[typo] Logs / Statistics
William A. Carrel
william.a at carrel.org
Mon Aug 22 01:26:37 EDT 2005
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On Aug 21, 2005, at 9:43 PM, Kevin Ballard wrote:
> On Aug 21, 2005, at 11:22 PM, William A. Carrel wrote:
>> image into the article in the RSS feed. Really this would track
>> the same way as article views and probably could be implemented
>> fairly easily (and non-invasively) using the filter framework that
>> Scott Laird has been working on.
> That wouldn't work. That would track each time the user views that
> article in their newsreader (assuming it supports JS), not each
> time the feed is fetched.
Who's to say that seeing who views the article in their newsreader
and how often isn't a statistic worth tracking? (Bob is right about
JS in the newsreaders, so we'll presume it's a 1x1 image bug, which
may also not be terribly reliable.) We're going to wind up
encountering that same kind of trouble with the normal pages too.
going to be tracked. Whether or not they should is an opinion that
differs depending on what you're trying to get out of the
statistics. (i.e. Are you measuring server load or human viewership.)
> What I'm really most interested in, though, is not each individual
> access of the feed (although it would be good to know that for
> server load purposes), but rather who's reading my feed, which
> really means tracking each time a unique IP hits my feed.
As you said, this will require reading the server logs. A lot of the
people hitting your feed are going to be feed aggregators (and
various Google spider machines looking for changes to the site it
should pick up). Any sort of JS/Image/etc. sleight of hand tricks
aren't going to show anything for those.
We could probably have a well-reasoned debate about whether or not
either the "web server served a resource" or the "some browser/reader
just pulled the magic image" stats are going to be of more value. In
the end, it depends on the user. As a result, gathering both would
probably be advisable if we're going to go to the trouble of
integrating it, people will end up demanding which ever one isn't
there as a feature anyway.
In the end, even with both, there will still be some audience that
finds built-in stats inadequate for some reason. Maybe because it
doesn't aggregate by IP location data, maybe because it doesn't show
whether the page came from cache, or maybe because it doesn't
aggregate their werewolf blog views by moon phase. These sorts of
complications are why perhaps this would be best left as a separate
item that just has a content filter that inserts magic 1x1 image bugs
for tracking but doesn't otherwise require mucking around in the rest
of the Typo code.
There are lies, damned lies and... ;-)
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