Anyone who has followed this blog knows I’m a stataholic who loves to analyze statistical (blog) tracking programs. A new one, named Woopra, has been added to my list. As luck would have it, Lorelle (of Lorelle on WordPress) knows Woopra better than most.

Here’s her explanation in detail.

6) In a recent email from you, you mentioned you are now the editor-in-chief of the Woopra blog/zine. Can you explain what Woopra is and how it can benefit bloggers?

is the most exciting software technology I’ve stumbled across in a very long time and I’m so thrilled to be a small part of it. Woopra is a web analytics program that reports on your blog traffic, but it is more than that. Woopra is installed on your computer as Java software, running in the background, and links to your blog through a JavaScript which can be installed manually or through the Woopra WordPress Plugin.

Woopra is different for many reasons, way beyond its purpose as a web analytics program. Primarily because it has the most beautiful software interface. It’s lovely. Woopra also tracks your blog statistics live – right now. As they are happening. There is also a live chat feature that allows you to start a conversation with visitors on your blog while they are visiting your blog. They need to do nothing more than accept your invitation to chat, no special software provided. Bloggers are having so much fun with this, even holding contests inviting people to visit and chat and handing out prizes.

When someone registers with your blog or leaves a comment, their name is storied in a cookie which Woopra can read. Woopra then changes the Visitor #34503 to “Sally Jones” – and the anonymous visitor now becomes a person moving through your blog. You can tag them and create a custom event notification so you will be alerted the next time they visit, and can track their visits over time.

One user told me that they didn’t like that Woopra was raising the accountability standards. “I can’t tell so-and-so that I visited their blog when I didn’t. They can guilt-trip me by saying, ‘I checked Woopra and you haven’t been by in six weeks!’ No more lying!” We all laughed, but I see Woopra changing the face of the web in many ways, through instant monitoring of visitors, live chats, and customized tracking.

Right now, Woopra is free for beta testing, but only by private invitation only. There are more than 25,000 beta testers, and more approvals may be coming, so you can sign up and wait, but be patient. If you get approved, you will be expected to monitor the Woopra Forums and comment and report on bugs and feature requests.

For those currently using Woopra, we are inviting our beta testers to guest blog on the about how they are using Woopra and web analytics to help them blog. We’re also looking for articles on how blog and web stats change and influence your blogging behavior – especially when it comes to social networking. How we work and use the web for our business and social life is measurable, but how do the numbers really change your experience and usage. Email me if you are a Woopra member and interesting in contributing.

Today’s Assignment

In the past I’ve written posts titled Confusing Blog Stats – Is a Visit A Visit?, Page Views Are Over Rated and in Blogging – Year One – Lesson 4, I share what I learned from stats.

Although it’s easy to get addicted to checking our statistics, much can be learned from them. Dig past the initial numbers and hoards of useful information lies beneath.

How close do you look at your statistics?

Do you know where your traffic is coming from?

Are your keywords/keyword phrases working?

What are your statistics telling you?


Woopra is an awesome statistical program. Want to become a beta tester? It’s easy. Go to Woopra.com and sign up.


Photo Credit: Lorelle’s Logo

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  1. When I authored another industry blog of mine, I was a stata-holic… I mean really I was! I checked ‘em morning, afternoon, evening, and night. I tracked where my traffic was coming from who was Googling what and I made sure to put emphasis on certain keywords… It worked too but it was a lot of work.

    Now, I don’t sweat it much at all. I still check my stats but only once a day (if that). I feel more relaxed (and that’s a good thing). I still care to know where my traffic is coming from…who wouldn’t? Right? It can really tell you a lot!

  2. AnnieNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara –

    Another interesting topic. Woopra sounds really cool. I heard about it a while back and signed up to see if I can get a beta spot. Haven’t heard, yet, though.

    You know, I’ve not been too obsessed with stats. I check it once every couple of days unless I’ve noticed a big spike on the main WP dashboard page. But I do know where they’re coming from, what they click on, what they search and what posts are most read, etc. That’s enough for me. For now, anyway.

