Chartbeat - Real Time Analytics

I've had a new analytics service called Chartbeat running on this blog for a while now. You haven't seen it until recently when I put this widget on my right sidebar.

Chartbeat widget

The cool thing about Chartbeat is that the stats are real-time. They tell me what is going on right now. If you click on the button on the upper right sidebar that says "Traffic Stats", you'll get a page that looks like this:
Traffic stats

I publish all the publicly available stats on this blog that I normally track (I wish I could do this with Google Analytics but can't or don't know how). The top link on that page is now Chartbeat so anytime you want to see what is going on here in real-time, you can click on it. This is what you'll see:

There's actually a lot more data on the page (and the additional tabs) but that's all that I could capture with my screengrab.

Chartbeat combines a very slick and appealing UI with lots of real-time data that I've never been able to get on this blog until now.

You might ask "why do you care what is going on at any moment in time?" That's a good question and the truth is many times I don't. But sometimes I do. Chartbeat also sends me email alerts when the traffic on this blog goes well above the monthly average. I get those emails about five or ten times a month and it's very interesting to go look at this page when that happens. I also get alert when the page load times degrade significantly and also when the blog is down.

But beyond all of this, the thing that is most intersting to me is the bundle of real time services that Betaworks is building. They built, they invested in tweetdeck, they built Chartbeat, the invested in and then sold Summize to Twitter. Betaworks gets the real-time web and they are building a portfolio of interesting services on that insight. Well done Betaworks team and particular congrats to Billy Chasen, the talented developer behind Chartbeat.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. Andrew Warner

    Hey Fred, check out how this site shows users its Google analytics. (Tab on left side.)…Cool, huh?

    1. fredwilson

      That’s sweetThat must be a google analytics widgetI had no idea they were availableI’d love to get one

    2. nabeel

      Agreed. Where is that GA widget from Andrew?

      1. Andrew Warner

        My brother showed it to me, but I don’t know how they did it. Might be something they created themselves.

  2. example

    Hey, what do you think about the fact that .ly domain is controlled by Libya? Apparently the law requires websites ending in .ly to comply with sharia law, does do that?

    1. daryn

      This point about the .LY domains is actually a good one… There is definitely a risk when using some of the more exotic country code TLDs. Many of these registries are run by small operations (At one point several years ago, I actually had main registry database and server for a to-remain-nameless ccTLD running on the DSL line in my condo), are subject to the policies & restrictions imposed by the country’s government, and face the risk of redelegation, revocation, and/or things just up and disappearing one day. This has happened in the past, and while strides have been made to reduce these risks, they are worth being aware of.In more related news, I started looking at Chartbeat earlier this week as well, and it’s super slick. Betaworks is tearing it up! Cool to see your stats too…

      1. fredwilson


  3. rkorba

    And on top of it, noticed yesterday that you got a HT from techcrunch in that article. from them, it’s as near as proxy as one gets for outright praise as a thought leader.

    1. fredwilson

      I’d prefer they just get their facts straight about our portfolio companies and not spread baseless rumors without fact checking them

  4. AndyFinkle

    Very cool Fred – But kinda feels like i’m looking up your blog’s dress

    1. fredwilson

      Fortunately I wear pants

  5. Steffan Antonas

    Fred,Thanks for opening the Kimono a bit. A bunch of us are sitting in the Web2Expo keynote hall huddled over your analytics. Being able to put this data in context of a blog we’re all very familiar with makes the demo incredibly useful. Hat tip to you.

    1. fredwilson

      I’ve been doing it with sitemeter and lijit and other services for a while. I believe in openness and transparency

  6. BmoreWire

    Chartbeat is awesome and their API is increadible too. Much like how ad networks and media companies leverage these tools will be huge money for Betaworks.

