Something to Consider FYI

We recognize that there are a whole host of reasons people choose to create websites and blogs and not everyone is looking to make money from their efforts.  For many, websites and blogs are a tool for marketing your products and services. For many of you it’s an interest in documenting and sharing your lives with friends and family.  For others it’s a creative outlet.  Still others have found a certain sense of satisfaction in creating and owning something that is just yours, which you control, almost like your own business.  But for some the idea of making money from their site is an intriguing one.

If you’re interested in potentially generating revenue from your site you might consider joining a blog network. Blog networks are essentially businesses that manage or own many site properties.  Generally speaking, they are able to make money by distributing advertising across the network of website properties.  Often they’ll share those earnings with their site owners based on the amount of traffic they generate for the company or network. 

We’ve assembled a quick list of some of the Blog networks we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past few years.  Please keep in mind that blog networks are in business to make money.  If you’re interested in approaching a network be prepared with a site that has good traffic, specific content, and a willingness to write, even when you don’t feel like it. 

If you’re turned down by one, don’t give up.  Some of these networks focus on specific industries and topics, some only have the capacity to work with very large sites and experienced bloggers and other are more willing to work with those just getting started.

If you’ve thought about investigating or joining a network we encourage you to review these organizations, shoot them an email, and ask questions. 

451Press

http://www.451press.com/

9rules

http://9rules.com/

B5Media

http://www.b5media.com/

BeautyBlog Network

http://www.beautyblognetwork.com/

Curbed Network

http://curbed.com/advertise/contact.php

Glam Media

http://www.glam.com/

SBNation

http://www.sbnation.com/

SkinnyMoose

http://skinnymoose.com/network/

Weblogs Inc

http://www.weblogsinc.com/

 

Apologies to those we missed.  Please shoot us an email and we’ll update this list.

Sincerely,

The SiteMeter Team

New SiteMeter Windows Vista Gadget

As many of you are aware SiteMeter has developed a Yahoo Widget that allows you to view your sites daily page views and visit totals “live”, on your computer’s desktop, as they happen.

A few months back we were introduced to Rajesh Lal. He was interested in making a similar tool for SiteMeter members using Windows Vista Gadgets. Rajesh Lal is an author, technology evangelist, and solutions engineer specializing in web technologies. Rajesh has completed the new Widget and has also written a book on how to construct you own gadgets.

We have arranged with Rajesh to provide anyone wanting to have a SiteMeter Vista gadget on their desktop with a full working version available through download. Just download the gadget, enter your SiteMeter codename and password and track your sites stats, live on your computer desktop. You will of course need to be using Windows Vista.

The download is available here.

For those interested in learning how to create your own Vista Gadgets the book is titled – Creating Vista Gadgets – Using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with Examples in RSS, Ajax, ActiveX (COM), and Silverlight.

The book is oriented towards beginner to intermediate users and teaches how to –
• Build a blog tracking Gadget
• Create an Information Gadget with Ajax
• Develop Utility Gadgets using ActiveX (COM)
• Incorporate Internet Radio and YouTube Videos in Gadgets

The book’s cover price is $34.99 and can be found at Borders, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com and other online retailers. The book is published under the SAMS label and is also “Safari Books Online Enabled”. For more information you can go to www.innovatewithgadgets.com.

SiteMeter II Privacy Settings

We have spent a lot of time in recent newsletters talking about some of SiteMeter II’s more conspicuous new features. This month we want to address one of the less visible, but important new features – the change to our “Privacy” setting.

Currently, SiteMeter users have the option of changing the “Privacy” level of their SiteMeter icon which appears on pages containing our stats code. The default setting is “Normal” which essentially means that anyone who clicks on your SiteMeter icon will be taken to your SiteMeter stats page.
For some people the Normal setting is fine, but for others who have a desire to keep their site stats private they can change their privacy setting to Medium or High. Unfortunately, at the moment there is really no difference between Medium or High. Both deny access to your sites stats for anyone clicking on your SiteMeter icon and there is nothing in between.

