Wednesday, May 9, 2007

eMetrics, web analysts and social behavior

While every other web analytics blogger seems to be talking about Google Analytics V2, I will post about something really different.

I already said how extraordinary my experience at eMetrics has been so far and all the great people I met. Then I started wondering what made this conference different from the others I attended in the past.

The Web Analytics Association

eMetrics is, in a way, the happy gathering of Web Analytics Association members, a not-for-profit organization. Of course the event organizers must cover their fees, and hopefully, make some money out of it. Great care is taken to have vendor-neutral speakers for the sessions, and except rare exceptions, the keynotes are genuinly informative rather than turning into sales pitches. The personality of Jim Sterne, the event organizer who happen to be the co-founder of the Web Analytics Association, certainly plays a big role in the "culture of eMetrics".

Infancy of the web analytics field

Ever since the first version of Mosaic was launched, parsing server logs and trying to understand what was going on has always been of interest. It was treated just like any other system log by IT until marketing really got interested. Other than the few gurus in the field, everyone is quite new to it. New comers and "old timers" have to rely on their peers to learn, evolve and innovate in a fast paced and mostly untamed world of opportunities.

Human side of web analytics

Web analytics is about understanding how human interact with an intangible thing called a website. Of course there are all those metrics, graphs and technicalities, but I think web analysts are naturally inclined to reach to their peers.

Social networking

Blogs, RSS feeds and the like creates social links long before people meet face to face. It makes it a lot easier to come up to renowned authors, practitioners and bloggers alike and talk to them. Going back just two to five years ago, this pre-event networking was barely possible, even impossible.

What do you think?