Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Google Reader Stats

Inspired by Atul Gawande's advice to "measure something," I decided to start keeping track of how long I spent each day tabbing through items in my Google Reader. Naturally, I have made this process a batch process, done once per weekday.

It has now been one week, so I have five data points. I wanted to see if any strong trends emerged, so I put the data in a Google Spreadsheet, publicly available here. I'm still tooling around with it, but I was also excited to try out the gadget feature, which should let me embed the two charts I came up with right on my blog as gadgets:

Nothing tremendously interesting or pretty, but for right now I just wanted to see if the pipes could be connected so to speak.

One thing I noticed was that the standard scatterplot falls victim to standard scatterplot syndrome: you can only display two values on it, i.e., you can't make the points sized or colored based on a third or fourth column of values.

Thing is, there's a developer's API for these things, but currently there are no available charts that allow for this multi-dimensional type of scatter plot. I wonder if this is something that one could knock out in a weekend...


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