Tag Archives: Drupal

Home Page Stories Analytics

On November 22, I added some code to our homepage that tracks when someone clicks on one of the waveform bars to open a story and when they click on the links within that story to read more about it. This doesn’t count the story that is initially open when you load the page. This tracking is done using the Google Analytics* Event Tracking code, which we can use to measure user interactions with the site. If you have suggestions on other activities that we can measure, please let me know.

Since November 22, 67,888 story bars have been opened on the home page, 20,973 of which have been “unique events”. Unique Events is the number of visits during which one or more events occurred. This means that an average visitor to the site who opens at least one story will open 3.24 stories during their home page visit. The people who use the waveform, like to click around and view multiple stories.

Around 1,000 stories are opened every day on the site. The day with the most opened stories was January 9 when 1,457 stories were opened. The day with the fewest opened stories was December 25 when only 461 stories were opened (Thanksgiving was a close second here with 464 stories opened). The most opened stories was A Green Tour of Campus which was opened 1,641 times since November 22. The least opened story (7 times) was Field Hockey Falls in NCAA Title Game, though that story was published shortly before we began tracking and may not have been featured for very long.

The average story was opened 411 times. In all, 161 different stories were opened on the home page. This is significant because, we generally have around 100 stories on the homepage at any given time; currently there are 90. This means that every story in the waveform is getting attention from some number of people visiting the site. There are usually a half dozen “featured” stories that are in the rotation of stories which will automatically open when you visit the site. These are always in the center of the waveform. The position of the remaining stories is random, changing once every five minutes or so when the cache for the homepage is regenerated.

One thing to note is that the waveform serves the primary audience of the homepage: external visitors. Of the 67,888 stories opened since November 22, only 12,491 were opened by people browsing on the Middlebury campus. Local users are better served by the new portal, which contains these stories alongside other information we hope is useful to the community. Also since November 22, the average time on page for an external visitor** was 3 minutes and 7 seconds, showing that visitors do stay and play with the waveform feature.

Of the 20,973 visits where someone opened at least one story, 8,344 resulted in the person clicking to read one of the stories they opened. The most read story was an AP article about a Middlebury alum winning Survivor: South Pacific. Other popular stories were A Green Tour of Campus, One Thing to Remember for Finals Week, and a Thank You to Donors for the Holidays.

These are my conclusions from this data:

  1. People who visit the set “get” the waveform and click to find multiple stories.
  2. The waveform is most interesting to external visitors and we should continue efforts to promote the new portal for the local community’s needs.
  3. We should look at what stories got the most clicks and which got the fewest to figure out what type of content is the most compelling for our external audience and produce more of that content.
I’d be happy to expand on any of this and answer any questions you might have.

* See the Middlebury Privacy Policy for our data collection policy. The Middlebury website does respect the Do Not Track header, if you have that turned on in your browser.

** The average time on page for an local visitor was 5 minutes and 43 seconds, but these stats get skewed by lab and walk-up machines where the homepage is their default page in the browser and are left on all day.

More Open Graph Tags Available for your Drupal pages

We’ve expanded the selection of Open Graph tags that you can add to a page or node in Drupal to include all of the tags currently supported by Facebook. If you’re not sure what this means, check out this post from earlier this spring when we first added Facebook integration to our Drupal site. The information is also available in the LIS Wiki. Here is a list of the Open Graph meta information you can now add to content in Drupal:

  • Facebook Admins
  • Facebook App ID
  • Country Name
  • Description
  • Email
  • Fax Number
  • Image
  • Latitude
  • Locality
  • Longitude
  • Phone Number
  • Postal Code
  • Region
  • Site Name
  • Street Address
  • Title
  • Type
  • URL
  • Video Height
  • Video Type
  • Video URL
  • Video Width
Refer to Facebook’s documentation to determine what are appropriate values for each of these items. Note that the Admins and App ID are now multi-valued fields. Previously there could only be one admin for a page. Now there can be as many as you’d like. Admins will have access to use Facebook Insights for your page to see information on what content is being shared.

From our Wiki: How to create custom emails for your Drupal webforms

The default email template for the Drupal Webform module will send out the date the form was submitted, the name of the person submitting the form (if they were logged in to the site) or their IP address, the value of each field in the form submission and a URL to a page on the site where the form submission can be viewed or edited. This information is usually sufficient, but you might want to have different fields sent to different people when the form is submitted, or provide a custom message to the person who submitted the form, like a “thank you” note.

To do this, you need to use the Custom Template feature of the module. I’ve put together a guide on using this feature which is available in the Drupal documentation section of the LIS Wiki. If you have any quesetions, please let me know so that we can update the documentation.

Weekly Web Development Round-up October 10-21, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.
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Weekly Web Development Round-up June 12-17, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.

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Weekly Web Development Round-up June 6-10, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.

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Weekly Web Development Round-up May 30-June 3, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.

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Weekly Web Development Round-up May 22-27, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.

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