When we launch SiteMeter II this we will be changing the Privacy options slightly, but the differences will be more apparent and important to note. There will still be three Privacy options – Low, Medium and High. The default “Low” setting will allow anyone to view all your stats pages and reports. A setting of Medium will allow users to just view your “Summary Page” report (see sample). Although they will be able to see there are other report pages, they will not be able to access them. And last but not least, a privacy setting of High will function just as it does now – directing people to http://www.SiteMeter.com and denying them access to your stats.

One final note – even if you have your privacy setting on Low or Medium, people who are viewing your stats will not be able to change any displayed reports or manipulate the date range settings, etc. Only the account owner who is logged in will be able to make changes or interact with the reports interface.

Aggregate Statistics New premium feature in SiteMeter II

One of the many new features we’re very excited about in the upcoming release of SiteMeter II is the ability to aggregate stats. What this means is that if you have a number of sites, say for example 5 baseball, and 5 hockey related sites, you could group them together by topic. Once you have assigned them to a group you can view the stats for them as a whole. This would then allow you to compare how your hockey group is doing versus your baseball group. If you wanted you could also group by Geographic location, time zone, or business unit. The choice is entirely yours.

This new feature will be limited to Premium accounts only. We’re allowing a maximum of 5 groups to which you can assign one or all of your accounts.
Stay tuned for more information on this and other upcoming releases.

Sincerely,
The SiteMeter Team

SiteMeter Widget

Get SiteMeter Widget Here (Windows Version) or (Mac Version).

We’re excited to announce the release of our new SiteMeter widget.

This cool little device is technically a Yahoo widget which is placed on your PC desktop. Each day it will show you your sites traffic, updated every six minutes. With a simple mouse click on the widgets switch you can change from page views to visits. At midnight each night it resets and starts all over again. It also has some fun little custom options to change fonts and font colors etc. And if you want you can enable speech and the counter will tell you what your current traffic totals are each time it updates.

Installing Yahoo Widgets is required prior to installing our widget. After the SiteMeter widget (Windows Version) (Mac Version) has been downloaded, run the installer or extract the .zip file and save the file on your desktop. Click the SiteMeter icon on your desktop to add the widget to Yahoo widgets. Once you have installed this widget open the “preferences” (right click on the widget) and enter your sites SiteMeter codename.

From the SiteMeter widget preference menu you can change the following options -
– Codename. Enter your SiteMeter codename.
– Range Start and Range End. If your site receives 100 visits a day you can set the Start and End to 0 and 150. If you have more traffic you can make the End value higher. The choice is yours.
– Pulse Speed. This will adjust how quickly or slowly the “Pulse” indicator moves. The Pulse simply indicates that the SiteMeter widget is working.
– Speech Enabled. For those who prefer an audible notification a voice can be enabled which will tell you how many visits or page views your site has. The Voice will notify you every 6 minutes when the Widget checks your sites data.
– Add/Edit your Website Name. You can display your sites name on the widget and change the color and/or font of the displayed text. When you click on the website name you will be directed to the SiteMeter home page.

Please note that the SiteMeter Widget works only if you have your privacy settings at “Normal” or “Medium”. It will not work if you privacy is set to “High”. If your privacy level is set to “High” you will receive a password protected error.
Please also understand that we are not able to provide technical support for this device.

Enjoy!
The SiteMeter Team.

Do You RSS?