    ~ Annie

  3. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    This is an easy assignment for me b/c I don’t yet have an analytics program on my blog. I was going to put Google Analytics on it, but then I read about Statcounter and Sitemeter here, and wanted to look into those before I installed one. That’s where I left off “behind the scenes.”

    So far, I only check Feedburner, and I am happy to say I have 15 subscribers as of yesterday. Woo Hoo!

    It doesn’t sound like I should wait until Woopra is out of Beta before installing a program, so I’ll decide between the other three for now. Woopra does sound fascinating and will look forward to its release, Lorelle!

    Linda Abbit’s last blog post..We Interrupt This Regularly-Scheduled Eldercare Blog To Bring You . . . An Earthquake!

  4. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ricardo,

    Yup! Morning, noon, evening, night. I remember those days. Like you, I don’t check my numbers as often as I did, but do try to do more analysis (if time permits).

    Hi Annie,

    WordPress Stats is a pretty good program. I always remind myself, the numbers are page views, not visitors.

    Hi Linda Abbit,

    Keep in mind, you can have more than one program. I have been following five (all of the numbers are different, but they each provide something of value). Woopra is #6.

    Congratulations on your 15 subscribers. Your blog is growing a lot faster than mine did (probably because I was spending too much time checking my numbers :lol: )

  5. Scott McIntyreNo Gravatar says:

    Statistics always fascinate me, Barbara, when they bring our understanding to life.

    Though I absolutely HATE statistics when they are just presented as the bare facts.

    However, stats when applied to a blog community sound brilliant. I like the idea of how they could encourage a blogger to get to know their audience better. By analyzing these visitor statistics, it seems possible to help build your community.

    Of course, this can only happen when you actually use the figures in a creative way. I’m sure that there is nothing more boring than staring at lots of visitor numbers which only represent ‘hits’.

    While, obviously, large numbers of hits are what you want, to actually be able to use these stats to build a blog community sounds amazing.

    Woopra certainly sounds as if it is worth investigating further.

  6. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    I have finally stopped checking stats a lot. I usually check once in the morning. I still haven’t figured out how to make use of information I gain from this exercise. I usually check for number of subscribers, page views, number of minutes and pages per visit, traffic sources, entry-exit pages for those with multiple page views and of course google search terms through which I get visitors.

    Avani-Mehta’s last blog post..Are You Looking For Super Power ?

  7. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    I look at my StatCounter statistics a little too often (I also have Google Analytics, but rarely look at it), but I do learn a lot from it.

    I look mainly at “Visitor paths”, so can see what pages visitors went to – I can see if they looked at the comments, for example, or my About page.

    I wouldn’t want visitors to think I am prying on them – might they feel this with Woopra?

  8. Hi Barbara,

    This sounds like a powerful tool! Maybe a little too powerful for my liking at this point in time. I don’t know … perhaps it’s a little too early for me to judge. There are some things I’d like to know from my blogstats, but I wouldn’t want my visitors to feel like I’m watching them all the time, know what I mean? It’s like browsing at a department store, and having the store manager observe you all the time.

    Well, we’ll see. This is interesting technology. Thanks! :)

    Irene | Light Beckons’s last blog post..Ask Why

  9. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    The plug-in sounds nice, but I’m kind of “afraid” to check stats cause I think that would take away time from working on my blog, reading and commenting on other people’s blog. I guess maybe it depends on the kind of blog you have….

    I will say when I find out a blogger digs deep into my online activity on their blog, I won’t stay on their blog long because I feel like I’m being watched. I guess that’s creepy…I know it’s happening everywhere, but I don’t want to know about it. I read their post, leave a comment and bounce. I spend no time on their blog, in their archives or nothing. I don’t feel relaxed.

  10. Very interesting Barbara & Lorelle…
    Call me old school, but some of this technology is freaking me out, man, and I’m not sure I approve. Sometimes not knowing is a good thing, don’t you agree?

    That said, Barbara, I’ll be checking in with you soon for a little help in the stat department. I’m kinda clueless about how to monitor all that. Thanks.

