earth-hour-logo.jpg
A few weeks ago Matt Hodges asked me if I could use some of my Foundation Time to help out with Earth Hour / WWF’s Confluence installation at wiki.earthhour.org. It seems that WWF had been tracking activity with the Usage Tracking Plugin, but they disabled it because of some performance issues. Now they were stuck trying to coordinate a large, globally distributed cadre of volunteers without any way to tell who was contributing to the wiki or what the most popular pages were. They needed a replacement, and since I wrote the HOWTO on reporting with Confluence
WWF / Earth Hour needed to know:

  • The number of users visiting the site by day, week and month
  • Page statistics including “most viewed pages” and “most edited pages”
  • Statistics of most active users (to see who their champions are)
  • All of this data represented in both charts and tables

263px-WWF_logo.svg.pngAfter some firming up of definitions (e.g. “what do you mean by ‘active user'”) I figured out that I could get some of the data they needed out of Confluence’s own database using the {sql} macro. I had to consider that the Earth Hour wiki contains some confidential information, so I needed to use the macro security plugin to restrict access to the datasource to Confluence Admins. Testing, installing and configuring this plugin took some time, but once it was set up it was a pretty straightforward exercise to knock together the reports they needed using data directly from the Confluence database. I’ve publicly posted the source of the reports that I created as part of the Confluence Reporting HOWTO for anyone out there to use.
They also needed some data that Confluence doesn’t keep track of by default, such as most-viewed pages. Fortunately David Simpson, a member of the Confluence community, has written an excellent post on “Tracking Atlassian Confluence Usage with Google Analytics“, which includes a neat trick where you tell Google Analytics what the Confluence search parameter is so you can see what your users are searching on. Implementation is just a matter of setting up an Analytics account and modifying the global page footer, which is only about 15 minutes’ work.
Now the WWF can measure wiki participation as they ramp up for Earth Hour 2010 on March 27!

Earth Hour are asking everyone to check out the new map on earthhour.org and show their vote by lodging a ‘Vote for Earth’ on the map.

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