Most communities have jargon. Buried within that jargon are all the biases, beliefs and worldview that are held by that community. (This can be referred to as a paradigm.) The web analytics community is no exception. The terms ‘analytics’, ‘optimization’, ‘engagement’, ‘unique’, ‘pageviews’, ‘funnel’, ‘A/B Test Split Test’, ‘personalization’, and ‘filter’ all have their own baggage that anybody outside the community might not fully understand. Sometimes people get into disagreements over definitions in an effort to gain specificity. These activities are really quite important. An outsider might be mystified by why such disagreements become so heated. That’s because sometimes the real fight is over the paradigm or some feature of the paradigm. (For instance, the fighting over the term ‘unique’[…]

Friday will be my last day at Critical Mass. There are implications for what is written in this space. For one, there was a large body of material that I simply self-censored. This will change. For two, I’m anticipating that post volume will go up, at least in the short-run until I’m gradually consumed by this next role. Much doesn’t change. You can expect the same length of posts and the occasional rants and use of images. The subject matter will probably continue to focus on the meta and larger social issues around analytics. Most of the relentless plugs for the Web Analytics Association, Web Analytics Wednesday, and TDMF will persist. As for the next challenge: I’m pretty excited. My[…]

Eric Peterson wrote yesterday about the coming revolution in web analytics. It’s worth a read and it sparked off a lengthy twitter exchange. I think we have a huge talent supply problem in the web analytics industry. Web analysts are very specialized in terms of their understanding of the Internet, websites, tracking technologies and reporting methodologies. And necessarily so. There really aren’t that many of them. Sure, there are plenty of people who have Google Analytics on their blog. And I’m glad that they do. It’s great to have so many people interested in Web Analytics. But there’s a gap between the interpretation and the turning of that data into actionable insight. In fact, many of the things that look[…]

I’m on the final chapter of what has been a very difficult read: “Language and Human Behavior” by Bickerton. He tackles some very difficult concepts in a clear cut way, with frequent deep dives into certain pockets of goodness. It’s hard read because it’s very dense, and perhaps I’m not horribly familiar with the subject matter. The material in there about consciousness and the notions of On-Line thinking and Off-Line thinking are driving this post. I haven’t figured out a way of expressing the differences in one paragraph or less without Bickerton finding out and reaming me out for getting it not quite right. Into the meat of the post: I frequently draw the line between observed behavior and reported[…]

There’s a review up on the Web Analytics Association’s website on modeling the determinants of creativity in advertising. I think Smith and MacKenzie et al did a good job on the paper. The term ‘creative’ is completely loaded. After all, isn’t it all subjective? In our defense, even as web analysts, we often try to quantify the subjective all the time. The feeling thermometer and the probability map are two ways that we’ve tried to quantify feelings and prospection. Even the concept of satisfaction, when operationalized through a survey methodology, is subjective. Just because a concept is subjective doesn’t mean that we throw up our hands and walk away. Rather, we should be always trying to improve how we ask[…]

I read the first 120 pages of Joseph Carrabis’ new book “Reading Virtual Minds Volume 1” last night and polished it off this morning while sitting at the airport. The book certainly forced me to think about being really aware of being aware of how hard I was thinking. I was engaged the whole way though, and in the end, I asked “wholly shit, what just happened there?” I spent the better part of the night dreaming about it (always a sign that something upstairs is getting restructured). I’ll write about the experience without spoiling it for you. Joseph tells the story about how NeuroCognitivePsychoLingualAnthropology came to be. In spite of how long that word is, the book is very[…]

A tight group of friends will tend to overlap in terms of product adoption and preferences. Like people clump alike. I hypothesize that the social graph is partially-fractal. I use the word ‘hypothesize’ because I don’t have the technology to prove it. Moreover, at this point, I don’t think I could write the proof to prove that it’s partially-fractal. By fractal, I mean that at the most basic level, the individual with a circle of friends, they’re all alike. If you zoom out, treating each group as though it’s a person, they’re all linked together in a similar way, and if you zoom out again, treating each groups of groups…the structure is the same. In other words, the further you[…]