where the writers are
Dashboard Confessional

(Updated August 13, 2011.)

What is the Dashboard?

The Dashboard serves a sort of “toolbox” for your page that enhances your experience on Red Room. If you’re familiar with iGoogle or the Mac OS X dashboard, then you’ll already be familiar with this kind of feature.

How do I see my Dashboard?

You can go to your Dashboard by logging on with your email address and password and going to your main Author or Member Page. In the upper right-hand corner, click the “Visit your dashboard” button. If you don’t see the button, make sure you’ve logged in; only you can see your Dashboard, and only when you’re logged in.

(Note to experienced users: On Aug 13, 2011, major improvements to Red Room caused your stats prior to that date to appear lower than they were—we’re sorry for this, but the new design will attract even more readers.)

The first Dashboard feature you will see is the Analytics widget. This widget shows how many unique visitors view each of your types of content every day. Each type of content (your home page, blog posts, videos, podcasts, articles, etc.) will show its own traffic graph. A “unique visitor” is someone clicking on that piece of content from a particular internet provider (IP) address, and one visit from that address will be counted just once every day. Your Dashboard is visible only to you when you’re logged into redroom.com.

For example, on September 13, 2008, Red Room author Tim Wise posted the first of a series of blog entries that drew huge amounts of traffic to his Author Page. Here are several ways to adjust the Traffic widget to see the jump in visitors that resulted from his posts. First, we see what his traffic looked like up to the day before he posted his entry:

Dashboard 1

Next, change the "To" date by just one day and see the jump after he posted on the 13th.

Dashboard 2

But the fun was just beginning. As word spread about this post, Tim's traffic shot up nearly tenfold. Note how the vertical axis had to scale to accommodate the spike, visually flattening the previous week.

Dashboard 3

By September 16th, Metafilter.com had spotlighted the article, and it went up another power of ten.

Dashboard 4

On the 17th, Tim's traffic wasn't increasing by powers of ten, but it still made the previous week looks like a relatively flat line. And he'd had respectable traffic already!

Dashboard 6

To jump ahead a bit, you can see that traffic stayed fairly high even after the initial spike. There was even a second spike that was either another site featuring the article (Drudge Report, etc.), or his follow-up post, or both.

Dashboard 7

You page views per content type since you joined Red Room are also displayed in a table below the graph.

Add Content

The middle section offers an alternative to adding content by using the homepage navigation bar. Each content type (Blog post, Book, etc.) is listed vertically. Simply click the one you want and you're on your way!

Display Content You Have Added

This section lists recent content you've added with the newest first. Just click the item's title to view the content. You may edit or delete it from this table by clicking "Edit" or "Delete" in the column on the right. As with all deletions, the system will ask you if you're sure you want to delete the item.

You may also sort by content type or publication status. For example, if you only want to manage only the blog posts you've added, choose "Blog post" from the dropdown menu.

It's likely that just about everything you've posted is "published" (i.e., visible to visitors to your page), but if any of it isn't, you can use the Published dropdown menu to sort your content that way.

Manage Your Account Settings, Profile, Social Media, Mail, and Connections

Located directly below your profile photo the right-hand side, these sections contain quick links to manage various features that are also available on your Account Settings page. These include:

  • Account settings: Update your email address, password, and other personal information; set your contact preferences and privacy settings; and apply to become a Red Room author.
  • My Profile: Add information about your life, work and education, reading interests, and add or change your profile photo.
  • Manage social media, mail, and Connections: Cross-promote your work on social media sites and manage your Red Room mailbox, notifications, and Connection requests here.

Again, only you will be able to see your Dashboard, and that's only when you're logged into redroom.com. If you have any question or feedback about this feature, please contact us. I hope you'll enjoy the convenience of the Dashboard, and seeing how many visitors you draw to your pages. The Red Room Team is looking forward to introducing many more useful (and fun!) features in the coming months.

Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room

8 Comment count
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Charting New Territory

I find these various graphs interesting, though I'm not sure why. Thanks for the addition.

Still, I can not escape an image of the original dashboard on a sleigh, protecting the occupants from kicked up snow, water and mud. I feel the sudden need for a horse blanket over my knees.

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Oh, Huntington, another thing to get addicted to...

plus now I have "Paradise on the Dashboard light" in my head.

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It's a nice addition...

I'm not sure showing the graph spike is more helpful than the actual numbers, but it sure is COOLER than just the numbers...now I have to figure out how to get me one of them there spikes...


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Way Cool!

Here I was reading how 'addictive' this new gadget was, and thought "How silly!". To be addicted to something like that. That was before I figured out how to enable it myself (Yeah- I'm a bit slow...). It's too cool! And way addictive. My moods are definitely reflected in the ups and downs of the curve, much like it has been of late watching a similar curve on Wall Street.

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Should i state it that way or is there a better way.... ?!Accompanying the graph if there were the visitors names too, it would be the heights for a writer, a moral booster thus enabling them to get in touch with visitors for support as well as criticism.

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Dashboard Confessional

I would be interested in the names of the people who visited my page and my writings.Is such a thing possible? I am feeling hopeful seeing the spike in interest,as I am a new amateur writer/poet and dont really know if I am any good or not!

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That's an interesting idea, Heather.

I'll add it to the list, but it seems most likely that only commenters on your pages will be identified. Welcome to Red Room!

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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Heather Koelle: Dashboard Confessional

Heather, I'm with you.  It would nice to know who and  follow up.  My first novel "Sleeper Cell: was released last October.  Following the "Social Networking" route I sent announcements to friends, associates, clients...you name it via the Red Room.  Would like to know who responded.

 Ralph L. McNeal, Sr.

Author: Sleeper Cell