Archive for September, 2012

Our next big thing starts now: Chartbeat iOS App 2.0 (v1)

September 22nd, 2012 by Alex Carusillo

So let's get the most important thing out of the way first: the new Charbeat iOS App is available for all Chartbeat and Chartbeat Publishing users and you can download it here. Second most important thing? Hold steady Android and Windows phone users. We'll be getting stuff your way soon too. Okay? We're good? Awesome. Let's do this then. This April we relaunched Chartbeat and changed way more than the look - we changed what Chartbeat could do. We moved past just counting people on the page and asking you to fill in the rest and focused on making it super easy for you to take action with that info. Sadly our iPhone app lagged behind and that had to change. But after talking to a bunch of you guys, it turned out you're not using your iPhones as "mobile command centers" with all the manipulation and consideration you did with the desktop dashboard. When you were on the go, you just wanted to get the pulse of your site. To know if everything was normal or - if it wasn't - why and what to do about it. And that's what our new app is about. Only the stuff you need and as quickly as possible. So download it, log into your Chartbeat account, and you'll see everything you need to know about your site all on one screen. Scroll across your top traffic sources to see where people are coming from and scroll down to see where they're all going. Even better you can click on any of those things and we'll give you all the deeper information you want. Only the most essential information up front so you always know what's going on. And to that end we're introducing the first of our big mobile changes: the traffic benchmark. Your dial now has a gray band on it - this is your usual range of traffic for the current time and day. If you're below that something is probably not going as planned and you should take a look to see what you can change. But if you're above, congratulations! Something cool is going down. You shouldn't have to know your exact traffic for Saturdays at 9pm...that's our job. Yours is to focus on what's next. A little (totally public) secret for you: this is just the start; we've got so much more coming. With this first version we wanted to give you a really great mobile dashboard experience. Now that that's done we get to do the fun part - we get to create totally new things. Push notifications, configurable alerts, new kinds of data... there's a whole bunch of stuff on its way and we can't wait to show it to you. We're pretty psyched on our plans but we absolutely want to hear yours too. So that what we make is the stuff you truly want. So please. Please, please, please reach out and tell us what would make this app the one of your real-time dreams. Now go, go, go download the app and - seriously - let us know what you think. You can email me thoughts or get in touch with our awesome Chartcorps to learn how use this thing better. There's a ton of really cool stuff to be done so let's do it together.

Data That Matters – Chris Boutet of The Globe and Mail

September 11th, 2012 by Lauryn

Data is everywhere. Big data, ambient data, real-time, benchmarking – there’s so much that there’s no one metric or one way of using it that works for every company or every industry. The data leaders are the ones who take risks, who look at all the information available and decide what matters right now. We’re spotlighting these innovators in this “Data that Matters” blog series. We’re talking to people in various roles across multiple industries to see how they collect, make sense of, and act on their data. Read the full series. Today we get to hear from Chris Boutet, deputy editor, digital operations at The Globe and Mail. Chris takes a data-driven approach to audience development and editorial strategy… and why newsrooms should look to startups for inspiration. When most people think of data, they often think of it as being cold and impersonal – but in the case of web analytics, it actually brings us closer to people.

Data makes us more human-focused, behavior-focused.

Data allows newsrooms to become more closely attuned to their readers than ever before — watching how they interact with your product, what they like and don’t like, both in terms of the content and the user experience you offer. In journalism, data is changing how we think about, and go about creating, our product. Print newspapers used to be the main focus of our business and if you think about how they are made, they are traditionally built on a complex set of plans based on assumptions of what we think our audience is interested in knowing and we race towards a finished product. The reader feedback mechanism wasn’t really there in the same way it is now.

Now the idea of news is constantly changing. There is no finished product.

With online news, we don’t have to base our plans on assumptions. Web analytics tools like Chartbeat, Omniture and other make the process of gathering user feedback so much faster, and the process of improving what we do so much easier. The same principles apply to news coverage itself. User data gives newsrooms real, instant feedback on what our readership in interested in that we didn’t have before. This new insight allows editorial to plans shift and grow organically throughout throughout the newsday and over time — editors can make informed decisions about whether they should allocate more resources and stronger packaging to a particular topic or story, to provide more complete value and arguably a more relevant product. Now this is not to say that editors need to act on every single piece of data we see.

You don’t want to fall into the tyranny of the measurable. Not everything that’s measurable is valuable.

