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Xaja tenretni

AjaxWhen I was a kid Ajax was the cleaner that didn’t scratch your surfaces (remember Xaja Diquil?). Now it’s Asynchronous Javascript and XML, a technobabble way of explaining the ability to dynamically refresh content on the page without the need to refresh or reload the entire page. From a users perspective, it can be pretty useful – think about feeds that can automatically update live on a page (like share prices), think about in-boxes that dynamically update the content of unopened e-mails so that when you do open them they have only the most up to date information in them.

The funny thing is, that increasing penetration of Ajax technology is calling into question the value of a long-used and nigh on universal metric – the page impression. And whilst a page impression is clearly not equivalent to an ad impression, some have got into a minor tail spin about it. Content refreshing without ads refreshing is not good for the numbers it seems.

Yet when you think about it, the page impression is actually a very one-dimensional metric. For example, a shallow site which attracts a lot of users might have a similar number as a site with a high depth of content but very low number people seeing it. Unlikely, but you get the point. In the UK, the focus is gradually shifting to user-centric metrics which can only be a good thing. Like all media, the more we understand and measure the audience – the number of people, what they do, how they interact – the better.

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