"Examples" Posts

How popular are you? Find out with Scout

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Examples Bullet_white Comments Comments

Tracking the results of your blatant self-promotion campaign can be a time-consuming effort. You might be using Google Analytics for web traffic and FeedBurner for blog subscribers. You’re probably checking link referrals. You’re querying the database for usage statistics (user signups, logins, etc.), etc.

Scout is an honest friend that gives it to you straight. Our friendly retriever will track, mash, and graph all of this data in real-time.

For example, below is a graph generated by Scout. It shows the FeedBurner circulation of this blog (in red) vs. unique visits from Google Analytics on our Highgroove homepage (in blue):


It doesn’t look like there’s a huge correlation there. What about unique visitors on PlaceShout (in red) vs. unique visitors on our Highgroove site (in blue)? Data via Google Analytics:


There’s a correlation there. Traffic to PlaceShout appears to drives traffic to Highgroove.

Currently, 3 Scout Plugins exist for grabbing external data:

Seeing this data is extremely useful for answering questions that take quite a bit of work to find out manually (and can’t be updated in real-time):

  • How many of our unique visitors create a shoutout on PlaceShout?
  • As the number of sites linking to us increases, how does this impact traffic on our site?
  • How is traffic impacted when we publish our email newsletter?

The great thing about these reports is they don’t require any updates – Scout continually grabs new data and updates the graph.

Signup for our launch email list

We’re launching Scout this winter – click here to signup for our launch notification. We’ll email that list before the public launch.

Get Immediate Access to Scout

I’d like to create a plugin to report back the number of people linking to a url on del.icio.us, but haven’t had time yet. Want to create this plugin? Shoot me an email at (derek at highgroove dot com) and I’ll give you immediate access.

Past posts on Scout:


Get notified of slow Rails web requests with Scout

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Examples Bullet_white Comments Comments

When something bad happens you want to find out about it as quickly as possible.

You’re probably notified of uncaught exceptions. What about slow web requests, which can be just as annoying to a user?

Find about about slow web requests (and what might be causing them) in near real-time using Scout and the Ruby on Rails Request Monitoring Plugin.

Here’s how it goes down:

1. Install the Scout Client   watch a video (1 min 39 sec)

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2. Install the Plugin   watch a video (1 min 55 sec)

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...that’s it – you’re no longer a performance slacker.

3. Scout reports back data

Every 10 minutes, Scout collects information:

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If you have a slow request, an alert is generated. You can view the offending requests and their request times:

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View Web Requests on a Graph

You can easily graph this data as well with Scout’s built-in graph builder:

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Compare to other Rails applications

...but that’s not all. You probably have multiple Rails applications. You can compare their performance on a single graph as well:

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Look for trends against other data

...we’re not done yet though…how about comparing the average request time vs. the size of the mongrel threads through the Process Usage plugin?

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Since it’s easy to plot different data stats on Scout, you can quickly rule out possible reasons for slow performance. That’s half the battle.

Signup for our launch email list

We’re launching Scout this winter. Signup on our homepage, and we’ll give you access to Scout before the public launch.


See Scout Run - 2 screencasts added

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Examples Bullet_white Comments 192 comments

I’ve added 2 videos to the Scout homepage – they demonstrate 3 things:

  • Installing the Scout client on a remote server is almost too fast
      Watch the video (1 min 39 sec)
  • One-click plugin configuration (I’m installing the Ruby on Rails Request Monitoring Plugin, so if you’re a Rails developer, there’s an added bonus)
      Watch the video (1 min 55 sec)
  • My awkward narration voice (I think my voice actually cracks on one of them…I assure you, I am not 13 years old).

If you’re looking for an easier way to monitor your servers and web apps, check out the videos. There’s a launch notification form on the Scout homepage as well – we’ll email people on this list before publically launching Scout.


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