Today we measure web activity using logs and client-side JS hacks to enrich the logs. As reported in this story on web analytics, the combination of these two techniques represents the current sweet spot:
Software solutions historically have relied on analyzing Web server logs to collect data in batch for customers, while ASPs use Java scripting to place browser tags or "beacons" on a Web site that reports activity back to a third-party site in real time.
But...this "religious war" over techniques is beginning to wane as Web analytics companies increasingly employ both technologies. [ InfoWorld: Top News ]
Now I'll relay a question asked of me at a talk I gave recently. Paraphrasing: "If you have a rich client like Flash 6 front-ending web services, then where's the clickstream, and what do we measure?"
To the extent we package back-end interaction as services, we'll get a better (higher-level) record of that interaction. Rather than infer from HTTP logs, we'll see things directly in database and service-broker logs. Since these sources are diverse, there will of course need to be a syslogd kind of mechanism to aggregate them.
Still, the Flash question is an interesting one. There are evidently third-party tools that can report Flash user interaction data, but the analytics industry would probably like to see standard Flash APIs that can, with user permission, report such data.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/07/03.html#a327