gawk.it really serves two audiences.
The primary audience is the readers of blogs and core idea of the system is focused on helping them to find quality conversations and content.
But there is a second audience that gawk.it actually serves, the blog owner.
Beyond just giving the blog owner a powerful and unique search tool to offer up to their audience, gawk.it can really help the blog owner get a better understanding of their true, engaged, audience.
This is one of the things I’m really excited about, and so I just wanted to take a few seconds to explain just what that means with the current state of gawk.it…primarily by showing and explaining some live screen shots.
Note: I’m showing off details/numbers from recent gothamgal.com data, but accessing it from my super-admin account which is why you see my avatar there instead of the gothamgal’s. For all normal users, you would see your own avatar and have access to only your own forum’s data.
First up is the default graph you would get when logging into your account (if you’ve got a forum integrated with gawk.it already)…it shows you the volume of searches against your data over the date range you specify (default is yesterday to today).
I think this is a great way to get a quick gage on just how much gawk.it is being used by your readers on a given day. I don’t have delusions that gawk.it is going to be an every day, all day type of system for most people – so I don’t expect these numbers to be massive. Still steady volume on this graph shows that you have an data set that people find interesting, engaging, and like to reference on a regular basis.
ie. the more steady the volume here, the better you are hitting your core audience with quality and engaging content
Once you’ve seen your quick overview of search volume, I’ll bet you immediately had the question of “What are these searches for!?”…well that’s what the ‘search terms’ report breaks down for you.
Again it’s based on the date range you selected (default is yesterday and today), and this list will give you the specific search terms that people provided when looking through your data (and the frequency of times the search was performed).
This is the best place to see just what things your readers are specifically interested in locating right now (so if you see a high number of a given search term, you know the time is probably ripe to be covering that topic a bit more).
OK - so knowing how many times your content was searched, and what specific terms people searched through your content with is pretty interesting…but what you really want to know is just how much traffic is gawk.it generating back to your content right?
That’s just what the next two reports provide you.
The first, like the search count report, is a simple graph to show you the volume of clicks gawk.it is generating to your content.
What’s really important to know here is that these click counts include any click from gawk.it to your site…so even general searches outside of your forum are counted (and already a large volume of gawk.it searches are outside of a given forum limit).
And of course, just like the search count report, once you’ve seen the numbers you’re going to want to know the specifics behind them…so this next report shows you just that.
In this one, you get a breakdown of just what links were clicked over to your blog (ie. where users were sent)…and on the rare occasion that the user was logged in when using gawk.it (most people are not currently logged in when searching as there is very little value to a user to be logged in yet), you even get the specific username of the user who made the click!
Anyway that’s the quick five minute tour around the initial reports and details a blog owner already gets by including their content and public discussions into the gawk.it system.
I think it’s already able to provide some really interesting insights and be a very useful tool for blog owners…and I’ll only be adding to it and improving it as the project moves forward.
So, if you haven’t already, why not create a gawk.it account, sync it with your Disqus account, and then request your forum to be added to the gawk.it system!?
Then you can play around with these tools yourself, and of course dump me some feedback and ideas!
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).