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Worthwhile Reading – Week Ending 02/17/2008

Here are some topics of interest I’ve read in the past week. Definitely worth your time to read. Read more

Feedburner Pro Stats and MyBrand Are Now Free Services

Just a month ago, Google acquired Feedburner, making many in the blogosphere happy since it almost ensures this great service will remain for some time to come.

Per the Feedburner blog: “Beginning today, two of FeedBurner‘s previously for-pay services, TotalStats and MyBrand, will be free.”

Feedburner‘s basic services were great for providing a consolidated feed, regardless of flavor (RSS, Atom, etc.) TotalStats provides a bit more in-depth reporting on exactly who is using the feed and how it is being read.

Feedburner‘s MyBrand allows you to use your own domain name as the feed url in place of this standard format: http://feeds.feedburner.com/myfeedname

Thanks Google!

Google Analytics Rolls Out New Interface and Features

I just received an email from Google informing me of the new enhancements being rolled out to Google Analytics.

If you haven’t used it before, Google Analytics is an amazing, free Web analytics application. Originally developed as Urchin and acquired by Google in the fall of 2005, Google Analytics is a full feature Web analytics application.

Hello from Google Analytics,

We are happy to announce the release of a new version of the
Google Analytics reporting interface. Since you are an existing
user, you will automatically be upgraded – there is no action
required on your part. To access this new version click the “View
Reports” link next to any profile in your account by logging in at
http://www.google.com/analytics.

For a smooth transition, we’ve listed some helpful resources and
notes below. Also, you will still be able to access your old
reporting interface for at least a month by clicking “Previous
Interface” below the “View Reports” link for any profile in your
account. Other than a few improvements detailed in the version
notes below, your data and configuration settings remain
unaffected by your choice of interface and your data continues to
be tracked in the same way as it was prior to this redesign.

*What is new?* In the new version, your reports have been
redesigned for clarity, greater visibility of important metrics,
and ease of use. Here are just a few of the features you’ll
notice:

– Email and export reports: Schedule or send ad-hoc
personalized report emails and export reports in PDF format.

– Custom Dashboard: No more digging through reports. Put all
the information you need on a custom dashboard that you can
email to others.

– Trend and Over-time Graph: Compare time periods and select
date ranges without losing sight of long term trends.

– Contextual help tips: Context sensitive Help and Conversion
University tips are available from every report.

The new interface has everything the previous interface had and
more. In addition, links within reports make it easier to navigate
related information and explore your data.

The following resources are available to help you get the most
from the new Google Analytics interface:

– Report Finder Tool: will help you see where data from the
previous interface is located within the new version (it is
also linked to from within your reports on the left
navigation menu):
http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/static.py?page=v1v2map.cs

– Product tour:
http://services.google.com/analytics/tour/index_en-US.html

– FAQs for more details about the new version:
http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/static.py?page=FAQ.cs

– Help Center: includes articles related to the new version:
http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/

– Support: if you encounter any issues with the new version
that you can’t resolve with the help center, you can contact
our support team through the Contact Us link at the bottom of
the help center web page, or receive higher-touch support
through a Google Analytics Authorized Consultant. Find one
here:
http://www.google.com/analytics/support_partner_provided.html

– Analytics Help Forum: If you would like to discuss the new
version or get tips from experienced users, please visit the
Analytics Help Forum in English within Google Groups at:
http://groups.google.com/group/analytics-help

A few notes about the new version:

– The new version works best with Flash 7 or higher. Most
browsers have this installed already, if yours does not,
please download it at Adobe.com .

– Google Analytics now uses the same geo-data source as
AdWords, therefore, map and geo-location report results may
vary slightly between the previous interface and the new
interface. For those of you with filters designed for
geo-data, you may want to verify the results and edit if
necessary.

– Limiting the Available Reports for a profile by specifying
which Report Dashboards and Report Categories are available
has been removed from the product in favor of the new
customizable Google Analytics dashboard. If you would like to
limit the availability of data within a certain profile for
certain users, we recommend removing those users from the
profile and instead scheduling an email to deliver data to
them.

