TwitPolls: Engage Your Twitter Community With Polls

twitpolls-mascotTwitpolls is the latest offering from WayIn, a startup from the Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy. The polling service recently got funded and extended its service to provide a polling system meant for Twitter. A startup trend unexploited for so long and with great chances to be another popular service that has grown around Twitter.

twitpolls

You have a question to ask to your followers, click the Create Poll button and you are taken to a page where you can type in the question and then the answers which will be added to the tweet as hashtags. Plain and simple, the tweet can then be replied to by any of your followers with the hashtag as an answer. Since your community does not need to leave the comfort of Twitter, it increases the chances of getting an answer to your question. This is also quite mobile-friendly which undoubtedly is the need of the day.

The new tool opens up an opportunity for brands to gauge real user insights about their brand, products or happenings. This in turn will help them get into their customers’ shoes and get a view of what they adore and what they detest. The seamless integration with Twitter makes it better to respond for any Twitter user.

There are other tools that serves a similar purpose but they aren’t as end-to-end tied with Twitter. The service developers are working with the Twitter hashtags to track the answers and so far the polls are working just fine. However the service has the even bigger task of making it useful for big brands before it can make the term a regular in daily Twitter buzz. So are you going to use the new Twitpolls next time you wish to ask a question to your Twitter community.

Google Analytics Adds Realtime Tracking and Premium Accounts

has definitely been one of the best services to track your website visitors. However, it has been lacking a key feature that most of its competitors like Woopra and Reinvigorate have been offering for a while now; Realtime tracking.

Realtime user tracking is a very important feature for any webmaster who wants to track campaigns in realtime without having to wait. This helps users to make business decisions quickly if something is not working. Unfortunately, prior to today, Google never had this feature.

google_analytics_realtime

However, that is about to change because Google has announced a new feature for Analytics which will help you track your visitors in realtime and make business decisions quickly. The new feature in Google Analytics will allow users to track how many visitors are currently visiting the site, how many users have visited in the last few minutes as well as the number of visitors visiting your website every second.

Additionally, Google Analytics will also display the source for traffic and the keywords users are using and the geographic locations they are visiting from. As a webmaster, this is a pretty cool feature since I can now just use Google Analytics instead of using other realtime analytics tracking services.

Google has definitely been ramping up their analytic services with the introduction of Google Analytics 5 which brought about a new UI, dashboard, widgets and more. Additionally, Google has also been adding some neat features to Google Analytics like heatmaps and in-page analytics among other things.

The biggest advantage of Google Analytics is that is is completely free unlike it’s competitors. However, they are now introducing a new set of premium features which users can signup and use. The new Google Analytics Premium service is targeted at business users who want in-depth data about their users and the ability to quickly make business decisions.

Some of the key features of Google Analytics Premium include:

  • Extra processing power – increased data collection, more custom variables and downloadable, unsampled reports
  • Advanced analysis – attribution modeling tools that allow you to test different models for assigning credit to conversions
  • Service and support – experts to guide customized installation, and dedicated account management on call – all backed by 24/7 support
  • Guarantees – service level agreements for data collection, processing and reporting

Users can request access to premium accounts by visiting the Google Analytics Premium homepage. Realtime Google Analytics is being gradually rolled out to all users, however, you will have to use the new Google Analytics interface to have access to it. Additionally, only Analytics administrators will have access to Realtime Google Analytics.

If you don’t see the Realtime Google Analytics in your account. You can request for access to the service by filling up this form. Please note that Google Analytics will continue to remain free for webmasters including the new Realtime Google Analytics feature.

I am definitely loving the new Realtime Analytics features as it allows me to track campaigns and also understand where our traffic is coming from. Do you have access to the new Realtime Google Analytics? What do you think about it?

Bing Webmaster Tools Integrate Yahoo Data

The Bing Webmaster team has announced the integration of Yahoo traffic data into Bing Webmaster Tools reports. Bing Webmaster Tools will now be showing integrated data from Yahoo within certain areas and reports. At this time the data will be combined, not selectable. The transition happens in August, although September will be the first full month of combined data.
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Bing Webmaster Tools help site owners to drive more visitors to their site using Bing data on search queries, crawling, and search traffic.   They can see their site as Bing does, optimize for search, share site information with Bing, and view a comprehensive list of sites that are linking to their site.