  11. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    Right now I’m running a giveaway on my blog so my stats are up. It’s been fun seeing 100+ hits vs the typical 40. I know it will go back after the giveaway is over and that’s ok. I don’t really care too much about the stats anymore. When I’m bored I go over and check them out. Sometimes I look at keyword activity. It’s fun to see what people are looking for and how they find me. Statistics aren’t as important to me as conversation.

  12. RitaNo Gravatar says:

    Another great interview round! I am learning so much from these posts.
    I do pay attention to the statistics – pehaps once a week. What is still more important to me is the comments – the number of them, and, of course, the quality of them. I like the idea of the “live chat” feature on Woopra – and I particularly like the “accountability” feature. Though only 2 people know who I am in “real life,” I occasionally get the feeling that a comment has been left by someone who knows me. If that’s the case, I would just like to know it! Though I certainly trust my husband, and the “owner” of the site – who I STILL have not met – once more than one person has information, it is virtually impossible to “keep a secret.” As the saying goes: tell another, tell the world!

    Thanks again, both Barbara and Lorelle.

    Rita

  13. That’s a pretty cool piece of software, but does it slow down the loading process of your website at all?

    I notice many times Google Analytics slows the process down a little (just look at your status bar on the bottom left when a website is loading). A lot of times you’ll see, “Waiting for Google-Analytics.”

    I view my stats about 2 to 3 times a week. I like SiteMeter the best so far.

    Most my traffic comes from Google search. I rank pretty well for a few keyword phrases and terms; however, I’m still working on the “web hosting” phrase!

    My stats have told me to add incorporation services to our company’s service line. My mother now heads up that department because people looking for incorporation and asset protection services are arriving on my blog.

  14. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t look at stats at all. I just look for comments. I know I have readers that never comment too but I don’t feel the urge to figure out who they all are. I appreciate the fact that people visit and read.

    I kind of feel that all of this tracking is a bit invasive. I really don’t like that people out there know exactly what I do online. So I won’t be a part of tracking anyone else. I leave all those programs and widgets alone.

  15. chrisNo Gravatar says:

    As the saying goes, “numbers don’t lie.” I certainly look at my traffice stat. Right now since I’m in the early stages of my blog, I’m experimenting a lot with my content and which ones bring good traffic.

    Another useful info. thanks, so can I get a Woopra invite. :)

  16. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    That sounds really wonderful. I can’t wait until it’s out of beta. I just started blogging a week and a half ago, so of course I’m studying the stats in the nerdiest way, putting the screen under my wife’s nose: “Look, look,” I say. “Yes, dear,” she smiles. The most amazing thing about the stats, to me, is the hits from all over the world. By the third day online, I was seeing hits from every continent (except the icy one, of course). Thanks for the great post. The site’s wonderful. You have my subscription.

    Writer Dad’s last blog post..I’m in My Thirties, Why Am I on Restriction?

  17. Looks like Woopra is definitely a program for me, just need to wait till it’s out of beta :)

  18. AnnieNo Gravatar says:

    I do use Google Analytics, too. And I just went and checked my account at Woopra and found that all I needed to do was add the plugin to WP! LOL, apparently, the email they sent me accepting me in the beta program got lost in my inbox or something. Oh well! It’s all good, right?

    So, I’ve installed the plugin and pretty soon it’ll start collecting all the info.

    It’s interesting to see all the details and what-not, but I don’t stress about it or get frustrated with it. I figure it’s more of benchmark for me and I can tell when people aren’t liking what I post because things drop. I use it a measure of what’s working and what isn’t but I don’t think it’s the “end all, be all” of what my blog is.

  19. VeredNo Gravatar says:

    I check my stats once a day. I am not addicted to my stats, although I hear it’s quite common.

    Woopra seems to me like an invasion of privacy?

  20. Ellen WilsonNo Gravatar says:

    Uh oh. One more thing to try. I do like checking my stats and it is kind of addicting. I think I would get more consistent traffic if I posted daily but that’s not going to happen. Not soon anyway. Thanks for informing us of this new tool (toy) Lorelle and Barbara.

    I do feel that privacy issues are important, and feel similar to what Natural and Vered have stated. I don’t know how people watch other bloggers on their site but I’m sure it will get more particular in the future.

