February 5th, 2021

Website Stats as Vanity Metrics - Friday Notes 134

About 2 years ago I dropped Google Analytics from this site in a move to start divorcing myself from the Big G. Fathom analytics was my choice because it was a good privacy respecting option.

About a year ago I dropped Fathom as well. While I did look at my analytics, I did nothing with the data. I never changed the content I wanted to write to chase what people were clicking on and reading. I never changed lead funnels (don't really have any even outside of my email newsletter which simply emails my Friday posts) based on funnel metrics.

Psst....this is where I tell you to click that link above and sign up for the email or become a Patron. It really does help me purchase back working time so I can produce more content I'm interested in that you may also be interested in.

My website stats were little more than a vanity metric. I'd feel good at the beginning of the year when there was a predictable traffic surge that seems to last through to March. I'd lament the fact that my highest traffic year was in 2014 and my highest traffic day was some day I wrote about an internet celebrity in 2013 that happened to get some traction on Hacker News. According to analytics my best days were behind me on the site and I was writing to about the same number of people every month. There was a small increase from the year prior, but so small it was barely noticeable.

For some reason I'm interested in that vanity metric again. Maybe it's because I'm getting some traction on YouTube so I wonder if there has been an increase in my site traffic that would mimic the YouTube growth. Maybe I just need a vanity metric to make me feel good in the midst of the exhaustion that follows a 40 year old with 3 young children in a house with both parents working in a year where there is way more than the normal amount of low grade stress (fuck you COVID. Also thank you Doctors, cashiers, nurses, long term care workers for being awesome while I continue to sit in the comfort of my home doing the same thing I've done for 12 years with no affect on my income).

While I feel a draw to some analytics for the site again, I'm never going to do anything with it. The metrics will change nothing about how I run the site. I'll continue to write about what interests me and when that changes I'll continue to get people telling me they never signed up for content about systemic racism...where is the freelance business stuff or writing about taking notes and researching? To you I say, it's always been about whatever interests me. Don't complain if it doesn't interest you, go find someone that does.

That's it. No analytics for now. No good reason to add them outside of some desire to see the numbers. The site will continue to be about whatever I think is interesting. I don't care if you don't find it interesting because if I don't find it interesting then I won't be writing about it. Way too much to do in my life to bother spending any time on stuff I find boring.

Also, pizza is awesome. We make it every Friday night.

I Shipped

After I wrote last weeks Friday post I ended up adding an extra video in. If you've heard about Spaces.do then I took a look at it. Not much to say about it, so much is missing that it's not a great option at all. The team got in touch with me and said my review was fair for where they're at and check back in a month or two. I will because I want indy software to succeed.

Monday I took a look at Craft Linked Content Types. In Craft you can have cards, pages, or links. Two of those types of content are the same with a different visual look. One does something different. Check the video out to see what the difference is.

Today I went over the books that are moving in and out of my library. As is often the case, more books are going in than going out. I plan to try and send some books back out every month or two because many books I've read aren't worth referencing again so why are they taking up space and holding monetary value I could put into other books?