Mint 2.0 Bird Feeder and WordPress

Shaun Inman has released version 2.0 of Mint, my favorite website analytics software. Go over to the Mint website and have a look at what’s new in version 2.0.

If you’re a Mint 1.x user, you’ll have to pay another $19 to make the upgrade to 2.0. I purchased the upgrade for version 2.0 earlier this week and finally got around to actually upgrading earlier today. The $19 is well worth the upgrade, Mint 2.0 brings many nice new features, like the Bird Feeder pepper for example:

Your RSS and Atom feeds attract all kinds of colorful wildlife, Bird Feeder is a window onto that activity. It highlights subscription trends across multiple Feeds and clicks on individual Seeds. What’s a seed? That’s bird-ese for an article or link within a feed.

Upgrading from Mint 1 was pretty painless, the only thing I’ve had issues with is the Bird Feeder pepper. There seems to be quite a bit of confusion about installing the Bird Feeder pepper. I haven’t really finished installing the Bird Feeder pepper, I don’t want to risk breaking my feeds. I’ve been watching this thread over at the Mint forums for tips. Recently, a forum user linked to a post by Kristin Pishdadi, who has posted a how-to for getting Bird Feeder working with WordPress 2. She spells out step by step what needs to be done to get Bird Feeder working with your WordPress feeds. Looks pretty straight forward, I wonder if it works the same if the WordPress Feedburner plugin is being used. I need to read up some on how exactly that Feedburner plugin works first I guess.

The wp-mint plugin for WordPress should still work fine with Mint 2.0. All the javascript in Mint 2.0 is included in exactly the same fashion it was in Mint 1.x, so that plugin should still work 100%.

So, if you’re having trouble getting the Bird Feeder pepper working with WordPress, go check out Kristin’s post, it’ll probably take care of your problems. It’s a lot more clear about installation than the readme that’s included with the Bird Feeder pepper. The Mint forums are an excellent resource for support issues of all types, check them out if you have problems outside the scope of Kristin’s post.

Here’s Performancing Metrics

Performancing, the guys who brought us a great blogging tool for Firefox, have recently launched Performancing Metrics. It’s their new statistics package, designed specifically for blogs. Now, I love Mint, it lets me easily see how many people read posts and all that good stuff. Performancing Metrics basically gives the same types of data, they just have a different (and in my opinion better) method for displaying the data.

Performancing Metrics is still in beta, although they’re still accepting new signups. The service is free and will most likely remain free. In the most recent post at the Performancing blog, they mention they hope to release Performancing Metrics as an Open Source package eventually. That is absolutely, 100%, certified, killer!

About 24 hours after Performancing Metrics launched, 2500 blogs were already being tracked. I think Performancing is really on to something here. They’ve got a very unique interface for displaying all the data. You can even track more than one blog from your Performancing account.

Rather than me going into details, just go to Solution Watch and read what Performancing Metrics has in store for you. They’ve got a really nice write-up along with screenshots. ProBlogger also has an extensive review of Metrics.

Mint: Fresh Visitor Tracking

Mint is wonderful. It has been so far at least. Mint is a fairly new website stats package written by the author of ShortStat, Shaun Inman.

Introducing Mint: The web is listening to what you have to say. Admiring your design. Talking about your product. Mint helps you identify where the most interest is being generated and over what.

Mint provides a fresh look at your site. It is concise, flexible and timely. And to sweeten the deal, this delicious little bundle of PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript joy is referrer-spam-proof.

I’ve only been using Mint for a few hours, but I’ve been looking at it for the last week or so. After wp-shortstat started causing really slow page loads, I wasn’t really using anything to log stats. I do use a couple other stats related WordPress plugins, but nothing that shows recent referers or client information in a pleasant way.

Typically, I wouldn’t buy a piece of software like this. There’s gotta be a couple thousand different web stats applications that are free. A large majority of those free apps though are either no longer being developed or the developers don’t know what they’re doing. Had Mint been more than $30/site, I wouldn’t be using it. I suspect Shaun will soon drop the price to $20 or $25. I’ve seen various people write that the cost of Mint is a little too high. I don’t know how many Mint users there are, but I’d think a lot more people would purchase if it were priced at $20. I had read enough about Mint though, that’s why I had no problem shelling out $30.

One of the best things about Mint is Pepper. Pepper is a plugin API that is supposed to make creating plugins very easy. Peppermint Tea features a variety of third party peppers (plugins), among other things, for Mint. One pepper I’m looking forward to trying out is Fresh View. Fresh View uses SVG images to help visualize Mint stats, unfortunately it’s only available for the development version of Mint. I believe it’s one of the few Peppers that work with Mint 1.2+, which is still the development version.

Some of the best currently available peppers can be found in a post Paul Stamatiou made at his blog.

A major motivator in my decision to purchase Mint was the ease in which it can be integrated with WordPress. The WP-Mint WordPress plugin does away with the need to add the tracking javascript to theme header files. So, you can switch themes in WordPress as much as you like without having to add the Mint tracking code to the header file of each theme. The Mint support forum has detailed instructions for setting Mint up to track your WordPress install.

All in all I’m very happy with Mint. I’ll post some screenshots within the next few days. If you’re interested, Adam at shibbyonline has a pretty all-inclusive post about Mint, from purchase to installing Peppers.

Linked at Basil’s Blog, Outside The Beltway, and Mudville Gazette.