Google Analytics will not crush Mint or Measure Map

Well Google Analytics is out and now every other stat counter is doomed. Right? Who can stand up to google? I refuse to believe any of this is true and that Google’s entrance in to stats will make little impact with Mint or Measure Map.

Who has made the claim that google will crush all and have actually used Analytics? Wow it’s complicated. There are so many menus and half the time I have no idea what the graph is even representing. A large portion of the interface is also devoted to adwords campaigns and detailed study of how people move though your website. More then 50% of Analytics is devoted to stat tracking that 90% of the people using it for free will have little use for.

Is google making a mistake? No of course not. Google is just not trying to get me to use their software. What they are really looking for is a way for people to get more out of adwords and spend more money with google. This will be good for corporate or high volume websites that advertise through adwords but few others. Google is going after the fortune 500 companies who will dump tons of money in to adwords. That is who their site is optimised for.

Now lets look at Mint and Measure Map. Who are they optimised for? While I have not used Mint there are some very glaring things that show it might not be for everyone. For one it only works in Firefox and Safari. Second it’s biggest focus is on referrers and how people came to your site and less on what they did when they actually got there. That alone shows that this is not a stat tracker for every one and Sean Inman has always been forward about that. He’s not trying to compete with Google. His market is the small web site owner who wants to know hoe people are coming to his site. Google offers the same functionality but it’s berried in adwords specific jargon and other tracking that most sites have no need for.

Measure Map is so easy to understand

Measure Map is even another step down. It’s stats in it’s most simplistic form. It gives you exactly what you want to know and no more. Even my grandmother would understand the stats that Measure Map is putting out. Another things no one is pointing out is that Measure Map is blog specific. If you don’t have a blog you can’t even use Measure Map. This is not a site wide solution and there is no reason to be. I’ve only used it for a couple of days and I’m amazed how such a clean and simple interface can display so much information. Websites like this help remind me that graphic artists like Sean Inman, Jeffrey Veen, and myself need to be more involved in web startups.

I actually plan of dropping Analytics in the near future. It’s not giving me anything I can’t get anywhere else. Measure Map has shown me data in a way I have not seen before and has helped me see my blog in a new light. Google’s Analytics will be bigger then Mint or Measure Map but they will not own the market. Mint and Measure Map provide uniquely distinct stats in a way google can’t and in that light they have already won.

measuremap, mint, seaninman, jeffreyveen, analytics, google, stats, counter, blog

Building my own personal search engine

I have yet to jump on the personal search engine thing. Rollyo looks awesome but I’ve just been unexcited about building my own search. And finally I think I’ve figured out why. Rollyo is trying to make me act like Yahoo. I don’t want to take the time to make a comprehensive web designer search or any kind of search for a category.

What I would like is to be able to comprehensively search my web history. Del.icio.us has a good start by letting you bookmark pages. I don’t know about you but I have not been putting in descriptions for for each link and some times I even skimp on tags just because I don’t want to put that much effort into it.

The less meta information I put in to del.icio.us the less useful del.icio.us is. What I really need is a way to easily search the sites, not the links, that I’ve entered in to del.icio.us.

The is where Rollyo’s limitations become more apparent. There is no way to mass upload links with any import function. On top of that who would really want to keep having to go back to Rollyo to re-upload links? What Rollyo needs (Or any site that would like to build this) is a way to create a search engine that subscribes to an RSS feed like my del.icio.us feed.

Another problem with Rollyo is how they treat your uploaded links:

Rollyo searches entire sites such as www.cnn.com or support.apple.com, but not parts of sites, such as www.cnn.com/politics/.

While the way Rollyo is set up that makes the most sense. But if it’s working off of my del.icio.us links then I most likely don’t want to search entire site and would instead like to just search the page I linked to. While I’m not sure about that assertion for every one I would like the ability to toggle between searching the entire site and the specified link.

Combining a custom search engine with an RSS feed of links would make a powerful search tool that could access your search history on a much deeper layer then del.icio.us allows. It might also encourage me to bookmark more sites that I wouldn’t bother with other wise. Then I could bookmark things with out worrying what the meta data is because I could just search for it later.

