Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How To: Using the Watcher Feeds

Watcher feeds are now live. Just like Tripwire, these feeds are still in beta mode, but they're available to Premium accounts.

What are Watcher Feeds?

Watcher feeds are a little bit like your daily and page log files, but they're distributed via an RSS feed. If you're not familiar with the WunderCounter API or how RSS feeds work, please have a look at the Tripwire How To. This article will explain all of the basic concepts you'll need to understand.

Watcher feeds are RSS feeds which keep you updated on the last X hits to a particular page (or all of your pages) over the last 24 hours. Currently the last 100 hits are reported. That number may change in future, but that's what we're working with right now. Using this feature you'll get a summary of all traffic to a certain page (or all pages). So, unlike Tripwire, you don't need to tag any IP numbers as all IPs are affected.

Who would find this feature useful?

Because watcher feeds provide a lot of data, they're probably not useful to everyone. For instance, if you have a high traffic site, you may not find all of the RSS items to be particularly useful, because there will be many of them. However, even high traffic site owners may want to monitor activity on certain pages (like pages which have been recently added) or very important pages (like payment pages). Sites with lower traffic may benefit from a watcher feed which reports on all traffic as it will give you immediate feedback as to the type of traffic you're getting on any given day.

So, whether or not you get loads of traffic, I encourage you to play around with this feature and see if it's useful to you.

How do I get started?

  • Choose Options
  • Choose API
  • Click on the "Watcher" link
On this page you'll find a list of all the available Watcher feeds for your account. There will be a feed for each page + one feed which is a combination of all of your pages.

Once again, if you're unfamiliar with RSS feeds and how to use them, please read the Tripwire article to get yourself started.

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