Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Real-Time Web Analytics Start-Up Chartbeat Tallies Up More Investors

Chartbeat, the real-time Web-publishing analytics service, has added a few more investors to its previously announced $3 million funding round. Joining Index Ventures et al are: Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg, former Verisign CFO Dana Evan and Code Advisors, best known as Quincy Smith’s newish gig.

All three are interesting names to attach to the company: Mullenweg created one of the Web’s most popular publishing platforms; Evan used to sit on the board of Omniture, Chartbeat’s giant rival (which is now owned by Adobe); and this is only the second investment that Code has made in its brief life–it has also put money into Flipboard, the much-buzzed-about iPad publishing app.

Meanwhile, Chartbeat is gaining rapid acceptance at big Web publishers that also use Omniture and/or Google (GOOG) Analytics. We’ve got an account here at All Things Digital, and I can confess that I’ve sometimes spent way too much time watching people come and go on my site–the interface is intuitive and sort of addictive, and it’s kind of like pachinko, that oddly mesmerizing cousin of pinball.

But I’m also not sure what I’m supposed to do with the information that Chartbeat provides me–it’s great to see how many people are reading this particular story at a given moment, but so what? I’ve already written my story–there’s not much else I can do at this point, right?

And if I can’t do much with that information, what can publishers at much larger, sclerotic shops do with the data?

I posed those questions to Chartbeat General Manager Tony Haile, who was kind enough to sit down with me for a minute before heading off to Africa for his honeymoon:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald