I’ve STOPPED Looking At My Stats .. I Have A New Toy Now

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Anybody who knows me (hopefully) will acknowledge that I am good at what I do. One of the reasons for this, is that I recognize that my brain, whether it is “beach property” or “vacant” property” .. is limited by by what I know. The more new knowledge that I may try to cram into this property, I have learned over time, that the most likely end result will be the obliteration of existing information. New information will just overwrite the older information.

Yes – It’s True! When you hear that saying … In through one ear, out the other! .. that’s me!

I’ve gone through my schooling years. I’ve gone through my University years. I’ve read all the computer manuals that I care to read. And =NO= .. I do not read the README.TXT files or instructions

Granted, I do leave a little “spare room” available .. because there are always some interesting visitors coming to your property unannounced! Starting November every year, I step it up into “Learning Mode” to be sure that I pick up everything new in my trade that I need to know to do my job better. I read related blogs and websites, forums, government sites and offline content too .. to prepare myself for “Income Tax” time. By the time the tax season is over – which, by the way – is June 15th, 2006 for self-employed individuals – my brain is bursting and starting to hurt and my mind must go into rental mode.

And PS: don’t forget: June 15, 2006 is also the Q2 (second quarter) deadline for instalments

I am using these analogies to describe me. By rental mode, I still keep a trek on keeping up to date and trying to learn new things, but rather than multi-tasking inside my brain, I tend to more or less PARK some of the stuff in my brain to other places. Like, my notebooks, filing systems, computer databases, scribblers, post-it notes, pegboards and well .. anywhere I can think of – as long as it’s an organized place that I will remember where to recover the information, when needed.

The type of details I am talking about, would be .. Hmmm let’s see .. for example – like claiming tuition (s118.5) on one’s tax return before medical (s118.2) and before donations (s118.1, s118.92) … Well, during tax season – I either already knew stuff like that, or I came across this “heads up” in my travels, or I specifically was searching for information.

Actually, this is what I do… most of the times … I jot down on a piece of paper, or print a relevant forum discussion and keep them in a CD Box I converted to hold these tidbits of information, so if I’m unsure about a topic, I just browse this box. While I knew the above example during tax time, after tax time I might remember section 118 but, the order?

NOT IMPORTANT MEMORY PROPERTY. THAT’S WHY I DO THIS:

ABOUT MY ONLINE STATS

It’s the same way with my online stats. I tried to look at them closely and figure out what has been happening, HERE, HERE, and HERE.. made me more inclined to believe THIS.

This is how it works .. I have many sites and blogs, but they are not all in the same place. I have a “Vortex” account at Blacksun.ca. This account is a master account, with many subfolders that are used as a domain aliases or other types of pointers. Of my blogs, it includes .. http://PetLvr.com/blog/ http://HARTandYVONNE.com/blog/ http://1800HART.com/blog/ http://1800HART.com/picks/ http://callHART.com/crazy/ http://CorydonClock.com/blog/ http://PapillonLvr.com/blog/ an online store, a few niche sites, a couple of useless websites, and stuff that I’ve been storing for years, from previous domains and host providers and webpages and designs since I’ve been online – in 1995. I have been 100% satisfied with Blacksun’s performance and reliability. The prices were starting to get out of control as I grew however.

So, I signed up with another host provider in October 2005 .. Globat.com, which was great. They had lots of space, seemed quite friendly, and fast. I setup 6 blogs on there through 3 different accounts, that I was allowed. This included http://HART-Empire.com and http://CurlingBlog.com and a few other blogs and websites. But it was the luck of the draw – as I was preparing for the curling blog traffic and the upcoming Olympics .. one of their host servers experienced problems and the blogs slowed down immensely, or was offline. They couldn’t explain why and was insistent on trying to fix it, rather than replace it. I got fed up with that and ended up finding another host provider.

On January 22, 2006 I moved to Ace-Host.net, into a Reseller Account. This way, I wouldn’t be limited to just 3 sites and I can create as many sites as I needed. I have no intention of reselling them, although I have setup one other person who is a friend of mine with his own site. I have since upgraded to a Reseller Pro account and am fully paid up until June 2007. I am totally happy with the hosting part so far, and have all the remaining blogs and sites (including from Globat) on this server. I’m not quite “In Tune” with the traffic limitations at this point – because I don’t have traffic – but currently I get 20 GIG of space and 200 GB of bandwidth .. is that good? I don’t know. I know if one of my sites gets popular .. I might have to readjust among the clan of blogs if I have to. I’m not worried – yet.

WHAT I HAVE TO DO TO GET MY STATS

Here are my global stats, since May 31, 2005 on the Blacksun mega site … I have to login and can access them anytime. It’s quite easy to get them and very useful. The only thing is – I can’t break it down between all my sites. The following statistics are for the PetLvr.com domain and 100% of it’s subfolders, which are separate domains like this 1-800-HART. So, it’s a little distorted.

I can’t access GLOBAT stats anymore. For ACE-HOST, I can access January 22-31, 2006 but for some reason February, March, and April 2006 are gone and do not exist. Plus, there is no mechanism for me see all the sites at once – so I can’t even get a global picture to be similar to the BLACKSUN urchin stats, which is online. There is a tool (Alterwind Log Analyzer Lite) that I can use, after I log into each individual blog and download the raw statistics and then can use that program to load up the raw data and view the statistics .. I tried it once – and it took me all day! WAY TOO COMPLICATED.

I RELY MORE ON THE ONLINE WEB STATISTICS NOW MORE THAN EVER

For each blog, and website that I have – including this one – I have a statistical counter on the bottom. The numerical one is with Statscounter.com and the graphical green bar is Sitemeter.com. I started adding Sitemeter to my blogs (in addition to the Statscounter one) around November 2005 so, not all stats are there. But at any time I can click and see some stats or more importantly, graphs. I like pictures because I don’t have to think too much trying to understand the statistics. For the HART-Empire Network code on the sidebar of all our blogs, I also have the code so we can see how the network traffic is progressing. It’s great to be able to visualize how one is doing, without being able to be ‘married’ to the statscounter site .. For instance, I don’t have to login .. I don’t have to keep track of many different projects .. just click one button and get it all. I like that in a statistics program.

AND WHAT ABOUT KEYWORDS?

Oh – definately. I have no clue about the keywords or searches being used to find data in my sites. I have some plugin installed, but this is the best I can do …

It’s ridiculous … over 78,000 searches? You should see the PetLvr site – it’s up to 800,000 searches now! I can’t show you an image, because everytime I try to load it – my computer crashes – it’s that big! Even with this one above, I can’t scroll down without risking to crash all windows.

I can search thousands and thousands of keywords and links in my Statscounter or Sitemeter sites, and especially in each and all of my host provider’s direct server statistics. I even have an account at the Google Urchins and it’s tracking my stats right now in my blogs, but I haven’t gone there for the longest time, because that -too – takes too long.

I’ve hinted above – and it’s true. I’m just a simple guy who want’s to know what’s going on, but doesn’t need all of this information overload! AARGH! What’s going on? Where are people coming from? What are people looking for? How did people end up at my blogs?

Well – I found an easy way to give me that INSTANT-STAT-FIX and get all of the above information!

Meet: REFER 2.1 – STATS PROGRAM – HART’s New Toy

It took a little time at first figuring out the first one, but after that it was a breeze. I downloaded the file from TEXTISM called “Refer” version 2.1. As it is described on the site…

What is it?
Refer is a web application that tracks incoming referrers (visitors who followed a link found elsewhere) to your website.

What does it do?
An up-to-the-minute list of referrers, in reverse chronological order, is displayed on a page. You can see Refer in use here.

What is required?
PHP 4.1+
MySQL (any recent version)
Your MySQL login and password must allow read/write and table creation privileges for your database.
How can I tell if I have those?
Ask your hosting provider.

Will it work on blogspot?
No.

I have this script at the following locations …. (basically – just add /refer/ after a url to see if I have this setup)

http://1800HART.com/blog/refer/
http://PetLvr.com/blog/refer/
http://PapillonLvr.com/blog/refer/
http://callhart.com/crazy/refer/

Check it out – but don’t laugh at the results! … How would this work on your site? I think you’ll like it, because I like it. I can see the statistics, referrals, search words, recents, most popular (just change number on the Week URL) .. Between this script and the Sitemeter public statistics .. it has become a lot simpler for me to follow what’s going on in these blogs I have, and with that – my head hurts a lot less. And when my head hurts a lot less? It means that there are less things in my brain to worry about, and that gives me the need to fill that void .. with something.

And what’s that something? >> Summer. Enjoyment. Cottage. Victoria Beach. Swimming .. and stuff like that!

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