Mining For Data In Blogs - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Mining For Data In Blogs

As the market evolves, it's become increasingly important for publishers to understand if an RSS can draw more traffic than the actual Web site, for instance, and what type of information in the feed is too much. New tools can help.

Blogger Anthony Citrano wants to gain insight into those who visit his Web sites. So he signed up for FeedBurner Inc.'s TotalStats service to gain details from RSS feeds on the information readers come to read.

The amount of information Citrano will gain is about to jump. As of Monday, FeedBurner, the podcast aggregator and maker of online software acquired blog analytics provider Blogbeat.

Digging for information, bloggers gain a method to study traffic patterns for each post. Citrano also controls the Web server where his domain name resides and can log on to view raw statistics generated by two separate software packages.

In May the software told him that 46 people spent more than an hour on his site, for example. Without analytics, most bloggers don't have access to that type of information. "I can see all the surf phrases and terms that led people to my sites, and they range between the most bizarre to topics that make sense," Citrano said. "Some of the bizarre have been 'voting by IQ,' 'creepy views,' and 'Chinese foot binding in women'."

Citrano isn't the only blogger "curious" about the topics attracting people to his site. Forrester Research Inc. analyst Peter Kim began using Blogbeat in April to track links and hits on his personal blog. The annual subscription cost totaled somewhere around a mere $25 per year. Not a hefty price to monitor posts, visitors, referrals and links that provide insight into who visits the site.

Kim equates blog analytics to "one-hand clapping, because if the blogger doesn't receive comments, track-backs or an active discussions in the thread," analytics can provide insight into who's coming to the site and what's being read.

But FeedBurner has much more in mind. Cofounder and chief operating officer Steve Olechowski said the company aims to provide customers with statistical data gained through the technology in Blogbeat, which launched in January.

As the market evolves it's become increasingly important for publishers to understand if an RSS can draw more traffic than the actual Web site, and what type of information in the feed is too much. "As Microsoft rolls out Vista, Internet Explorer 7, and Outlook where feeds are in the forefront of the applications, people will get more comfortable accessing information through RSS feeds," Olechowski said.

Once that happens, RSS will evolve into a separate medium that Olechowski calls "subscribing." Moving toward that trend, the product roadmap will see Blogbeat's technology integrate into FeedBurner by November.

"FeedBurner is built on a LAMP/Java stack, and the way we scale achieving data maps very similar to the way FeedBurner works," he said. "The foundation of the statistics is driven off the feed, which is different than the Web analytics products out there today."

The "design pattern" in FeedBurner and Blogbeat are similar, though the platform for the Raleigh-Durham, N.C. company was built on a Microsoft .Net stack rather than Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl and Python, the core set of applications and languages used in a Linux Web server, Olechowski said.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Where Cloud Spending Might Grow in 2021 and Post-Pandemic
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/19/2020
The Ever-Expanding List of C-Level Technology Positions
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/10/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll