Friday, March 10, 2006

Using sitemeter, tagging and culling bloglines

I installed sitemeter on to this blog at the end of October last year. It’s a free service and a weekly email is posted to my email to remind me to check up on this blog’s visitor traffic. Apart from the initial excitement of seeing the number of visitors increase steadily (now over 200!), I have learned the following from using site meter.

Sitemeter does a cool job of counting the visitors to your site. You can also:-
  • display your site visitors by location / country of origin (listed or as dots on a world map),
  • the page on your blog they enter by,
  • amount of time and number of pages the visitor reads and
  • how your visitor found out about your blog (referrals - search engines, aggregators).

I have found the last application a good learning exercise on the use of tagging. Although the bulk of the visitors to my blog enter via search engines, many enter via tags put up by blog readers on aggregators like and Following the links back to the source often brings up interesting related sites, blogs etc. that I can then add on to my own aggregators.

This month, I have had to do a vicious selection exercise on bloglines to trim down the number of blogs I follow as some of them accumulate into the 100s of articles in just a couple of days. The large volume really means that I end up skim reading the majority of the articles. I am therefore not doing much justice to the writers of the blogs & also probably missing important bits that I should be taking note of.

I am now down to several really good reflective blogs, some of my favourites are blogs by archichoke (who are you?), Barbara Ganley, George Siemens, Stephen Downes, Leigh Blackall and Jeremy Heibert.. I have also kept semi commercial blogs like Palm Addicts (which does a good summary of many of the other commercial blogs like Endgadget and some of the Treo blogs like Treonauts), Techcrunch and I have also taken to checking on other subscribers to the blogs I follow on bloglines to see what blogs others follow & this has helped me consolidate my own list of blogs to keep reading.

This all leads towards a distillation of information that is pertinent to what I need to find out now. However, I still trawl the web, googling or blog hunting whenever I have a few minutes to see what is out there. A surprising amount of information is being generated and I always find something interesting, relevant, thought provoking, new or applicable to my teaching context.


Leigh Blackall said...

Thanks for the word Selena. Another site stats service I like is MapStats

Tony Karrer said...

Hey again. It seems like I've been dealing with some of the same issues as you in terms of using blogs and some of the other tools more effectively. I would welcome any comments you have on my post:

Tony Karrer said...

By the way, what's your BlogLines id so people can see your subscription list?