The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

A minor complaint

OK. So yesterday I received Avinash Kaushik’s book Web Analytics: An Hour a Day.

What the title didn’t mention that it is structured as one hour a day, five days a week, for eight months!

Hello, Avinash? Can you say “Attention Deficit Disorder”?

I resorted to a more comfortable mode of using the book, which is to go to the index and find topics that are of special interest to me right now. Even I do not know what I will be interested in five or six months from now.

The discussion in the book is very useful. No doubt about that. Apart from the fact that the author’s entire point of view is huge corporation-ish, I’m accustomed to translate these types of business books to my own small-time-operator, chief cook and bottle washer, do-everything-myself, level.

The thing that struck me the most about this book was the not-quit-theoretical, but not-quite-practical brass tacks level of discussion that reminds me of every car repair manual I’ve ever used. For example, a car repair manual will tell you, “Step One: Remove the four bolts holding the do-whacky in place.” It doesn’t tell you that you need hands the size of a small child to even reach the four bolts, along with a tool that you don’t have. Car repair manuals teach how to repair a specific car, but they do not teach how to be a mechanic.

So, when Avinash writes about email marketing, “open rates can be measured . . . by embedding web beacons in the email,” if you don’t already have a good idea what a “web beacon” is and how to embed it in an email, you’re screwed.

Going back to my first point, I’m sure that Avinash would say, “This book is about metrics. Go ask your IT department about that.”

Yo, Avinash, I AM the IT department.

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Written by Tom Fox

09/20/2007 at 10:15 am

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