Call me vain.  Seriously, go ahead.  Like most people, I look in a mirror when I walk past it.  I guess I am vain when it comes to blogging too.  I really enjoy blogging – writing whatever comes to mind for “people” to read.  But I like to know that there actually are people reading it.  If not, what’s the point?  My blog runs on DasBlog, a pretty cool, free blogging engine.  It provides me some cool analytics, out of that box, that tell me how many hits my blog gets and more information.  And yes, I check it often.  I love to know how many hits I get. 


imageOne of my favorite things to do is see the information that I get from search engines.  If someone came to my blog via Google or Live Search, I can see what search criteria they used.  So in the image on the left, I can see that people found my blog for a variety of reasons.  Among other things I can see that some people were searching for me or my blog, someone was looking for information about some National Parks I visited (Bryce and Zion), someone was looking for information about LINQ, and someone was looking for information on my friend Travis.  Also I see that my blog post I Hate Trusted Installer is still popular! 


Well I thought that was cool until I discovered Google Analytics!  Google Analytics is also free and is completely insane.  It gives me tons of information about who reads my blog and now I am addicted to it.  The only problem I have with Google Analytics is that it only gets updated once a day!  With my DasBlog activity information it is updated continually.  Oh well.


 


So here is what I see with Google Analytics…


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This map view is awesome.  It may be tough to tell in this screen shot but it shows a map of the world.  If I get a hit from someone in any country, it turns green.  The darker colors of green have the most hits.  So obviously I get hits from the US, but I also get traffic from India, the UK, Canada, not to mention Romania, Thailand, Spain, Argentina, Lithuania, Belgium, Taiwan and many more!  How cool is that?


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I can even “drill down” and see where my traffic is coming from in a specific area, like this map of Pennsylvania.  These maps are really cool but there is much more.  I can see how long people stay on my blog, what posts are popular, what browsers they use and a whole bunch of other information including the same kind of search engine “key word” information described above.  But so far, you identity is safe.  I can’t seem to figure out exactly who is reading my blog.  I can’t even seem to correlate data between reports, but I there must be a way to do so.  So as for now, I may be able to see what town one of my readers came from, but I can’t figure out which pages the reader read.


By the way, Google Analytics is totally easy to include on your pages.  In my case, I just added the script that Google gave me into my dasBlog template: homeTemplate.blogtemplate.  That’s all.


 


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