Woopra Chat Turns Bloggers Into Stalkers

Since I have installed Woopra, I have attentively watched visitors come and go, browse around my site etc. One several occasions I gathered up enough courage to actually initiate a chat with someone. Not one of them has ever chatted back.

I got to thinking about this, and I’m not really all that surprised that no one has chatted back. For one thing, perhaps they all had popup blockers and they never even saw the window! Or, how often have you been to a site only to have one of those fake chat windows appear with pre-programmed responses? Or, worse yet, isn’t it just downright plain wierd to be visiting a website and knowing someone is watching you! I mean, talk about big brother.

When I go to initiate a chat, I have am staring at the visitor’s IP address – you might as well be watching their front door – I know what city they are from, I know how they got to my page, and I know what they are reading. Imagine it like this:

“Hello friend from Springfield, Illinois – I know you’ve only been on my site for 3 minutes and 15 seconds since you got here from Digg – but do you want to chat? I just got this new software called Woopra and it lets me do that! It’s cool huh?”

Okay, so I’m not that creepy. But seriously, how would you respond if someone started chatting with you out of the blue? Would you feel like your privacy was being invaded? Would you feel like they were stalking you?

From the blogger’s perspective it is great fun to watch people come and go (In Woopra you can even tag visitors with partictular nicknames!), but real time stats great reduces the anonymity of web surfing. I guess the closest example is back to my BBS days. Logging on then meant they knew what you were up to all the time (their computer would make that great modem sound just to let them know you’d connected, for one), they knew your phone number, and several other things about you.

One thing I know for sure, is that for better or for worse Woopra is going to change the face of web analytics, and quickly. My previous post, Woopra – The Chuck Norris of Site Analytics has become the best viewed post ever on my young blog. Woopra is making waves. Woopra pre-approved invites are even being sold on eBay!

What say you? How do you feel, knowing you’re being watched right now?

6 Responses to Woopra Chat Turns Bloggers Into Stalkers
  1. Nate.
    May 4, 2008 | 5:03 pm

    I’m anxiously awaiting woopra to approve both of my sites…can’t wait, looks like a sweet and powerful tool! It was good doing Sushi! I’ll give you a call later this week. (I’m doing like 4 shoots in the beginning, all in Chicago!) later.

  2. Joe Streno
    November 12, 2008 | 6:30 pm

    Hi Jonathan …

    Just got my Woopra approval today. So of course I busted out my iPhone to visit my own site & see what stats looked like ‘live’ in the Woopra app. Pretty slick!

    For me the jury is still out on the creep factor involved with watching people ‘live’ while they browse your website. Hmmm … maybe you’re watching me right now. I admit it might be fun. But initiating an IM session … that _is_ creepy. It may scare people away from our sites. I think people want to be alone and uninterrupted while they are reading or browsing. Isn’t that what they are there for? :)

    If they want to communicate anything with us they will leave a comment. If they leave an eMail address, I think it’s fair to assume you can contact them directly that way.

    All in all though … Woopra is pretty amazing so far. Let’s see what happens if & when they start charging for it.

    Well … that’s my 2¢ U.S.

    Joe Strenos last blog post..The Clash @ Bonds NYC 1981

  3. Jonathan
    November 13, 2008 | 8:25 am

    Hey Joe, thanks for weighing in. I wasn’t aware there was an iPhone app for Woopra – that’s pretty cool!

    I think I agree with you on the IM issue – I tried it once or twice when I got woopra, but nobody picked up on the other end so I dropped it and haven’t tried since.

    I suppose there would be some way to use it, but I haven’t found one yet, at least not for this blog.

  4. Joe Streno
    November 13, 2008 | 9:43 am

    Jonathan, No iPhone version, I just used Safari on my iPhone to surf to my blog. But maybe someone should plant that bug in Woopra’s ear for an iPhone version.

    Joe Strenos last blog post..The Clash @ Bonds NYC 1981

  5. Jonathan
    November 13, 2008 | 10:27 am

    Oh ok… but that would be pretty sweet if they made an app like that! Still, if it shows up in Safari ok, that’s pretty cool too.

  6. Mike
    March 10, 2009 | 6:24 pm

    The other thing to consider is that they did respond, but you never saw it. This was happening in every test I had when I first installed Woopra. The support forum posts to Woopra went unanswered. It now works after about three weeks of me being able to initiate a chat session, but the visitor’s responses not appearing on my end.