Analytics Haiku

For the past few eMetrics Summits, Jim Sterne has been holding a creative writing contest, with the winner getting a pass to eMetrics. That’s good value for a little creative writing! For the upcoming Washington DC event, Jim decided to limit the entries to haiku.

Last night I had an urge to participate. The timing couldn’t be better — the deadline was September 15! Not to worry, since I’m already attending the Summit, I don’t need a haiku pass. Unbound from the shackles of winning the contest, here are a few haikus for your consideration.

But first. Knowing Jim, I had this suspicion that he’s thrown in haikus as “easter eggs” in his “serious” writing, probably for years. Boy was I right. I found these, buried in some of his old (old!) articles:

They'll buy. And you will
   have done something positive
for the Internet. 

— from The Internet Gift Culture (1996!)

The fact is, if you
   treat people with respect, you
can sell them more stuff.

— from Personalization and Privacy in Perspective (1999)

Variety. Choice.
   Excitement about what's
around the corner.

— from Customer Interface: Easy Doesn’t It (1996)

Smith, this is Sally
   at American Express.
How can I help you?

But what if gumbo
   recipes were exactly
what you had in mind? 

— from Customer Interface: Do You Know Me? (1997)

And then my favorite: Mr. Sterne himself embedded in the haiku — quoted in an article by Wanda Loskot:

Jim Sterne: "The biggest
   mistake is going after
too large a segment." 

— from What Makes People Click? – Targeting! (2000)

Magnificent! Emboldened and inspired by the ancient texts, I thought I’d try my hand at some original verse. While I don’t claim to have reached the pinnacle of haiku, I discovered that a little wine, a healthy disregard for tradition, and a willingness to expose one’s “creative analytical side” results in lyric such as:

Web analytics
   A great and noble journey
The long quest for truth.

(Tip ‘o the hat to Matt Cutler)

We use statistics
   thus we are never certain
of the snowflake's shape.

(er .. ahem)

The Twitter debate
   analytics or measure?
A freakin' hashtag!

(inspiration: Eric T. Peterson here)

Omniture, Webtrends
   Coremetrics and Unica 
Google and Yahoo!

(note if you substitute “Adobe” for “Omniture” it still works! Coincidence?)

And finally, the topical entry.

Gary said it best:
   Adobe buys Omniture
What are they thinking?

(Gary Angel’s blog post)

Analytics Haiku

2 thoughts on “Analytics Haiku

  1. Bob,
    Here are my entries – you are inspirational:

    There must be a next
    stage to our problem with a
    core sane solution

    Staffing for the web
    Hard Science or Marketing
    Where to find them all

    When we are saying
    Our site is just average
    We aren’t being mean

    #Measure free or paid
    No one dies if we mess up
    Worse off web gets built


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