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Is Mint a sexy dumb blonde or cunningly smart or both?
NIKON D70 - 1/60 sec, f 8 at 24 mm, ISO

Is Mint a sexy dumb blonde or cunningly smart or both?

Given it's apparently the latest thing in Web Traffic Analytics I installed Mint yesterday to have a play.

It was a simple job to sign up and a simple job to install it. Both good things. I'm really liking some of the web software available now that is really easy to install. I think there is a level of quality creeping into that end of the web market that I've never detected earlier. In the old days everything was a fight to get it installed and going, and even then it never worked as advertised.

I have to temper my opinion of Mint given it's price of only $30 (which is pretty good value). It of course can't be compared to Urchin (even though that's free now) or just about any other analytics solution. And given what else is on the market in the free/under $50 range, Mint kicks all their arses for look and feel and installation and ease of use. The API/plugin capability is a masterpiece, especially when compared to something like Awstats.

Mint is very nice to look at in all it's AJAX/Web 2.0 lovelyness. Although I hate it's layout with the big blocks of usless screen wasted between the panes. It's like it uses table cells in a really basic manner. Surely it could make the panes/columns fit together better. That and it plain doesn't work on IE (mutter mutter). However, the rest of it is good stuff. If we could get our various GTrack apps to look as good as it then we'd really be onto something.

But does it provide useful traffic analytics? The answer is nope. Even after installing 12 peppers, I still have only a rudimentary understanding of the traffic over my site. In some places I have too much detail (like having the whole URL in the Referrer Aggregator) but mostly not enough detail, summary, totals. Some other places are just right. On the one hand I don't see the referrer spam I see in awstats, but I also can't see spiders and the requests for the RSS either. Visualization of the information is poor to nonexistant, although the Fresh View Pepper is a superb piece of SVG work. It really is a mixed bag of in some places surpassing the mark (Outclicks is pure genious for example) and in others being woefully short.

I could of course get off my butt and code myself up some peppers to sort it all out to how I like it. And because I get the code for all the peppers I've already loaded, I could hack them all I want. But I doubt I will, because Mint/Awstats is probably enough reporting for a site like this.

$30 is a fair price and I'll continue to use Mint. But at the same time I'll still need to run Awstats to keep on top of all the important things Mint cannot report. Mint would be an excellent choice for your average Blog (which is probably it's market of course) but no good for a small business site.

Go buy Mint, you'll like it!

Look, not a single mint pun in sight!

Captured: 2006:02:06 20:25:25
Posted: Monday, February 6, 2006, 9:35 pm


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