MyBlogLog Sidesteps Deep Stats Through Communities

September 2, 2006 § 9 Comments

[ratings]

MyBlogLog Overview

[MyBlogLog Logo]

MyBlogLog Communities aim to do much more than track clicks – they hope to facilitate relationships through their service.

By hosting a community of blog owners, they essentially categorize information for readers by linking similar sites through common usage over time.

The standard service is free and includes a 3-day trial of the “professional” package (which still seems to be working for me long after 3 days).

The professional package costs $3 per month or $25 per year and provides real-time versus periodically-updated statistics. It also includes more entries in the daily listing on the dashboard of top links.

Clicks do not a relationship make
As an interesting side note, earlier this week I accidentally posted a draft review summary that reached one interested reader within hours – an employee of MyBlogLog.


He graciously offered to answer any questions I might have and reminded me that their intent is to perform more than click-tracking:

“…we don’t just count clicks (even by screen location), we put you in touch with the people who read your blog — and we put them in touch with each other. Stats are no longer just about audience measurement and site design. They are about forming relationships.”

-MyBlogLog Employee

Truthfully, their service is so easy to set up, I didn’t need any help whatsoever, but he makes a brilliant point about where such services are headed.

Look for more about managing information overload on VibeTalk in the future.

Did I mention that the employee quoted above was none other than Mr. Scott Rafer, the CEO of MyBlogLog? 🙂 Nice touch, Scott.

Setting Up the Service

Turning on MyBlogLog was fairly simple. The only confusing part was understanding that I was in fact signing up for two services – click tracking and the MyBlogLog community. The tracking part was very easy, however – just add one line of Javascript at the bottom of your template body.

Once set up, the dashboard provides an easy view of three categories of URL’s in which you will most likely have interest

  • Where Readers Came From
  • What Readers Viewed
  • What Readers Clicked

12316
(screenshot: Dashboard Interface)

The dashboard also includes two types of Member Community links, but since MyVibe does not have 10 MyBlogLog Community members, this data doesn’t yet show for us.

From the Reports screen, you can choose a summary or three detail reports and stretch your viewing window over several days.

12319
(screenshot: Summary Report)

The “Where From” report clearly shows that the Menalto Gallery Demo site is bringing the most traffic, by far!

12322
(screenshot: “Where-From” Detail Report)

12325
(screenshot: “Where-To” Detail Report)

The Settings screen allows you to easily filter tracking results and indicate basic information about your blog. Filtering is important so you can make sure your own usage (e.g. for testing or by employees) is not included in the results.

12328
(screenshot: Settings)

The Widgets screen creates insertable code for three objects – Recent Readers, Top Links and several varieties of a MyBlogLog “pill” button.

12331
(screenshot: Widgets)

Summary

While not nearly as full-featured as Google Analytics, MyBlogLog achieves a happy medium between simplicity and effectiveness. Setup took only minutes, and the free trial is more than adequate to get a clear picture on what users are viewing.

Their “top” lists not only allowed me to instantly see where visitors came from, their easy-to-understand dashboard actually taught me what to look for in other services.

Combined with the community aspect, I’d say MyBlogLog has a leg up on most other competitors. It certainly beats Crazy Egg for usefulness. However, if it is pure tracking power you want – you will want to take a look at the free service provided by Google Analytics.

***

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§ 9 Responses to MyBlogLog Sidesteps Deep Stats Through Communities

  • Scott Rafer says:

    Hi, I try to stay on top of what people think of us. It’s an ingrained habit from a couple years at Feedster.

    Thanks for the kind words above. A couple things:
    — Your trial did expire. As you point out, the Pro service provides Top 100 lists instead of top 10, plus the stats are real-time instead of prior day. As I look at your stats page, you’ve got the Free version. I’ll turn on the Pro version for another few days to see if the difference becomes clearer.
    — You could install the script on vibetalk as well. 🙂
    — Here’s the direct link to get people to join the MyVibe community if you want to encourage it:
    http://www.mybloglog.com/buzz/join/?ref_id=2006082317571424&ref=w

    Also, there’s MyBlogLog meetups forming in BOS and NY this week (2:30 thurs harvard Sq and 5pm Fri at Bar Six) for whoever is around.
    Scott

  • Joe says:

    Scott,

    Thanks for the quick response and second chance to review the Pro service. I continue to be amazed that the CEO of a company as prominent as MBL would take such a personal and active interest in ensuring success.

    After a week of reviewing, I see your handywork all over the blog-verse. Kudos and good luck!

    As for VibeTalk, we have much site layout work to do in the coming weeks and may indeed become a participating member soon (i.e. begin to use the widgets and promotional community features).

    -Joe

  • Scott Rafer says:

    The Pro features are not turned on through 9/9. I forgot to do it before I ran off to the farmers’ market.

    I appreciate the description “prominent,” but we don’t deserve that yet. We’ll do our best to grow into it, of course.

    Let us know if you want pictures in your comments as Fred talks about here:
    http://avc.blogs.com/a_vc/2006/08/adding_communit.html

  • Scott Rafer says:

    correction:
    “The Pro features are now turned on through 9/9″

  • Joe says:

    Thanks! I will make sure we look at adding the picture code (some VibeTalk themes have Gravatar support, but it looks easy to add MBL support too).

    Quick question – why doesn’t “wp-register.php” link show up in stats? I haven’t modified the core WordPress files to add your script to that one. I realize wp-register.php doesn’t include template code, but I assumed that it would show up as an exit click, if not a “What Readers Viewed” URL…

  • Scott Rafer says:

    That’s a fine question (meaning I don’t have an immediate answer). I’ve asked one of our folks who’s better equipped to puzzle it out and will let you know.

  • Scott Rafer says:

    It seems to now be recording those pages just fine. Please let me know if there’s any further problem.

  • Joe says:

    Thanks for the followup, Scott. It might be because I added the tracking scripts to that file today… 🙂

    I am still curious why it didn’t previously show as an exit link, but am satisfied that it’s working great now!

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