18 Exploring Connections

Exercises

Web sites

  1. Use Yahoo Site Explorer to investigate the structure of one of the big sites that you are working with on your term project. See if you can find something on it that you didn't know existed.
  2. Use Yahoo SiteExplorer and Google (the link tag combined with the site tag) to see if you can find some sites that link to some of your more important sites (again, to see if you can find some sites that you might have been missing). This is a powerful tool for finding new and useful sites.

Exploring blog connections

Working with your top three favorite blogs (personal, corporate, or traditional media) for each of your term projects, use Bloglines to do the following. These exercises are meant to help you discover other blogs that you might want to read, cite, or take note of for your projects.

  1. Search for posts that cite it
    • Be sure to check out the matching feeds and matching news on the right side of the screen
  2. Search for feeds that cite it
  3. Search for citations
  4. Search the Web for it

Use Technorati to find the following:

  1. Find current citations related to the blog posts
  2. Find out everything that is known related to that blog
    • Check out the blog reactions (sort by authority)
    • Check out the set of tags under 'Top Tags'; click on one or two to see what it gets you

You might want to do the above exercises within [*blogsearch.google.com/ Google Blog Search].

Again, the point of the previous exercises is to possibly find relevant blogs that you didn't already know about.

How do people find your site

What you will want to do, once your site is made public, is watch the traffic that comes to your site. You'll want to see how many people visit your site. You'll want to see how they actually ended up at your site — was it through a search at Google, or was it by a link from another site? And then how many pages does that average user visit at your site? These and many other questions can be answered by Google Analytics. In the following we're going to set up an account at Google Analytics, and we're going to set it up so that GA will collect information about your site once it is made public.

  1. Go to Google Analytics
  2. Sign up for an account at Google Analytics
  3. Click on “Add Website Profile”
    • Radio button: “Add a profile for a new domain”
    • URL: YOURSITENAME.wikidot.com
    • Time zone country: United States
    • Time zone: (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time
  4. At the top of the page, under “Tracking Status Information”, you should notice a “Web Property ID” — this is the information you need. UA-xxxxxxx-x
    • Highlight the whole ID, and copy it to the computer's memory
    • You can ignore all of the instructions on this page
  5. Go to your wiki
  6. Click on “Site Manager” in the left menu
  7. Click on “3rd party tools” in the left menu
  8. Click on “Google Analytics” in the left menu
    • Paste the “Web Property ID” that you copied above into the field “Profile key”
    • Select the check box “Use Google Analytics”
    • Click on the “save changes” button

Nothing is going to happen now. Your site isn't even public! However, later, once you have made your site public, you will be able to monitor the traffic that comes to your site.

Popular blogs

The following is not really related to the all of these other topics and exercises; however, there really isn't any other place that I can put it, and I wanted you to know about these resources.

Be sure to check out the most popular blogs as determined by the following organizations. The point of this is to ensure that you're not leaving out one of the big players in your term project.

  1. Technorati
    • Sort by both “authority” and “number of fans”
  2. Bloglines Top 1000
  3. Times Online ``The 50 best business blogs''
  4. Techmeme Leaderboard — “Sources are ranked by Presence, the percentage of headline space a source occupies over the 30-day period. "Discussion" links are not taken in to consideration here — only full headlines are counted.”
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