Archive for February, 2009

Help desk ROI? Where are the numbers?

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Last week while on a plane to a conference, I had a chance to read through the latest edition of Campus Technology.

There was an interesting article entitled, Help Desk Is Spelled: R-O-I. The article highlighted a couple schools, but mainly focused on LSU. In 2007, LSU launched an internal marketing campaign within their IT department encouraging students to learn more about new technologies available and to be smart about using them – focusing a lot on security issues, etc.

The campaign included a cartoon character named Tad who had the misfortune of being  computer-security illiterate and getting himself and the institution into all sorts of mischief because of his shortcomings.

The message is “don’t be a Tad” and the goal of the campaign was to get students to be more responsible when it comes to their own computers by installing recommended anti-virus  and spyware applications.

When I read the article, I thought, “what a great idea, I wonder if it worked.”

So I read, and read, and read. And they never told me if it worked. Besides a quote of it “worked wonders,” there were no metrics to speak of.

After Omniture Summit

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

The Omniture Summit ended on Thursday night with a grand reception for the conference goers. Omniture went all out with the highlight of the nightly shingdig’s being the Maroon 5 concert at the Grand America Hotel on Wednesday night. I’m not a Marron 5 fan, but it was still a great time and completely ridiculous that I was about 20 feet away from the band.

This was my first year at the summit and it was completely worth every penny. I learned so much, mostly in the Omniture University course I took last Monday.

Other than learning about classifications, VISTA rules, and advanced campaign strategies at the Omniture University course, I went to sessions on advanced use of SiteCatalyst, tracking Web 2.0 technologies, and video tracking.

I’ve always said that the one reason web analytics hasn’t made it into the higher ed community at the rate it should is that it has always been considered a *marketing* function – something that those marketers do and we as admissions, help desk, library, whatever, don’t have time or the need to pay attention to.

Omniture Summit Day One

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Day one of the Omniture Summit is over and what a fantastic day it was. The “classroom” portion of the summit happened yesterday with training sessions on a host of Omniture products from SiteCatalyst, to Test & Target, to Discover. I would have loved to join the Discover training, but I thought I’d better stick to SiteCatalyst since that is what the majority of our folks use.

So, SiteCatalyst for Power Users it was … an advanced course, although I was pleasantly surprised that we are already incorporating half of what was presented in class.

The biggest takeaway I got from the Power Users course was the use of Classifications and of Vista Rules.

Live Blogging From Omniture Summit

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

I’m looking forward to attending the Omniture Summit next week in Salt Lake City. Having not been to a conference since last summer, I have to get back into the groove mentally.

Just like setting goals for a website, I find goals helpful going into a conference.

So, I’m going to focus on:

  1. Social media metrics
  2. Video metrics
  3. Moving to the next level with Discover (Omniture’s advanced segmentation tool)

What *aren’t* we taking advantage of and how can we start? For example, I have yet to truly dive into video metrics, so I’m very excited about getting my hands dirty with video metrics.

One thing I am alsoo excited about is live blogging throughout the conference. This will be my first time live blogging, so we’ll see how it goes.

Stay tuned … off to Salt Lake.

Google Changes Mean Major Implications for Analytics Tools

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Google has started testing using Ajax to power their search. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is for those who care about web analytics. Why? It completely breaks the way web analytics tools tracks keywords from Google.


If someone searched for this blog on Google in the past, the search string would look like this:

Today, it looks like this:

Notice the difference? The second one uses a hashtag (#) instead of the more familiar “search?.” The problem lies in the fact that nothing after the hashtag is passed through to the analytics tool, so your referrals look like they’re from instead of the actual search string. This also means that there are no search keywords associated with it. Not good. How do we know how users are searching on Google to find us?

From what I’ve read, this is just a test, but who knows how long it will go on?


Recent Talk About PostRank

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

In the past couple weeks, basically since Google acquired Feedburner, there has been quite a bit of chatter about PostRank. Since the Feedburner acquisition wasn’t without issues, the PostRank talk seemed to pick up.

According to their website, PostRank:

… measures audience engagement and provides integrated tools to enable you to customize your RSS subscriptions. Save time, boost productivity, and Read What Matters.

One of the unique things that PostRank does is take into consideration comments and mentions elsewhere on the web (Twitter, Delicious, Magnolia, etc.). It compares it to your recent posts, too. For example, when I first start a blog, getting 1 or 2 comments is a big deal, and thus, will rank that post quite high.