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Complete Web Monitoring: Watching your visitors, performance, communities, and competitors 1st Edition

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596155131
ISBN-10: 0596155131
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Complete Web Monitoring

About the Author

Alistair Croll has been an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker for nearly 20 years. He’s worked on a variety of topics, from web performance, to big data, to cloud computing, to startups, in that time.

In 2001, he co-founded web performance startup Coradiant, and since that time has also launched Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, the Bitnorth conference, the International Startup Festival and several other early-stage companies.

Alistair is the chair of O'Reilly's Strata Conference, Techweb's Cloud Connect, and the International Startup Festival. Lean Analytics is his fourth book on analytics, technology, and entrepreneurship. He lives in Montreal, Canada and tries to mitigate chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at Solve For Interesting.

Sean Power spends way too much time on the computer and needs to get out more. He has worked as a web systems administrator since the mid 90s, has worked with online communities for companies such as MTV Northern Europe, and helped users reduce the headaches of managing and monitoring web infrastructures through Coradiant, a web performance monitoring vendor. Prior to working at Coradiant, he was technical reviewer for the Addison-Wesley book Troubleshooting Linux Firewalls.

Sean is currently working as community gardener for Akoha, a company pioneering the industry of "social games", where he handles all things community and analytics. This puts a mile on his face, and lets him sleep well at night.

He completes his full plate by supporting the companion website to the book he wrote with Alistair Croll, Total Web Monitoring, published by O'Reilly.

In his spare time, Sean makes sure that servers stay up and curses spammers in the EFnet IRC community and occasionally updates his personal music related blog, when he's not writing web optimization articles.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn (, hear him ramble away on Twitter (, or read about other stuff he's thinking of at the website he shares with Alistair,


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (June 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596155131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596155131
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,085,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author, analyst and entrepreneur who's somehow turned chronic ADHD into speaking with smart people about interesting things.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lenny Rachitsky on September 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will change the way you think about your online business. From page performance, to conversions, to user experience, to social media, "Complete Web Monitoring" covers the gamut of tools, techniques, and services that exist today to help you truly optimize the success of your online business.

The book breaks down all online business into four categories: Media, Transaction, Collaboration, and SaaS. Throughout the book, as you learn about the various flavors of analytics, usability, surveys, page performance, monitoring, online community management, collaboration...and how all of this fits are given specific, direct, and actionable steps to take that apply to your specific business model. For example, "Transaction" businesses must focus on conversions, uptime of the checkout process, and what customers are saying about their products. "SaaS" companies should focus on the performance of their most common paths through the application, popularity of specific features, and the user experience of the holistic product.

The amount of data and the number of tools at your disposal are overwhelming. At times this book is rather overwhelming. Choosing between an analytics provider, a monitoring service, or a social media tracking service could keep you from actually accomplishing real work. Sometimes too much choice and too much data is a very dangerous thing. It's important to remember to step back, remember the goals behind your measurements, and focus on solving the problems of your customers. With that in mind, the lessons learned in this book will help you zero in on optimizing those end goals.

"Complete Web Monitoring" is valuable for the same reason it is difficult to categorize.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ismail Elshareef VINE VOICE on September 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is ultimately about the End-User. The content of this book is designed to answer the following four questions (in order) about the End-Users:

- What did they do?
- How did they do it?
- Why did they do it?
- Could they do it?

To answer the first question, a closer look at data warehouse and web analytics is in order. The authors talk about that in detail, listing tools and services that address various issues often faced in collecting user data. The second question, "how did they do it?" is answered through constant monitoring of your site's usability and engagement, both of which are explained well in this book. The third question is about user interaction and feedback. The authors attempt to answer this question by explaining the process of VOC, or Voice of Customer, and all the details it entails.

The most important content in this book, I believe, is laid out in the three chapters dedicated to answering the fourth question, "could they do it?"

The first chapter talks about Frontend Performance and End-User Experience. The topic of Frontend Performance is relatively new and the list of books dedicated to it is growing rapidly with Steve Souders' books on top of the list.

The second chapter tackles Synthetic Monitoring and its advantages and drawbacks. Following that, the authors move into Real User Monitoring in the third and last chapter attempting to answer this question.

The authors then dedicate what I think is too much content to communities and competitors and how monitoring them can help you better your site. Although the information is useful, I feel it took away from the focus of the book but not too much to be a distraction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve S. on October 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The authors to an excellent job at covering the material. I especially liked the fact that they understand web sites are multi-faceted and thus generate information from different perspectives with each perspective giving their own view of what is happening and thus how the site can be improved. The authors have also clearly been involved with properties that tie into larger infrastructures through their reference to adjacent components like load balancers and how the web and these devices interact.

The tone of the book is friendly and easy to follow (typical of O'Reilly books) and its easy to crack open a section and skim through that to get useful information quickly.

The book is a little on the long side, though I don't think I'd want it to be shorter. This can make it appear at first glance to be intimidating, but tone removes that barrier quickly.

Five stars for depth of coverage. I recommend it to anyone that is responsible in any way for a web site. You don't know what you can be told about your site's users until you've taken the time to go through this book.
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