As far as I know there is no other site that comes close to this type of service and I think it would be interesting to see some one build something like this out.

rollyo, del.icio.us, search, rss

A talk with Jeffery Zeldman and AIGA

I recently had a chance to help Liz Danzico over at AIGA with some podcasts. First one on the block was An Event Apart being held in philly with three of my heroes, Jeffery Zeldman, Eric Meyers, and Jason Santa Maria. While I did little more then cut some audio together and take some work off of Liz’s hands I’m all to excited to be involved with all of it. Check out Jeffery talk about all sorts of crazy stuff and stick around to hear my name at the end! Lets hope this is only the first time my name is in the same place as Jeffery’s.

On another note I’m happy to be helping AIGA get more involved in web design. Hopefully I will be able to not only be able to get the print world to take notice but get more web designers involved in AIGA. So many seem to not join because AIGA doesn’t do much for web design and I hope we can bring the kind of value to AIGA that will give web designers a reason to be more involved.

aiga, podcast, webdesign, zeldman, jasonstantamaria, ericmeyers, lizdanzico, aneventapart

I hate TiVo and want MythTV

I remember having AOL 1.0 and loving it as much as I hated it. I loved the internet but I could not play online games through their service and web pages loaded so slow. It really felt like a walled garden. Even though TiVo has been out for a while it really has the same feel of early AOL. It’s doing something revolutionary but doing it so haphazardly and poorly that it’s almost not worth it.

I just got a Tivo and you need a phone line to set it up. I don’t have a phone line. Search for setting up a TiVo with out a phone line and you’ll get a ton of results. Most are little help as they are very vague about why it needs the phone line or what exactly they use to set it up with out a phone line. I know there is a way to do it but not with the equipment i have.

A lot of people graduating from college move out of home and get a land line. They get one just because that’s what you do. I’m a leading edge case of some one who knows they will not use a phone line and refuses to get one. The same techy people who makes this leap of reason are the some kind who want TiVo. Yet they don’t seem to want to cater to this group of people. I’ve just ordered a phone line that will take a week to get so I can use my TiVo. I don’t know any one in my building or any one with the same service as me in my area. I’m not going to make friends with people in my building so I can take over their TV for about 10 hours.

I think many people who run in to the same problem get over it eventually. I will not. When I got AOL I immediately started to look to see how I could get off. where could I go to get better service at a cheaper price. I’ve been looking for better options than TiVo for a long time now and I opted against them because TiVo was cheaper and easier to setup. Is it cheaper and easier? I really really want Myth TV now that I have TiVo.

tivo, tv, phone, mythtv

PDF document options

I’m fairly new to PDF creation. I’ve outputted my share through Illustrator, Photoshop and Quark but have put too much thought in to it as I mostly have not had a need for it. My resume is in PDF and that’s about it. Working on a little beta feature presentation for the Sconex reps I need to up the PDF anti and really make it shine.

Screen shots don’t scale well. When my senior portfolio teacher made me print out 11x17 print outs of my website I was less then pleased at the 200 dpi print out of a 72 dpi file. Damn you internet and your low resolution. A similar problem happens when you save a screen shot to PDF. The default zoom is default to what ever the user’s Acrobat (or in my case Foxit) is set too. This means that if the zoom is set for anything other 100% your screen shot looks like crap and you don’t look very professional.

The trick is to force any PDF reader to open up at 100% so the screen shoot looks as crisp as it does on the site. Most times I’m fairly impressed with Adobe’s help files, but Acrobat’s seem to be rather sparse. Search through google got me no results either.

What you need to look for is the Open Options, which on Acrobat 5 is listed under File > Document Properties > Open Options. Here you can set all the different things you want to happen when anyone opens your PDF. The one I was looking for was the magnification which was set to default and I simply changed it to 100%. Now every one can see my beautiful screenshots with out Acrobat Messing them up.

acrobat, pdf, foxit