Abandoning analytics

I’ve stopped for the most part watching and caring about how many people view the various bits of writing I do.

The analytical tools out there for measuring the net have their primary impetus the selling of advertising, and as such they have slowly but surely morphed to be less and less useful for the discovery of non-commerical intent.

It used to be that Google Analytics would tell you the exact search terms that someone used to get to your page. That’s gone now, unless you’re buying ad keywords. Every system still gives raw page counts, but who cares about eyeballs if you don’t know what they are focusing on?

So the tactics of gathering and spreading attention have to shift. Search is no longer the only currency of value, and Facechat and Snapbook and Instachirp all proclaim that they can measure engagement (and buy attention for a low, low price). Be that as it may, it’s much less important for me right now to collect lots of viewers. Much more important for any given piece of work is exactly who sees it, what they see in it, and whether it gets past the initial flip, flip, flip through the infinite net to have someone actually read to the bottom.

I can pretty much predict what kind of Twitter behavior generates a lot of page views - the tweetstorm! - but who needs to do that all the time? Especially when sometimes the goal is not to have a lot of random people see something.

I’m writing this for you, you see; perhaps it’s just for me, time-shifted into the future, looking backwards on the day and understanding why measurement of readership is not the only metric of interestingness.