Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Event systems and journalism

I'm working on a better monitoring and event system for Sharpcast's underlying platform. Per-machine metrics like the number of current connections are good, but we also want to record user events like someone creating an album or sharing a photo so we can better understand our users behavior and create a better product.

It's easier in some ways to store events as they happen, rather than query the entire database for aggregate behavior. So I need to define what an event is. Generically, events are almost exactly the classic elements of piece of journalism: who, what, where, why, when and how. For us, this translates to
  • Who: user id
  • What: the action taken and any parameters
  • Where: IP address
  • Why: (very hard to compute a user's intentions)
  • When: timestamp
  • How: client (photos desktop, photos mobile, photos web)
I'll see how this turns out.

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