Treasure (Measure) Map

I can hopefully prevent my sides from splitting with gleeful excitement by writing about Adaptive Path's Measure Map

I've been aching to write about Measure Map, the first product from those cool hombres over at Adaptive Path. Now that Jeff Veen has written about Measure Map today, I can hopefully prevent my sides from splitting with gleeful excitement by writing about this little Treasure (Measure) Map.

Jeff's quick pitch explains,

Measure Map is a Web application that helps people get to know their blogs. We do this by collecting and analyzing blog-specific traffic statistics and presenting them in a browsable interface that encourages exploration. It is an experience that offers meaningful insight into the effects caused by small changes in how you blog, rather than the overwhelming complexity of most web stats tools with their query/report-style analytic methods. Measure Map provides understanding by refocusing the difficult problem of web statistics and solving it just for blogs.

Measure Map and Me

I take a cursory look at my stats every now and again, usually to glance through overall numbers and browse referrers, but I'm not a stats junkie. Well, until now. I've been using Measure Map for this site since I came back from San Francisco. Installation wasn't simple, it was super simple, taking somewhere between 20 and 25 seconds. (OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but how long can pasting two Javascript snippets into two MT templates take? ;) )

Measure Map's interface is simplicity itself, but encapsulates a sublime mix of Web 2.0 technologies. CSS, AJAX and a cleverly appropriate use of Flash all combine to give me just the right information I need about my site. The interface is divided into information about visitors, links, comments and posts, all updated and presented in real time, rather than the once daily updating of my regular stats.

The Visitors window gives details of visits to the site over any given period, handily selected by a nifty Flash date range slider. The information is instantly updated by AJAX and shows total vistor numbers and the percentage of repeat visitors.

The Links window is particularly addictive and shows details of both referring links and external links to other sites. This has been particularly useful. I've been noticing a large number of referrals from Google searches for iPod nano covers over recent weeks (due entirely to my column about my homemade nano wrapper). I decided to experiment by placing prominent links to Amazon's iPod nano pages at the top of that column. Measure Map not only helps see easily which searches visitors are making to land on my site, but I can keep track of those leaving my pages to Amazon. Something which would have been much more complicated before Measure Map.

The Comments information needs little or no explanation, doing everything you would expect in detailing replies to my articles, but Posts is engaging in showing at a glance which columns are attracting the most visitors. I've been pleasantly surprised that many columns which I had forgotten that I had written still attract visitors, and Measure Map neatly presents not only how many visitors these columns received but which links they followed in and out.

I've got a smallish wish list of improvements and of course no application is without its faults, particularly in the early stages, and Measure Map is no exception, due mainly to AJAX's interaction with the browsers' Back button, but minor AJAX induced irritations aside, Measure Map is a treasure.

As Veen explains,

We'll be opening the doors soon, probably towards the end of the year. For now, we're metering our growth with an invitation system to ensure that we can provide an appropriate level of service for our users as we grow. You can sign up for one at measuremap.com.

My advice? Even if you sign up instantly, it ain't soon enough. This one is special.


Replies

  1. #1 On October 13, 2005 12:58 AM luxuryluke said:

    Brilliant stuff!!! MORE MORE!

  2. #2 On October 13, 2005 01:21 AM Jesse said:

    How does this stack up against Mint? Can it be used 'beyond the blog?'

  3. #3 On October 13, 2005 06:19 AM Jeff Adams said:

    This look great! Is it going to be a hosted solution or something we can download and install?

  4. #4 On October 13, 2005 09:06 AM Matthew Pennell said:

    Interesting - Mint for the masses, perhaps? It certainly looks a little more "so simple your gran could use it" designed.

    Presumably as it's Javascript driven it suffers from the same drawback as Mint (i.e. ignoring up to 10% of your traffic - probably not an issue for a web development blog, but not very useful in the real world). The big question I suppose is, will it be free? If it is, it could take a big bite out of Mint.

    My guess would be that it won't be, but I'm a born cynic.

  5. #5 On October 13, 2005 09:23 AM Knut Karnapp said:

    You already have your measure map? How come?

    I really like the live stats feature, though.

  6. #6 On October 13, 2005 09:39 AM Andy Saxton said:

    Looks sweet. Looks like the stats will be usable by everyone which makes the whole process more user friendly. (Not exatly a suprise as it's designed by adaptive path user experience designers really)

    Thing is a lot of people check their stats by routine and to be honest dont really understand what they are looking at.

    Hopefull this will clear it up, well for blogs anyway. heres to the "every site" edition.

  7. #7 On October 13, 2005 02:29 PM Glen C. said:

    It will be free. check out the comments on Veen's blog. There will also be an extra feature version costing money.

  8. #8 On October 13, 2005 04:39 PM Simon R Jones said:

    Looks like a hosted application from what I've read. Seems a very slick interface, nice to see people spending more time on the design aspect of web applications.

    I wonder how well the admin system works without JavaScript (and thus AJAX)?

  9. #9 On October 13, 2005 06:24 PM Malarkey said:

    @ Jesse: "How does this stack up against Mint? Can it be used 'beyond the blog?'"

    I've not tried Mint, but from the glowing reports from the beta testers and others, it is a fantastic tool and Shaun has done a terrific job. From what I gather, Measure Map is a different kind of tool and has been developed specifically to work with blogs.

    @ Jeff: "Is it going to be a hosted solution or something we can download and install?"

    Measure Map is a hosted solution. Jeff Veen explains how you can 'own' your data in his Welcome To Measure Map post.

    @ Matthew: "The big question I suppose is, will it be free?"

    See comment 7.

    @ Knut: "You already have your measure map? How come?"

    It's a long and complicated story. One that involves a French restaurant, Spanish cigarettes, Irises and one too many Maker's Marks ;)

  10. #10 On October 13, 2005 08:00 PM Jeff Croft said:

    Mint is not a tool for blogs. It's a stats program for websites. It tracks things like visits, referrers, pages, platform, browser, etc.

    Measure Map, from what I can tell, tracks-blog specific things like posts, comments, links, trackbacks, etc.

    There might be a bit of overlap between them, but all-in-all they are two totally different beasts. It seems to me that the combo of Measure Map and Mint would give the blogger a very complete picture of what's going on at their site.

  11. #11 On October 14, 2005 05:23 PM trovster said:

    I've filled in the form, but not got an invite yet :( Bugger. Looks REALLY nice. Can't wait.

  12. #12 On October 20, 2005 09:18 PM Aaron Gustafson said:

    I am completely with you on the junkie thing. Kelly's had to pry me from the computer ever since I got the invite... I just can't put it down.