Watchingyou

20060104120

I use ShortStat to get an idea of how much and what traffic comes through here. This is probably something I should have realized much sooner (and no doubt perfected by others already), but I was working on a function to display a count of the most recent resources requested and realized that by querying the database grouped by IP address, one could output the journey a particular user took through the site on any given visit.

The data needed to accomplish this is gathered by ShortStat on every page request it is included on: remote IP, time and requested resource. So if someone were to hit the homepage, follow a link to a post page, then the archive, then another post, these would each be logged. Sorting by IP address, I can see what pages that a machine requested. Referencing the time, I can get the order of requests. Also, if that IP were to view three pages yesterday and four today, I not only can distinguish those visits but also get an idea of how much time was spent on each page and the entire visit.

I’ve just been messing with queries to the database, but it seems like a useful addition. There might be a bit more to it functionally as far as integrating it nicely with the rest ShortStat. Or maybe I should just have a mint.

While on the topic of ShortStat, I’ve updated my install to not track requests from crawlers/search engines. This site doesn’t get much traffic and seeing as about 40% of its requests are coming from search engines, not logging them has helped keep the rest of the stats a bit more on track. Just that now the numbers are even more depressing.


Skateboards and bikes are better at nights

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