There are several good tools that allow you to track your blog’s traffic. Many bloggers use FeedBurner, SiteMeter and or GoogleAnalytics to review visitor trends. However, for the really impatient blogger who wants a blow-by-blow account, there are live traffic feeds! I decided to try the one provided by FeedJit.
How is a live feed different?
If you’ve seen the social networking widgets on this blog, you might ask what makes FeedJit different. The BlogCatalog widget provides an icon for each visitor, visual clues for who has visited and how recently. However, the social networks only show you people who have joined those communities. That leaves out a significant number of people who arrive on searches or Stumbleupon referrals. FeedJit covers that gap by showing information for all visits. But unlike the community widgets, FeedJit shows only text, making it a bit impersonal.
What makes FeedJit attractive?
You can see the site your visitor used and on which page they landed. For example, someone clicking on your blog from a discussion in BlogCatalog — you’d see the name of the discussion. Similarly, if the visitor clicked on a comment you left on another blog, you’d be able to identify it. Search engine keywords also pop out at you. Don’t forget the colorful flags for each visitor’s country of origin! Their city and state are also shown. Although the city is sometimes an approximation based on the service provider. This is a way to show your blog’s global reach.
Are there privacy issues?
The live feed sees the same things as FeedBurner or Google and recognizes ‘you’ by internet cookies and your computer’s IP address. The blog owner does not have access to that information. With FeedJit, you can select options to not log your future visits or to remove your IP and therefore the current visit (beta version). I don’t feel there are any real privacy issues around such general information. Read this blog post on Hummie’s World for more details about privacy options and an alternate point of view. Some skeptical visitors may not like that you have to opt out on every blog you visit. If you delete cookies on a regular basis, you would have to opt out again.
FeedJit is an interesting tool for a quick glance at where visitors come from and what they read on your blog. I was surprised to see a BlogRush referral even though I gave up on that service some time ago. The novelty of this live feed may wear off as widget bloat demands another cutback.