In Bing Webmaster Tools, the Traffic summary report and Page Traffic reports will be impacted, although no actual rankings will be affected by the combining of data within Bing webmaster Tools. On these pages, both Bing and Yahoo! logos will appear above the graphs.

  1. Impressions will go up based on combined data numbers across both search engines
  2. Clicks will go up based on combined data numbers
  3. Click Through Rates (CTR) as appropriate for above (change only due to the mathematics involved in the first two items)

Google Introduces Heatmap Like In-Page Analytics

Google today introduced a new feature in their Analytics software called In-Page Analytics. As the name suggests, In-Page Analytics will display heatmap click reports for your content.

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In-Page Analytics is nothing but a heatmap in disguise, which will show you which content the users are clicking on. Though it is not an actual heatmap as produced by web analytics software like Crazy Egg and Reinvigorate, it will definitely help webmasters to understand their users and make changes to their content accordingly.

In addition to telling you where users are clicking, the in-page analytics also gives you detailed analysis about number of clicks, goals etc. This is definitely a useful feature for webmasters to understand which areas of their website is underperforming and make changes accordingly.

In-Page Analytics is currently in beta, and is available under "Content" in the sidebar. If you are looking to dive into the In-Page Analytics, take a look at the video below to understand how it works.

More info at the Google Analytics Blog.

How To Disable Google Analytics

Recently we got a query from one of our users who asked us on how they can delete their information from Google Analytics. Though it is not usually possible for people to do it, we wanted to give everyone a general idea on how you can disable or block Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a website tracking software which can track your IP address, browser information, operating system, country and more when you visit a website. This information is usually available with both Google and also with the website you visit.

Google Analytics Logo

Google Analytics is not the only one who collects such information and several websites may use different analytics software to do it, and may also have their own internal tracking. Disabling analytics cannot be done through a simple JavaScript block since many website analytics software also use image tracking.

Most of the analytics software do not provide end-users with a way to opt-out. However, Google does provide users with an option to disable Google Analytics using browser based add-ons for Firefox, IE and . We had written about the Google Analytics Blocker in the past and you can download the add-on for your own browser by visiting this URL.

Once you install this add-on Google Analytics will no longer track your visits to websites which make use of their service. We will keep an eye for other services which disable analytics for other services and let you know once we come across something.

India 2nd Largest Contributor Towards Internet Spam

India is no doubt a great technology hub, but along with that it also has a dubious distinction of being the second largest contributor towards internet spam.

India Spam Messages Share in Jan and Feb 2010

In a recent report released by Panda Security, which analyzed over 5 million spam messages generated in January and February 2010, Brazil, India, Korea, Vietnam and USA were the 5 biggest culprits for generating the spam messages. Brazil accounted for 13.76% of the spam messages, followed by India with 10.98% spam messages.

The study further said that over 1 million IP addresses were used to send out the email messages, with an average of 5 messages per IP. Almost 86000 Indian IP addresses were used to send out the spam messages.

Among cities Seoul, Korea was the worst offender followed by Hanoi. In India, New Delhi (which was 3rd overall) came before Bombay and Hyderabad. These cities have a large internet penetration.

Being the 2nd largest contributor towards span is definitely a crown India would like to shed, however, curtailing spam is not easy considering that there are any strict cyberlaws in India with regards to email messages and spam.

It would be good if India could implement a CAN-SPAM Act which is widely used in the US, and fine users for sending out unsolicited emails.

Wappalyzer Reveals What Software a Blog or Website is Using

If you are curious to know what software a blog or website is using, Wappalyzer can be useful. It is a Firefox addon that can reveal the software that is being used in the webpage.

In addition to Content management systems (e.g WordPress, Blogger, Typepad etc), Wappalyzer can also detect other web applications and JavaScript codes.

Install the addon and restart your Firefox. Now just browse to a website or a blog and you will see all the applications, software or frameworks the site is using in the Firefox status bar.

Wappalyzer-status

You can configure the add-on by right clicking the magnifyicon placed in the extreme right of your Firefox status bar. The options panel let’s you do the following two settings:

  • Retrieve the Wappalyzer information on mouse click or automatically when the page completes loading.
  • Set Wappalyzer to show the names of installed components as a tooltip or on mouse hover.

