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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Google+ Analytics

Google+ Last night's Ziteing turned up a couple of gems indicating the direction of travel I'd like to take. This is based on the principle stated in De Laat et al (Analysing student engagement with learning and tutoring activities in networked learning communities: a multi-method approach. 2006 Int. J. Web Based Communities, 2(4): 394-412), a three-pronged approach consisting of:
  • Social network analysis to find out who is talking to who
  • Content analysis through coding teaching and learning activities as a way to find out what they are talking about
  • Context analysis focusing on the experiences of the participants to find out why they are talking as they do
Content and context are straightforward though laborious, it's SNA that I struggle with, particularly for Google+. The first item Zite turned up was Visualization of Google Plus Graph in Gephi by Matthew Hurst. Unfortunately this post raises more questions than it answers - how was the data crawled without an API - any suggestions?

The second item was a Search Engine Watch post by Rob D. Young, Users Respond to Google+ and Facebook Interfaces Nearly Identically which uses heatmaps derived by eye-tracking. No great surprises here, but good data showing that Google+ is on a solid track.



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