Friday, October 24, 2008

The few blogs I like

I have almost a hundred analytics-related blogs in my reader and I'm realizing there are only a handful that I refer people to, usually for individual posts. So I'm going to list them here.
the MymoTech blog - I have no idea what "mymo" means but this blogger, Michael Helbling, is awfully good at telling it like it is ... when he actually posts, that is. His description of his experience with the TCO (Total Cost of Operation) of Google Analytics is one of the few done anywhere and it lays it out beautifully.
The Big Integration - one of two blogs by Jacques Warren, who consistently seems to add something to the general conversation. I give his blogs points for a fresh perspective almost every time. In other words, his writing tends to yank my leash a little bit.
The WebTrends Outsider - written by a group of non-WT employees who act like product insiders. Clearly there is a ton of WT experience here, an ability to think outside the WT box, and some kind of crazy urge to help people. And a little bit of poking at WebTrends. Somebody's gotta do that.
Gary Angel's blog. The postings tend to be really long and multi-parted. But he's the most original thinker in analytics, IMHO. Not because he's coming up with original ideas (he does that), but because he pulls existing concepts and thoughts from other fields and gets them to work with web analytics. His fault, if any, is in not referring to those other fields and therefore maintaining our delusion that we are doing something special and unique. I think a lot of web analytics people are bottom-up --- they migrated into analytics and flourished there. I have a feeling that Gary Angel is one of those people who was already flourishing in other, bigger areas and migrated to analytics where he overlays intelligent adaptations of what he has absorbed elsewhere. It takes a special kind of mind to be able to do that. I save his blog for when I have the time to read it more than once. It makes me walk around to other people's offices at work saying "hey, you know, we oughta ..."
The Bruce Clay Inc. analytics blog. When I grow up I want to work there, because they probably know everything. If I can keep up with their blogs (analytics, search stuff ...) then I feel like I have a chance of keeping up, period.
Eric Peterson's blog. Eric has two things going for him that put his blog on this list. 1) He's very very smart which means he thinks and writes really well. 2) He's a true insider in the industry, possibly even "an elder statesman" and deservedly so. #1 is good enough all by itself. #2 adds the spice - early knowledge, the confidence to make some controversy (in a good way), and a great ability to see things with seasoned perspective. His recent take on Google Analytics is a perfect example.
Kevin Hillstrom's blog. He comes out of the catalog world and, please believe me in this, the catalog world is incredibly important, and different. And old. He knows data and selling and writes wonderfully and he doesn't pull punches. My new go-here-first blog as of February 2009.