More on Site Meter, Technorati, and FeedBurner

Site Meter:

Site Meter lets you see how many people have visited your blog, how long they have been on your page, which ISP, browser and Operating System they use, and what their screen resolution, IP, and location is. You can set it up in a way that it ignores visits from your computer and browser, so that the stats will be more realistic, and do not include your numerous refreshing of your own blog. You can also make it private, so that nobody except you would be able to see it (like my Site Meter!)

Now, how can you do all that with Site Meter? Sure I can tell you very quickly how it works if you don’t know it already, but I won’t! (I’ll explain at the end of this post why.)

Side Note: You can’t use one of the best features of Site Meter on your wordpress.com blog, which is seeing the referrals of your blog (the blogs and websites that have linked to you.) Site Meter referral tracking works with JavaScript, and wordpress.com does not allow JavaScript on its blogs. But you can still find out about the blogs or websites that have linked you through WordPress.com’s stats, technorati, or Google.

Technorati:

Technorati tells you what the ranking of your blog is among thousands of blogs registered there, lets you browse blogs by tags or categories, and tells you which blogs have linked to you. It let’s users choose their favorite blogs – which everybody can see – and that give you the chance to create a social networking system. It does a lot of other things too. But I won’t tell you what they are!

FeedBurner:

You probably know what feed, RSS, and syndication are, since we are using it to see the title of the latest posts of our classmates’ blogs on our class main blog. You don’t need to get into technical details of how feeds work. It’s just enough to know that, by subscribing to the feed of the blogs and websites you are interested in, you will be able to automatically get notified about their new posts, without the need to visit them constantly. Most of the blogging services automatically provide you with a valid feed. If you want to subscribe to a blog, you just need to add the URL of that blog’s feed to a feed reader you use, such as Google Reader.

Now, you might be wondering why we need FeedBurner, since we already have the feed of our blogs set by wordpress.com. Well, the advantage of FeedBurner over the normal feed system our blogs offer is the statistics it provides. You can see how many people visit your blog through your Site Meter, but you can’t see how many people are reading your blog through a feed reader.

For example, the number of times I read your blogs will not be counted in your blog’s stats, because I always read your blogs in my Google Reader, and just come to the actual page of your blog when I want to leave a comment! FeedBurner has a system to track how many people have subscribed to the feed of your blog, through which feed readers, and a lot more! This feature of FeedBurner is included in its “pro” section, but this “pro” section, unlike what it might suggest, is free!

It’s all about reading the instructions

Now I mentioned some of the features of these widgets and tools that you might already know or not know. There are also a lot more to them that I didn’t mention. Why? Because they are all explained in details in the websites of each of these tools. It’s actually the same case for almost any other tools or widgets for the blogs (or many other things related to web developing.) When you see a new online tool or service which seems useful to you, don’t bother yourself to find somebody who is web savvy to ask for instructions. Read the instructions yourself. They are usually explained in a very simple and comprehensive way.

By following the instructions, you usually can add any widget in 10-15 minutes. So try to make yourself used to reading the instructions. If you get used to that, you’ll later see that a whole new world is opened to you; a big world of open source tutorials and HOW-TOs.

(My experience is that, sometimes, if a person explains to you how a widget works and how you should put it on your blogs, it will sound so confusing or complicated to you. But when you look at the instructions and follow them, you can have your own pace, and can even concentrate more on what your are doing.)

As Prof. McAdams has mentioned in our class blog:

A person who works on a Web site at a news organization needs to learn how to learn, how to find instructions, how to make things work.

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10 comments so far

  1. Meg from Sax Appeal on

    Two other tools that are worth looking are Google Analytics and AWStats. They are similar to Site Meter (which I haven’t actually used).

    Interestingly, stat tools like these don’t necessarily show the same amount of traffic. For instance, AWStats shows more than Google — sometimes much more. Therefore, bloggers might want to use two or more stat tools to get all the benefits they want.

  2. Meg from All About Appearances on

    P.S I’m the same Meg from All About Appearances and The Bargain Queen. I just forgot to change the name for the above comment. The URL for Sax Appeal if anyone is interested is http://www.saxappeal.us.

  3. Mindy McAdams on

    Thanks, Sanam, that is an excellent post! I hope the other students will read it. I had intended to talk a little more — but only a little — about each of these blog enhancements, but my 2-hour lecture turned out to be too long!

  4. Sanam on

    Thanks Meg! Unfortunately you can’t put Google Analytics in wordpress.com blogs, because of the same JavaScript limitation. I use it on my main Persian blog, and it’s amazing!

    I’ll check out AWStats. Motigo (originally used to be Nedstat) is the most favorite in Persian blogosphere. The damn thing show a pop up ad whenever you visit a blog who has this counter on it! (I originally migrated from IE to FireFox just to install the ad-blocker add-on to get rid of Nedstat pop ups on Persian blogs!)

  5. Sanam on

    Mindy,

    I think next time it would be better if you ask the students to install the widgets on their blogs as homework, and you lecture about the benefits of having these tools. One other possible homework could be that you ask the students research about the use of these tools and later blog about them.

    By the way, I didn’t know it all! I learned yesterday that we can actually add html codes as text widgets, and you can add more than one text widget! (You should scroll down to see it and I hadn’t noticed it before!)

  6. Meg from All About Appearances on

    Congrats Sanam on migrating to Firefox! I’ve given up Microsoft entirely except for testing my web design work.

  7. Sanam on

    Meg,

    There is an add-on called “IE tab” that you can install on Firefox, so you can see how your pages look like in IE through Firefox!

  8. Meg from All About Appearances on

    I’ll have to check that out for sure! Thanks for the heads up!

  9. Meg from All About Appearances on

    Hmmm… sadly, I’d have to actually run Windows and IE on my computer somewhere (figured that would be the catch). As it is, I just grab my hubby’s computer for a quick look since he has to keep Windows for testing purposes with the stuff he does.

  10. […] in the class on instructions about how to use or set up some tools. As I have also mentioned in this post, journalists should learn how to learn using different online tools and tutorials. Many of these […]


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