Friday, 26 April 2013

Blog Analytics



In this post I'll be going over some of the information that I've gathered from my blog's analytics  and my Google analytics account. It will just things like most viewed pages/posts etc... Some information may not be very accurate such as page views as I couldn't get it to stop counting me visiting the blog. Blogger itself says that I've 863 page views but my analytics account says  I have only 144 unique visitors.






 Below is a screen cap of where most of the my visitors are coming from. Obviously the highest one would be from our lectures blog where he has links to all of the student blogs. Many are just fellow classmate's blogs but there is some ones that I'm not quite sure about such as www.filmhill.com or www.vampirestat.com  these are sites that I've never even heard of yet alone been to I'm not sure how I got traffic from these websites.


Some information found from the analytics is very strange. An example of this would be what country blogger thinks people are viewing my website from.  Now I'm not quite sure how I've managed to get viewers from some of these countries but hey I can be proud to say I have a view from the one and only internet user in Kazakhstan though I'm sure this is just a mistake.





When it came to looking at the information for the most popular browsers and operating systems it turned out more or less how I had expected it to.

Web Publishing Week 11

Lectures

So this week in the lectures we were looking over the various uses and tools available when using Google analytics. Google analytics is a very useful tool for tracking what is going on behind the scenes in your website and getting information on the visitors. A lot of the information was stuff that I already knew about Google analytics so it wasn't the most interesting class for me but it gave us some useful information that can be used in writing our analytics report for our blog.

Labs

This week our labs were canceled which isn't that surprising considering all of our projects were 99% done  at this stage. The dedicated few decided to come in anyway and put the final touches on our final assignment. For this final assignment I was writing an essay on Blogola, it was an interesting topic but I'm not so sure that its as relevant as it once was. Many of the sources I found while researching the project were from 2006-2009. All and all I was happy with what I handed up and I'm glad that I have one less module to worry about now.

So this is the end... or is it.

This will probably be the last set of lectures that I attend as I'm starting up work either next week or the week after and will only be attending lectures that are necessary in revision before our end of year exams that are coming up in may. This is also the last mandatory blog post for our assignment 1 of Web Publishing the final thing to do on the blog is write an analytics report. Not that there is anyone following these blog posts anyway but I may continue posting here in the future talking about college life and the Web Development course.

For the most part I quite enjoyed the Web Publishing module. There was some up and downs regarding some particular projects but that was more our fault than anything else. Many of the topics covered in the lectures were very interesting which meant it wasn't a drag when we were attending lectures. Its a nice module that has no end of year exam which is always a big plus.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Web Publishing Week 10

Lecture

So this week our lecturer could only attend one of our two classes as he had a meeting. So in the one lecture that we did have this week we talked about Google analytics. For Google analytics to work the user must put a code provided by Google into their html code this logs certain information about users who are accessing the web page. All websites do this anyway its just without Google analytics it remains in raw log files that are very difficult to read. 

I'm pretty sure that most people in the class already knew how the Google analytics worked as it was one of the minimum requirements for this blog assignment as we must write a report at the end of the 11 weeks of blogging about some of the information that Google has received from users viewing our blogs. I'm pretty familiar with Google analytics not just from college but from doing some work experience with my cousin I set up a few websites with Google analytics. It is a very useful tool for anyone with a website especially those who are selling things as it gives them demographic of people who are either buying or viewing their products.

Labs

In the lab this week we all worked on putting the final touches on our Assignment 2. I have to say I'm so glad that this assignment is done it was a very tedious task from saving the images using Photoshop to writing up the posts about each image but it is done now and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Web Publishing Week 9

Lectures

The first lecture we had on Tuesday was on Video compression. To start off we discussed how videos are really just a sequence of pictures taken in quick succession that when flicked through create a moving image. The thing about videos is they must be compressed otherwise they are absolutely massive files. Here is an example of how big videos can be, if you had a 640 x 480 video at 25 frames per second and 24 bits per pixel then each second of that video would be 21 megabytes. So a 2 minute video that is uncompressed would be roughly 2.4 gigabytes.

There is two types of Inter-frame and Intra-frame compression. Intra-frame works on a single frame and changes data to reduce its size. Inter-frame compression is coding the small differences from frame to frame rather then having to code the entire image again. Something with a static background and maybe a moving character or object would be very easy for inter-frame compression to take care of. Something that I was finding it hard to wrap my head around was this inter-frame compression was the fact that it could also take certain parts of frames that haven't even been seen yet and use them to reduce the number of new pixels in a frame.

In the second lecture we took a look at something a lot less confusing and that was Podcasting. Even before this lecture I already had a fair bit of knowledge about podcasts. I've listened to podcasts and watched in some cases they are mainly to do with video games and technology. Even though I knew a decent amount about the topic I still found it very interesting to go into the history of podcasting and how it came around to where it is today. We talked about how iTunes created an easy way to subscribe and download podcasts and synch them directly to your iPod automatically.