We hope you find the new version even more useful and thank you
for using Google Analytics!

I only spent five minutes digging around and I am extremely excited. There was a lot of reorganization to put more data points on a single screen — extremely helpful to reduce the amount of clicking to gather a complete picture of certain metrics.

It also “feels” like the data loads much faster than before. I’m blazing through these screens.

The feature I don’t see yet is the ability to add comments on certain dates/milestones. That would be helpful to identify historical events tied to traffic spikes.

Definitely check out Google Analytics if you haven’t done so already.
-Roland

More Second Life Statistics

Second Life DeskAccording to ComScore research, in March 2007, active Second Life residents came from these regions:

  • 61 percent from Europe
  • 16 percent from the States
  • 13 percent from the Asia-Pacific region

According to Linden Lab’s self-reported data last February, 54 percent were European and 31 percent from the U.S.

Gender breakdown:

  • 61 percent of residents are male
  • 39 percent are female

That’s very close to Linden Lab’s self-reported data last February: 60 percent male and 40 percent female.

The study calculated that about 1.3 million people ran the official software and logged into Second Life in March 2007. This represents an increase of 46 percent in the number of active residents from January 2007, ComScore said.

Second Life’s own figures state that it has more than 6 million residents and that 1.7 million have logged in during the last 60 days.

More details about geographic breakdown can be found in the Cnet article.

Related Links:
Making Sense of Second Life Statistics

Cnet: “Europeans latch on to ‘Second Life’

Making Sense of Second Life Demographics

Second Life DeskA recent Reuters article became a good source of Second Life statistics beyond the self reported activity stats on the Second Life Home Page.

The following statistics are based on data released by Linden Labs (owners of Second Life):

Gender self reported
60% male
40% female

The average Second Life user is 33, according to self-reported data

Age of active users:
18-25 27.5%
25-34 38.8%
35-44 21%
45+ 11.5%

On the teen grid, where ages range from 13 to 17, the average age was 15.

Active residents by country:
United States 31.19%
France 12.73%
Germany 10.46%
United Kingdom 8.09%
Netherlands 6.55%
Spain 3.83%
Brazil 3.77%
Canada 3.30%
Belgium 2.63%
Italy 1.93%

“Europeans make up the largest block of Second Life residents with more than 54 percent of active users in January ahead of North America’s 34.5 percent, according to new Linden Lab data.”

“In a related blog post, Linden Lab Chief Financial Officer John Zdanowski aka Zee Linden addressed the much-disputed Second Life usage numbers. He said that unique users — consolidating multiple accounts held by a single user, and eliminating people who have registered but never signed in — totalled 1,974,607 in January, equal to 63 percent of the “total residents” figure that is displayed on secondlife.com.”

“Approximately 10 percent of unique users have logged in for 40 hours or more. Committed usage at this stage of Second Life’s growth requires a great deal of effort,” he said. “Clearly not everyone is going to find relevance, and be able to build on a technology at this early stage.”

Second Life PlaygroundSo, imagine a scenario where we would want to exclusively target North American females, age 18-25, with a promotion or presence. How big is our audience?

Assuming…
Total Residents: 3,664,703
Logged In Last 60 Days: 1,253,228

Starting with 1,253,228 active residents
390,882 (31.19%) North American
107,492 (27.5%) age 18-25
42,997 (40%) female

Roughly 43m prospects that fit the profile. Then, the challenges become:

  1. What to build in SL?
  2. What to offer?
  3. How to find them and drive them to the destination?
  4. How to get them to engage with the brand?
  5. How to get a repeat visit?
  6. How to get them to tell a friend?

It’s a lot of work and expense, and your not likely to reach every one of those 43m females. Be cautious and think through whether SL is the appropriate place for your efforts. A CPA program on some targeted media properties or a target pay per click campaign may get you better return on investment.

Please share your experiences with Second Life marketing and statistics.
Thanks.
-Roland

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