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Blog Statistics Packages

A number of bloggers have recently asked me to write something about statistics packages – particularly to talk about the stats systems that I use and what features in them that I analyse.

I’m happy to do so but I’m not sure how unique my opinion will be. Perhaps it could make a good discussion – so consider this an ‘open mike’. What stats packages do you use on your blog? How do you use them? Which features do you look at most frequently? Share your thoughts in comments below.

My statistics habits

I use two statistics packages on most of my blogs. Both give me slightly different information – both have their strengths and weaknesses and working together give me a pretty decent understanding of what is going on in my blogs on a daily but also a longer term level.

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Blog Pulse Trend Graphs

BlogPulse has developed clickable trend graphs that let you track what is being talked about in the blogosphere.

It would be handy for tracking a topic you’re blogging on. For example covering the story of the transition of Popes the following graph shows when the key moments were.

pope.jpg

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AutoBlogger

I often get asked how I can update my blogs so often – its time to go public. I use AutoBlogger.

Learn more about it from this trailer.

Dashboard Widget – Adsense Statistics Checker

When I commented on the new OSX Tiger (for Mac) I commented that I’d love a dashboard widget that would check my Adsense stats. Well it seems someone else had the same idea and has just released one. It’s a great idea that I’m sure many Mac Adsense publishers will use – only problem is that it doesn’t seem to work yet. I’ve given it a go and get the same ‘undefined’ errors that someone else comments about. Anyway – I’m sure there will be a new version soon enough or someone else coming up with a better one.

Innovative Blog Comment Systems

Wow – look at the innovations that are happening in comments systems at the moment – Peter from Almost Cool pointed me over to the beautifully designed snook.ca’s beautiful blog with its wonderful comments system. It has live preview of comments with yellow fade. Peter also points to the relational comments system over at 1976design.com which enables commenters to relationally link their comments to others in a visual way.

Looking at blogs like these with such wonderful design and innovative ideas just oozing out of them makes my mouth water some days – I can’t wait to see what they come up with next (and for them to roll out some of these systems for the rest of us!).

Ecto Problems

I’ve been having some real frustrations with Ecto over the past day or two. I’m unsure if its just the latest version or whether my recent server updates have caused issues – or both.

Some of the issues include the inability to upload photos via ecto, posting as drafts rather than published posts and the losing of categories (reverting to default category rather than the selected one). The confusing part is that different blogs seem to be having different issues – some work perfectly others won’t post at all.

As I say – it might not be an ecto problem – but its starting to get very frustrating and is slowing down my posting considerably.

Are any other ecto users having problems?

Update – Adrian – the brain behind Ecto – has gotten in touch with me and has been incredibly helpful. The problem looks to be two fold.

1. WP’s latest build has an issue that stops categories working with ecto.
2. I think my latest server update has caused a little issue with communication between server and ecto. Looking into it.

Which Laptop for Blogging?

A regular reader of ProBlogger, Mark from The Rock and Roll Report, has asked the following question that I thought I’d open up to all readers for discussion.

‘I am looking at getting a laptop that will primarily be just for my blog site The Rock and Roll Report. From writing my posts, to working on the design of the site to researching over the net to listening and downloading online audio and video content, this laptop will do it all. I want it to be wireless capable and high quality within a reasonable budget ($1500.00 or less). My heart says iBook (I do not currently use a Mac) but my head says a Windows based laptop for extreme flexibility. It will also be used for a potential podcast. What should I do? ‘

I personally have been a fan of Macs since I started blogging. I find them to be well worth the money, easy to use and a lot of fun. There are a few things that you need to consider though – the main one is that there are some products unavailable on Macs (there are others that you can’t get on PC though) and that you’ll probably have to buy the Mac version of some of the software that you already have.

Having said this – Macs come with some amazing software built in (iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie etc) which are a big feature.

I had an iBook (12 inch version) up until 6 or so months ago and didn’t have many problems with it. The only reason I upgraded to the powerbook I now have is that I wore it out (I’m on it 8+ hours a day many days). I also found the 12 inch size was getting a little frustrating.

If you want to follow the journey of another blogger who has just made the switch to a Mac you might like to check out Arieanna’s recent posts on the topic.

What do others think? Help Mark out with your opinions in comments below.

Blog Power = Blog Clutter

Andy has a good post on ‘Blog Power’ which I think is a pretty spot on analysis of a tool that attempt to game Google and simply clutters the web with useless content. These sort of tools might bring you a little short term benefit but the risks are not worth it in my opinion. Be careful friends – if you’re wanting to build a long term, sustainable income from blogging – do it the honest open way. It might take time but you’ll build something that lasts and not sell you soul in the mean time.

AOL Opens Blog Service to IM Users

Just spotted this news (perhaps its old and I missed it previously) that AOL are opening up their blogging tool to their Instant Messaging users. Not only this but they’ll be able to to submit posts to their blogs via instant messaging when logged in to the screen name associated with the blog they’re posting to.