  21. SpaceAgeSageNo Gravatar says:

    Words good. Numbers bad.
    I’ve never had an affinity for numbers, math, or anything remotely numbers oriented, but I did get a bit addicted to looking at the stats when I was on WordPress.com. Now, I hope to let my techie husband filter the numbers news for me.

  22. SpaceAgeSageNo Gravatar says:

    RE: privacy — although I would prefer to travel the web unseen, I know the reality is we travel Cyberville in huge glass cars, our business open to those who want to look. I just try to stay true to myself, be honest, and travel with integrity so I have nothing to hide.

  23. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    DUH! I thought you could only have one analytics program on a blog. Thanks for the info.

    Have many of you, like John Hoff, found Google Analytics makes your loading time longer?

    I will probably need a lesson in how to analyze the meaning of the stats, no matter which program I go with. I’ll look in your archives, Barbara, first, for answers.

    I think most of my RSS subscribers are from the BWAB community — so thanks! I’m not sure about all the meanings behind the Feedburner numbers as well. Will look in your archives for that info, too.

  24. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with Irene, Natural, and Vered. Woopra sounds a little bit like being followed around in a department store by an overzealous clerk. I have sitemeter and I track my stats, but I don’t know if I’d feel comfortable knowing that the owner of the blog I was visiting was basically sitting there going: “Oh look, Marelisa is looking through the archives, now she’s reading comments, she didn’t leave a comment on today´s post, oh wait, she’s back, ok, there’s the comment . . . “

  25. I check my stats to see the traffic from the day before. It’s exciting, as a relatively new blogger, to see the numbers go up, but I’m not the analyst in the partnership. The Lion is the one who derives meaning from the stats. And he is all over this post on Woopra. He does like his gizmos and gadgets! *smile*

  26. Karl StaibNo Gravatar says:

    Woopra sounds really cool. I would love to interact with more of my visitors. I wonder how I could get in invitation? Barbara, have you tried to get an invitation?

  27. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Scott,

    You’re right. Looking at “hit’s, “visits” or “page views”, can be boring and can waste time. By digging deeper, we can find which posts are popular, how our visitors found us, how long they spent on our site, and so much more. By educating ourselves, we have more ammunition to build a better blog.

    Hi Avani,

    That information that you’re checking holds valuable data. Although your blog is still young, as time progresses, you should start seeing trends in those numbers.

    Hi Robin,

    Funny you should say that. With the data you’ve just described, you already have the information to “spy” on your visitors. It’s not hard to figure out from an IP address (or statistical map) who the visitor is, especially if they visit often.

    What Woopra does is take if a step further and lets us instantly see our stats and with a click of the mouse, communicate with a visitor on our site. (The visitor does not have to accept the invitation-it’s their choice)

    Hi Irene,

    Like mentioned in my comment to Robin, the technology to “watch” visitors is already here. Let’s face it, Google can track nearly every thing you do, where you go, and what you view on your computer. Blog stats are similar.

    Although I have Woopra installed, I don’t have time to sit and watch visitors traverse through my blog. To do that would be a total waste of time. Although some may use it that way, they would be missing out on “the big picture”.

    Hi Natural,

    Yes, stat checking does take time away from our other blogging activities, but they also hold valuable information.

    Unfortunately you don’t know when a blogger is “watching you”, and many probably are. I understand what you mean about getting a creepy feeling about it, however you could be watching us, and we wouldn’t know either. (although I know you’re not “into” stats). :)

    With Woopra, I can see that you visited me, (and that makes me happy), but with Woopra you could also see if someone is digging deep into your blog and possibly lifting (stealing) your posts. How cool would it be to “catch” someone red handed trying to plagiarize your work. Might the Woopra badge on a site be a deterrent? Maybe!

    The way I see it, my blog is public information. If any of my visitors want to dig through my archives, great! That’s what they are there for. I don’t mind. My blog is about helping people and there’s more to it than just the current post.

    Hi Mark,

    Not knowing (pertaining to blogging) is not a good thing. We have to be informed bloggers. It’s through our statistics that we learn what’s working and what isn’t.

