Author Archive

Miss last week’s post which walked through the content creator’s analytics journey? Check it out here to see how writers everywhere can put attention data to work.


Now that we’ve explored how writers can add analytics to their workflows for optimized stories, let’s dive into how producers can get the most out of every story in real time.

Producers and Layout Editors know that there’s much more to a link than meets the eye. A module for related content, an inline link citation, a recommended stories section — these are the kinds of critical facets of article layout that build audiences.

That’s why Producers around the world turn to Chartbeat Publishing for data-backed decisions. Here are just a few ways they can:


Combat Drop-Off

The Chartbeat Heads Up Display locates where on article pages high percentages of readers are dropping off. Within the Heads Up Display, a screen overlay that projects real-time visitor data on top of home, section, or article pages, producers can hone in on the Scroll Depth Indicator. It’ll spot where large portions of your audience are bouncing. Try putting links where drop-off is highest to increase the likelihood that audiences will recirculate to additional content.


Curate Links

By diving into the troves of historical data housed in Chartbeat Report Builder, our flexible historical reporting tool, producers can identify the articles that have performed strongest by referrer type, device type, and topic. If you’re looking for linking more than just related content, historical data is a good place to see what pieces might pair well together. High-engagement pieces with high-traffic pieces? Short-form with long-form? Report Builder has the answers you’ve been looking for.


Optimize for Multi-Platform Responsiveness

The Heads Up Display is not only fully responsive but also filters by device type. By resizing browser windows, editors can see how audiences travel through their site or section on any device. That means if you see a high-traffic article with particularly low recirculation on mobile, you can take immediate action to make sure that related links and content are viewable on multiple platforms.


For more information on how Chartbeat Publishing helps Layout Editors keep it fresh, reach out to

At Chartbeat, we love ourselves some tech nerdery. We like computer things, internet things, and all the latest gadget things. But we also know that not everyone’s like that, so some of the hacks that we use to make our Chartbeat lives easier might not be immediately obvious to everyone.

That’s why the Chartcorps wanted to spread the insider knowledge on a few ways to make all of your Chartbeat tools more accessible.

Pull up your Dashboard with quick search

Ever wanted to quickly check your Dashboard, but forgot where you bookmarked it? Or you manage a couple different Dashboards under your account and you forgot how to switch between them? Just a fan of typing in general?

By adding a simple custom search engine to your browser you can give yourself a hotkey built into your browser’s URL bar itself. And it’s really easy to setup—here are the instructions for Chrome:

  1. Go to your Chrome Settings Page by using the dropdown menu in the upper right-hand corner, or just opening a new tab and pressing “command + comma” or “ctrl + comma.”
  2. Midway down the page there’s a section called ‘Search’ and a ‘Manage Search Engines’ button—select that.
  3. Settings

  4. In the modal that comes up, scroll down to where it says ‘Other Search Engines’ and at the bottom where you see three blank boxes, put “Chartbeat Publishing” in the first, “cbp” in the second, and in the third this URL:

    Use the Video Dashboard? Try this URL:

    Now whenever you type ‘cbp’ into your Chrome URL bar and hit either tab or space, you should see it transform into a little blue box. Then type the domain of the Dashboard you want (with the ‘.com’ at the end) and hit enter. Boom. You automatically navigate directly to your Dashboard.
    Now of course this only works when you’re logged in and if you have permission to access that Dashboard, but it’s still a super easy way to pull up exactly what you need in only a few keystrokes.

    Filter and Favorite

    The Chartbeat Dashboard is designed to be customized for your audience development goals, whether you’re focused on social media, a particular section, or your mobile readers.

    If you’re one of these people who really focuses on a specific segment of your audience, why not just bookmark the filter you want to go directly to it?

    Let’s take a social media editor, for instance. We all know that if you only want to see visitors who arrived from a social media source, you just select the “Social” traffic source in the upper right hand corner.


    But since when you do that, it actually changes the URL (see how it adds that ‘#referrer-type=social’ bit at the end?), you can just bookmark that page now and jump directly to this view.

    Try it out with any Dashboard filter—mobile, new visitors, Twitter visitors, ranking top stories by engaged time—or even a combination of filters.

    Looking for more tech tips? Reach out to the Chartcorps at or @Chartcorps on Twitter.

You’ve heard this story before—boy graduates college, boy moves to New York, boy starts working at a tech startup full of cool nerds, boy finds a career path.

Read the rest of this entry »

Last Week at ONA15

September 28th, 2015 by Chris

ONA is always a blast, but Chartbeat had an especially great time this year in Los Angeles. It was, as you might say, hella rad. Our team loved hanging with you in the Midway, talking about audience building (check out the full audio recording!!) in Pacific Palisades, and meeting some of the coolest digital journalists and editors out there. You can check out the slides from our session here.

So what was everyone talking about?

Mobile-Desktop Parity

Whether it was Richard Gingras of Google News or our very own Tony Haile, everyone agreed that mobile matters. A lot. Our own research has shown that the predominant actions on desktop and mobile are not parallel — 90% of the time an event is fired on a mobile device, it’s a scrolling event even though that’s only the case 40% of the time on desktop. Even more evidence that publishers have to be quick on their mobile feet, especially with the rise of Dark Social.

