Mix08 – Session 9 – Silverlight and Web Analytics

This session was a panel discussion regarding Web Analytics.  The panel was composed of members from WebTrends, Omniture, and Microsoft.  I found this session very interesting, since most of the solutions to track analytics within Silverlight applications are very similar to the ones we implemented with our Flash based RIA sites. 


  • Omniture – SiteCatalyst, hosted solution
  • WebTrends – WebTrends Analytics, hosted solution
  • Microsoft – AdCenter Analytics – Beta2 released March 1
  • These products track information through page tags or beacons
  • With Silverlight (and other RIA platforms like Flash, Ajax, Etc), you don’t change pages.
  • You have to create and define pseudo-page views
  • 4 Scenarios:
    • Tracking Silverlight Installation
    • Tracking user Interaction
    • Tracking media Drop-off
    • Tracking Media Buffering

Silverlight Installation

  • JavaScript file to put on site
  • Silverlight.isInstalled method identifies if it is available
  • Check for each version, give them an experience for that version

Tracking user Interaction

  • Determine actions in your pipeline, funnel, etc.
  • Add Event handlers for each action
  • Event handlers map to page view equivalents

Tracking Media Drop off

  • Add invisible media markers every 5 seconds in the video
  • Media Markers trigger events
  • Events trigger page views
  • You can then monitor drop-off in 5 second increments

Tracking Media Buffering

  • Handle  the MediaElement.CurrentStateChanged event
  • When State goes to Buffering, trigger MediaBuffering page view
  • Correlate bit rate, content, geography, etc.

Analytics can bring you a single goal

  • This is through A / B Testing
  • Separation of design in XAML and code in JavaScript enables simple A / B design
  • In JavaScript or on server, for X% of visitors – show different XAML
  • Use analytics service to track difference between results in variation

Wrap Up

  • There is a Silverlight sample available – http://xmldocs.net/analytics
  • Track Geolocation with these projects
    • Akami Edgescape
    • Windows Live

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