Monday, February 27, 2006

Google Moon

.. .. boldly go where some men have gone before

Always wanted to go to the Moon? Well, you can. Thanks to Google.

When you follow the above link you will find that all lunar landing sites are relatively close to each other. So, there much of the Moon that still needs to be explored.

And when you zoom in on the various locations you will find what you always suspected ...


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Google Pages

.. here I come!

I just found out about Google Pages. This is again something easy that the guys 'n gals at Google have thrown into the big pond.

What is it?

Well, hard to describe after using it only for 15 minutes or so. But it is another free place to set up your own web site with a simple CMS wrapped around it so anyone can now set up a website. You have 100 MB of space which should be more than enough for most users. And yes it is free.

Now I will have to think of a good purpose for this.

I guess I will come back on that one.

UPDATE: These are my pages

FWIW I have created some pages here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New template

.. pfooh, at last!

I finally got around updating my template. The previous one was broken and all over the place. Now things should be tidier.

There is still a problem (in wonderful IE!) with images that are wider than the main column. In Firefox the overflow:hidden is nicely adhered, but IE just plainly ignores this. Any suggestions on how to fix this for IE are welcome!

It is not yet finished but finished enough for the time being.


In case anyone was wondering about the specifics. It is source ordered three column layout. Based on a design by Blue Robot. That I fiddled just a bit to make it what it is now.

I might just take this template and put it up for download on my site. If anyone is interested drop me line.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Google Analytics in practice #3: site overlay

.. it is back

Just giving away another bit of my "secrets" ;-) After my first and second entry on results and the meaning of Google Analytics this time just a short one.

The site overlay is back

It had disappeared for some time from Google Analytics (servers overloaded?) it has now returned in full fashion.

Google Analytics site overlay

The site overlay gives a very easy to read report. It shows a page of your site in mini browser control and on all the links it shows how many people have clicked on each. It is very intuitive.

Google Analytics
Site Overlay
This screen allows you to navigate your site while viewing traffic and conversion data for each link. The exit rate for the page is shown on the upper right corner of overlay. The blue and green bars are graphic indicators of clicks and quality, respectively, for each link on the page. Click on any set of blue and green bars to view metrics for that link: the number of clicks, the conversion rates for each goal you have defined, and the $Index. Links with the highest $Index are those links most commonly visited prior to high-value conversions during a visit. Click on any link to navigate to that page.
What is the use of this?

Well, it gives you an easy overview of where the clicks went from any page to another page within your site. It also has the exit percentage so you know how many people just plainly left your site.

The screen shot of the index page of the Roho Products website shows that still quite a bit people are leaving and that also quite a few people (almost one in five) click on the link that leads to the page itself. I do hope Jacob Nielsen does not read this!

More evidence that my home page needs a redesign. And in fact I am now in progress with a new home page that will come in front of this one. That new index page will try to better gauge the visitors to the pages that I would like them to see.

Ski jumping

.. Top Gear style

This new Olympic venture you got to see

Unfortunately Roho

.. yes I know that should have been the post

Do a Google on Unfortunately Roho and you get results like these:

  • Unfortunately Roho does not make the cushion I have, it was a prototype.
  • Unfortunately Roho has learned that two new delivery trucks, a necessity for the lunch delivery service, will cost a total of $24,000.
  • Well, unfortunately Roho woke up with a very bad cough Saturday morning and Kirah spend the day nursing him.

Well, unfortunately that is all Google or any of the other search engines come up with.

However, fortunately, when you do a Google on Fortunately Roho and you get results like these:

  • Fortunately Roho was just at the edge of the ice, so he doesn't encounter any further patches during his retreat.
  • Fortunately Roho had purchased an extended warranty when he bought his system, which promised to exchange it should it suffer from any major component failures.

Which has learned me that there is a thread about Roho at and Brendan's Journal is located at ?!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Unfortunately Rob

.. is

Do a Google on Unfortunately Rob and you get results like these:
  • Unfortunately Rob was apparently caught in a weak moment.
  • Unfortunately Rob's team lost.
  • Unfortunately Rob D. just wasn't who he once was and was back for only five months.
  • Unfortunately Rob walked in. Fortunately, Carly was right beind Rob.
  • Unfortunately Rob had moved his small unit of light cavalry into the path and charge range of a Sasanian elephant.
  • Unfortunately Rob never gave me any evidence for his assertions but merely said my comments were evidence enough.
  • Unfortunately Rob, you cannot produce evidence of that success you claim.
  • Unfortunately Rob himself has indicated that the cut off for well-defined predictions regarding meteor trails seems to be at around a ZHR of 500 and the distance between last year's 4-revolution trail and Earth was a relatively large +0.0016 a.u.
  • Unfortunately Rob never gave me any evidence for his assertions but merely said my comments were evidence enough.
  • Unfortunately Rob as very little information to go on, other than the photograph attached and that his father was Polish and stationed in England.