    Contact me anytime if you need help. (That goes for anyone).

    Hi Debbie,

    I’m with you on that. Conversation is tops with me, too. But what stats do is tell us how people are finding us. Like for you, if visitors are finding you through your posts on Down syndrome, it’s obvious they want to read more. You could become the “go to girl” for Ds.

    Hi Rita,

    You’re welcome!

    That is funny when someone leaves a comment and it “sounds” like what a friend or acquaintance would say. You want to ask, but may hesitate. Stats can get you a fairly close answer.

    With Woopra, I haven’t tried the “live chat” feature yet as I’m still learning all there is to learn. I’m not even sure what you would see if I initiated it. I’m guessing a small screen with an invite. With that being said, don’t be surprised if I start using it.

    Hi John,

    I don’t know how to answer that, but I, too, notice the Google Analytics loading message.

    That’s so cool how you learned so much from your stats. All it takes is to look past the numbers.

    Hi Chase,

    I hear what you’re saying, but we’re all being watched online by someone. No information online is private (which is sad). Part of what comes with our freedom of speech to publish blog posts, is the fact we can be tracked. With that being said, we certainly wouldn’t want to restrict our online activity in fear someone may “see” us. The internet is so huge and filled with so much valuable information. knowing we’re being tracked shouldn’t hinder our use of it.

    Hi Chris,

    Numbers do lie (when it comes to blog statistics). I now have six statistical programs installed, and NONE of the numbers are the same. More than anything, when it comes to how I track my (number) statistics, I’m looking for growth from month to month, keeping in mind spikes are often caused by being Stumbled.

    To become a beta tester, just sign up at http://www.woopra.com/

    Hi Writer Dad,

    Welcome to the BWAB community!

    Isn’t it exciting to see those numbers in your stats? Oh, how I remember those days. Seeing my first visitor was SO exciting, and my first comment, well, I’m not surprised I didn’t frame that. :lol:

    Thank you for subscribing. I’ll be by later to visit you.

    Hi Annie,

    You said it so well: “I don’t think it’s the “end all, be all” of what my blog is.” It’s not. It’s another tool to use.

    Hi Vered,

    Stat addiction is VERY common, especially for new bloggers. We write to be heard, and there’s nothing better than know we are.

    I don’t see Woopra as an invasion of privacy since a Woopra user can only see what’s happening on their own blog. It’s no different than someone installing security cameras in or around their house.

    Hi Ellen,

    You’re welcome.

    It is a great tool to try. Although some aren’t as interested in stats as others, I do find Woopra to be the most comprehensive statistical program out there.

    Hi Space Age Sage,

    How lucky for you that your husband can analyze your numbers.

    You’ve said it well: “I just try to stay true to myself, be honest, and travel with integrity so I have nothing to hide.”

    Hi Linda Abbit,

    Yup, you can use as many as you want (and have time for)

    Google Analytics may slow down the loading time a little, but so far it hasn’t been a problem for me.

    Feel free to dig around all you want. If you don’t find the answer, just ask. :)

    Hi Marelisa,

    :lol: If a blog author/owner has THAT much time, the quality of their blog posts would certainly suffer. That’s not why most people install statistical programs (or not me, at least). Sitemeter tells a lot too. It has the map, IP addresses, entry pages, exit pages, length of time on site, etc,…Woopra just takes that information further.

    Hi Urban Panther,

    I’m guessing the Urbane Lion will be signing up. :)

    Hi Karl,

    Woopra is very cool! The interface is awesome. Just sign up at Woopra.com

  28. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    Now that Woopra thing is very fascinating!

    I must be a little strange. I don’t check my stats very often. I know it would be good to check them more, but I’m not real sure what to do with a lot of the info. I did check them just the other day though. :)

    It is helpful to know where my traffic is coming from and all. That info. there is very helpful. Oh and I did learn that I have about 100 subscribers now. That was very exciting. It’s just the beginning though….

  29. Hmm…Woopra sounds interesting, but not really something I’d get into on my blog. I kinda like having some boundaries up on both sides.

