SiliconFilter

Parse.ly Launches a Smarter Analytics Platform for Publishers

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If you are a decent sized online publisher, chances are, you are spending a lot of time in you analytics software. Sadly, though, most of the standard analytics packages like Google Analytics aren’t so much meant to give publishers a bird-eye view of how their site is doing. Instead, they often feel like they were designed more for marketers than publishers. Parse.ly, which is launching its flagship Dash analytics software out of private beta today, wants to provide a better solution for publishers by offering them a package that focuses almost exclusively on the needs of content-driven sites.

I got a demo of the service last week and was quite impressed with how clearly the Parse.ly team understood what publishers and writers want from a modern stats package. Not only is the software far easier to navigate than Google Analytics, but thanks to the company’s smart semantic tools, it’s also far more useful for publishers.

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Unlike other tools, Parse.ly, for example, understands what your posts are about and can extract keywords and other metadata from them. Thanks to this, you don’t have to rely on your writers’ strict adherence to a tagging taxonomy. Instead, if your are a political site, for example, you can quickly get a glanceable view of how your posts about Newt Gingrich have been doing lately, who wrote the most popular posts about him and then allocate resources accordingly. In the same way, you can see what keywords are driving traffic on your site right now and what the trends for these stories look like.

In contrast, most regular analytics tools today don’t even make it easy for you to see who wrote a story.

The data is compiled in real-time and during its beta test with publishers like The Daily Caller, The Next Web, The Atlantic and a number of other high-traffic sites, Parse.ly analyzed over 4 million URLs and over 4 billion pageviews.

Parse.ly also takes a look at the aggregate data across its network and provides its users with global trends from the sites in its network. In addition, it can also look at social trends, though as the team pointed out to me, having access to its own, more focused data-source helps Parse.ly provide publishers with more timely and far less noisy data.

Not for Small Publishers

Before you get too excited, though, it’s worth noting that Parse.ly isn’t a tool for small publishers. The cheapest plan costs at least $499 per month. That’s pretty pricey compared to the free Google Analytics package or the relatively cheap dedicated real-time stats packages like Woopra, Clicky or Chartbeat, which also offers a dedicated (and similarly priced) package for newsrooms, though without most of the semantic features that Parse.ly offers.



9:01 pm


Woopra 2.0 for iPhone: A Glanceable Dashboard for Your Real-Time Stats

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Not too long ago, Woopra was really the only game in town for publishers who were looking for real-time stats for their sites. Today, the company has numerous competitors (including Chartbeat and Google), but it still remains my preferred real-time stats service. Since the launch of iOS 5, though, Woopra’s iPhone app had become virtually unusable. Now, however, with its new and much improved iPhone app, Woopra has completely redesigned its app and made it the single best way to check your stats while on the go.

Woopra new iPhone dashboard

The new Woopra app focuses on a dashboard view that gives you a glanceable view of all the vital stats for your site (number of current visitors, popular pages on your site, referrers, locations of your visitors etc.). The design makes great use of the iPhone’s high-definition display and manages to cram a lot of information onto the small screen.

Also new in this version is support for notifications. Say you want to be alerted when a user ends up on a 404 page and you want to make sure you correct this situation immediately, Woopra can now send you a push message.

Other new features include support for live chat with your visitors, access to more detailed visitor profiles (only the web and desktop apps made this info available until now), visitor search with filters and support of segmented and customizable reports.



3:00 pm


Ducksboard: One Real-Time Dashboard for All Your Metrics

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If you run a website or web service – no matter whether it’s small or large – chances are you are constantly tracking numerous metrics to see how things are going: visits and pageviews, Twitter mentions, Facebook likes, how fast your pages are loading and numerous other statistics, all while managing customer support tickets and internal communication with your team. It doesn’t take much for this information to become overwhelming and close to unmanageable.

What if you could see all this info on just one page, though, with information that updates in real time? That’s exactly what Ducksboard does. The service provides you with a highly customizable dashboard that allows you to plug in about 45 data points (with more coming soon) and monitor them on just one screen.

If you are publisher, for example, you can monitor your Google Analytics data, your page load times from Chartbeat (or your real-time visitor numbers), the results of your latest email campaign on MailChimp and reactions to your latest story on Twitter all on one page.

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Among the other supported services are Zendesk, Prefinery, GoSquared, Highrise, Lighhouse, Feedburner, Foursquare and Facebook (just showing likes on pages right now). Ducksboard also allows you to have multiple dashboards. This should be especially useful for those who manage multiple sites or services.

Setting up your dashboard shouldn’t take more than five minutes and given that most services now allow you to authenticate without providing your credentials to Ducksboard, your data should remain safe.

Sadly, Ducksboard is still in private beta. You can sign up for an invite on the service’s homepage or take a look at the real-time demo here.



5:59 pm