Sunday, September 24, 2006

Skewing the Data

Wow, as I am learning more and more about blogging and the different toys you can play with, I am discovering more ways I can mess up! How about that!

Sometimes in my Internet travels I'll suddenly discover a whole bunch of sites that I really want to explore. Now, I may or may not have unlimited time available right that second to explore the site as fully as I would like. And, because my slippery little brain doesn't always like to hold on to things as it should (being far more occupied with remembering embarassing incidents from high school, say), I don't trust it to remember that there was this really cool site I wanted to check out. And I don't always remember that there's this little thing called *bookmarking* so I could conceivably go back to the site later. Or sometimes I remember, but I'm not really sure yet that I want to bestow the honor of a bookmark on this site yet. ;)

Regardless, what ends up happening is that I'll stay on this one site for awhile. Sometimes I'll read a page, take a little break, go back, read another page, go clean the entire house, come back, read another page, open another window, work on something else for awhile, etc etc. As a result, I've been known to have the same page up on my computer for DAYS.

So now that I have this blog and I'm looking around at the neat little add-ons, I'm discovering that there are ways to track not only how many people come to your site, but how long they stay there.


There are reports out there that I have messed up. An innocent blogger will be checking their data, see oh, say, nine new visitors....average stay......97hours. Because ONE of those visitors (*coughcough*) stayed on the page for a week.

Now, this is not to be mistaken with the times that I have KNOWN I was skewing data. Like the time I had a medical case review and the idiots screwed up and sent me to an office two hours away for an 8 am meeting which I arrived at early and waited patiently for 45 minutes only to be told that the interviewer was waiting for me at the building IN THE TOWN I CAME FROM. (The papers clearly said the town two hours away. Not only the initial paper, but the CONFIRMATION paper.) So they apologized (rather unapologetically, actually) and rescheduled me for that afternoon BACK in the town I came from, and then (evil laugh here) after it was over gave me a FEEDBACK FORM. Which included a question : How long did you have to wait for your appointment? This, I'm sure, usually gets an answer like 'five minutes' or something. Mine said SIX HOURS AND FORTY FIVE MINUTES. *There's* a report that'll catch an eye.

At any rate, if I've frigged up a page-view report for you, I'm sorry. (although now that I think of it, I'm sure there are other idiots out there like me, so really, one should only take these reports with a grain of salt anyway....but I am still sorry to be one of the idiots who has messed up YOURS.) mk

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