average click-through of a link posted on MeFi proper? November 30, 2000 4:46 AM   Subscribe

Is there any way of determining the average click-through of a link posted on MeFi proper?

this thread, about Winnie the Pooh, sparked the thought, because the author came by (a Good Thing) and talked about what he'd done because of his referrer logs.
[a little more inside]
posted by cCranium to MetaFilter-Related at 4:46 AM (7 comments total)

I guess the real question is, are we creating anywhere near a /. effect? ~2300 people clicking through probably won't thrash any servers, but there's got to be a significant spike in traffic when a link's posted.

(also of note, the new keystrokes don't work when posting a MetaTalk thread. Also, MetaTalk gets shrunk the MeTa. That's neat.)
posted by cCranium at 4:47 AM on November 30, 2000

I could, old baylink asked me to do this ages ago, but the problem is I'd have to rewrite all URLs to say something like:


which muddies up the status bar down there in the lower left. I could do some ingenious javascript to show the URL in the status bar without the redirect, but that sort of hides the fact I'm doing it and feels a bit devious.

People complained in the past about being "tracked" but perhaps if there were a statistics page of "most popular links" it would be worth it.

It's not hard to do, I just thought some users would be turned off by it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:17 AM on November 30, 2000

I remember the fooforaw when baylink was doing it to the links he posted.

I was kind of hoping that somehow it'd get logged somewhere, some super-secret web-server setting or something like that.

As for a redirect, I don't think that's necessary. I don't think the stats page would actually be useful enough to justify it. It'd be something that gets hit lots during the first week it's available, then quickly die down.

In other, hopefully clearer words, I don't think it's useful enough for you to go through the hassle, especially if it's going to cause a rukus with users being tracked.

Which it very probably will. I imagine there's at least one person here who would prefer to surf anonymously, even though I doubt you'd be tracking users going through the links.
posted by cCranium at 11:25 AM on November 30, 2000

Actually, the more I think about it, the more helpful these stats sound, and I'd never track userIDs on links followed (why on earth would you? "Oh my god, CrazyUncleJoe followed the link to amihotornot 12 times! he's such a freak!"). It doesn't seem to say anything even if you kept track of user A following links x, y, and z.

It might prove more useful than it is invasive. Maybe I should start a poll or something.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:14 PM on November 30, 2000

It probably wouldn't be terribly difficult to provide an opt-[in|out] checkbox on user preferences, would it? You're already changing the front page depending on user preferences, so if people really didn't like it, a couple of clicks later they don't have to worry about it.

posted by cCranium at 6:44 PM on November 30, 2000

Actually, I think you could do it with the same sort of checkbox javascript that people are using to do "open a new window".

But, personally, I don't know that statistics you can opt out of *mean* anything.

Sure glad *I* wasn't the one who brought this up.
posted by baylink at 12:11 PM on December 1, 2000

They probably don't mean anything, but there are a few cantakerous folks (as I'm sure you know :-) that don't want to be tracked at all.

Giving them the ability to opt-out is probably fairly easy, and if it saves some headaches it saves some headaches.
posted by cCranium at 10:14 AM on December 2, 2000

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