Archive

Posts Tagged ‘stats’

Lying with bar charts

September 8, 2014 Leave a comment

I found this image in the newspaper a few months ago

The main problem with this visualization is that doubling the value doubles the height AND width of the bone, making it look like a four-fold increase.

Moral of the story? Use fixed width bars and only vary the height. Sorry USA Today et al who create these garbage charts.

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Categories: data Tags: , , ,

How to download your WordPress.com stats in CSV, JSON, or XML format

January 30, 2014 7 comments

I wanted raw data about the popularity of my various posts on this blog to better determine what sort of topics I should post about. WordPress.com provides some nice aggregate stats, but I wanted more. After stumbling around the Internet for awhile, I cobbled together a way to download my blog data in either CSV, XML, or JSON format.

There are three steps:

  1. Get an API key
  2. Get your blog URL
  3. Construct the URL to download the data

Get an API key

Akismet is WordPress.com’s anti-spam solution. Register for an Akismet API key at http://akismet.com/wordpress/ by clicking on “Get an Akismet API key”.

Sign up for an account. If you choose the personal blog option, you can drag the slider all the way to the left and register for free. If you value the service that Akismet provides, you can pay more. When you complete the signup flow, you will be provided with a 12 digit ID. Copy this down.

Get your blog URL

Copy the full URL of your blog, minus the leading https://. For me this is developmentality.wordpress.com.

Construct the URL

There is a limited API for downloading your data at the following URL:

http://stats.wordpress.com/csv.php

View this in a browser to see what the API parameters are.

API as of 2014/01/28

Construct the url

http://stats.wordpress.com/csv.php?api_key=<api_key>&blog_uri=<blog_uri>

View this URL in the browser (or via wget / curl) and you should see the view data.

CSV rows returned

There are multiple data sources. From the documentation:

table String One of views, postviews, referrers, referrers_grouped, searchterms, clicks, videoplays

Here is some sample data from each table. Change the format param from csv to json or xml to get the data in different formats.

views

CSV

"date","views"
"2013-12-31",118

JSON

[{"date":"2010-02-05","views": 46}]

XML

<views>
    <day date="2014-01-01">112</day>
</views>

postviews

CSV

"date","post_id","post_title","post_permalink","views"
"2014-01-28",369876479,"Three ways of creating dictionaries in Python","https://developmentality.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/three-ways-of-creating-dictionaries-in-python/",46

JSON

[{"date":"2014-01-29","postviews":[{"post_id":369876479,"post_title":"Three ways of creating dictionaries in Python","permalink":"http:\/\/developmentality.wordpress.com\/2012\/03\/30\/three-ways-of-creating-dictionaries-in-python\/","views":22},{"post_id":369875635,"post_title":"R - Sorting a data frame by the contents of a column","permalink":"http:\/\/developmentality.wordpress.com\/2010\/02\/12\/r-sorting-a-data-frame-by-the-contents-of-a-column\/","views":16}]}]

XML

<postviews>
    <day date="2014-01-30"></day>
    <day date="2014-01-29">
        <post id="369876479" title="Three ways of creating dictionaries in Python" url="https://developmentality.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/three-ways-of-creating-dictionaries-in-python/">54</post>
    </day>
</postviews>

referrers

CSV

"date","referrer","views"
"2014-01-28","http://www.google.com/",63

JSON

[{"date":"2014-01-30","referrers":[]},{"date":"2014-01-29","referrers":[{"referrer":"http:\/\/www.google.com\/","views":66},{"referrer":"www.google.com\/search","views":27},{"referrer":"www.google.co.uk","views":10}]}]

XML

<referrers>
    <day date="2014-01-30"></day>
    <day date="2014-01-29">
        <referrer value="http://www.google.com/" count="" limit="100">66</referrer>
    </day>
</referrers>

referrers_grouped

CSV

"date","group","group_name","referrer","views"
"-","Search Engines","Search Engines","http://www.google.com/",1256

JSON

[{"date":"-","referrers_grouped":[{"referrers_grouped":"Search Engines","views":{"http:\/\/www.google.com\/":1305}}]}]

XML

<referrers_grouped>
    <day date="-">
        <group domain="Search Engines" name="Search Engines">
            <referrer value="http://www.google.com/">1305</referrer>
        </group>
    </day>
</referrers_grouped>

Dates aren’t included so it’s the sum over the past N days, defaulting to 30. To change this, set the days URL parameter:

http://stats.wordpress.com/csv.php?api_key=<api_key>&blog_uri=<blog_uri>&table=referrers_grouped&days=<num_days>

searchterms

CSV

"date","searchterm","views"
"2014-01-28","encrypted_search_terms",190

JSON

[{"date":"2014-01-30","searchterms":[]},{"date":"2014-01-29","searchterms":[{"searchterm":"encrypted_search_terms","views":159},{"searchterm":"dynamically load property file in mule","views":2}]}]

XML

<searchterms>
    <day date="2014-01-30"></day>
    <day date="2014-01-29">
        <searchterm value="encrypted_search_terms" count="" limit="100">159</searchterm>
        <searchterm value="dynamically load property file in mule" count="" limit="100">2</searchterm>
    </day>
</searchterms>

clicks

CSV

"date","click","views"
"2014-01-28","http://grab.by/grabs/b608b9c315119ca07a1f7083aabbb9c7.png",3

JSON

[{"date":"2014-01-30","clicks":[]},{"date":"2014-01-29","clicks":[{"click":"http:\/\/www.anddev.org\/extended_checkbox_list__extension_of_checkbox_text_list_tu-t5734.html","views":2},{"click":"http:\/\/android.amberfog.com\/?p=296","views":2}]}]

XML

<clicks>
    <day date="2014-01-30"></day>
    <day date="2014-01-29">
        <click value="http://www.anddev.org/extended_checkbox_list__extension_of_checkbox_text_list_tu-t5734.html" count="" limit="100">2</click>
    </day>
</clicks>

videoplays

I am not sure what this format is as I have no video plays on my blog.

Conclusion

I hope you find this useful. I’ll make another post later showing how to crunch some of this data and extract meaningful information from the raw data.