The buzz around Nehalem

A part of my job these days is to interact with and track online press content for our server products.  The launch of the Intel Xeon Processor 5500 Series (codenamed Nehalem) product was a big one.  Big by any standard of measurement (...except for perhaps Geologic time).  I thought I would share with you a peak at some of the metrics we have looked at as an outcome of last week's product launch.

Metrics are always tricky, because the source of the data is always something you can question, and frequently find holes.  But, if you take a bunch of data from different sources, stand back a bit, then look at it with your hands cupped together over your eyes to block the shiny distractions (think big picture), you often get some actionable tidbits out of it.

Something as simple as Pageviews is a metric of success.  The idea is that you are measuring the number of people who look at your page... then you look deeper and find that bots and search sites are also looking at the new content to categorize it, log it, and have it ready for people to search upon.  So, Pageviews are a bit of a can of worms.  Good can, good worms, but not necessarily what you were expecting to find when you opened it.  So, we look at it with some measure of caution.  Again, big picture, you do see some trends that tell a little bit of the story.

Note: I only discuss and cover a few items... there are many, many, many more.

First here are just a few of the landing pages that I personally keep an eye on...

Community sites; 'The Server Room' and its new sub-community the 'Server Solutions Insider' where you are right now.

On Facebook, we have some fan pages: 'The Server Room'  and  ''Intel Xeon 5500 "Nehalem"'

For the Community sites we can use a simple tool like Google Analytics to see Pageviews.  The following shows the pageview trend of 'The Server Room' over a few months.  Again, numbers are not really important as much as the pattern you can see.


Results: Weekend traffic is lower than mid-week, a couple of product launches and the 'buzz' around them drive a fair amount of traffic, and finally that last peak was pretty big compared to anything previous.  All good trends to be aware of.  The next big step is to do something with that information... and that is something to share another day.

For the Facebook pages, we get some nice metrics directly from the admin tools.  Here is some nice trend data on the 'Intel Xeon 5500 "Nehalem"' page


Results: The total number of 'Fans' (dark blue) are growing, but on a daily (light blue) basis, we only see some peaks and not a consistent growth.  Actionable item (assuming we find such a metric as growing Facebook fans of vital importance) is that we look into how to promote the site more, and make it worth people's time to join.  But, you have to look at the forum and the point of it all... not be pushy.  Then decide what to do (if anything) from there.

Now we switch gears a bit and look at some external (non-Intel) sources that we like to keep an eye on.  These are journalist websites and specifically we look for certain articles and product reviews.  The ones that actually test hardware, then give their results and analysis are key to watch since their influence is vital to knowing how well a product might be perceived.  Here are some articles in particular that I found especially interesting (no particular order):

The Tech Report - Intel's Xeon W5580 processors - The Best Server CPUs part 2: the Intel "Nehalem" Xeon X5570

The Inquirer - Nehalem proves its server mettle (Chinese Language) - Intel Nehalem-EP处理器首发深度评测

CRN - Review: Intel's New Nehalem Historic, Game Changing

InfoWorld - Test Center: Intel's Nehalem simply sizzles - Nehalem: Xeon Gets Core i7 Upgrade

Tecchannel (German Language) - Test: Intel Xeon X5570 Nehalem-EP - Nehalem Performance Preview (Dutch Language): - Intel Xeon X5570 'Nehalem' test

The Inquirer - Double Nehalem for double power

The metrics you gather from these (as with anything), depends on what you want to measure.  If you simply want to count the number of reviews... ok, there are a 11 (many more are out there).  If you want to look at the number of benchmarks where our product came out on top... ok, a large majority.  If you want to look at the 'tone' of the article... ok, that is very dependent upon the reader's mood (I'm feeling pretty good actually) and even more on the mood of the writer at the time it was written.  So, what do we get from all this?  We take all of these things and give it the 'take a few steps away' view (big picture again).  Hey, it all looks good.  Actionable items... something else to share with you another day.  ;o)

All in all, a lot of good stuff to consume around the launch of the Intel Xeon Processor 5500 Series (codenamed Nehalem) products.  It is a joy to follow it, a deeper joy to be a part of it, and this product represents a 'new normal' for those of us that interact with the social media aspect of things.

Leave me a note, I would be happy to explore this topic with you more.

- GW