Saturday, September 03, 2005
I've had the recent good fortune to become a beta-tester. If you've never been a beta-tester, it's a wonderful feeling — equivalent to knowing where the secret stash of Playboys is buried in the woods. But whereas the soiled pages of boobies and ribald tales only HURT my productivity, my beta-testing experience has vastly IMPROVED it. Why? Because I'm testing an excellent little stat-tracking application created by Shaun Inman, christened "Mint".
I've used statistics programs before. The Counter, Reinvigorate, Refer, and even the bloated, obtuse orgy of charts and query-strings called Analog. Mint undoubtedly kicks all their asses. Previous stat programs I used were never able to strike a healthy balance between extensive functionality, an attractive interface, and customization. Mint has easily surpassed my expectations.
Now, it was agreed amongst my fellow testers that we'd each pick a particular aspect of Mint to focus on and discuss. And I'm pleased to say I was able to claim the Watched Pages.
What are Watched Pages? Well, essentially, Mint allows you to designate particular pages whose hits you wish to keep an eye on. This has been incredibly helpful for those times where I'm submitting work to publishers (a group notorious for ignoring inquiries), and need to know if they ever looked at what I sent. But beyond that, it's become quite a useful tool to help me understand what's happening on my site; an excellent way to see if anyone ever visits the obscure bearskinrug pages that contain the hidden location to the Treasure of Bearskinrug Mountain.
If you're hungry for further minty tales, there's assuredly more literature on Mint exploding across the internet as we speak. But if you're interested in what the other beta-testers have to say (remember, everyone spoke about a different feature), feel free to visit these other fine sites: