Press Pass: GitHub Traffic Analytics Comments

GitHub Traffic Analytics service gives developers insight into interest in their projects

Paul Krill asked for some quick input on GitHub’s newly released analytics. Here’s what I sent over for his story:

As the blog post says, it does look like fun, though pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. GitHub has been a major driver of getting the development community to care more about social interactions and collaborations, here, tracking who’s looking at your code and where they’re coming from - standard web analytics stuff. Before GitHub, most of the community around code was pretty faceless: it was just forum posts, really passive users and lurkers around the code. With things like this, and GitHub as a whole, developers can get a better sense for who’s interested in their work. Developers have been learning to use this kind of meta-data in their applications to do A/B testing (is this feature better implemented one way or the other) and it’s interesting to think that they’d do some meta-data navel-gazing on their own code.

Another class of user - marketers - would find this extremely valuable. I like to throw out the idea of “code as marketing” to illustrate the idea that code can be a good source for driving a vendor’s marketing needs. As an example, you can see Rackspace putting out command line tools and other developer SDK-ish things to market to developers. More than just “tools” to use on Rackspace’s cloud, this code is a marketing artifact. Since code is, essentially, the major currency of developers, if you want to do more marketing to them, you need to spray more code their way, hopefully that’s useful. In that instance, marketers will want to intimately track who looks at what on sites like GitHub, and this will give them an even more complete picture.

Press Pass: GitHub Traffic Analytics Comments,, @cote,,