Monthly Archives: September 2009

Web Analytics, User-Agent and Google Wave Frame

Looks like Google broke the seal today on the Google Wave Frame project. Google has released Google Wave Frame for Internet Explorer, which brings the Chrome browser to Explorer 6/7/8. Basically, users can use Wave Frame plugin to run Chrome inside Internet Explorer.

As a marketer (or a developer), you better start thinking about the impact that this will have on your analytics. It is actually one of the easiest  way to identify and segment your early technology adopters from your standard visitors.  To identify these users, you can leverage the user agent string. Visitors with Google Wave Frame will generate the standard user agent string for Internet Explorer except that you’ll see an the addition of the word chromeframe.

Now granted, adoption for Google Wave Frame is not going to skyrocket overnight so don’t expect a flood of Wave Frame visitors. Considering the impact of Google Chrome (last time I checked with some of our clients at Engauge, Chrome adoption is barely scratching the surface), it will take a while before it will crack the top 6 browser used on your website ceiling. Nonetheless, start paying attention to your analytics report because web analytics tools will likely get this one wrong for the next few weeks.

Adobe unveils Flash application distribution and tracking; web analytics to play a central role in solution

adobeflashplayer_20081016092122Last week, Adobe announced that it intended to acquire Omniture for $1.8 Billion. While many analysts were confused about the benefit of such an acquisition, I explained in a blog post how the Omniture acquisition can improve Adobe’s revenue and provide marketers with simple tracking of online advertising initiatives. In my closing remarks, I explained that Marketers were already accustomed to tracking user behavior on their website and that they were eager to extend that functionality to Flash. It seemed to me that Adobe was planning to leverage Omniture to satisfy this need.

And this morning I found out my thought on user behavior measurement in Flash is one step closer to becoming a reality: Adobe just announced the availability of a Flash distribution service via a partnership with Gigya. As part of this agreement, Flash developers now can easily embed social networking sharing capabilities and user tracking into Flash applications, thus widening audience reach.

As part of the announcement, Adobe has unveiled a platform called Distribution Manager that allows developers to tag their application and track users. With Distribution Manager, Flash developers can review reports on user engagement by campaigns, a feature that is already found in Omniture. While Adobe has not specified that Omniture is used behind the scenes to power this solution, there’s nothing that’s stopping Adobe from leveraging Omniture’s platform in delivering these capabilities. At the very least, Omniture can leverage the insights from Adobe’s platform to fine tune their social media offering, which may include reporting on social behaviors such as emails sent from the application, stickiness or viral grabs.

This strategy clearly sets up Adobe and Omniture to become more relevant in the market place.

Thankgoodness the iPhone is no BlackBerry

I am quickly learning that I can’t live without my Apple.

apple-iphone-keyboardI recently broke down and purchased an iPhone 3GS . I resisted to become enslaved to another electronic leash. For those that don’t know what I mean, it is the nickname for the BlackBerry that I carried for almost two years in my prior job. I saw it as a leash because of the blinking red light. For the uninitiated, it is the indicator light on a BlackBerry for new email messages. Like many others hip carrying users, I initially fell in love with my BlackBerry device because it allowed me to peak at my inbox. The pain of spending 5 minutes waiting on my laptop to reawaken from standby, log into the corporate network and fire up Outlook went away with a BlackBerry. But before I knew it, I was trained like Pavlov’s dog to look for the blinking red light. It was a vice that I was glad to be rid of for good, or so I thought.

As I debated the purchase, I wondered if my crackberry habit of checking my email would resurface. I knew that I was somewhat safe because Apple didn’t put an indicator at the top of their iPhone. Also, the iPhone has an option to turn off the sounds when a new message arrives in the inbox. It was amazing how I could be in control — I could set aside time to look at emails instead of stopping whatever it is that i was doing and rushing to my device to look who wrote me or what blew up (if there’s an emergency, they can always call!).

So at this point, I’m only a few days into this “experiment” but I’m already realizing why so many people are fans of the Apple brand. It managed to be totally focused on serving consumers like me.