Sam England is the founder and editor of PostDesk, a new online independent editorial community. PostDesk have been using GoSquared LiveStats to monitor their content traffic in realtime and react to it immediately. Here Sam explains how PostDesk have used LiveStats to its full potential.
When we first rolled out GoSquared across our pre-launch blog, we didn’t intend for it to become so widely adopted across the entire team to the extent that it has. It’s become an integral part of the way we work and will play a significant role especially after we launch.
PostDesk will become the place to discuss, debate and read independent editorial content online, including opinion pieces, feature articles, reviews and interviews all produced by our strong community. As an editorial site, analytics are imperative to almost every aspect of the whole project.
GoSquared primarily has provided those tasked with overseeing analytics with a clear and real-time indication of who was visiting our site, from where and on what device. This made their job far easier with regard to compiling reports, measuring the success of editorial, and of the technical changes we made to the site. It also made setting performance targets, which we’d use after we launch, very easy. Frankly, these are typical uses of analytics and the real-time element came as a welcome bonus.
Where GoSquared really shined, and where it went above and beyond its remit – was when we experimented with giving the entire team access to GoSquared. This eliminated the need for one person to have oversight of analytics. Giving the entire team access was incredibly straightforward for us to do using the backend control panel – so we gave it a try.
The results were outstanding. GoSquared has changed the way we operate entirely, and will certainly play an integral role within PostDesk after we launch.
In giving all of our development team access to GoSquared, they can now see the impact of performance tweaks, server side fine-tuning and changes they make to the front and backend code on the live site in real time. Additionally – it allows us to detect and anticipate traffic spikes far earlier than when our uptime monitoring solutions enable us to, and even our server side logging permits us to. Using the alerts system built in to GoSquared – we can set GoSquared to alert us as soon as concurrent visitors reach a certain level. The user interface might be stunning, but the depth of information hasn’t been compromised. The data provided by GoSquared is sufficient for a highly technical audience. Developers can watch GoSquared and identify the traffic sources and levels in order to make well- informed decisions concerning anything from precise performance tweaks, to substantial increases in server resources.
The in-house editorial team also now have full access to GoSquared. This has proven fundamental to the way we operate, and to the personal motivation of those writing for us. Each and every writer can feel the buzz and exhilaration of seeing their piece going viral and receiving a traffic spike – small or large, in real- time. It has provided a truly great confidence boost especially for up and coming writers who benefit hugely from the reaffirmation that their article is being read and appreciated widely. It also allows for analysis of the traffic sources in real- time, allowing for the writer to monitor where the piece has been posted, and allowing them to intervene at an early stage if need be in cases where the piece has been posted to sites such as Reddit or to discussion forums. Were it not for GoSquared, it may take days to discover such postings.
With the highly visual live stats, a world map showing concurrent users, and with the in-depth information about traffic sources – the experience is entirely different from having an analytics report delivered from, for example, Google Analytics – up to 48 hours after the piece went viral; and then having to sift through this for relevant information. Not only does this mean productivity is increased and time is saved, but it means that members of our team have a real and personal connection with our platform through analytics – something which should be high on the priorities of any online start-up.
We’re also planning to provide sales and marketing teams with full GoSquared access – this allows them to monitor performance of campaigns, online (social media or email), and even offline (word of mouth marketing or exposure during events). This is where the geographical indications provided by GoSquared will come in particularly useful too.
The aesthetics of GoSquared are a fundamental reason as to why it works so well – and a key reason as to why it’s been welcomed by quite literally our entire team, including non-technical members. It works perfectly displayed on an LCD screen in our office too. Not only does this look the part, but it also it provides those in the office with a snapshot of what’s going on at a glance.
We’re looking at taking things further after we launch PostDesk. We’re seriously considering how we can offer all of our contributors easy access to GoSquared, not just in the name of transparency – but so each and every contributor to PostDesk can feel first hand, and in real-time the tangible and compelling feeling of having their piece receive widespread attention online. This is something that no other analytics service can offer – and it’s why GoSquared goes far beyond the remit of a traditional analytics service. The possibilities are endless, and GoSquared is opening doors for us that we didn’t even know existed.
The main PostDesk community platform launches on March 7th to users with early access invites, which are still available through PostDesk.com. Shortly after this, the main community site will go live to the public. It will become the place to discuss, debate and read independent editorial content online, including opinion pieces, feature articles, reviews and interviews all produced by our strong community – which you can become a part of.