Announcing the chartbeat-Google Analytics mashup competition

As we’ve said before, we see chartbeat as a great complement to Google Analytics, combining our real-time capabilities with their analysis of the archive. To celebrate Google Analytics opening their API to the public we’d like to announce the chartbeat mashup contest!

The rules are simple: use the chartbeat and Google Analytics APIs to do something interesting, useful, unique.

Every legitimate entry to the competition gets chartbeat shwag in the form of a chartbeat t-shirt.  And for the best of the best, we have something even better:

  • First prize: an Amazon Kindle and the chance to pitch to and get business feedback from John Borthwick, founder of Betaworks.
  • Two runner up prizes: a Flip Mino HD

The contest runs from now until 11:59pm on Friday, 22 May Friday, 26 June and the submission process is dead simple.  Just post a comment to this blog entry containing a succinct description, and a link to the code or project home page.

Here are the chartbeat API docs and here are the Google API docs. Get mashing!

Chartbeat & Google Analytics

Since chartbeat launched, we’ve had some great press and a lot of people comparing us favourably to other analytics services out there, including the 800 pound gorilla that is Google Analytics. People seem to like the work we’ve done on the UI to make things easy to understand and, of course, they love not having to wait for hours or a full day to see what’s going on. We see chartbeat very much as a complement rather than a competitor to Google Analytics measuring very different things and both of great value in their own right.

The difference between Google Analytics and Chartbeat is in some ways similar to the difference between Google Search and Twitter Search. Google Search is unparalleled at searching the archive and can deliver huge amounts of relevant information. What it can’t do and what Twitter Search is so good at is searching the now. When a plane lands in the Hudson or Mumbai suffers a terrorist attack, Twitter search is far more useful than Google search.

In the same way, Google Analytics is superb at helping you analyze the archive. You can follow how well your conversion funnels are performing and create a wealth of data that is useful over the long term. Chartbeat, in contrast, enables you to react and respond to the now. If a flood of visitors suddenly hit your site, your servers go offline, or suddenly everyone on Twitter is talking about you or your site, running chartbeat under the hood means you can react and respond immediately. To put it another way, Google Analytics can analyze the optimum placement for fire hydrants and the best path for the fire engine, chartbeat can tell you your house is on fire.

When the rest of the world is working and reacting in real-time, it’s dangerous for companies and publishers, to be working with a 24 hour delay. It’s the difference between taking control of a story and falling victim to it, between losing a couple of customers due to server downtime and losing a thousand. Combining chartbeat’s real-time responsiveness with Google’s analytics of the archive creates a powerful tool that can keep you ahead of the game.

Today Google Analytics publicly launched their api. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities for developers to bring together the chartbeat api and Google Analytics api in any number of interesting mashups. You can find the Google Analytics api documentation here and the chartbeat api documentation here. We’d love to see what you can come up with!

Videosift gets a heartbeat from Chartbeat

Videosift, a very cool online video community with a digg-style social recommendation engine has chartbeat beating underneath the hood of their site now. They’ve kindly decided to open up and share their chartbeat stats and you can see how people are interacting with the site here. (update: they removed public viewing for now)

They blogged about how they are finding chartbeat and there’s a pretty healthy comments thread too.

Chartbeat Hacks: Track your competitors using Chartbeat

If you’ve had a chance to play around with Chartbeat, you’ll have found that it is more than the heartbeat of your site. Beyond the ability to see how many people are on your site in real-time and get event alerts, another great feature is the Twitter History tool on the Historical tab. This tool enables you to get a graphical sense of how much of an impact the search terms you set have had on twitter over the past day, week or month. You can see how the twittersphere responds when Techcrunch reviews your site or you launch a new product or service.

