August of 2014
Hey Friend of Jeffalytics!
In the United States we are about to begin a long weekend. Some of you will be spending it away from the computer with family and friends, while others will be getting caught up. Those of you outside of the states are probably laughing at how few holidays we are allowed.
For those of you who are looking for some good reads over the next few days, here are some of my favorite articles from August. We have some great tools to highlight and some fascinating articles about digital marketing and beyond.
Now that I am finally settled into my new home in San Francsico, I’m spending this weekend exploring the surrounding area. As soon as I hit the send button for this newsletter, I will be on my way to explore and hike the Point Reyes national seashore. The rest of the weekend will involve wine tastings and great food throughout the Napa and Sonoma valleys. Hopefully I will have time to knock down some of my reading list as well, because September is just around the corner!
Analytics Tool Watch
Here are some analytics tools that I have come across since we last spoke. Some of these are startups, while others have been around for years. By linking in this newsletter I am not personally endorsing these tools.
- Semalt Crawler Opt-Out (semalt.com) – Did you notice how your GA reports now have semalt.com as a top traffic source? It’s bot traffic and it’s inflating your numbers. BLOCK IT.
- Analytics Debugger (analytics-debugger.com) – There are some truly brilliant and selfless people out there. The founder of Analytics Debugger is one of those people, so give it a try!
- Hotjar Insights (hotjar.com) – This tool hasn’t even been released and I find myself in full anticipation mode. Sign up for the beta before September 1.
- Dashboard Course (annielytics.com) – I have not personally taken this course, and it sort of competes with my own initiatives… but I am sharing anyway. It’s all about the learning.
More Cool Tools and Startups
All Analytics and no play makes Jeff a dull boy. Here are some interesting business startups and tools that I have recently come across that I thought you might enjoy.
- Slack (slack.com) – OMG I love this tool. It’s the connective tissue between everything you do on the professional web. It keeps history of everything you do and unites teams.
- Trello (trello.com) – A project management tool many of us have used for years. When connected to Slack? Magic happens.
- Dropbox (dropbox.com) – In honor of their 10x storage increase, I am giving a shout-out to my favorite backup tool. Now back up everything!
Thought Provoking Articles and Guides
Some light reading for your holiday weekend!
- What Do Chinese Dumplings Have to Do With Global Warming? by Nicola Twilley – Many parallels between current China and post-war American industrialization.
- Making A Behaviour Flow Cosmograph by Analytics Edge – Create beautiful graphics in Excel using your analytics data. Conquer the world.
- Look at what two years on Mars did to the Curiosity Rover by Sean O’Kane (@sokane1) – tl;dr – It’s Dirty.
- Migrating to Universal Analytics Using Google Tag Manager by Yehoshua Coren – This is so detailed and awesome that I consider it a must-read. Yehoshua is a boss.
- Using Tableau and Google Analytics to Build Beautiful, Useful Maps by Connie Rock (@conrock_media) – I used to spend hours searching for ways to create pretty maps of my data. Then came Tableau.
- Getting started with drones by Paul Stamatiou (@Stammy) – I thought that this article was going to be like 200 words and it turned out to be the most complete and detailed article I could have imagined on the topic of Drones. It will literally cost you thousands of dollars to read it, because you will need to buy like 5 new drones.
- Why do we have blood types? by Carl Zimmer – Read this to feel smart.
- Tools and Tips for Debugging Google Analytics Like a Pro by Nico Miceli (@nicomiceli) – Some good information in here. Be sure to read the comments for more suggestions as well.
- An Adventure in the Low Status of Software Engineers by Michael O. Church (@MichaelOChurch) – There is a lesson in this article that is probably the single most important thing I read in the past month. It explains why politics happen in an organization and how this translates into status, and how those of us who are “doers” lose when this happens. Must read if you are in a “production” role.
- I can afford the choice of not working full time—it took two decades of planning and discipline by Mohit Satyanand – Good advice on long term financial planning/outlook.
- A Timelapse Tour of North Korea Like You’ve Never Seen by JT Singh – Incredible 3 minute video.
- Why is Einstein the Poster Boy for Genius? by Matthew Francis (@DrMRFrancis) – I don’t know, Einstein, why is he?
- I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days. Here’s What It Did to Me by Mat Honan (@mat) – Gross.
- Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League by William Deresiewicz – Presented without comment.
- Digital Dashboards: Strategic & Tactical: Best Practices, Tips, Examples by Avinash Kaushik (@avinash) – I could link to Avinash 1-2 times a month and call it a day… but I want to reserve the link love for my favorite pieces at Occam’s Razor. This was one of those.
Popular articles by Jeffalytics
Continuing with the theme of having more ideas than time to execute them, I once again turned in a sub-par month of publishing at Jeffalytics. Just one article was posted, a 2,000 word opus calling for search marketers/analytics to be more strategic with how they think about their world. What do you think about this type of content?
My monthly advice column was about how if you say yes to everything, good things will happen. I firmly believe that this is the case, as it has opened countless doors for my career. In addition to these blog posts, I have been working on an auto-responder sequence for new signups at Knowledge Land. I love how it’s coming together. If one email isn’t enough for me, sign up at Knowledge Land(free) and we’ll be talking to each other much more often!