Meet the Five Women You’ll Be Working for in 2020

Today, we had the most fun, rewarding, inspiring day at the Chartbase in…well…maybe ever.

We invited five young ladies from The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria to join us for a job shadowing day that the school runs for their sophomores.

TYWLS of Astora, Chartbeat (and G-raph), Tumblr and Betaworks crews

To be totally candid, we had no idea what to expect : Would they be used to using the internet? Would they have Facebook pages? Did they understand what a startup was? Had they taken HTML classes or surprise us by being JavaScript geniuses? Hell, they could be Chartbeat customers already for all we knew.

Because that’s the problem with technology in schools right now. It varies so much. And while the tech sector continues to blow up in NYC and all over the country/world….we’re not teaching it (at least not consistently) anywhere. Which completely blows my mind.

The Young Women’s Leadership Schools are doing an amazing job, actually. We learned that these gals had classes on social media available to them and a bunch of them had Tumblr blogs of their own. But still none of these girls knew what coding was. So we started there with our day.

We decided to walk them through some of the basics of what it takes to build a startup:

  1. Identify a problem
  2. Know your audience
  3. Have a simple idea
  4. Work with smart people to build a solution
  5. Market that solution
  6. Learn from your users and iterate

Not only did they get it, but they built their own start up! A project called StudentConnect that would be a website and app that is a student’s best friend – sharing everything from what’s for lunch in the cafeteria that day (complete with real pics of those Sloppy Joes) and real-time communicating snow days to giving your friends a heads up on that 3rd period pop quiz and a calendar of homework and upcoming after-school activities.

By the end of the day, these little ladies learned a lot of things. But the one comment that brought a tear to our eye “Before I came in here, I didn’t even know what coding was, now I want to learn it today. This was awesome.”

So, internet community, we’ve created a Tumblr of ways they (and everyone) can get started:

We’re asking you to submit other startups, apps, blogs, ideas that we can add to this page and constantly keep it growing, so the next generation has no choice but to beat us at our own game. And we’ll like it.

“Journalism: It’s Just Like Parenting”

Tony chatted with Sarah Marshall of about the role of analytics in the newsroom.

They talked about everything from uncovering hidden interest points in lesser-known players during the NFL draft and Glenn Beck using online audience interests to inform his radio and TV content to the fear of the “tyranny of the popular” in the newsroom and how being great journalist is just like being a great parent.

Have a listen to it all, and let us know how you think data has impacted how you create and consume the news.

Your Social Traffic is Higher Than You Think

Direct traffic. It’s a nebulous beast. Most web analytics products toss any visitor without referrer information into this category. That means any number of people like those who have:

  • Typed in the exact URL
  • Bookmarked the URL
  • Come from a URL using HTTPS
  • Clicked on a link from a non-browser-based application (e.g., email, Twitter, IM)

That last point is the tricky bit, right? We live in the social web now, and we have for quite some time. For your team to not know how important email, Twitter, or IM is to your site traffic because it’s being thrown into some Direct Traffic black hole isn’t productive – it’s hindering and frankly inexcusable at this point.

Our Newsbeat crew wasn’t having it. So we decided to fix it.

We met with some of our alpha partners, had a few chats, and came to the conclusion that users generally only type in the exact URL or bookmark a link if it’s a key landing page (e.g., or

That makes sense, right? For new and transient articles, it’s highly unlikely anyone going to type the direct path to the page. (e.g., “”. ) It’s pretty clear that people without referrer information who visit articles like that will have received the link from someone else via a social app like Tweetdeck or Yahoo Mail and shouldn’t be counted as Direct Traffic.

So within Newsbeat, our data scientists – with the typical magic and fairy dust you’ve come to expect from their algorithm genius – programmatically classify these kinds of pages into two types: articles and landing pages.

We feel confident that those long, complicated linked articles can be pulled out of the Direct Traffic bucket and can live under Social with a referrer of “Email, Apps, IM.” Traffic with unknown referral data for landing pages, the shorter, simpler links will stay as Direct, and we label them with an “L” for landing page.

Basically, we just took some time to really understand and identify the purpose of each page from your user’s point of view. That led us to understand what Direct Traffic means on a more intelligent level. And that allows you, in turn, to understand your users on a more intelligent level.

What does all this mean in the end? It means you should go buy your social team a beer – they’re doing a lot more than most people give them credit for.

Check Out Your Highlights Reel

Introducing Event Stream & Notable Events for Newsbeat

Brace yourself: The right side of your Newsbeat dashboard just got a lot more action. We’ve launched Event Stream, a ticker-like feed of your site’s happenings as they occur. Think of it as “Breaking News: Your Site!” Think of it as ultimate real-time.

With Event Stream, you’ll be able to see the moment when Yahoo News picks you up, so you can raise the flag to the front-lines to prep for the ensuing traffic rush.

And you’ll see when your colleague hits her highest traffic numbers ever, so you can be the first to throw her a high-five across the cubicle wall.

And you’ll see a spike alert the second it happens, so you don’t miss the opportunity to boost that article on social media or create more content to support it or double-check that all those related links are ready to rock.

(How great is that little crown icon? It’s my favorite.)

Basically, you’ll see everything that matters when it matters.

And it gets even better.

Along with the Event Stream on the right of your dashboard, we’ll incorporate Notable Events into each section of Charts. Notables, in a nutshell, are the best-of-the-best events that we want to be sure you keep track of. So when you look back and see a spike in activity from last week, you’ll remember “Ohhh, right, that was when that Pulitzer-worthy piece on North Korea hit the CNN homepage.”

All you need to do is hover over those little gray circles and the Notable’s information will appear.

Our hope is that you use Event Stream and Notable Events to stay on the pulse of all the things that make your site tick. They should keep you even more informed on what important events on your site require you to take instant action.

As always, we want to know what you love about this feature and what you want to make sure we keep in mind for future releases. Let us know what you think:

Metrics that Matter & the Death of the Page View

Page views are a pain in the ass. It’s the metric that lies behind so many of the bad design decisions on the web. Time on page is too. The way it’s been measured has often been more akin to a finger in the air than the solid metrics we expect. Neither really take into consideration how users are actually viewing information – from social to mobile – or at least not well.

As Lewis DVorkin states in his latest Forbes piece, “the page view engagement metric of the last decade served its purpose.” He’s right. It did. But now, RIP Page Views. It’s time for us to move on and start using metrics that truly matter to your site’s performance – those are the metrics that tell the full story of your content.

That full story is not told in a page view. Sure, it might tell you that you’re awesome at driving traffic to your site, but beyond that…? What kind of traffic? The right kind, the kind what will come back, the kind that will genuinely engage, share, and chat about you?

We, the Chartbeat crew, are pretty certain the future lies in engagement. Engagement – or specifically a new metric we’re rolling out called engaged minutes – is all about how and how long someone is actually, actively engaged with your content. It’s about knowing precisely what that user is engaging with and how. For instance, is this page linkbait, driving clicks but no engagement? Or is this piece of content a slow burner that’s hidden behind a bad headline, so readers have a tough time finding it, but when they do, they love and engage with it? If so, it might be time to change how you position and promote those stories as a result.

And that’s the point, right? To take action and make decisions. That’s why you’re using real-time data, to adapt and react to who is engaging with your content and how, whether those actions are immediate or longer-term. And you can’t take meaningful action on page views.

So, please pack up your things, page views. Engaged minutes is on its way to usurp your throne.