When I wrote my first jQuery plugin trunk8 last year, I was really excited to see its popularity grow, as people starred and forked the GitHub repository, wrote about it in blogs, and played with the demo. But I wanted a better way to visualize the reach of the plugin, so I did what any other data nerd would do; I created a new GitHub project called red dwarf to query the GitHub API for users who starred trunk8 repo and I mapped their positions using the Google Maps API.
I could see how many people simply “like” the GitHub repository, I could read blog posts about how useful people find it, I could monitor my site analytics for traffic to the demo page, and with red dwarf I could even see the geographic concentration of the people who like it. But this still wasn’t enough data! Continue reading