BBS: Tris Hussey and Andru Edwards

Tris Hussey andAndru Edwards:tackled the topic: Audience Measurement: Quantifying and Qualifying. The program promised that I’d learn:

  • Buzz measurement tools
  • Do “hits” matter anymore?
  • Measuring inbound links
  • Using feedburner stats
  • Blogroll links, Pagerank, and combination measurement systems
  • Coming measurement services

Do numbers matter or is it how many people are reading your blog? Of course numbers matter. But they are not the whole measure of success.

A lot of people mistakenly look at the number of hits they get.

There is still not a perfect tool to know just how many people are actually subscribed to your blog. As recently as one month ago, changed their metrics as they realized they had been double counting some readers.

Why is it difficult to measure? For example, some metrics will measure several people visiting a site using bloglines as only one person – bloglines.

There is not one tool to rule them all.

Clearly, writing frequently will draw more traffic. And of course, better writing will draw more repeat visitors.

Do blogrolls matter anymore? Tris Hussey feels not. “It’s still a nice way to show your friends you love them. But they do not generate traffic any longer.” Andru feels that blogrolls can be helpful if you have multiple blog properties. It’s a great way to interconnect things.

Scoble pointed out that his Shared items in google reader feed is driving more traffic to blogs he links to than does his blogroll on scobleizer proper.

Tris suggests that, given the imprecision of existing stats, it is important to look at the trends, not just the specific one time numbers. Look at the rise and fall. What is the pattern?

Tris and Andrew recommend AWStats and Urchin.

Tris also recommends Performancing as a Java script tool tailored specifically for blogs. He also uses google analytics, which provides user friendly graphs and reports.

However, because no single tool is perfect, Tris and Andrew suggest that you use two or more simultaneously to get a good picture of what’s really going on.