While, the most common terms that our users track are search terms around themselves, their products or their website, this tool becomes even more useful when you realize you can also use it to track competitors. For example, when news of the Techcrunch tablet leaked today, I began to track it using Chartbeat. This graph shows how the twittersphere responded to the news over the course of the morning:

techcrunch tablet

From there you can zoom in on specific times of interest like that initial morning bump:

Techcrunch tablet zoom

Another valuable way to use the Twitter History tool is to track and compare your site against your competitors. You can track up to five search terms and see your twitter impact compared to competitors. This graph snapshot shows tweets mentioning Mashable vs. tweets mentioning Techcrunch between 9am and 12pm today:

Mashable vs Techcrunch

When you start to map this data over a week or month, you can start to get extremely useful feedback on just how effective your marketing is, benchmarked against your competitors. What’s more, you can watch the reaction in real-time as you manipulate your messaging. So, experiment with the Twitter History tool and if you come up with other creative ways to use it, we’d love to hear from you!

More press from Chartbeat’s launch

Hope Leman at was at the Web 2.0 Expo keynote and got a chance to see Chartbeat in action. Here’s what she had to say:

‘Peter Hershberg’s demo of the incredible Web site monitoring tool Chartbeat was by far the most interesting part of the keynote morning. If you are ever in need of heavy duty, real time analytics about your Web site check out Chartbeat. It’s an impressive tool. Way cool. I don’t think the average blogger would need it, but certainly mid-sized businesses and up would want to take a look at it. It was so good that the next speaker, Jeff Veen of Small Batch, Inc., was agog and in deep wow mode.’

Thanks Hope!

Isn’t that the coolest thing you’ve seen!

Those were the words of the presenter at Web 2.0 Expo who followed Chartbeat’s launch during the Keynote. That presenter was Jeffrey Veen of Adaptive Path, who, as the project lead on what became Google Analytics, knows a thing or two about good analytics.

We’ve had an overwhelming response since launch with the number of signups greatly exceeding our expectations. Here’s a selection of what people have been saying:

Both Internet News and Web Monkey noted the enthusiastic response to the launch presentation:

‘During Hershberger’s live demo, you could see audience members at the Web 2.0 Expo straighten their backs in full attention. Hershberger remarked about those raptured during the site’s demo period. “The people I’ve talked to have said they can spend all day looking at this, and while I agree, I don’t think that’s realistic. That’s why we have alerts.” Webmonkey

‘Hershberg’s demonstration of [Chartbeat] was greeted with enthusiasm… Aside from the sheer coolness factor, it was hard to miss the interest with which a business audience greeted a tool to capture real-time data about the effectiveness of social media — a sure sign that social media have reached into the enterprise’s business consciousness.’

Fred Wilson praised chartbeat’s user-friendly UI and capabilities:

‘Chartbeat combines a very slick and appealing UI with lots of real-time data that I’ve never been able to get on this blog until now.’

Other sites focused on the ease of setup:

‘Great!  This sounds like an awesome service that I want to use.  But how much coding or configuring will I have to do in order to get it to work?  All it takes is one simple line of Javascript inserted into your site code.  One!  At which point it will automatically ping Chartbeat’s servers every 10 seconds.’

‘I just did an install on two of my sites. . . The time from sign up to install to seeing stats in the panel was literally 5 minutes FOR BOTH SITES.’ Bruce Marler

While pointed out how essential it is to get real-time analytics on your site:

‘Using typical analytics tools to determine what’s happening on your website or blog in real time is like driving down the street while only using your rear-view mirrors to see. 9 out of 10 times you’ll hit that neighbor kid on a skateboard….The only way to prevent the online equivalent of vehicular manslaughter is to have some kind of real time analytics that can tell you what’s happening on your website at any given moment. How many people are there, what stories are they looking at, and most importantly what’s the load time? Nothing kills that hot expose on Guy Kawasaki like your site crashing from too much traffic.A new analytics tool called Chartbeat is available now and aims to do all that and more,  providing all kinds of juicy real time website info wrapped up in a nifty dashboard.’

We’ve also seen a great response on Twitter and we’d like to thank everyone for all the wonderful comments. It’s great to see a project we’ve worked so hard on be received so well. Your comments will help us build a more useful and relevant service for you, so please keep the feedback coming!