January of 2014
Hey Friend of Jeffalytics!
This months newsletter is being written on an airplane as I make my way back to the US after spending the week in Hungary while participating in the Superweek conference. What an incredible week it was: I gave two presentations, met lots of new friends and turned an international crowd into believers of what Jeffalytics has to say. Afterwards I spent 3 nights in the city of Budapest playing the role of tourist before heading home.
Prior to the conference I had only corresponded with most of the other speakers virtually. Our relationships were strengthened as we moved beyond Google+ posts and blog comments and formed relationships that can only happen when you meet in person. While it surely sounds cliche to write this, I gained many new friends during my time in Hungary.
I walked away so inspired by the conference (my first European conference experience) that I am already thinking about doing more international events in the future. There should be more opportunities on the horizon, since about half of the crowd hailed from outside of Hungary and many were looking for an opportunity to bring a similar experience to their home country.
Sometimes in the US we work in a vacuum and don’t realize just how much awesome activity is happening beyond our borders. There was some absolutely amazing technical and analytical talent in Europe that was on full display at Superweek. So much that I came to the realization that I may never be as technically gifted as my European friends.
While many of the marketing technologies we use originated in the US, it’s often vibrant international communities that make them great.
If you want to view some of the great content presented at the Superweek conference, here is a link to a dropbox folder containing tons of resources.
Actively Improving Your Skills
I’m working on a new project idea that is in a very early stages to help with gaining valuable skills. For years I have tried to focus on one skill each year that I can improve. It could be a business skill, a life skill or both. The premise was that if I studied a topic for a year I would have more knowledge than 98% of the population for that particular area of focus. I have been doing this semi-formally for the past 10 years and it has been the single most important thing I have done to advance my career opportunities.
Analytics, public speaking, travel hacking, blogging, etc. are all skills that I have forced myself to learn over the years and I benefit from them each and every day. The best part is that after establishing a strong base of knowledge it doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep your skills fresh after you graduate from the internship.
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could benefit from learning new skills in a more formal program setting? That’s something I have been floating around lately. Let me know if you have any interest in contributing in any way.
Digital Staffing Survey
On Wednesday I will be releasing a survey that you may find of interest. I was talking with a Public Relations friend of mine and during the conversation we lamented the lack of a quality survey of people in the digital marketing/communications field that was completed without bias in some sort. Whether the publishers were seeking money for the study data or trying to promote their own agenda, I have never really trusted the data being presented. In order to provide value to the market (and some good content for our sites), we will be releasing a survey that I hope gets filled out by professionals worldwide. As a subscriber of this newsletter, you will receive an email when the blog post goest live. If you are interested in reviewing or interpreting the data we collect, let me know!
Digital Analytics Rising Star Nomination
I am honored to have been nominated for the 2014 Digital Analytics Association awards. The particular area of nomination is the Digital Analytics “Rising Star” award. If you are a member of the DAA, I would appreciate your vote! DAA Award Nominees List
University Teaching Begins Tomorrow
I talked in last month’s newsletter about teaching at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. The first class is tomorrow (January 28th) and I’m excited to see how it goes. Next month I should be far enough along in the course to share my thoughts on how it’s going so far, mistakes made and lessons learned.
Analytics Tool Watch
This section of the newsletter is dedicated to sharing some of the tools I am playing with 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.
- HubScan (hub-scan.com) – My friend Julien gave me an extended demonstration of HubScan, a tool he is working on to improve our ability to make sure we are tagging everything on our websites. This is an enterprise-class tool that helps you audit just about every aspect of your website tracking and tagging for all major analytics tools. I was simply blown away by what Julien showed me in the demo and can’t wait to try it more in depth for future client audits.
I came across some other worthy tools at the Superweek conference, but will be saving them for future months after I have the opportunity to dig deeper into their overall utility.
More Cool Tools
All Analytics and no play makes Jeff a dull boy. That’s why I like to experiment with more than just Analytics tools. Here are a few tools that have come across my radar recently. While I have not personally tried each one, they looked interesting enough to share with others.
- Typecast (typecast.com/) – Design your website around typography and readability. Rather than adding type after your website is completed, use Typecast to build your website around your words. Very cool concept!
- Share Tally (sharetally.co/) – Enter any URL into the Sharetally interface and immediately learn how many social shares the URL has received. Not only does this site provide fast results, it also provides good visuals. You may recognize it from my year end recap post. Extra special kudos for the tool because it was developed by a fellow Minnesotan Brad Knutson.
Have a tool that you think I should mention? Email me suggestions at email@example.com