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Public area => The Pub => Off-topic => Topic started by: Arantor on August 19th, 2013, 01:30 AM

Title: This is why I complain about tracking hits
Post by: Arantor on August 19th, 2013, 01:30 AM
No-one seems to understand why I complain as much as I do about the fallacy of maintaining a hit count.

Well, here's a perfect example. We have 9 users online. 2 are real, 6 are already logged as bots, the last one is... shock horror... a bot too.

Yup, that means that 77% of the users online when I just looked at not actual users. I don't think I've seen it go below 50% in the last few weeks (whenever I've been able to look)

Since we can't always keep an eye out for bots, and can't always keep the list up to date, seriously can't we just stop counting the number of online people yet? Or at the very least stop counting the records? (I still don't even want them shown to admins, to be honest, I'd rather just not track them)
Title: Re: This is why I complain about tracking hits
Post by: nolsilang on August 19th, 2013, 02:59 AM
If the board admin really want to know how many users online now they can use Google Analytics[1]. They have a section called "Real Time" in their standard report. Unless the admins have a different purpose to show how many online users in their forum,
 1. It's pretty standard now to setup Google Analytics in any of your website. If you haven't yet, at least you will get the benefits of a great web analytics tool.
Title: Re: This is why I complain about tracking hits
Post by: Dragooon on August 19th, 2013, 10:57 AM
I agree with @0x, Google Analytics will most likely be a better tracking solution than anything we can come up with. Only downside being that paranoid people will feel Big G is taking all their privacy out, but IMO they're crazy :P
Title: Re: This is why I complain about tracking hits
Post by: Nao on August 19th, 2013, 11:29 AM
Pete, you (at least) have my go-ahead to stop tracking *guests*, where they be human or bots, and just track members.
I think that this element (number of members online) is still worth tracking, at least on large communities, because it shows the commitment level over time; and if there are many guests (slashdotting etc), some of them are bound to register, and thus increase the number of online members, so as a 'relative' number, it's still working! :)
Title: Re: This is why I complain about tracking hits
Post by: Wanchope on August 31st, 2013, 08:27 AM
I agree with @Nao, forum members online are worth tracking, outside of that is not useful to me. In my current forum, I removed online list from the board index and allow tracking of members in the individual posts. Tracking of bots and guests is just a waste of server resources. If I want to analyse my traffic, I will use the best tool online - Google Analytics.
Title: Re: This is why I complain about tracking hits
Post by: Nao on August 31st, 2013, 01:57 PM
For sure.
Although, TBH with you, I'm not sure I'll remove support for guest tracking right now... I mean, I have other priorities. I expected Pete to do it, really :P
Title: Re: This is why I complain about tracking hits
Post by: colby67 on August 31st, 2013, 04:20 PM
I don't feel like removing guest tracking either(in my fork or Wedge really) since while its inaccurate, its still a useful indication of activity. Maybe you need to look at the tracking itself abit,or as suggested to word it differently, but removing it seems a unnecessary big move IMHO.
Title: Re: This is why I complain about tracking hits
Post by: Nao on August 31st, 2013, 04:29 PM
Perhaps we could track both members, and ALL IPs... That way, there's a "reliable" one, and a "relative" one.
Title: Re: This is why I complain about tracking hits
Post by: colby67 on August 31st, 2013, 04:43 PM
Yes, Its really just how you look upon it, and "relative" is exactly the right term here, as opposed to the members count which is a confirmed tracking.

If I need to track guests in detail I would use something like GA anyway.But I'd like a quick indicator if there IS really something to track down in GA - if I wanted to lol.
Title: Re: This is why I complain about tracking hits
Post by: Wanchope on September 1st, 2013, 12:01 AM
Tracking reliable ips and relative ones may not be that easy, twitter introduces new bots every now and then with each bot having it's unique ip. Just thinking if it worths all the stress.