Archive for Web and Database Development

Working with Clickstream Data out of Adobe Analytics

4/28/14 UPDATE: the original thread on LinkedIn for this topic continues to draw useful comments regarding serious implementations/requirements. Take another read on it as time permits.

I honed in on an interesting thread on the Omniture Enthusiasts group on LinkedIn. The topic author, Nicholas, asks: “Has anyone has implemented a SiteCatalyst Clickstream Database solution?” The thread has turned into an interesting conversation, and another active participant has posted an R package at GitHub to faciliate this type of data movement and analysis. Turns out that it is possible to have a daily dump of clickstream data sent similar to a Data Warehouse data file for further processing. Hmmm – what an intriguing possibility.

This post I saw on LinkedIn caught my eye. The author argues that there’s too much clicking involved when performing common tasks using ‘modern’ CMS tools. I have to admit, I’ve often thought this myself, but when I think again about all the hard work expended when hand-coding websites in the past, maybe the clicking isn’t so bad? Of course it could be better, and I think that’s the point of the post. It’s about time to re-evaluate how we use (should use) our CMS tools and demand better interfaces.

Toolbox Post:

Most of my posts are probably ‘toolbox posts’ as it turns out. Ever wondered which of two sites load the fastest? A site called Which Loads Faster can help you win bets, or at least get a handle on what is going on when two web sites load in the browser. Use the site to perform a test between two sites in the splash screen when you first hit the site, or select your own matchups. Have fun learning!

Mobile User Experience (UX) topics

This well laid-out writeup of mobile web experience delivery came through a LinkedIn discussion today. I enjoyed reading it, because it mentioned the Responsive Web Design concept, which I can’t seem to get enough of. The following methods are detailed, and pros and cons for each delivery method are listed:

  • Standard Website
  • Responsive Web Design
  • Mobile Website
  • Mobile Application (mobile apps)


Real-time analytics application

Wow – how time flies. I’ve gone too long without posting!

New Relic appears to be an interesting performance and app monitoring package with a modern interface and great tools. I came across it the other day looking for some other web analytics information. A free trial is available, so I may give it a run and write about it here.

Until next time…!

Taxonomy and Information Architecture

I’m still keeping lists of useful sites as I learn about information architecture (IA) concepts, taxonomy, user experience (UX) and knowledge management. The Taxonomy Guide at the University of Toronto in Canada contains many useful links and resources on these topics.

The University of Minnesota, Duluth is not to be outdone by UToronto – there are dozens of links to IA materials at their site. This site digs deep into IA methods such as card sorting, content inventory methods, prototyping and wireframing.

Here’s another site chock full of IA links.

Something for everyone…
There is definitely a site out there for everyone. This site is all about site indexes and there is even a special index group (SIG) dedicated to building a site index for any site.

Picking up again on the taxonomy topic, I found that Heather Hedden has written and spoken extensively about taxonomies, indexing and search. Her site contains links to numerous whitepapers, articles and presentations.

There’s even a Taxonomy Bootcamp (gasp!) in D.C. this November. It is co-located with some other related events such as the Knowledge Management World conference, the SharePoint Symposium and the Enterprise Search Summit.

Before getting too deep into a new information architecture, it may be time to chill out and take a content inventory.

What’s running that site?

It isn’t pefect, but the Scritch CMS detector tool is very useful when you need to know what CMS is running on a certain website. If you need to know where the site is hosted and what https server responds for the site, Netcraft is excellent. Need to know what web analytics is in place for a particular site? The Vendor Discovery Tool at Web Analytics Demystified can help.

Are URLs the next generation of Cookies?

Yeah – I bet that headline got your attention for a second. How could a URL be compared to a cookie? It takes a moment to get used to the idea, but that very concept was suggested by a couple articles I read today.

It all started when I got a spam with a short bitly URL embedded within. I became curious to know if there was a such thing as a bitly decoder, and surely there was! So that bitly URL mapped to a Twitter URL. That was when I decided to delete the spam altogether. But I found this article about URLs being useful for web analytics, and that article lead to this article which raised the question of this post’s headline. Read the articles and judge for yourself. Go through your own Tweets and web analytics and prove it out for yourself.

Scratchpad post

Here’s a scratchpad post to help me remember to look further into Composite C1, a free open-source CMS based upon Microsoft dotNet. The other day I was searching for some alternative .Net CMS tools and it is good to know some exist! Check this Wikipedia entry for a complete, platform-independent list of content management systems paid or free.

Here’s another random item: ain interactive marketing ROI calculator. It is a neat toy for Business Intelligence geeks.

Easy Web Site Analyzer

I read about WooRank just today and I like it. Of course a paid offering exists, but the free offering covers a lot of ground when you need a quick read when evaluating a new website. It quickly summarizes traffic, search engine ranking, SEO qualities, server and other info to get you started quickly. If you need some background history on a site or domain, supplement the WooRank data with info from

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