    As far as stats, I checked between 0-3 times a day, depending on my mood.

    I check mostly to see where my visitors are coming from and to see if my views are increasing steadily over time. I am not very analytical with my checking.

  30. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Some bloggers don’t get too involved with their stats as is witnessed in some of the previous comments. Knowing your stats aren’t necessary, but they do reveal a lot of what’s going on “behind the scenes”.

    Hi Sara with an”h”,

    Knowing where our visitors are coming from is important, especially if we’re utilizing search engine optimization. Seeing an increase in visitors over the long haul is a great sign our we’re doing something right.

  31. Al at 7PNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – great questions!

    So many numbers to pay attention to – unique visitors, subscribers, page views, page rank, etc… I used to follow these numbers closely, but the more I got engrossed in it, the more I realized that they took me further away from the human elements of blogging. I had to self-impose restrictions to keep me from checking my stats!

  32. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Al,

    There are a lot of numbers to pay attention to, however, a lot of the most valuable information in stats is not in the numbers. It’s what lies beneath.

  33. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    Hahaha….I now check my stats once a week. It’s nothing like practising detachment to the results via blogging.

    Evelyn

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Evelyn,

    Once a week? :)

    Although I’m not a big “number” checker, when time permits, I love to analyze the numbers.

  35. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Rajaie,

    Your comment ended up in the spam folder (again). Sounds like you’ll enjoy Woopra.

  36. RitaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    I just thought I’d invite you over to see HOW MUCH I’VE TRULY LEARNED from both you, and all of the commenters.

    Free drinks and pizza for the next 24 hours.

    And thanks. :-)

  37. “and the anonymous visitor now becomes a person moving through your blog.”

    I’m not sure what the consensus is, but I believe this isn’t good for personal privacy.

    There are certain lines that haven’t been crossed, and shouldn’t in my humble opinion.

    Take a look at myspace and facebook for example. They make it, purposely, so that you can not tell who visited your page.

    I simply think anonymity in this regard is the way it ought to be.

    Bamboo Forest’s last blog post..11 Requirements to be a Mad Scientist

  38. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Bamboo,

    I hear what you’re saying about Myspace and Facebook, however, it is with both of those social media sites we hear about the most problems with perverts lurking around children’s “spaces”, often luring them to meet (kidnappings and deaths have occurred). The perverts know they aren’t being “tracked” so what a good opportunity for them. Let’s say, visitors could be tracked on Myspace or Facebook. I’m guessing our children would be a whole lot safer.

    The subject of blog statistical programs and what they track will undoubtedly be debated for years to come.

  39. LorelleNo Gravatar says:

    Again, I repeat myself. You have the best fans, Barbara! What great comments and commentary!

    To answer a few of the issues on Woopra…it totally changes the way you look at the numbers. As many have said, the numbers are important to help you direct your content even more for your readers. Your blog is about them, after all, so keeping an eye (without becoming obsessed) is important if your blog is your business. If it isn’t, who cares.

    How does Woopra work? Woopra is a two part web analytics program. Woopra is in private beta, which means invitations are done through the site and now only done occasionally as we have over 25,000 beta testers signed up. If you want to join the testers, sign up and be patient. We may be approving another batch soon.

    Once approved, install a javascript or Plugin on your blog or website. This flags your site to the Woopra servers so they can start collecting data. You can view the data collected on the Woopra site in a simple form. Install the Woopra desktop client (software) on your computer and your head will explode. :D That is the power tht is Woopra and allows you to graphically evaluate all your stats, see the maps, and chat across the web to your visitors and such. That is the powerhouse and it uses your computer, not your website or server, to help you understand what’s happening on your site.

    Does Woopra slow down my site? The reports are that Woopra in the earliest stages was smaller and faster than Google Analytics. And the code has been totally rewritten since, so it’s even faster. We rarely get a report of any impact on the site at all. The data isn’t crunched on your site. It is handled on the Woopra servers and the desktop client (software) you install on your computer does the job of converting the numbers to beautiful graphics – without impacting your website in any way. The only load is a tiny javascript added to your blog’s template files. Most people have tons of javascript added to their site for design purposes. An example is the CommentLuv WordPress Plugin Barbara has installed in her comments. Getting rid of that and replacing it with straight CSS would speed up your site more than any impact Woopra has. Though the CommentLuv is something some bloggers like, so I was only using that as an example.

