Sheila MacNeill recently shared Some thoughts on web analytics using our work on analytics in which she mentioned a tool I developed which allows us to quickly get social share and page view counts for out blog, category or project feeds. The solution was a quick add-on to Using Google Spreadsheets to combine Twitter and Google Analytics data to find your top content distributors, recycling some other bits of code I had lying around (mostly from Introducing a RSS social engagement tracker in Google Apps Script #dev8d, which has never really worked). The reworking is much simpler and more reliable so if you would like to extract social counts from your own (or other people’s) RSS feeds here’s:
*** RSS Feed Social Share Counter ***
If you are using this with your Google Analytics account you’ll need to authenticate access, otherwise you can just enter a RSS feed in cell B5 and see what you get back.
As JISC CETIS uses WordPress for it’s blogs it’s easy to get feeds for particular projects. For example I can get a RSS feed for the OER Visualisation Project using http://mashe.hawksey.info/category/ooh-er/feed/. The spreadsheet is using the importFeed formula you’re limited to 20 items. Usually this is enough for us as most project feeds fairly go over that. How meaningful are the numbers? At the end of the day page views probably have the most weight (tweets are cheap ;), I do find social counts useful as a way to find posts worth further investigation to find out who said what when – further work is required though to turn that data into actionable decisions.
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