Labs

Usual business in the labs everyone worked on their blogs. This week we were asked to look at some of the other students blogs and see if there is anything wrong with them. We also received feedback on our essays I was happy enough with the feedback only a few small things that I must fix.





Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Midterm and Assignments

So last Friday saw the start of our two week Easter break. But with the break comes lots of projects and things to be revising. I was hoping to have some work to get some money before summer started but unfortunately that fell through but it isn't all bad this means that I wont be juggling my projects with work.

Programming Project

So Thursday last week was the deadline for our Assignment 1 in programming. I'm pretty happy with what I submitted as far as it could do everything that was required of it. But as soon as we were done we got a first look at our second assignment. We haven't gone over everything required for the second assignment but the fact that we have an extra 2 weeks to do it gives us a good chance to get ahead of schedule and maybe do some research ourselves.

Web Publishing Essay

So it's about 10 days before our first draft is due and I'm pretty happy with progress so far. That said the time will fly by especially now that we are on break. But that's life I suppose I'm hoping to have it pretty much done by the time the Easter break is over. But for now its a work in progress.

Web Publishing JPEG/GIF Comparison

So I haven't been particularly motivated to do this assignment before the midterm as it isn't the most interesting thing I've ever done. I am a little behind schedule with this assignment so I hope to get a good bit done during the midterm to catch back up as I'm not doing much else during the break.

Networking Cisco Exams

So part of our networking module this semester we have some Cisco exams which are just a few MCQs about the various sections of the course. Now we've had these for awhile now at least 2-3 weeks but they've always been put on the bottom of my list of things to do because of other projects and exams. I think they are all due in sometime next week.

Summing things up

Unfortunately the break isn't really going to be a break as so many things need to be done and worked on. But I mean at least I'll be able to catch up on some sleep. No early mornings is a big plus for two weeks.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Web Publishing Week 8

Lectures

This week in Web Publishing we did one final class on dithering to make sure that everyone actually understand how to calculate the value that it is trying to simulate. Before this class I was somewhat struggling with understanding it but I feel that i have a fair grasp of it now.

In the second lecture we looked at some image formats such as GIF, JPEG and PNG. We talked about what format was used for certain types of Images. GIFs are often used for things that require very few colours such as logos for companies. JPEGs are often used for natural images with lots of colour.

We also looked into things like Progressive downloading.Which  is a technique that was used for images that gives the user a blurred version at first but slowly becomes more clear as it is downloaded. But as internet speeds got faster this technique became quickly obsolete.

Labs

In the lab this week everyone just did there own thing most people were just working away on our 2nd and 3rd assignments. Since last week my group had changed our assignment away from the Google online marketing challenge and each of us took on an individual 2000 word essay. I took the lab as a chance to talk to our lecturer about my title specifically which is "Blogola".

Quick definition that I found online was "A slang term used in online marketing circles to describe the act of bribing or paying influential bloggers to create a buzz in the blogosphere about a specific product or technology in their blog." .

I thought that this would be a somewhat interesting essay to write about. After talking to our lecturer I had a very good idea of the kind of things that I could write about in my essay.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Web Publishing Week 7

Lectures

This week in web publishing we looked at bits in black and white images, pixel depth reduction, image sub sampling, interpolation and dithering. These are all ways to improve image compression. Most of these techniques are  ways in which we reduce the number of colours in a picture and file size of the picture.

In black and white images a grey scale is used to distinguish between what is black and what is white.Black being the darkest grey in the grey scale and white being the brightest.The scale is often saved in a 8 bit format making the maximum number of greys 256. Basically the more shades of grey the more smoother then image looks.

In sub sampling majority of the pixels are thrown away to reduce the size. Then we can decide to either make the remaining pixels bigger or the missing pixels can be interpolated. Interpolating the pixels gives the image a blurred look specifically around the edges.

We also looked at pixel depth reduction we look at how many of the colours do we actually need. If a image is using 24 bits per pixel you'd have 16 million choices but if you were to reduce it to 2 bits per pixel you'd only have 4 choices. It would then look at the picture and compare the colours in the original picture and chooses the closest of the 4 colours remaining.

Lastly we looked at dithering which is simulating a colour that isn't in the palette by using two colours that are in the palette. This is done by putting the two colours together in a sort of checker pattern this pattern can usually only be seen when zooming far in.

Labs

We got into our groups for the Google online challenge and discussed what our plans were going forward. Unfortunately due to some communication mistakes we were much further behind then we thought we were and decided to call it quits before we wasted any more time. So instead of this as our 3rd assignment we are instead doing a 2000 word essay on a title that we can either suggest or choose one that our lecturer had chosen. I'm thinking of some ideas to suggest at the moment and I'm hoping that at least one of them will be approved.