Practicing What you Preach: Complete Web Monitoring

I recently picked up the book Complete Web Monitoring by Sean Power & Alistair Croll. It’s a large book with extensive details about monitoring everything needed while running a business online, from infrastructure to marketing. After skimming the PDF for a bit I posted my initial thoughts on twitter. Today one of the authors responded to my tweet & the other had begun following me. This is a perfect example of online marketing done right.

Why Complete Web Monitoring?

I earn my living writing code but I have no illusions about the role of code in building a successful product or service. You don’t have a product without it, but the code is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to running a successful business. In order to be successful a company operating on the web has got to do a lot of things right, or do one thing so well that the rest don’t matter.

One of the most important things to get right is the marketing. There are no silver bullets when it comes to marketing. Each project is going to require a slightly different approach. Finding what works best for your particular offering is an involved and iterative process.

When hired as a developer I have found that not all clients are interested in hearing what you think about marketing & would prefer you to just write the code they ask for. This is a marketing problem that I have. I am not marketing part of the value I bring to the table so clients get confused when I want to spend time on something that isn’t supposed to be my job.

The problem is marketing isn’t really my job, it’s just something that I understand the importance of. I can talk about it but I don’t really have the knowledge or tools to act on it. All talk and no bite. So I’ve decide to address that & grabbing this book is one of the first steps in this process.

Initial Thoughts

I found this book as a result of good marketing. Word of mouth led me to the O’Reilly Store to purchase Ruby Best Practices. From there I was shown Complete Web Monitoring: Watching your visitors, performance, communities, and competitors. I bit on the upsell having only just heard of the book & read just the description. After checking out the table of contents & skimming some of the content I posted the following:

The Response

That was posted late night on Friday. Monday morning I found the following two messages:

Given the subject of the book I think this is perfect marketing. They are clearly monitoring what is being said about their book & taking the opportunity to connect with their customers. As a result I feel like I’ve got a direct line to the authors of the book, something that traditional marketing could never give you.

But This Book Isn’t Really About Marketing

It’s about monitoring your online presence. Quality marketing is just one of the side effects of good monitoring. When you learn from & improve based on data collected from your audience marketing is no longer about blindly blasting your message in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Before I really dig into the book the authors have proven by example that their methods work.