RSS, for those still new to the term, stands for Really Simple Syndication. Unfortunately not even the definition really explains what RSS means to the average blogger or site owner.
The shortest way to explain RSS is to think of it as an internet language that allows internet users to create custom pages which automatically pull headlines, articles, and stories from sites and blogs for viewing and reading without the internet users actually having to visit any of the sites.
Here is a more lengthy explanation.
Imagine for a second that you like to watch the news on TV. But if you are like most people you have preferences. Say for example you like the weather report on channel 7, the local news from channel 5, the national news on channel 8, and CNN financial news on channel 23. Now let’s say, rather than sitting through all the stuff you don’t like, jumping back and forth between channels, trying not to miss the stories that interest you – you are able to create your own custom channel. With your custom channel you are able to view only the weather from channel 7, the local headlines from channel 5, and the national and financial headlines broadcast.
Of course to make this happen all these channels must broadcast using one common signal and it must be a signal that your custom channel specifies and understands.
This is very similar to how RSS works.
RSS allows internet users to create a single location (using a subscription service) where they can view content from any number of websites and blogs that they specify without ever actually having to visit those sites. Of course to make this possible the sites of interest must be capable of “broadcasting” in RSS, which unlike television signals is actually an internet language.
The good news is that most blog platforms (Blogger, TypePad, WordPress, etc.) pages are already designed to “broadcast” the page content in an RSS signal format. So for most of you, your blogs are already capable of broadcasting your blog stories in RSS format across the World Wide Web.
But there is still the matter of the subscribers to your content.
The subscription services, also known as Feed Readers or Aggregators, as we’ve discussed, allow individuals to create a page and specify what content is shown.
Normally a Feed Reader only requires the individual setting up a Reader to supply the URL (e.g. http://www.blogtalk.com) of the site or page they want to subscribe. Once the URL is entered it will generate a list of the most current stories as they are released. The subscriber is typically shown a headline and the first sentence or two of the story. If they choose they can click on a specific story that interests them and read the full article or just delete it. If they click to read the full story they will typically be redirected to the site where the full story is posted.
There are currently hundreds of Feed Readers available to internet users. Some are more popular than others. Here are a few examples.

Often times you see blogs and sites with a whole list of these logos. These essentially allow internet users to subscribe to your content easily and quickly, provided you have listed the one they use.
For bloggers and sites with a steady flow of content releases this means that a large part of your audience may not actually be coming to your site. Never the less, these people are an important and valuable part of your total audience since they are viewing your content.

When we launch our new SiteMeter platform our plan is to offer you statistics about your RSS subscribers. We’ll be able to tell you things like how many people clicked on your subscription links and which links they clicked. We’ll also be able to tell you when subscribers are arriving to read your full stories, which reader they are arriving from and which story they are choosing to read.

Sincerely,
The SiteMeter Team

SiteMeter Visit Tracking Explained

SiteMeter does not currently track Unique Visits/Visitors. Our measurement is defined as a Visit. The basis of this measurement is calculated on a 30 minute time period, from the last page viewed (i.e. last activity seen).

As you are no doubt aware, a Unique Visitor is measured using a cookie (or other similar user hosted ID tag). This method permits one to measure hourly, daily, weekly, etc. unique visitors. You could even measure the number of unique over an entire year – which by the way will be an option for SiteMeter members in an upcoming new phase release. Of course there are limitations to this form of measuring traffic, not the least of which is people who disable cookies.

Our current method does not depend on Cookies to track visitor length, but like the cookie method does have inherent limitations. If a person visits a site and their initial record is cycled out of the visit details database (DB) before 30 minutes, they would be considered a new visit if they returned to the site, or if they were still on the site and clicked on another page. A site that cycles through its visitors quickly may not have reliable visit length data for the same reason.

However, it should be noted that the “Recent Visitors – By Details” report does not directly represent what is occurring in the DB. This report simply provides a sorted report of visitors to your site by visit time. These visitor records are updated as they move through the sorted By Details report. New arrivals normally appear in position 1 and slide down the report as newer visitors arrive.

What is actually happening in the DB is different than what you see in the By Details sorted report. In the DB new arrivals to your site are typically entered in the first line of DB. If a Visitor already in this DB record takes another action within your site they are moved to the top of the list. So the actual DB is sorted by Most Recent activity. Those who have not been active are eventually shifted to the bottom of the list and then purged.

In theory, someone sitting on a page of your site with a browser set to automatically refresh every five minutes would move to the top of the DB table every five minutes and would never drop off the list. The other thing to remember is that you are only considered a new Visit if your Last Activity was more than 30 minutes ago.

So, for a site with very high levels of Visit traffic it’s possible that a DB limited to approx 100 records would not contain enough entries to hold new visits and current visitor activity. In some cases this could result in current visits being dropped from the DB and then counted as new visits.

SiteMeter offers the option of having a larger visitor detail records with our Premium Account, which would resolve this issue. To those sites expecting large traffic volumes we recommend the Premium SiteMeter account.

As mentioned, in the coming months we’ll be launching a complete new site with new features, data points, and reports, which will include both our Current Visit methodology and the cookie base Unique Visitor counts. This will give our customers the option of examining both types of data.

Sincerely,
The SiteMeter Team