siderea: (Default)
Siderea ([personal profile] siderea) wrote in [site community profile] dw_suggestions2017-04-10 09:09 pm

Page Statistics 2: Electric Boogaloo

Title:
Page Statistics 2: Electric Boogaloo

Area:
entries

Summary:
Native journal stats, like LJ used to do, only not horribly invasive like LJ. How many, not whom. Also integrated into the DW user interface.

Description:
Way back when, somebody else suggested, in a suggestion titled Page stats (http://dw-suggestions.dreamwidth.org/570175.html), "something like LiveJournal's My Guests feature", and the commenters here promptly set the suggestion on fire and then drowned it. The My Guests feature of the LJ Stats page makes *reading* journals less private, and gave many DW Suggestion commenters the heebee-geebees.

Unfortunately, that was the end of the proposal to implement any of the LJ Stats Page here. Unfortunately, because the LJ Stats Page also had lots of other useful analytics information, that was in aggregate and didn't violate anybody's privacy. For instance, from my LJ Stats page I just discovered that my LJ typically gets about 35 daily hits to my journal's RSS feed – information that would otherwise be utterly invisible to me. Since in the past I've wondered if anybody cares about RSS, that is usefully informative to me. For another instance, I am able to see how many visitors – not, mind you, LJ users, just unique visitors – came to a given post. If I had the same stats here on DW, I would be able to see how my efforts to move my readers from LJ to here were working.

When last this was proposed, one of the questions a commenter reasonably asked was "How is it different from the Google stats feature available for paid DW accounts?"

1) It doesn't involve Google for one thing. I have two big problems with Google Analytics:

1a) It is, to me, a much bigger privacy violation than My Guests ever was. My Guests was optional: if you ever wanted not to be counted, you turned it off and you never appeared in anybody's My Guest report. I, as a reader, have no way to opt out of GA – except to use a script blocker to clobber GA, which I in fact do, because....

1b) Google Analytics' degrades site performance. I have to block the GA scripts at my browser, because otherwise, from time to time, page loads start hanging on trying to communicate with google-analytics.com. I don't want GA on my journal both because I don't want to inflict on my readers a privacy compromise I don't want inflicted on myself, and I don't want to inflict on either me or my readers the page load times GA periodically (or is it always? as I said, I block it) causes.

2) As per 1b above, GA is client-side and third party. I don't want this sort of functionality coming through *any* third-party javascript. It will always tax the user's browser and internet connection, and expose information to a third-party. I have no interest in trusting any third-party with, for example, statistics *about my locked posts* the existence of which should be a private.

3) Not having a GA account I can't say what it includes in its reports, but knowing what I do about its implementation, I'm guessing it has no way to tell you *the number of times your post appeared on other parts of the site*. AFAIK, GA only knows – only *can* know – about the concept of "webpages". LJ's Stats would give you *two* numbers: the number of unique visitors to a post's page *and* the numbers of unique viewers of your post _in all the other places it appears on LJ_, such as on friends pages, your own Recent Entires pages, your Calendar pages, etc. LJ Stats leverages LJ's knowledge of its own info-architecture to come up with stats that GA can't.

Finally, it would be great if the interface for such a thing were integrated into the general DW journal interface, such that journal owners would have a contextual stats icon/link (visible only to them) wherever appropriate, that takes them to the corresponding stats page. For instance, such a link would appear on posts, and would take one to the stats page for that specific post. One's Calendar would have it on the day, month, and year views, and take one to one's corresponding day, month, and year stats pages. And that's not something that GA or any third-party javascript-based analytics implementation could manage.

More Details

When last this came around, it became clear most commenters didn't know what LJ did provide. Here's an overview:

There are four top level categories to the Stats page that I propose are of interest to DW: Journal, Comments, Entries, and RSS Readers.

The Journal page shows stats for your whole journal, breaking it out by number of total visits, total unique vistors, and how many of those unique visitors were logged-in LJ users. It allows you to view this information by either your journal itself, or your journal plus all friends pages on which your posts appear, and it allows you to drill down in either of these views to any year (shows bar chart by month), month (shows bar chart by day), or day (shows bar chart by hour). This last allows one to get a sense of on what days and at what times of the day one's readers are seeing one's journal.

The Comments page shows the stats on numbers of comments and numbers of commenters. Like the Journal page, you can drill down by time span.

The Entries page shows the stats for a given entry (post). It defaults to the most recent entry in your journal, has a list at the bottom of your ten most recent posts with links to their stat pages, for user convenience, and a text box in which you can put the URL to any of your entries to get the stats for it (not the most convenient of user interfaces). For a given entry, it shows Visits, viewers ("Who Viewed"), and Comments. Visits breaks out by Entry Views, All Visitors and Livejournal Visitors. "Entry Views" is the other sense of "entry": when that page is the page-of-entry of a reader to LJ – what happens when somebody follows a link somewhere else, like Twitter or Tumblr or FB or an RSS reader or an email, to a post of yours. That gives one a sense of how much traffic is being driven to a post by virality elsewhere. Visits also allows drill down by year/month/day, same as above. "Who Viewed" gives a break down between the number of all viewers of the post vs. the number of the subset that are Friends of you - it shows you whether it's just Friends reading your posts or other people. Also allows drill down by year/month/day. "Comments" shows comments vs number of unique commenters for the post, with year/month/day drill down.

The RSS Readers page shows a chart of number of requests to one's RSS feed, with drill down by year/month/day.

Poll #18206 Page Statistics 2: Electric Boogaloo
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 34


This suggestion:

View Answers

Should be implemented as-is.
19 (55.9%)

Should be implemented with changes. (please comment)
4 (11.8%)

Shouldn't be implemented.
0 (0.0%)

(I have no opinion)
11 (32.4%)

(Other: please comment)
0 (0.0%)


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