Friday, 16 November 2007

Measuring our sucess to date

After the release of the WebPA OS download we are happy to report that a total of twenty four (24) downloads have been made since the beginning of October 2007. We are unable to gather statistics on where these downloads are from, which is a shame, but it is encouraging that others are interested in the WebPA tool .

The reason why we are unable to gather more information than the download numbers is due in part to our use of sourceforge. Sourceforges privacy policy prohibits us from being able to access more detailed information. It a way it is sufficient to know that there have been twenty four (24) downloads of the WebPA tool. However, it would be nice as a JISC funded project to be able to identify the UK downloads. I don't know that the selection of another open source community tool would have made much difference as to the stats available, but there may have been a bigger impact on the download level achieved (possibly negatively).

Further to the downloads, we are happy to be able to also report the success of the WebPA Demonstrator (passwords). Since its launch on the 29 October 2007, the demonstrator has been used by people in the following countries; Australia, Sweden, New Zealand , and of course the UK. Within the UK we have had visitors from; Loughborough, Hull, Derby, Belfast, Oxford, London, Bristol and Edinburgh to name a few (from 17).

I have been able to collect more information about this by using the Google analytics tool. From the collection of the statistics, it is possible to evaluate how long users have stayed on the site, and in some cases presume why they leave so early. But there is no way to see how the use of the demonstrator links to a download of the WebPA tool from sourceforge.

The last interesting point is that WebPA has already reached a global audience. Although this is beyond the remit of the original funding, at the same time it can be seen as quite gratifying. Especially for those at Loughborough who have been involved with WebPA from its original inception.

Hopefully in the future I will be able to return with more information on how the WebPA project is progressing in terms of downloads and demonstrator use.


Ross Gardler said...

I owuldn't worry about not being able to see who downloaded, such information is not really that useful. This is becuase each download may be passed to multiple users.

What I would suggest you do is add something to your installation scripts or your GUI that requests that users register with you. Make it as simple as clicking a send button on a pre-filled form (wherever posible).

This way it's not who downloas you are tracking but who installs. This is much more interesting an useful data in most cases.

Another useful trick is an obvious link to your issue tracker and mail lists on every significant page of the webapp. Encourage your "unkown users" to become "known users" through egnagement with your community tools.

Nic said...

Thanks for the suggestion I think that would be a brilliant way of gathering the information. I will also be looking how we can link directly to the issue tracker as well.