“As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.”
If Papa Cringle has a Naughty but Nice list, it’s probably the same as the Silly Series list.
And now, for a snack to go with your eggnog, it’s time to turn our attention to Ted McDonald, a man who took six months to answer the silly questions below, bless him.
Tell the nice reader peoples about Ted McDonald.
I’ve been a full-time web analyst for almost 6 years, working for interesting brands like Nat Geo, Carfax, and now Verisign. Prior to that, I always made it a large part of my job, even if that meant sifting through log files for tracking codes used in that special email campaign. I really got the taste for web analytics when I got my hands on SiteCatalyst back in 2004. After several years of toiling as a jack-of-all-trades marketing type / entrepreneur, where web analytics was headed at the time seemed like the perfect blend of marketing, math, and web that you couldn’t find anywhere else and I never regret making the career move.
You have triplets. How did you tell them apart when they were babies? Did you secretly have no idea which was which?
You got me…I could not tell them apart for quite a while. They were very tiny at first – under 3 pounds. Even the doctors could not tell them apart when they were first born. We wanted to name the two identical Ben and Zach, but no one knew which was which until after a blood test, so the identical are now Ben and Nick. I had to use blue nail polish on one of the little guys’ thumbs for several months until we definitely knew who was who.
That’s lovely picture of you in a Jim Sterne t-shirt. How many hours a day do you spend crouched in his garden watching him?
None. I’ve moved on to other targets. Muahaha!
Web analytics is more art than science. Discuss.
I wouldn’t call it art, but it definitely requires a creative mind to solve many problems and encourage the use of web analytics throughout an organization.
What analytics-related book are you most likely to recommend? (aside from anything by Jim Sterne, obviously)
Who is your superhero-sans-cape in the web analytics community and why?
I think this answer’s sort of been taken already, but I’d have to say all the Clark Kent analysts out there that fly under the radar, just do a great job, and don’t beat their chest about it.
Two men are standing side by side in the middle of the Gobi desert. How does it make you feel about flan if a site’s average bounce rate is a jelly bean?
Easy. Flan is awful in any scenario.
What is the most difficult thing about being in the web analytics industry?
Probably the universal complaint that analytics teams are understaffed compared to other areas like design and development. But I gotta think that the unemployment rate for web analysts is way lower than the national average, so I have no complaints. In addition, I often look back at the difficulties we had soon after the boys were born – three babies in the NICU at the same time for over 2 months followed by me feeding them at 3am for the next however many months (it’s a blur) – and think, “hey, this job is freaking easy compared what I managed back then.”
What is your wish for the remainder of 2011?
Besides eternal forgiveness from you for taking so long to get to this? I’m just hoping to avoid a Jelly of the Month subscription for the holidays.
What is your strangest hobby (besides stalking Jim Sterne)?
Maybe climbing mountains (of laundry) or painting (over crayon marks). Seriously, I wish I had the time and energy to have enough hobbies for one of them to be considered strange. I am trying to encourage the kids to take up hobbies of their own, though, especially when it comes to music. There may or may not be three little ukuleles under our tree right now.
Happy Jollies from the Silly Series! Best Merries for 2012!