A Blogger’s Best Friend: Performancing.com
If you are a blogger, you have probably already heard about Performancing.com. If you haven’t yet, or have procrastinated on checking out the site, you really need to go there this very instant.
Well, after you finish reading this. ;)
Performancing describes itself as a “group weblog of professional bloggers, for professional bloggers,” and in that they are sincere. There write consistently well constructed and interesting posts on the subject of blogging, and offer a lot of great tips and advice. However, Performancing is quickly becoming a whole lot more. Just a few short weeks ago, they launched the public beta of Performancing Metrics, which is a free statistics service for your blog. In that time, they have grown and are now tracking over 10,000 blogs.
Metrics has one of the fastest and most attractive interfaces I have ever seen in a statistics service, which from what I can determine is done in the always sexy combination of CSS, AJAX and PHP. The service is in beta at this point and is still missing a few features that are still being developed, such as the ability to exclude your own IP address, or to get the highly detailed geographical data that Statcounter offers. However, all of that is being worked on as they fine tune the service to meet the community’s needs. For those of you using AdSense, you should definitely check this out, as Metrics compiles your Google AdSense stats by default. Metrics will also track comments your blog receives and which posts appear to be the most popular. And as I said, Metrics is fast. This is a breath of fresh air compared to the slow (if extremely useful) interface of Statcounter, or the debilitating effect on your page load speed when using Google Analytics.
Performancing has been really great about publishing a really slick and easy-to-use API for developing your own applications that use Metrics data, which has led to everything from simple code to display a counter on your page, to a user-developed plugin for Google Desktop.
Metrics can also track multiple blogs under one free account, with apparently no stated limit so feel free to track your whole blog network there! As it is in beta right now, you should probably continue to run your old solution along side of it to ensure you are getting the most out of your stats, but I can’t wait to see the next step in Metrics’ development.
Okay, I’ve rambled on about Metrics enough, and there is still one more awesome free product from Performancing to discuss. Performancing Firefox is an extension for the popular web-browser which allows you to post, edit and manage your blog in a panel. The extension is really feature-rich, with support for services such as Wordpress.org, Blogger, TypePad, LiveJournal, and MSN Spaces. If you host your own blog, you can still use this extension to connect to applications powered by Wordpress, Movable Type, Drupal, Textpattern, Blogger API or the MetaWeblog API. Once you have added your blog you are all set to begin writing your blogs. PFF includes Technorati tag support, categories, trackbacks, del.icio.us support, and the ability to save additional notes. The editor has a friendly WYSIWYG interface, as well as my preferred source-based editor, and a live preview feature (unfortunately not yet using your blog’s CSS, but I believe that is in the works). If you install the Spellbound extension, you will have access to spell check in both Firefox and PFF.
Like Metrics, PFF is a beta release so there are a few weird little quirks, that I wouldn’t go so far as to call bugs, but the folks at Performancing are actively seeking out feedback as they improve the application.
Really, this is just an amazing extension and a must-have for any blogger. In fact, I’m composing this entry in PFF right now. Download it now.
I cannot adequately express how impressed I am with Performancing.com, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in the future.