Inspired by some other posts:

There are probably plenty more out there.

Are you Web 2.0?

.. or have you already moved on?

Do the logos below mean something to you? Are you familiar with ten or more?

web 2.0 logo's

If they do make sense you are definitely into Web 2.0.

Or maybe within this collection of logos is the selection of companies that will be around in five years and be part of the Internet establishment. Most of them will likely have been superseded by better Web 3.0 or Web 4.0 incarnations.


Perversions in Information Technology

.. wtf?!

Sometimes you find the most interesting sites by chance. This one was supplied by one of my colleagues.

Perversions in Information Technology

The Daily WTF reports on Curious Perversions in Information Technology and that is fun to read.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Google Analytics in practice: 'stickiness'

.. or how to keep your visitors glued to your site

In a recent post the concept of 'stickiness' was mentioned. With this performance parameter the lasting appeal of a site is described. How much does the site makes the visitor read more than just the page it landed on.

In the post the value of Average Page views was suggested a the 'stickiness factor' Using Google Analytics one can find the value of this parameter for your site.

My 'stickiness' factor

Looking at at my blog I think the values are always between 1 and 2. Which as suggested by the articles is quite normal for blogs. A user reads maybe one or two posts and leaves. Or also probable the regular visitor uses the RSS feed to stay up to date with your ramblings.

blog average pageviews

On my web site it appears that the average user views 2, 3, 4 or even 5 pages per visit. This is an all together different type of visitor.

site average page views
My 'stickiness' factor - redefined

'Stickiness' has been coined more or less as the ability of a website to keep customers at your site. Let's call this the 'stickiness in visit' factor.

I think there is another aspect that is closely related that describes the ability to get people coming back to your site: some sort of 'stickiness in time'.

In other words: How much of your visitors return for another visit? This is also easily shown in Google Analytics in the new vs returning visitors report.

The 'stickiness in time' factor

On my blog I see a returning visitors percentage of about 38%. Which I think is a reasonable figure. Readers who really want to follow what I am blogging about will also use the RSS channels and thus will not show up in these statistics. But as this is not measurable you will never know whether it's just one user (your mom) or a million visitors around the globe.

blog new vs returning

On my site the numbers are different. As one would expect. The content is not as often updated and it is an all together different purpose it serves. It is more intended as a brochure for my web design activities.

I have about 12% returning visitors. Which means that by far most visitors to my website are new. That is good as I try to reach more and more potential customers. I do not want only returning visitors (my family and neighbor's) I want new clients and more work!

Roho Products
If you need any website design or producing valid html+css from a design then contact me!
site new vs returning
The optimal 'stickiness' values

Having seen the above 'stickiness' factors one can wonder what are optimal values.

'stickiness in visit'

The optimal values vary strongly per type of website.

  • blogging site: for a good blogging site visitors will hopefully return to read more and each visit will probably mean one or two pageviews. You expect the average pageviews to be between 1 and 2.
  • brochure-type site: on a brochure type site you want to inform the world of what you do and how good you are at it. But in the end you want people to contact you to do that thing for them. You would like them to move about your site and finally go to the contact page and act. This will mean that the average pageviews will ideally be over 3.
  • e-commerce site: ideally a visitors finds what he wants to buy in just a few steps (two or three) and then the checkout process which involves another couple of steps. This brings the average pageview to starting from 4 upwards. If it is more around 2 then you will probably not be selling much and visitors are not finding the stuff they need. You either do not have it or you have hidden it carefully.
'stickiness in time'

Again the optimal values for 'stickiness in time' vary strongly per type of website.

  • blogging site: for a good blogging site visitors will hopefully return to read more so you would want to aim for a big percentage of returning visitors. Values should likely be over 30%.
  • brochure-type site: a brochure site is aiming at raking in new clients and returning visitors is a prime target. Returning visitors will hardly be more than 15%.
  • e-commerce site: An e-commerce site wants to sell and returning customers are satisfied customers, so returning visitors to the site is again a good sign. The returning percentage may not be as high as the blogging site but should be higher than that of a brochure site.

As this is only based on my relatively low-traffic websites there is probably need for some more research. So feel free to comment on this and if everyone on the Internet thinks otherwise I might follow up ;-)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Inside Track on Firefox Development

.. a look inside the kitchen

An excellent story on the coming about of Firefox.

A must read.