Track Page Views on Craigslist

If you knew how many times your post was viewed on Craigslist, would you find it useful?

I post on occasion in search of ride pools, stuff I’m selling, etc. You may or may not recall the age-old methods of spammers, where opening an email sent a ping back to them saying, “Yes I opened your email, here I am.” Well it’s all in the image.

So whether an image is relevant or not for your post, it’s key for metrics, not to mention the fact that your post will stand out from all the rest without. Don’t worry. This isn’t unethical like SPAM. It’s easy for those who operate a server. (Windows friends–don’t feel neglected; this is geared toward Apache running on linux.)

I’m not too sure about javascript or anything like that, but when you write your post, HTML is allowed. Throw up an image to the HTML dir on your server and add this to your post:

[code]<img src="http://www.your-server-or-IP.whatever/image_name.jpg" mce_src="http://www.your-server-or-IP.whatever/image_name.jpg">[/code]

Thus, every time someone views your post, they load the image from your server. You can track metrics with any GUI such as Webalizer, or use the following shell script:

[code]#!/bin/bash

file="filename.jpg"
log_path="/var/log/httpd/access_log"
cat $log_path | grep $file | wc -l[/code]

The pipe to wc will give the number of times Apache has served the image, also indicating the number of page views.

In addition, Craigslist is receptive to CSS, but in a limited fashion, so you can get creative to a point. I’ve been able to change fonts and other little things here and there.

In your post, for example:

[code]<p style="font-family:georgia; font-weight:bold;">Post text, etc., etc.</p>[/code]

If you don’t know anything about linux, Apache, or would ever care to, I’d be happy to host your image for you (until your post expires) and give you access to a private web page (which runs this script on my server in the background) and displays your specific stats in an easy-to-read manner.

Edit: Stat Counter works fine too, for those without a server (personally untested).

 

About Benjamin Perove

Benjamin has been associated with computer technology starting from a very early age, and has contributed to the success of many businesses and enterprises since 2001. He loves to crush pow at Keystone, play acoustic guitar, climb rocks, and ascend mountains on his road bike. Benjamin is an Avalanche fan and currently resides in Boulder, Colorado.

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