My township has a website I've mentioned on occasion. I post the news, take care of the calendar, post meeting minutes—housekeeping stuff. We have a lovely webmaster who put it all together for me. He teaches creative writing, websites on the side. We didn't know each other when the website project started, but have become friends over the years. I don’t indulge in messy punctuation with him, that’s for sure.
Ted (that’s his name) humors me with little tweaks that make me happy and big tweaks when I think of a good one. Like my picture page. When we put this website together, several years ago, I insisted on Google Analytics being attached. I’d seen how it gathered facts on visits to a web site, and I was impressed. And for several years I've looked at Google Analytics every December and made a little report on how many people looked, and what pages they visited. In fact, I asked for the picture page because of the annual numbers of visitors to the pictures of Boston’s Bicentennial Celebration in 2011.
For the first time in forever, I had a burning desire to look at the website’s Google Analytics before year end to see how many visits there had been to my picture page. My little brainchild that gets no help except from me, as you may recall. No one contributing, but for sure there were many curious lookers, I just knew.
Google Analytics has gone all metrics on me. Metrics! Little interlaced ribbons of sine waves. I’m mired in the playground of the children in charge. How can they understand the world not knowing the facts? When I earned my BS in accounting, metrics was one chapter of the business math course. Perhaps even a footnote in the matrix chapter. I sent a primal scream email to Ted; fix this. He answered me:
“…amidst all available metrics, I couldn't find a way to break sessions into specific page views. I’ll check again, but I can only take so many metrics before I start feeling an existential despair coming on. Metrics and algorithms – the Smart Money says that’s all that will be left of us soon. Most of GA’s metrics are ways of testing how many eyeballs are looking at which advertisements. (Once we’re all wearing Google glasses we won’t have to treat eyeballs as pairs, we’ll be able to display an ad for each eyeball, right and left. Run separate metrics for each side of the User’s head.)”
We have looked over Satchel’s shoulder; it is there; it is gaining.