In this podcast we delve into the curious world of ‘dark social’ and other hard-to-track analytics.
The term dark social is used to describe traffic that appears to be ‘direct’ as there is no referrer, such as Facebook, Twitter or Google, listed.
It may come from people sharing articles on private social platforms, such links pasted into an instant message or shared by email.
But we also go beyond this and explore why some of this mystery traffic may not be dark social, but another sort of ‘dark’.
And finally, we are challenged on whether news outlets are making the most of analytics or are blindly mimicking Silicon Valley in being data-driven but without fully understanding how information should inform decisions.
We speak to:
- Andrew Montalenti, co-founder and chief technology officer at analytics platform Parse.ly
- Josh Schwartz, head of data science at real-time analytics platform Chartbeat
- Joe Alicata, principal product owner at Chartbeat
- Stijn Debrouwere, Knight-Mozilla fellow working at the Guardian
You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the Journalism.co.uk iTunes feed.
- Stijn Debrouwere’s blog post on cargo cults and analytics is here
- A recent Parse.ly report on important traffic drivers to news site is here
- Here is a feature on reporting from analytics with advice from Chartbeat
- #Podcast – Homepage analytics: A look at ‘front door’ traffic to news sites
- Newsbeat, an analytics tool just for news sites, launches
- #Tip: See these stats on news site traffic from social media
- You can now see how many readers are online with Google Analytics real-time reports
- #Tip: Become a Google Analytics Real-Time addict