Reinvigorate Snoop

reinvigorateSnoopReinvigorate has released a tool called Snoop that will stream live web stats to your desktop. For those of you who have never heard of Reinvigorate, it’s a website analytics solution similar to Google Analytics. Snoop includes some pre-defined events, such as new visitors and notification of returning visitors. You can also setup custom events. Custom events can be created on any website that supports JavaScript. Snoop is available for Windows and Mac currently, I’m hoping they have plans to build a GTK2 interface for Linux.

Snoop interacts with your Reinvigorate account, displaying current visitors and the pages they’re viewing in real time. It even displays comments if a reader posts a comment. Here’s some features available in Snoop:

Real-time Notification
A dedicated asynchronous (non-polling) connection is maintained with Reinvigorate. You’ll know the instant someone makes a comment on your blog, posts in your forum, purchases an item, gets referred from another site, etc..

Audible Events
Each event triggers a unique sound. If you’re caught up in your work, or in another room, you don’t have to worry about missing events.

Name Tag Integration
Snoop features automatic integration with Name Tags so you’ll know exactly who your visitors are.

I’ve been using Snoop on my Windows desktop at work for the last week or so and absolutely love it. I really wish there was some sort of interface for Linux so I could watch visitors at home. I’m NOT going to install Windows at home just so I can use Snoop, although it is tempting. 🙂

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I’ve Been Reinvigorated

Reinvigorate is really nice. It’s a website statistics package, similar to Google Anlaytics and Mint. On the Reinvigorate home page, the service is described as “Measurement, performance, and regression analysis tools for evolving websites and blogs of all sizes”, sweet. Anyway, I signed up for the private beta a long time ago and finally received an invitation a few days ago.

Dougal Campbell has blogged about reinvigorate a couple times, check his posts out for some more background information on Reinvigorate.

Reinvigorated Detailed ActivityReinvigorate gives a really unique view of your website or blog, especially when it comes to tracking individual users. They also have a neat feature called “Name Tags”. Name Tags associate information on your website or blog (names, email addresses, etc) with the session id assigned by Reinvigorate. For example, this lets me track commenters based on the name they use when commenting. If someone comments, the name they used in the comment will show up in Reinvigorate. This makes it easy to see all the pages the commentor visited and how much time they spent on each page. Reinvigorate describes Name Tags as follows:

Name Tags are an easy way to identify exactly who your visitors are.

It works by associating information your site manages (username, e-mail, account ID, etc..) with the session ID Reinvigorate uses to track visitors on your site/blog.

It’s extremely simple to setup, even if your site uses its own proprietary user account system. 1-2 extra lines of code and we take care of the rest.

Reinvigorated - Plugin for WordPressName Tags are extremely simple to make use of if you use WordPress. Reinvigorate has a plugin for WordPress that makes using Name Tags a breeze. The plugin also prevents you from having to manually add the tracking code to your blog. You can turn on Name Tags right from the plugin options page. Just activate the plugin, enter your tracking id, turn Name Tags on or off, and you’re set.

I’m really happy with Reinvigorate after using it for only two days. It’s exciting to know it’s still in beta, so hopefully they’ll continue to add features and more options. One thing I would really like is the ability to select a date range to view data for. Especially for the search terms, I want to see my top search terms over certain periods of time. Same goes for popular pages too.

If you haven’t already, go sign up for the beta. You may have to wait a while for an invitation, but it’s worth the wait. I can’t wait to see what the developers have planned for Reinvigorate in the future.

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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.

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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.

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