    How does Woopra compare to other stat programs? Ah, the list is long. Briefly, Woopra is NOW. No waiting. You see what is happening right now on your blog. All the other stats have a time delay. This allows you to respond immediately to things happening on your blog, such as a sudden traffic spike, a big referrer (someone blogs about your blog post), or someone who might need help.

    Woopra is very visual. You get charts and graphs that help you understand the numbers. You also get analytics built in to help you dissect the numbers. For example, can your stats program tell you how many of your referrals (incoming traffic) are coming from Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, del.icio.us, and other specific sources beyond search engines? Many are finding they get a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon and none from Twitter, yet they put all their energy into Twitter and none into StumbleUpon. Is this good or bad? Depends? Maybe you should kick up what you are doing on Twitter to direct more traffic and get involved with StumbleUpon to find out why so many are using it. Directing your energies to more specific targets rather than in all directions is much smarter.

    A feature I adore is the custom event notification feature. I can set up an event to alert me when someone arrives from a specific URL. I have an alert that triggers when someone comes from Lorelle on WordPress to Taking Your Camera on the Road, so I know how much work that site is giving my other site. One blogger noticed some suspicious activity by a visitor so tagged that visitor so they would be alerted when the visitor returned. By tracking their activity on the site, the blogger realized that this person was trying to hack into their computer. We’ll have articles on how to detect such abuse on the Woopra blog in the future.

    Learning from where your visitors are coming from, geographically as well as through referrals, and the rest of the amazing statistics gathered helps you understand more about your visitors. The more you know, the more specific your blog decisions can be.

    Is Woopra hard to use? When I look at Google Analytics and other stats programs, I feel like I am back in kindergarten. The numbers are overwhelming at first. Woopra is visually intimidating for new web users, but it is actually much easier to use as there are so many charts and graphs that make the numbers make sense. For example, in the Analytics panel, if you clicked on the Referrers tab, you would be greeted with a pie chart giving you a quick overview of where your traffic is coming from. Nice and clean and easy to figure out.

    Stats Teach: A lot of people are overwhelmed with statistics and don’t know what to do with them. It would be great, Barbara, to have a series that looks at how blog statistics work and how to learn from the numbers. As many have learned, your stats teach you about how people are using your blog, what they are looking for, what brings them there, and what to add or subtract. No matter how you monitor your numbers, you can learn from them.

    Is Woopra safe? There are tons of statistic programs on the web and have been for years. The information gathered by Woopra is no different from those. Except that if you are using WordPress, the Woopra WordPress Plugin helps track information stored in the database. All “personal” information is volunteered, not taken, from the user. For example, when you comment, you leave a name, email, and URL in the comment form. That information is used to covert the Visitor #143563 to Lorelle VanFossen, so you are tracking a person not a number. Don’t volunteer that information if you don’t want anyone to know it.

    As for the feeling that someone is watching you, that’s your problem. ;-) As Barbara said, you never know when someone is or isn’t checking their stats. Really, what are they seeing? The pages you visit? Well, I should hope so. They wrote and published them. They must want them visited. They are probably jumping for joy someone stopped by. Think of the pleasure you are giving them, not the worry about whether or not they are playing peeping blogger.

    Remember, if you volunteer it, it’s public information, no longer private, no matter where you put it. If you don’t want it known, don’t put it out there.

    Woopra, and most other sites, rely upon javascript to track the numbers. Want to travel the web anonymously? Disable javascript in your browser. There are FireFox extensions that will help you do that, but it is painful in IE and other browsers. The problem with that is that so many sites are designed with Javascript. There are also proxies and other methods to access the web anonymously.

  40. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Lorelle,

    Thanks for coming by and elaborating on Woopra. You’ve answered a lot of questions and concerns of those who have commented.

    Yes, I agree, the BWAB community rocks! :)

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