Raspberry Pi, Screenly, and Website Stats

A couple of months ago I noticed a rather precipitous drop in the number of page requests on our website:

Webalizer Table Showing Page Request Drop

I was a wee bit flabbergasted. Variations are the norm, but certainly not that much. So I dug a li’l deeper and found what was up.

By clicking Oct 2016 in the screenshot above, I was brought into a more detailed breakdown of that month’s numbers. Scrolling down a ways, I found the page that was requested the most. And I knew immediately what it was.

Webalyzer Top URL Result

We had a Raspberry Pi running Screenly to show the new releases on a monitor in the DVD section. Something happened to it in October and I took it into the office so folks wouldn’t be presented with a black screen. I haven’t had the time to troubleshoot it and so there it still sits.

But for your edification, I plugged it back in and, on my computer, went to the IP address at port 8080 (ex: I was greeted with this page:

Screenly Login Screen

By clicking the pencil icon, I was brought into that asset’s settings. And as the screenshot below doth show, it was requesting the page once every 10 seconds. Hence the mother lode of page requests that were lost once it went offline. I must have changed that when I was testing our new website and forgot to change it back. Whoops!

Screenly Asset Settings

As an epilogue to my tale of sadness, I checked out the Google Analytics that I had tied to the page and found that our traffic from June (when Summer Reading causes an uptick in traffic) compares nicely to our traffic last month. Google Analytics must not track automated page requests.

Google Analytics Chart Comparison

So, while the numbers will be far lower going forward, they won’t be that far off from month to month, not when I account for the Screenly Request Ogre!  Just to be clear, Sceenly and Raspberry Pi are great offerings, the Ogre was an Ogre of my own creation. This is how Dr. Frankenstein musta felt…






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