all stats are an approximation of reality, what are we going to do with the (somewhat imprecise) data?

    i'm still not going to ignore the few remaining souls using internet explorer ...
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  7. #57
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamscape
    What analogy would that be? All you compared was that Feedburner is a free web service as W3Counter is a free web service. That's not an analogy at all. It's just a normal comparison, which is pretty obvious, and is not that strong. Doing a simple comparison, you'd be better off to compare similar web services, such as W3Counter to other stat tracking services or W3Counter to the hit counter fad of the 90's for example.

    An analogy would be something like this:
    Network affiliates are to broadcast media as Feedburner is to Internet media.

    OR
    Nielsen Ratings are to television stations as W3Counter is to web sites.
    Formal analogy form does not an analogy make. The point of an analogy is to point out similarities between two things such that you can infer that there could be other similiarites. In this case, W3Counter and Feedburner are both free services designed primarily to track statistics that are not transparent to their users, large, professional websites utilize Feedburner and so its not a stretch that large, professional websites might use W3Counter.

    Please stop trying to derail the thread with petty arguments about semantics.
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  8. #58
    SitePoint Guru SG1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys

    Please stop trying to derail the thread with petty arguments about semantics.
    Just an FYI, but all petty arguments ends up about being semantics


  9. #59
    SitePoint Wizard dreamscape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys
    Formal analogy form does not an analogy make.
    I didn't say it had to be in formal form.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys
    In this case, W3Counter and Feedburner are both free services designed primarily to track statistics that are not transparent to their users, large, professional websites utilize Feedburner and so its not a stretch that large, professional websites might use W3Counter.
    Again, that's not an analogy. It's just a normal comparison. You did take English in school right?

    Think about it like this: "cats and dogs are both animals that make good pets" is also not an analogy and neither is "red and blue are both colors". The purpose of an analogy is to show similarity, usually in function or mechanics with something familiar, to gain insight into or clarify an idea that is unfamiliar. A comparison that compares sameness and states the obvious is not analogous.

    And.. what? The primary purpose of Feedburner is to "track statistics"? Where are you pulling that from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys
    Please stop trying to derail the thread with petty arguments about semantics.
    There's no need. You've all already done a smack up job of that.

  10. #60
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamscape
    And.. what? The primary purpose of Feedburner is to "track statistics"? Where are you pulling that from?
    Feed statistics is what FeedBurner is... that's what those big companies (Reuters, CNET, Newsweek, USA Today) are using them for. You pop in your RSS URL, replace it with a FeedBurner URL, and the same content gets published, but you get a suite of statistics -- subscriber counts, hits from the feeds, resyndication information.

  11. #61
    SitePoint Wizard dreamscape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman
    Feed statistics is what FeedBurner is...
    Is that just your opinion or has FeedBurner said that?

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/about
    FeedBurner is the world's largest feed management provider. Our Web-based services help bloggers, podcasters and commercial publishers promote, deliver and profit from their content on the Web.

    FeedBurner also offers the largest advertising network for feeds that brings together an unprecedented caliber of content aggregated from the world's leading media companies, A-list bloggers and blog networks and individual publishers.
    The primary purpose of FeedBurner, according to FeedBurner, is content syndication. They may give you stats on your feeds too, but that is not the primary reason they exist. In fact, AFAIK, tracking your feed stats is optional. You can hardly say something optional is the primary purpose.

  12. #62
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    In order to use FeedBurner, you have to have a feed. You're already doing content syndication. What they add on are stats and now an ad network. When you log in to a FeedBurner account, the first thing you see are your subscriber counts for the week. When you click a feed, you're brought straight to the "Feed Stats" page. Yes, they are about statistics.

  13. #63
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamscape
    And.. what? The primary purpose of Feedburner is to "track statistics"? Where are you pulling that from?
    Because one of the original, and continued core services of Feedburner is feed statistics. The lure of Feedburner in the beginning was that you could find out how many people were reading your feed and who they were. (Another attractive feature was the ability to fold Adsense ads into your feed and maybe the headline widget... but the core service was stats).

    http://www.techcrunch.com/?p=15

    One of the first posts on the Feedburner blog that gives insight into what Feedburner is: http://blogs.feedburner.com/feedburn...statistics.php
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  14. #64
    SitePoint Wizard dreamscape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleys
    but the core service was stats.
    That's right... was. And that was over 2 years ago. According to their site, that's not their core purpose now.

  15. #65
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    You're playing word games for the sake of argument again. This isn't productive or informative.

  16. #66
    SitePoint Wizard dreamscape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman
    You're playing word games for the sake of argument again. This isn't productive or informative.
    No I'm not. Both you and Bleys seem to think you know FeedBurner better than they know themselves. The bottom line that you can argue what you think FeedBurner's purpose is until the day you die, but none of it will ever come close to carrying the same weight as what FeedBurner themselves states their purpose is.

    I don't even know why you're arguing against what they have posted on their own site. Unless you think there is some kind of conspiracy, it's completely irrational.

  17. #67
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    Sadly, I am just going to close this thread, as it now serves no purpose.

    If anyone wants to actually talk about aggregate web stats, feel free to start another thread.
    If you want to give Dan suggestions for improvements of his service, I urge you to contact him via PM or on his own forum or blog.
    If you want to call me an idiot, feel free to PM me.
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