Saturday 24 January 2009

Datamining the audience

This site runs Google Analytics. Google track your movements round our site, they give us some of the tables, in exchange they track your movements across lots of sites. If you really want to opt out, search for how to edit your host tables, and for 38% of the readers, stop using Internet Explorer. Get Mozilla, tell it to save cookies only until you close Firefox, then get the FlashBlock and AdBlock plugins to remove the clutter.

We see the data, but don't work out the network addresses of whoever leaves comments, or things like that. We just note who refers to us, which organisations like to visit, and what pages are popular. And what search keywords find us. The top ones "Bristol Traffic", "Bristol Traffic Blog" are predictable, then we run through timely news topics, and are slowly taking over the searches for bits of the city. We see the same searches repeatedly. Hello? whoever searches for Luke Weyman or the car reg# WR56UUH? Can we point you two to another Google service, Google Alerts. They run whatever search you want, every day, and email you when new answers pop up. Don't waste your own time if there is a machine willing to do the work.

What is most entertaining are the one-off entries, where people searching for things somehow end up on our web site. Here are some of the funny ones, with commentary. For anyone searching as a precursor for a potentially criminal acts (massage parlours, hacking speed limiters), do note that UK ISPs are now logging all requests made of the search engine for 2+ years, the only ongoing debate is where is the data kept: at the ISP or in some datacentre belonging to the authorities. But Google know who you are already.

Now, let's begin.

First: parking/ticketing issues
"i have been issued with a parking ticket by cctv camera is this legal in bristol"
 Yes. Congratulations, you are one of the first to be ticketed this way!

"is it ok to park to disabled parking in bristol after 8? "
 Unlikely. Why do you ask?

"is speed camera in gloucester road north filton working? "
 wait 3-4 weeks and you will find out. Drop us a note.

"will a range rover fit in a council garage"
 Depends on how much you value the bodywork really. Borrow somebody else's just to make sure before you get one of your own.

"parking in a police vehicles only area offence bristol "
Let's think of one group of people who might be miffed about this? The police? I
wouldn't park there, even if it is next to Broadmead.

"on road dvla camera how does it work "
Cameras, ANPR, recognition kit in a rack in the back of the van, small hard disk of all cars with tax disks, updated every so often. Beeps the driver when there is a problem, they get out and clamp your vehicle.

Some people looking at speed limiter re-engineering:
"mileage tampering machine for vehicle in germany "
"hack the speed limiter "
" mot speed limiters "
"software for speed limiter volvo "

If it became compulsory, everyone would be doing this.

People with other needs:

"are there any good massage parlours in bristol "
"lower ashley road bristol massage parlour "
Nothing to say on these except worry about why they end up on our pages. We are  not documenting that part of Bristol, though the advertising revenue/commission may make it worthwhile.

"mud cyclocross women muddy"
We don't know who you are, but stop it.


Noel said...

Is there somthing wrong with your feeds? I noticed my reader (bloglines) hasnt been seeing your latest posts.

SteveL said...

Nothing wrong with the feeds in Google Reader. Bloglines can be pretty unreliable though -I stopped using it a few months back as it kept on being down for maintenance.