Thanks to conversionrater.com for covering the Blog Business Summit, and the coverage of the audience measurement tools. Apparently, someone had asked about HitTail at the session, and the reviewer is going to check it out. Here’s a quote from the site.
Blog Metric Tools – Some of the server log tools are AWStats, Urchin, Analog, and Clicktracks. They also commented on how hits are generally worthless as a statistic, unless you really are interested in how many files are being requested. Someone mentioned HitTail, which I hadn’t heard of yet and now want to review.
Now, I understand how people can feel that hits is a worthless statistic–but that’s if you don’t filter them down to the interesting stuff beforehand, the way HitTail does. When done properly, you can watch traffic as one-person/one-hit. It’s what people REALLY want to do when they hear the notion of loading their log file for the first time. Log files are so filled with garbage as to be useless without analytics software, which I think the comment above was alluding to. I can totally understand why HitTail came up as a topic when people started putting down the usefulness of analytics software. This was reflected in the recent PC World article that referred to HitTail as analytics for the rest of us.
Watching visits as one-person/one hit is the truly interesting way for a casual blogger or marketing person to monitor traffic, because you can intuitively understand what’s going on without having to commit your life to becoming a Web metrics guru. Filtered search hits are honest representation of site activity, albeit somewhat disappointing for most. Once you filter out your own search tests, and compulsive competitors, what’s left are genuinely interested parties, and often less than what you thing. But that makes the information gleaned from each so much more valuable, and part of the reason HitTail seems so refreshingly new.