  7. Andrew_of_ihearditon

    Chartbeat is great, thank you! The real-time data is a bit dangerously mesmerizing to watch.First, I’m using Typepad Plus at the moment, and was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to use the chartbeat service (Typepad Plus won’t permit editing of CSS). I emailed and got a quick response, which I really appreciated. That being said, chartbeat really should have a help section that answers this questionsSecond, I’m wondering about your thoughts on the different data services and how you weight them relative to each other. You do go into it a bit above, but are there particular services whose data you weigh more than others? Or particular data you’ve found to be most reliable?I ask partially because MyBlogLog failed on me for 9 out of the past 14 days. An email exchange with a perky customer service rep did little to help, but I have been assured their “topnotch engineering department” is working on helping me recover the data.A quick search on #mybloglog on Twitter Search, and a conversation with a Yahoo! employee, suggested I wasn’t the only one ….

    1. fredwilson

      Mybloglog and feedburner are slowly dying inside their parent companies. It makes me sick to even think about it

      1. Andrew_of_ihearditon

        Is there an alternative to Feedburner? WoM and Google Searches hasn’t produced anything lately….Also, saw you just added the Metric track to your streampad musicplayer – my site,, has been preaching them for since March 3, when our team posted “Help, I’m Alive.” Check us out, and since you’re an honest fan of music, and reviewer of online services, let us know if you find anything with us.

        1. fredwilson

          Cool, I’ll check out ihearditon

  8. RacerRick

    I added it to a couple sites today. It’s pretty amazing.Google “anal” is helpful for looking at trends and ad campaigns and such.But literally watching people go through a site is amazing.And thanks for keeping your’s ‘open’.

  9. avertiz

    This is cool stuff. As someone who focuses on online retail I can see (and have been looking for) the benefits of having a real-time solution that tracks customers through your site. I’ve tested a lot of stuff out there and this definitely looks as good or better than most. I don’t see much in terms of e-commerce integration on their site. In my opinion, that’s the killer part – being able to track how your sales funnel is working so you can launch and tweak usability improvements and marketing campaigns MUCH faster. Usually it is more of a launch -> wait -> analyze -> tweak -> launch and all over again. A good real-time tool could take out the “wait” part of that equation making it very powerful (the faster you optimize the more sales you get).

  10. howard lindzon

    turning it inside out as you do is exactly what i think the best use of this service is for sites where a lot of actiin is occuring like stocktwits for example. At a stock site, I can get a feel for whats hot by seeing where people are at.

  11. julie_poplawski

    I really like this! I have a blog and when people don’t comment its hard to tell what they are looking at from Google analytics. I can see there are lots of page hits But, not the breakdown by posts. Thanks so much!

  12. Colin Devroe

    If only I could keep up with my Google Reader in a timely-enough-fashion to respond sooner than N days later after you post. Sorry.As I read through some of the features you mentioned something struck me. While I believe Chartbeat’s realtime offerings are, in general, the main value in the application/service I wanted to make note of something that it does that I do not feel many other stats applications do very well; notifications. It seems most other stats gathering applications focus solely on recording the hit, and all of its metadata with it, that they ignore the position they are in to do so many other things. The realtime feedback being a big one – but also the opportunity to let the administrator know when things are going on that might otherwise not be normal for that site.As you said, Chartbeat lets you know when you’re getting a serious amount of traffic. That’s noteworthy in and of itself. But the fact that it notifies you that your blog is down is absolutely the perfect feature to be build into a statistics application. I have never used Chartbeat, so I do not know all that it offers, but other things related to this that strike me as good fits in this category are: notifications when specific URLs “go down” (in other words, if people are getting 404 errors, email me), broken image reports, is a particular widget slowing my site down, and what about notifications of when new URLs link back to a particular page?These are off-the-cuff ideas that would need a lot more thought… but in general we are using a geographically targeted, real-time, and aggregated Web that needs to begin to think itself as such. Statistics programs, while useful for gathering data about what has happened, are in the perfect position to let us know what is happening right now. And not just what people are doing on a site, but even what the site itself is doing.

    1. fredwilson

      Don’t get me startedI rant and rave about notifications to all of our companies and many others tooIt is the single best way to develop engaged user bases and yet people miss this all the timeGreat comment!