Category Archives: Tech

Analyt-oops: Send it back to Beta

For perhaps the first time, Google has been a victim of its own success and basically failed a product launch. Last week, they released Google Analytics, without the word “Beta” or any invite-only system in place. Like the other 200,000+ web site owners, I signed up and added the code to track my site stats. It politely informed me that the data would be collected and processed within 12 hours. More than a week later… nothing. Other people have reported varying degrees of success, but Google has now closed new signups and is still struggling to deal with the numbers. As they now say in their modified messaging when I log in:

The demand for Google Analytics surpassed even our highest expectations and as a result some customers may temporarily experience report-update delays. All data continues to be collected and no data has been lost. We are currently adding resources to ensure high-quality service. We apologize for any inconvenience.

If the enormously popular Google can’t even predict the success of one of their products (when every previous product has had fanatical following), then I would start to seriously wonder about Google’s sense of a larger vision. Or maybe Google should be a little more careful when rebranding and relaunching one of their acquisitions.

On that long-term vision note, last week’s article from Cringely, on Google’s fiber and data plans was quite interesting. Maybe they should have waited to have that infrastructure in place, before they decided to start processing traffic data for hundreds of thousands of websites. In the case of a stumble like this, we might see more people heading towards the smaller Mint or Measure Map.

And then there’s the question of what Google might do with all the Analytics data it collects. The obvious choice is to start tweaking it’s pagerank algorithms to give us better search results than ever. I have’t read the TOS closely, but I’m sure that option is in there. For that reason, I don’t think many large web companies will spring for the Analytics option, since it’s just too much information to be giving to a potential competitor. And right now, Google has poised itself to be a potential competitor to just about everything on the web.

Or, maybe you’re just tired of searching the web without getting anything back? Well, here’s an odd one: Blingo is a repackaging of Google’s search, but they offer up the chance at prizes with every search you make. Pyramid-scheme goodness, without any drawbacks?

Recent Diversions

Television: I’m telling you, Lost really is as good as people say. I only started watching at the very end of the first season and into the second, but I’m now back at the beginning playing catch up. So good, but yes the compounding twist-with-no-payoff gets a little frustrating.

Make: Two great features in the current issue of Make magazine: Circuit Bending and VJing 101 (unfortunately no articles, just external reference links available online)

Apple: I ordered a highly discounted last-rev 15″ PowerBook 1.67 ghz as a nice step up from my aging 12″ (which I’ll probably sell off). This should tide me over for another year or two before I dive in and break the bank for a swanky new Intel-powered Mac desktop. I wonder if they’ll have 30″ iMac’s by then.

Music: Finally got around to borrowing a copy of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and had one of those, “So that’s who this is!” moments, since I’d been hearing them on KEXP a ton in the past month. Highly recommended.

Tomorrow: Is World Usability Day! Celebrate by, um… using something.