Mix08 – Session 9 – Silverlight and Web Analytics

This session was a panel discussion regarding Web Analytics.  The panel was composed of members from WebTrends, Omniture, and Microsoft.  I found this session very interesting, since most of the solutions to track analytics within Silverlight applications are very similar to the ones we implemented with our Flash based RIA sites. 

Agenda

  • Omniture – SiteCatalyst, hosted solution
  • WebTrends – WebTrends Analytics, hosted solution
  • Microsoft – AdCenter Analytics – Beta2 released March 1
  • These products track information through page tags or beacons
  • With Silverlight (and other RIA platforms like Flash, Ajax, Etc), you don’t change pages.
  • You have to create and define pseudo-page views
  • 4 Scenarios:
    • Tracking Silverlight Installation
    • Tracking user Interaction
    • Tracking media Drop-off
    • Tracking Media Buffering

Silverlight Installation

  • JavaScript file to put on site
  • Silverlight.isInstalled method identifies if it is available
  • Check for each version, give them an experience for that version

Tracking user Interaction

  • Determine actions in your pipeline, funnel, etc.
  • Add Event handlers for each action
  • Event handlers map to page view equivalents

Tracking Media Drop off

  • Add invisible media markers every 5 seconds in the video
  • Media Markers trigger events
  • Events trigger page views
  • You can then monitor drop-off in 5 second increments

Tracking Media Buffering

  • Handle  the MediaElement.CurrentStateChanged event
  • When State goes to Buffering, trigger MediaBuffering page view
  • Correlate bit rate, content, geography, etc.

Analytics can bring you a single goal

  • This is through A / B Testing
  • Separation of design in XAML and code in JavaScript enables simple A / B design
  • In JavaScript or on server, for X% of visitors – show different XAML
  • Use analytics service to track difference between results in variation

Wrap Up

  • There is a Silverlight sample available – http://xmldocs.net/analytics
  • Track Geolocation with these projects
    • Akami Edgescape
    • Windows Live
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