Monetizing Quality Content

Mark said it best:

It’s clear that the web is recognizing attention as the true metric of success and quality content as the unwavering goal of digital journalism. Now, publishers are turning to the next logical question: how do you monetize that attention? In our Sponsored Session, “Can You Have Their Attention Please,” Nik and Tony demonstrated the power and promise of Engaged Ad Refresh as one answer to that question. By refreshing ads only after they’ve been viewed by an engaged audience for a minimum amount of time, publishers can create viewable inventory and charge premium for their eye-keeping inventory.

You can listen to the entire session here.

And we weren’t the only ones who thought this was pretty great :)

Now we don’t like to brag. But our sponsored session was truly humbling. We love to see the data nerdery spreading, and we’re always happy to talk engagement, audience building, and anything metrics.

Attention Metrics in the Classroom

At our booth, we got the chance to chat with some superb young journalists, members of the ONA Student Newsroom, and undergraduate communications students from around the country. It’s not every day we get to meet the next generation of world-class journalists. So, when we saw how excited they were already about attention metrics, we got pretty excited ourselves. As newsrooms embrace attention data, so too do journalism students.

Learning the importance and functionality of metrics early on can only prepare students to be even better writers, editors, and internet advocates. That’s why we’ve recently partnered with Camayak to give Chartbeat access to twelve campus newsrooms.

Online Harassment and Digital Journalism

Finally, if you missed the Keynote discussion on gendered online harassment, you can check out a recording here. It is important beyond describing. Go watch.

Can’t wait for ONA16? Neither can we. Until then, you can can relive the glory of ONA15 with the full audio recording of our session “Can You Have Their Attention Please?”

In the meanwhile, come find us at Advertising Week! We’ll be at IAB MIXX today and tomorrow. On Thursday, our CEO Tony will be speaking at Viacom’s “The Attention Experience,” and on Friday, our Chief Data Scientist Josh will be speaking at DataPoint NYC. Yup, it’s gonna be a crazy week.

This is the first post in a series on how we used the design process to understand, define, ideate, and build a brand new support site.

My favorite part of being on the Chartcorps, our client support team, is that all of my teammates genuinely care about and empathize with our clients. We don’t just train editorial and advertising teams, debug code implementation, and provide general support — we’re always trying to build a better product experience for all Chartbeat users.

This starts with customer feedback. At Chartbeat, and especially in the Chartcorps, we’re all about using data to drive decisions. So, my Chartcorps teammate Sam and I decided to team up with our designers to critically approach the challenge of creating a unified support experience. In doing so, we learned why design collaboration and a comprehensive support system are integral components for any software product.

resource inventory
Beginnings of our brainstorming process

Phase 1: Understand

One of the fundamental problems we wanted to solve for was the lack of a centralized location for Chartbeat’s support resources. We noticed, as a team, that we frequently received similar questions from our users — often about where to find implementation instructions or how to learn more about our data science.

While of course we love talking to our clients, we came to realize that one-on-one client communication (for any and all issues) is not a scalable support model. We also took into account that many users were probably trying to find the answers to their questions without having to email the support line.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 1.11.22 PM
An example page from our old resource site

The content library we had at the time was difficult to navigate. The majority of implementation docs were static PDFs. Educational videos and case studies were scattered across different shortened links. Version control, maintenance, and innovating new support methods were confusing and cumbersome.

So we took a step back and re-evaluated. How could we make communicating and answering our clients’ needs a more efficient process across multiple channels?

Phase 2: Define

Before putting anything down on paper, we first needed to figure out exactly who we were designing for. Since our customers have extremely diverse sets of roles, workflows, and team sizes, the Design Team suggested we use Job Stories as a way to approach this problem. This meant ignoring user personas and instead defining what ‘jobs’ people were ‘hiring’ our support site to do.

job stories
A job story format (Source: Medium)

We talked through a lot of examples of why someone would come to a Chartbeat support center and what outcomes they would be expecting. For example:

  • When looking to implement the Chartbeat code, I want to find full technical documentation, so I can get my site up and running.
  • When using Chartbeat for the first time, I want to know what specific metrics mean, so I can put them in practice and incorporate the tool into my daily workflow.
  • When I have a specific question already formed in my mind, I want to quickly and easily find the answer, so I can go back to using the tool.
  • We weren’t trying to design just for “developers”, “homepage editors”, or “account admins”. Instead we wanted to design a single support experience that offered everyone an intuitive path to their expected outcome, whatever that may be.

    Phase 3: Ideate

    Then came our first big challenge: to step out of the comfortable realm of client experience and feedback, and into the creative and practical world of UX design. Enter, the whiteboard.


    Luckily we had a few main points to help get us started; the three general support journeys we imagined users taking, and a need for a singular site architecture that began at a master landing page. Eventually we aligned the resources and content that already existed in our internal library with our three main journeys, which became ‘Documentation’, ‘Education’, and ‘FAQ’.

    New Chartbeat Support Site

    Now that we outlined the basic structure, we turned our attention to the smaller details:

  • How do we visually represent product hierarchy?
  • How can we encourage exploration between products and categories?
  • And how many clicks should someone have to make to arrive at their expected outcome?

  • Conclusion

    We started this project as an opportunity to solve a very real problem for our client base and brush up on our technical skills, but we knew that if we were going to take the time to build a whole support center, we had to do it right.

    This meant committing to the entire design process — something we didn’t know would be so challenging. Fortunately, we had the support and experience our Design Team to guide us and give us feedback along the way.

    Stay tuned for part two. Next week, Sam will get a little more technical and talk about how we prototyped, built, and tested our product.