Google Analytics Contest Winners!

July 18, 2007
By Robbin Steif

Kawaii double waterfall

Oh, it took forever, but we finally have winners and runners-up to the Google Analytics Documentation Contest. (One of the judges, Avinash Kaushik, wrote me this morning, “You have my permission to shame me on this one, you can blame me for the delay in awarding prizes.”) The other judge was Justin Cutroni of Epikone. I let them make the decisions and then cast the tie-breaking vote where necessary. Justin and Avinash, thank you.

Before I start, a word about prizes. I must be such an Ugly American, it never occurred to me that three of the four winners would be on other continents, making it hard (actually, impossible) for me to give away some of the prizes for example. But all is not lost! Here is what we are giving away, in no particular order:

1. A copy of Web Analytics: An Hour a Day, which we can order from any of Amazon’s many locations. Avinash is buying that one. (Thanks A)

2. A gift certificate for up to $50 in a free ink/toner refill for your printer from Databazaar. That one is good in the US and Canada only. (Thanks, Databazaar.)

3. and 4. Copies (when it is available, which I hope is in the next month or so) of Justin Cutroni’s new O’Reilly e-book, Google Analytics Shortcuts. Shareen Jordan, who works at LunaMetrics, says this about the book, “I open the .pdf in the morning and I don’t turn it off until the day is over.” Justin, we (LunaMetrics) are buying this one these two gifts.

And now for the awards! (drumroll, please):

The “I’m Smarter Than Google Analytics” award goes to Steve McInerney for pointing out that the Regular Expressions(RegEx) for IP addresses in this link are too greedy, and will match much more than GA thinks they will. You can read his full entry here. For Steve, we have a copy of Avinash’s book. I know that he already has one copy, but is looking forward to another one, hopefully autographed. Category: Incorrect documentation

The “Am I Going Blind — where are those GA instructions?” award goes to Aditya Dugar for his entry, whereby he points out that GA never tells you how to choose a kind of match (head, exact or Regular Expressions) in the “How do I set up goals?” instructions? For Aditya, we have a copy of Justin’s ebook, and I think it is going to India (so I can just email it. When it is ready. Soon.) Category: Missing Documentation

The “Does GA have to hide the information?” award goes to Daniel Waisberg, who really wants to know how many pages he gets in Content before he has to see “other.” About this entry, Judge Cutroni wrote, “Another winner! Can you see a trend in my selections? Again, the issues I have with the documentation are the lack of information about the overall architecture of the applications. This includes limits in the data, how the reports are constructed and the basic processing of the application. ” For Daniel, we have a copy of Justin’s book, too. This one is going to Tel Aviv. Category: Missing Documentation

And the “Can’t You make this even harder to understand?” award goes to Joe Teixeira for his submission on how incredibly hard it is to understand the documentation wrt setting up e-commerce goals in Google Analytics. Judge Kaushik wrote, “It is a classic doh! I read it and am sad.” For Joe, we have a gift certificate from Databazaar, and I will get that to you very soon. Category: Opacity (Opaqueness?)

Runners up: Dylan Lewis, who asked, “Are goals applied retroactively?” (is everyone subscribing to his Web Analytics Wiki?) and June Li, who thinks that GA needs a whole new section on Regular Expressions.

Many thanks to everyone who submitted. I sent everything to GA, and they came back with some specific questions, and I am hoping to see some changes really soon.

Robbin