[WEB4LIB] re: public library usage statistics

Robert Sullivan rsullivan at sals.edu
Fri Feb 4 14:40:17 EST 2005

> Before you decide what stats to gather and how to present them, take a
> at the latest edition of Stephen Turner's "How the Web Works," at
> http://www.analog.cx/docs/webworks.html as well as Jeff Goldberg's
"Why web
> usages statistics (are worse than) meaningless," at
> http://www.goldmark.org/netrants/webstats/

Those were interesting.  We were more interested in knowing what
visitors actually used rather than an inflated figure to impress the
authorities, so I brought the logs into a database (I used Visual
FoxPro, but you could probably use Access or another programmable
database) and removed the entries for CSS files, graphics, robots.txt
etc.  I also remove entries from spiders automatically.  After some
manual browsing for the less-obvious mechanical visitors (a lot of hits
from one address in a very short time), I come up with a reasonable
estimate of "pages viewed by a human" which is still subject to the
vagaries of caching but gives us a sense of whether we are devoting our
resources in the proper areas.

Bob Sullivan  <rsullivan at sals.edu>
Schenectady County Public Library (NY)  <http://www.scpl.org/>
Schenectady Digital History Archive

More information about the Web4lib mailing list