Last weekend I arrived in Germany to attend the Piwik Community Meetup 2015 and now I am in Poland.
The meetup was HOT in every sense! Berlin temperatures reached 35 degrees (celsius), as I finally meet in person several long-time, dedicated Piwik community contributors.
In the first leg of my trip I was in Berlin to meet Piwik community members to prepare for the 2015 annual Piwik community meetup. These are my notes taken during the meeting at the request of one of my colleagues. I also relayed live on Framasphère, Twitter and IRC.
This was harder than I expected, as I took notes with my laptop, pictures with my phone, wrote live to social media (using the Android Diaspora Native Web App), and used my laptop to relay on IRC. Going forward this requires better preparation, I was glad I had a few links and pictures ready before hand but it really requires intense focus to achieve this. I am glad presenters were patient when I requested repeating some of the ideas they shared. I am also a bit disappointed not much happened in IRC.
Two day preparation sessions
The discussions and session we had during the two days prior to the meetup are available here.
We gathered in rented apartments in Berlin, this reminded me very much of similar community gatherings and perhaps of BarCamp and, at a much smaller scale, UDS sessions.
Piwik Pizza!, photo by F. Rodríguez, licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0
A list of ideas of topics was initially submitted, we then proceeded to have scheduled sessions for open discussion. Several people shared their concern there was no possible remote participation which led to making public the Trello boards used/linked here.
Note: The Trello links below still have action items and notes that are pending bug report / feature requests filing which should happen over the coming weeks. Most importantly, many action items will need identifying leads for different community team including Translations and Documentation, and better coordination of coming community engagement.
Monday sessions consisted of the following subjects:
- What are Piwik values & how to communicate them? (see below for details)
- How to encourage and recognize new external contributors?
- How could we double the Piwik userbase?
- How Community can organise help resources
On Tuesday we met again to discuss the following subjects:
- Piwik Long Term support (LTS)
- How do Piwik.org (project) and Piwik PRO (company) sit together / are organized? – An important part of this session was about having better communication channels and improving the new team page (bug #8520 and bug #8519, respectively)
- Improving usability of Piwik e.g. for new users – this last session was not held has we ran out of time and prepared to go to the meetup venue.
Some more details about individual preparation sessions
What are Piwik values & how to communicate them?
The main subjects in this session were important changes proposed in the project mission and values. This was edited directly on on the wiki page on GitHub, some of the changes can be seen by comparing revisions.
Piwik mission statement (bug #7376)
“To create the leading Free and open source analytics platform, and to support global organisations and communities to keep full control over their data.”
- Data ownership
- Kaizen (改善): continuous improvement
This was also presented by Matthieu Aubry at the meetup and is published in the Roadmap page. Bringing more visibility and perhaps having a top page for Mission and Values was also brought up.
Meetup agenda and notes
The official agenda is available here.
Many Piwik PRO employees stayed in Berlin for the meetup, and we had good participation although less than last year in Munich as my colleagues told me. Some were consultants, others staff from public organizations, universities, etc. In retrospect considering the very hot weather and summer holidays the attendance was good. I was very happy to arrive at the beautiful Kulturbrauerei and enter the air-conditioned Soda Club. T-Shirts were waiting for all attendees and free drinks (non-alcohol!) were welcome 🙂
Piwik meetup, photo by F. Rodríguez, licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0
Maciej Zawadziński (Piwik PRO CEO) started with a nice retrospective on the Piwik project:
- Last 12 months with Piwik: a global overview by Maciej Zawadziński (PDF w/incorporated ODF source)
Then Matthieu Aubry (Piwik core developer) shared his presentation on current and upcoming Piwik activities:
- The state of Piwik in 2015 and the road to 3.0.0 by Matt Aubry (PDF w/incorporated ODF source)
Features and directions for the future of Piwik
This was followed by a community discussion about “Features and directions for the future of Piwik”. The feedback and ideas shared included:
- Any plans for implementing heatmaps/scrollmaps?
- Improvements to the Piwik UI
- Improvements to custom alerts
- How to improve discovery of plugin help/docs
- Media measurement: measure performance of campaigns in Piwik
- Cost information support, one idea is to integrate w/ Doublelink, AdWord, etc. & pull cost info in Piwik reports and determine positive or neg ROI
- LTS (long term support in Piwik) what would you expect? A 2Y timeframe would be ideal, having always LTS versions, and no need to update constantly. eg. CMS that has an LTS 2y policy, admins are very happy about maintenance cycles: no need to worry about extensions used, or having lots of time to plan & arrange for installations. When updating Piwik, another concern is corrupting a DB/other functionality.
Piwik Analytics Integrations: a not-so-useless presentation
Ronan Chardoneau presenting at the Piwik meetup, photo by D. Czajka, licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0
Next Ronan Chardonneau presented about Piwik Analytics Integrations. This was a very intriguing and inspiring presentation on something I’d like to think as “Tracking everywhere”. Ronan described different possible additional real-world metrics that could be tracked by Piwik and shared his experience trying to use hardware to link such events to actions tracking with Piwik.
Community discussion: Your Piwik cases, inspirations, ideas
More community discussion followed, the theme was “Your Piwik cases, inspirations, ideas”. The following subjects caught my attention:
- Discoverability of great functionality such as search terms, track anything thanks to HTTP API
- Insights? It’s too hidden, perhaps make it more visible, publish a how-to
- Use cases of measurement, maybe document this as a white paper
- Have reference points to guide/educate users on metrics: eg. “bounce rate for this type of site should be around XYZ”, “Ecommerce action # vs no. of visits is not coherent with similar sites”
- Data could be sent to Piwik anonymized, (and be public for others) to analyze/determine reference points
- Integrate simple tips in Piwik: eg. bounce rate is too high/low, propose corrective actions
- Cross-website analytics
- Can Piwik track people? Visit/Visitor/Pageview are used in web context
- Translating the website measurement metaphor in others could help find new “internet of things” to measure:
- Measuring activities in manufacturing ie. Intelligent factory
- Store traffic/entry/decision not to go in after stopping+looking at sign
- JIT management in factories -> tracking stock, materials, etc.
- Liberating banking data: banks can determine/change their conditions under which they make available their data (ex: financial data only kept X months)
- Gathering health data information, keep it forever, own it – eg. FitBit
Maciej Zawadziński presenting at the Piwik meetup, photo by D. Czajka, licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0
The meetup was wrapped up with a presentation on Enterprise Analytics:
- Open-source analytics in the Enterprise-level environment. Opportunities and challenges by Maciej Zawadziński
By 9 PM we moved to the beautiful nearby Kulturbrauerei restaurant outside, where beer, german sausage and hamburgers where very welcome. The weather remained very harsh, with some rain later on, but this didn’t prevent most of the group and staff to join and continue the discussions started during the meetup.
If you wish to continue such discussions online, I have also posted on the Forums about this.