Data driven crazy…by Google

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That’s me currently. I’ll admit, I do love research and technology. It’s the behind the scenes data and interconnectedness that amazes and perplexes me. Sure I hit roadblocks like any other genealogist, but the ones I am finding myself up against lately are of a technology nature as it relates to starting my business.

I get asked pretty regularly, how’s your website traffic, what’s your reach? I just assumed I could go into my web hosting service and see the data. It must be buried pretty deep because I couldn’t find anything and the support boards weren’t any help either. Time to spend some time and do this right.

Google Analytics was the recommendation I found at every turn. What, it’s free?! I’m sure the catch is that Google has access to my data in my website, maybe more. I can deal with that, I think… So I pulled the GA switch this weekend. From there, I went to my Facebook company page and figured what the heck, let’s promote this page and I created a paid ad with a fixed budget not the crazy $5 per day. I set up target audience demographics, interests etc… I thought, this is way too easy. And it really was! I downloaded both the Facebook Insights and another analytics app that pulls in the GA data. Now, I’m hooked. I can tell in an instant how many unique visitors, what’s my bounce rate and how long they stay on each page of the website. Just plain cool.

Google has some cool technology typically so I thought I would check out the Google Glass tour that started in Durham, NC. This proved to be an underwhelming experience compared to all of the great tech endeavors Google has been part of. After waiting in an hour long sun-baked line with my children (2 under the age of 5) and our caregiver, it was finally our turn to see what the buzz was about. I put the Google Glass on, it kept trying to find a connection. It didn’t understand my commands, or actually my question “Ok Glass, where am I?” until it was my last moment with this contraption. Finally the screen above my right eye displayed the words “Durham NC” and then showed me on a map. Hmmm, do I need a small piece of glass monitor over my right eye to show me where I am? Perhaps I should have asked how to say “good evening” in Japanese. As a genealogist, the most practical purpose i considered this Terminator type eye piece would provide was the ability to take photos of graves and dictating what was being viewed. I could easily pull out my iPhone for this and as far as pics, the $1500 current pricetag of Glass would more easily translate to a new Nikon.

While I continue to build my business, I will be keeping stock of the steps and technology along the way. Watch out there could be a lecture in my future! In the meantime, I wonder how many new visitors liked my Facebook page or visited my website while I wrote this? Ok Glass, where am I?

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