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"Topic View" stats need some SERIOUS fixing...


BryanH

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I've been relying on the "Topic View" stats provided in the ACP for quite a while now. I run a busy forum and I need good stats. I enjoy using the IPS stats because it's easy to track the total topic views PER FORUM PER MONTH, which I can't really do in Google Analytics.

But I was apparently wrong about the "Topic View" stats. That's NOT how they really work, and IPS has never made this clear.

I suspected a problem with the stats about 6 months ago, so I opened a support ticket. One of my forums received 10 topic views that month, but I knew I had visited more than 10 times by myself alone! Tech support said I had some conflicting tasks that were preventing the ibf_topic_views table from pushing its results over to the ibf_topics table.

But a couple months later I kept noticing weird inconsistencies in the stats. One particular topic received 13,000 views in April (according to Google), but the "Topic View" stats only showed 2000 views for that forum. How could this be?

I opened another support ticket and about a day later I had my answer...

Rather misleading. So, if a topic was created on May 13th, 2008.. And was viewed 20000 times between May 13th, 2008 and today.. All those views will be credited to May 2008.

Rather misleading? Incredibly misleading! This revelation pretty much renders the feature completely and utterly useless. I passed my sentiments along in the support ticket, and IPS agrees that it's useless.

But will it be fixed in 3.0? No.

I am very, very disappointed. In the least, IPS needs to label this feature properly. Explain how it really calculates views and how pointless the data really is.

The topic views, and i'll get confirmation on this.. doesn't actually tell you the days the topic was viewed.. It tells you the day the topic was created, and how many times the topic was viewed.





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I can understand your frustration, but what you deem as high priority may not be what most people feel. In order to accurately track what you're looking for, every single topic view would need logged. For many sites, that's an unrealistic expectation considering the number of not only registered members pinging the topics repeatedly, but guests and search engines. Would something like Google Analytics or a similar tool be able to capture this data?

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Wow....I always find myself amazed at how important some features are to some people. For instance, the only time I ever load that page is when someone logs a bug report for the feature.

Nevertheless, what Michael said is correct, and is why it is near impossible to "fix" the feature to work how you want. I don't think it is realistic to log every single topic view that occurs in IPB. The numbers could be in the millions (or tens or hundreds of millions) per month easily, and your database wouldn't think too highly of that eventually.

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I don't think it's rare for people find stats important. And I understand if it's not possible to make it work how it should, that's fine. I just ask that it's labeled as such. Because as it stands, it's misleading. And the IPS support techs who helped me agree.

I relied on these stats, and who knows how many other IPS customers are doing the same?

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Imagine how big the db would become if it individually logged every single view! It would have to log the views by IP/User etc, would become GB's in size within a few days. Just knowing how many times it's been viewed is generally a good base for most. Your site would become so slow with such a huge amount of data in the db.

Terabyte told me he is gonna do a tutorial to not count search engines which would help me out a lot.

Personal preference I guess.

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Lee, see below.

[quote name='BryanH' date='01 June 2009 - 05:42 PM' timestamp='1243903330' post='1806945']
I understand if it's not possible to make it work how it should, that's fine. I just ask that it's labeled as such. Because as it stands, it's misleading.


And you guys keep saying "for what you want...", "for what you're looking for..." but it's not about what I want. It's about what IPS is selling me. It's not topic views per forum per month. It's a view counter per forum per month for topics that were created in that particular month.

Which is so confusing and pointless that I'm sure you'll be fielding many support tickets once it's correctly labeled as such. Better to just not even have this feature.

[quote name='Μichael' date='01 June 2009 - 05:29 PM' timestamp='1243902575' post='1806939']
Would something like Google Analytics or a similar tool be able to capture this data?


I use Google Analytics as well. But as far as I can tell, there's no way to track the total views for topics in a specific forum. Because Google has no way of knowing that certain threads are categorized into forums. Maybe if topic URL's indicated a forum ID, but they don't.

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