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Web Site Measurement Hacks

Eric T Peterson
Published by O'Reilly Media
ISBN:0-596-00988-7
430 pages
£ 17.50
Published: September 2, 2005
reviewed by Lindsay Marshall
   in the June 2006 issue (pdf), (html)
bookcover  

I hope the person who suggested turquoise as a good colour for emphasis in text isn't involved in designing a web site for a business. Ughh!!! The whole book looks washed out and pale because of it, particularly as the body typeface is very thin. With my ageing eyes I found this really hard to read. I suppose old people aren't supposed to be involved in the bright new world of the Web so that's probably OK then. Oh, and while I'm complaining, I think website is one word not two now. (But to balance that out I think that e-mail should have a hyphen in it.)

Anyway, so it looks ugly, what about the content? Well, since I'm being grumpy, let me say that the ``Hacks'' series of books really annoys me. There are always some pieces of computing ambergris brought up from the depths: rare, perfumed and desirable, but there is also too much of the stuff that comes out the other end as well. But to be fair this book does seem to have more than its fair share of useful stuff, particularly if you are new to messing around with logfiles and stuff. The biggest danger I feel is that if you were to actually try and do everything mentioned in the book (and I suspect that some people might) you could spend all your time measuring and analysing and never do anything about making sure that your site was worth visiting. Not too expensive and I will certainly add this to my reading list of books for when I teach about website management.

The headings really get to me though: ``Leverage Referring Domains and URLs'', ``Measure Organic Search''. Grrrr.

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