February 18, 2010
Yesterday I posted a Twitter message about how my recurring addiction to campaign analytics was causing me a measure of personal distress. Addiction is not the sort of thing one wants to talk about in public. In most circumstances, addictions are highly debilitating. It's pretty easy to spot the addiction when you find yourself referring to referral stats three to six times per minute. For what it's worth, I haven't checked stats at all since I began this paragraph. 'scuse me for a sec... OK. Thanks for your patience. In case you were wondering, I just had to check a few numbers and found I am pretty happy with them. A new wave of Tweets was issued a few minutes ago and several outstanding members of our small legion of followers have taken the time to reTweet them. That happy circumstance confirmed, I can feel my heart rate receding back to its normal rate of 60 someodd beats per minute. I am resisting the urge to look at the landing page stats until our team-meeting later today. Having people around me when I look should serve to dampen my pie-eyed child-at-Christmas reaction to numbers. I am a mature professional web marketer and I can exercise self-control when I need... I need. hmmmm. OK, 'scuse me. BRB. What most surprised me yesterday about what could only be interpreter by my followers as a Tweet for Help was how many respondents actually sympathized with me. I figured they would despise me for morphing into the low-down stats addict I seem to have become. It seems they too are statistically addicted to campaign stats and they gleefully reached out to my message about campaign stat addiction (at least, according to my stats). Informed minds love company it seems. In rare cases, such as with the late journalist Hunter S. Thompson, embracing our addictions can be a path to success. For web marketers, knowing who is doing what, when and where, and then being able to ascribe correct values to the next questions, why and how is critical. For instance, I am pleased to know that nearly 70% of those who have responded to our Tweets live in the United States. Another 8% live in Canada. Those are the folks most likely to buy the service we're selling. Furthermore, I have happily created spreadsheet after spreadsheet detailing data about what times draw the greatest response and which messages prompt the most action. My brain is practically salivating at the thought of gathering enough data to start creating line graphs. mmmmmm..... line graphs make the world a better place. Unfortunately, I can't expect to have enough data to make a remotely useful or even interesting line graph a few more days. There's something to look forward to thought the prospect of a weekend suffering delayed satisfaction syndrome is daunting. It's ok. In the words of the great Hunter S. Thompson, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." I'm already a pro. I can deal with any weirdness thrown at me by my lack of useful line graphs. I'll have enough data soon enough. Until then, I can satisfy my urges with little peaks at the raw numbers. Just a short glance, mind you. I do have real work to do. Increasingly, our society is rightly starting to view addiction as a disease rather than a personal weakness. To tell the truth, I don't really feel much dis-ease when I comb through campaign stats. I feel rather good actually. It's the obsession I have an issue with. Perhaps that sort of obsessiveness is useful to my employers. They seem to think it is at any rate. But it is a relatively beautiful day here and I am spending way too much of what could otherwise be free time examining stats. At least they're good ones.