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Review: Clicky web stats shows style

Now that I’ve had a chance to poke & prod Clicky for a good few days, the data is more meaningful. If you were around on Thursday, you’ll have read the opening first installment on my review of Clicky web analytics.

The features: too much!

I know exactly how it is once you have a great idea, you feel that the one big idea isn’t enough. But what to do?

If you’re smart, you’ll surround that one big idea with lots of little ideas. If you’re smarter still, you’ll know when enough smaller ideas are in place.

Now, I’m not saying that the guys at Clicky got ahead of themselves, but they did produce something that is in places, quite repetitious.

For example: what’s the difference between Visitors, Clicks and Spy?

In real terms, Visitors don’t list the name of the actual article, but do list the number of clicks by visitor and the duration. But why aren’t the number of clicks listed under Clicks?

And then there’s Spy which is identical to Clicks, other than it has got a real-time update refresh thing built in.

For my money (and let’s face it, that’s what these guys want from me) I’d want those three options merged, or at least divided in such a way as to clearly differentiate them from one another.

Additionally, there’s Searches, which is also just a duplication of what is listed elsewhere not once or even twice, but thrice!

However, an alternate view could be taken: why not split the likes of links, searches and clicks et cetera into their own tabs?

The features: too little!

I’ve looked and I can’t find it, not anywhere. Where do I get to see outbound links?

I have stuff on my ‘blog which are ‘calls to action’, which is where I hope to prompt the visitor to do stuff, like subscribe to my news feed, add me to their favorites, to their Technorati favorites, click on adverts, not to mention clicking on the various revenue generators and widgets.

The data to which is not captured and vital knowledge goes missing.

The features: just right!

It’s not all doom & gloom for Clicky. There are features that stand out as being pretty good, mostly to be found under the Visitors tab.

Here you get the obligatory break-down statistics for browsers, operating systems, screen resolutions, countries and cities. But what you also get is a map option, too.

And this is where the fun starts.

From here, you get to indulge that penchant for voyeurism, spying on your visitors various activities as they busy themselves, scurrying around, scrutinizing your scribbled missives.

Forget the Spy option, this is where the fun is to be had.

Making good use of the mashup mentality doing the rounds recently by making solid use of Google Maps to show your visitors from around the world.

You’ve got Map, Satellite and Hybrid buttons, as well as the zoom options, all there to keep you clicking & dragging to your hearts content.

However, click on the salmon pink inverted teardrop buttons and you get a dialog box giving you a brief description about that person. Click on the View Session link and things take on a very different complexion.

I suspect this was the big idea that Clicky was built around, but then sort of got marginalized by the more mundane, common-or-garden-variety ‘vanilla’ features that would be marketeers and ‘bloggers might spend more time pawing over.

Which is a shame, really.

So on the Visitor Detail page, you’re giving a very neat and rather comprehensive break-down of what that did, has but sadly lacking is more about what they’ve done.

You can see what articles they’ve read, but that’s it. You can’t see where they went.

What would be nice is if we could see ‘weighted’ dots like in Google Analytics. That way, I could focus my attention on the heavier viewers, which would be a little more helpful.


There’s a lot to like about Clicky, but to be perfectly honest, there’s not quite enough to warrant the fee:

“The price is very reasonable – just $1.25/month (USD) if you pay on a yearly basis, and it’s only more if you have more than one site, or have a site with very high traffic.”

I pay about twice that for my FeedBurner account, and I get much of what Clicky offers, with the notable addition of outbound links, plus I get all of my feed statistics, too.

I can’t think of what else Clicky could offer to make their offering more compelling.

There is a free version, but that lacks the stuff that makes Clicky really useful, so it’s a very hard sell for me.

If you’re just getting into ‘blogging and you find Google Analytics too much and too daunting, then give Clicky a try.

There’s a free version, which very much takes the edge off the process of analyzing your web traffic without forcing you to take out a copy of Advanced Marketing for Dummies, just to make some sense of A/B Split testing, or something daft like that.

I am impressed and the Map option is the killer feature. Certainly enough to keep me using Clicky. However, for me personally, that one big idea maybe isn’t quite big enough just yet…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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