As a journalist, a news provider, it’s your job to perform a public service. So your editorial direction should never completely follow the whims of your online readership. Great journalism is the core of our business; you don’t want to diminish that, change everything you do for a few more clicks. But I do feel it’s important to consider your brand through the eyes of your audience. A lot of news providers think their brand is what they say it is, but I think it’s also what your audience defines as you – what do they come to you for? Which is precisely where data comes in. There’s something to learn there by weighing these in tandem. I believe newsrooms should look to startups as inspiration in bringing a new data-driven and risk-taking mentality into newsrooms to help us learn more about our audience and how to serve them better. Putting too much faith in things like market research and surveys as key feedback mechanisms can be dicey because it’s all hypothetical. I believe that putting our work directly the hands of users as quickly as possible, and then using data to test our assumptions and measure results, is the best way to learn what is a meaningful or useful product and what is not. Conduct experiments — construct a hypothesis, figure out how to test it, build something, send it live and iterate based on what you see. Build, measure, learn. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But you always learn something. We’ll be covering a new company each week – big & small, media & not, data junkies & analytics allergic – so let us know if there’s someone you want to see featured. Hit me up at lauryn@chartbeat.com.

Announcing Our Partnership with Acquia: Real-time action right where you post on Drupal

September 10th, 2012 by Lauryn

We’re pretty excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Acquia! Now your favorite real-time data is right in the Acquia network for all you Drupal and Acquia customers. That means if you’re already using Acquia and Chartbeat, you’ll just install the plugin and start seeing your data immediately. And if you’re new to Chartbeat but are already running your website through Drupal, you can sign up for Chartbeat and integrate these real-time stats right in your Acquia Insights Dashboard in just a couple seconds. So, you’ll get all your real-time audience behavior, traffic, and social data, all in one place. Pretty awesome to be creating and monitoring content in the same spot, huh? Why did we partner with Acquia? With 2% of the world’s websites running on Drupal, Acquia provides products, services, and technical support for the open source Drupal social publishing system. From a single page blog to large web sites, Acquia makes deployment of your single-page blogs or giant website pretty damn seamless and continuous. Since so many of you guys are using Drupal to publish your content and Chartbeat to monitor and act on your real-time site, app, and social data, it seems like a match made in internet heaven for us.

Data That Matters – Telegaleria

September 4th, 2012 by Lauryn

Data is everywhere. Big data, ambient data, real-time, benchmarking – there’s so much that there’s no one metric or one way of using it that works for every company or every industry. The data leaders are the ones who take risks, who look at all the information available and decide what matters right now. We’re spotlighting these innovators in this “Data that Matters” blog series. We’re talking to people in various roles across multiple industries to see how they collect, make sense of, and act on their data. Read the full series. Here are some thoughts from Fred Ackourey, creator of Telegaleria one of the largest multicultural e-commerce websites in the US. Fred discusses the creation of personas and using real-time data specifically to target, reach, influence and convert specific audience segments to purchase.

 

We use data to define our customers through distinct, niche personas.

These personas are formed from both numbers and common sense. Numbers don’t lie, but you need to use your head to figure out what they should mean to you, how you should put them to work. So we’ll start with a demographic and then create a profile of a typical, segmented customer with all the attributes of someone who would buy from us. For example, we’ll say, “The person we’re trying to reach for this particular offer in this particular channel is a 38 year old black female office worker with two children, whom she loves to spend time with, so she shops online during the day to save time, making most of her purchases on Friday afternoon.” Then we tailor our content and offers to that specific persona. Initially, it’s really trial and error. As soon as we drop a campaign based on that persona, we start measuring. We see if we hit our goals or not and then test to optimize that content from there – swapping out content, colors, images, times that people spend on the site, that kind of stuff. This tailored content is released across all different channels – online and offline – wherever we think we can reach this particular persona. Naturally, we have different metrics based on what action we want each persona to take and the goals of that channel. To define those goals, we use the AIDA formula - it guides what we want to focus on in each channel.

AIDA stands for Attention Interest Desire Action, and each channel has the job of attaining or increasing at least one of those factors.

Some people still think your site itself is a funnel. But that’s just not how it works. Your site is just the tip of your arrow. And that’s where AIDA comes in. Your message starts way out in the online and offline world – not on your landing page. We use specific channels for only getting attention, for brand awareness. And then our landing page is the point of closure. That’s where it ends, not where it begins.

We have to work like this because we’re so niche.

For instance, we rank #1 in Google on “sexy jeans.” That’s a niche customer – a very specific person who is searching for that keyword. We can’t compete with the Amazons of the world because our product is niche, our site is niche, our audience is niche. So everything is built off of these personas and every piece of communication is presented in a niche channel to reach and influence these people in a very specific way. We’ll be covering a new company each week – big & small, media & not, data junkies & analytics allergic – so let us know if there’s someone you want to see featured. Hit me up at lauryn@chartbeat.com.