Free Idea of the Week: A Web Stats Dashboard Widget

I used to really obsess over my web stats. I’ve managed to reduce that obsession to a casual curiosity, focussed almost entirely on who’s linking to me. That makes it sound like a popularity contest. In truth, it’s more that I’ve just exhausted any interest in knowing how many people found this site by searching for “cheeses of nazareth” in the last month (13, in case you were curious).

I’m most interested in the linkers because they represent actual, knowable humans who have opinions and perspectives. So, the ‘stats’ engine I check most regularly is Technorati, followed by occasional peaks at HitTail. I’ve emailed the folks at HitTail asking for a setting that enables me to filter out all of the search engine traffic from their results. But that’s basically the opposite of their messaging, so I doubt they’ll go for it.

Having recently upgraded to Mac OS 10.4 (I know, I know), I’ve been exploring the wonderful world of desktop widgets. I’m not using anything particularly out of the ordinary–currency converter, weather, FTP and so forth.

I’d like a widget that talks to Google Analytics or HitTail or whoever, and shows a real-time stream of visitors and their source URLs (and enables me to filter out all the search engine noise). Maybe one already exists, but I haven’t been able to find it.

Which widgets do you use regularly and love?

UPDATE: You know, I just looked at my web stats–specifically the most popular keywords that searchers used to find this site. I observed an interesting trend: comparing the top fifty keywords from May, 2006 to May, 2007, only one keyword appears in both lists. What can we attribute that to? My short attention span? The Google dance?


  1. I’ve got a Mac too, and we aren’t really so opposed to a filter for links. It’s all about usability. It would be a snap to make a Mac desktop widget that streams the data, but the nuance is that our RSS feed is only available in the Plus version.

  2. Under the hood, dashboard widgets are basically just webpages, so they are pretty easy to construct. If you have a RSS of any analytics, then yeah, it’s dead easy.

  3. Phil: Thanks for that. It’s cool, but it doesn’t do quite what I was looking for.

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