Wappalyzer-options

Want to try out Wappalyzer in other browsers? Try the experimental bookmarklet here.

Techie-Buzz Verdict

Wappalyzer is a nice little addon for Firefox without any bells and whistles. It can be used to quickly find out what software and frameworks a site is using without having to look at the source code.

Techie-Buzz rating: 3/5 (average).

Create a Visual Attention Heatmap of Your Blog Using Feng-GUI

A heat map is a graphical representation of data where the values taken by a variable in a two-dimensional map are represented as colors. A heatmap can be used to analyze reader interaction in your blog or website. It can be used to find out which areas your readers are looking at and which areas they are ignoring.

There are several heatmap tools available, among which, Crazyegg is a really popular service. But if you want to just know how visitors would react in your blog for free, try Feng GUI. It is a free service that can create a visual heatmap of your website or blog.

How to use Feng-GUI

To create the heatmap using Feng-GUI, all you need is a full screen image of your website. The image should be less than 1 mb and can be either in jpg or png formats.

Browse to the homepage and upload your website’s image. After that, click heatmap and you will see the heatmap of your website. Following is the heatmap of Techie-Buzz blog

techie-buzz-fenggui

That’s looks cool but what do all those colors, circles and lines actually mean ? How can you get benefited from this heatmap ? Let’s find out.

How does it work?

According to the Fen-GUI website, the heatmap is a result of several algorithms from neuro-science studies of Natural Vision Processing, Computational Attention, eye-tracking sessions, perception and cognition of humans.

The number shows how the visitor’s eye moves while he is reading a page in your blog. The color is a measure of the person’s interest and focus. The interest intensity increases from Blue to Green and finally ends in Red. If the color is Blue then the visitor is not really looking at the particular area and if the color is Red then the visitor is attracted. The size of the circles show the area of the focus.

How is the Heatmap useful?

In short, the visual heatmap can be really useful in a number of ways. It let’s you:

  • instantly generate a heatmap of your site for free.
  • create a heatmap without any registrations or sign-ups.
  • quickly find which areas of your site reader’s are looking at.
  • save the heatmap in your computer.

You can watch for trends and how your reader’s are changing by comparing two heatmaps of your blog taken at different time periods. If you want more features, then you need to sign up for a premium account. You can read the faq here.

Techie-Buzz verdict

The tool is fair enough, since it’s free, but the reliability and accuracy may be a question. However, if you want a quick grasp of your website’s heatmap without needing any sign-ups, Feng-GUI is okay. The only downside is that you can upload only one image in a time span of 5 hours.

Techie Buzz Rating:
2/5 (Average)

How Much Time do You Spend on Facebook? [Polls]

Earlier today, we wrote about a really startling statistics, where users spend a total of 8 billion minutes on the social networking site, everyday. According to our calculations each user must be spending around 30-35 minutes on an average.

funny_facebook_guy

It would be fun to know how much time our readers spend on Facebook, so here is a short poll to find it out.

We will sum up the results and update the post in the next few days. Your vote will be totally anonymous, so don’t hesitate to vote up.

Looking for tools to measure the time you spend on different websites and applications? Try out a free desktop time management software or some to see how much time you spend on different websites.

How Is Bounce Rate Calculated in Analytics?

If you have been using a web analytics service to track visitors on your website, you might have noticed an attribute called Bounce Rate. Bounce Rate basically tells you how many users visited your website and left immediately.

However, don’t take that as a full-fledged definition. The Google Analytics blog had a rapid fire question and answer session, where they answered several questions, including:

  • How is bounce rate calculated
  • Effect of search bots on data collection
  • Finding a benchmarking category for sites that don’t fit into any particular benchmark category
  • What is the best way to identify landing pages with high bounce rate
  • How to find new keywords to improve content performance
  • Effects of private browsing and incognito mode on data collection

Watch the video below to find answers on how bounce rate is calculated in analytics, and the other questions discussed in the session.

Visit our section to find more handy and useful tips, which will help you to manage your blog/website better.

Rapid Fire Web Analytics Q and A [Official Google Analytics Blog]