June 2023


We had plenty of notice about the end of data processing for Google Analytics v3, but still found it annoying being forced to make changes. We’re a very small business and any web developer time comes out of our free time — or by cancelling something important.

You have to wonder why Google didn’t just do a seamless transition within their platform. The approach Google took with the GA4 upgrade, forcing everyone to update their sites and remove the old embed code, seemed to just treat the majority of their Analytics customers like we are unpaid Google employees who serve at their beck and call.

All told we’ve not been happy with Google Analytics for years. It’s sluggish performance, visitor stats that don’t match server stats and lack of ownership of the data are some examples as to why. When we went to look for an alternative, we found that there’s actually a number of competitors and some have very interesting unique features.

As a studio we would like to have a greater amount of oversight and control of our data so that we can make more informative displays and make more informed decisions. Out of all the many Google Analytics alternatives, Matomo seemed to be the best match for our needs, it’s open source, built on PHP and has a MySQL backend, making it easy to host.

We’re also trialling Cloudflare Analytics, however we would caution anyone to thinking that Cloudflare’s option can be used for marketing. It’s closer to a Sys Ops tool giving you a live unfiltered view, which includes scrapers.

Garrett Ray Jewellery

This month of June we celebrated the star sign of Cancer. In ancient Greek myth, Cancer is a crab that pinched Heracles but lost to him in a fight. For it’s valour the crab was placed in the heavens by Hera, becoming Cancer.

Cancer is emotional, highly intuitive, caring, and above all, dependable. Check out the collection.

If you love gemstones, then Garrett Ray Jewellery is the place for you! This month we featured some incredible pieces on our Instagram.

Like neon lights shining from within the gems long facets on this warm toned almond brown Kunzite set in the complimentary warm tones of 18k gold.

Angled petals of 18k white gold form a dainty blossom that reflect the facets of a blushing pink spinel in this pendant from the limited edition Blossoms Collection.

A beautiful contrast, with warm 18k gold hugging the cool tones of a solid Coober Pedy white opal in this one of a kind pendant.

Do you love the simple rural aesthetic? We have a new collection in the works, follow us to make sure you don’t miss out when it’s launched!

Git based note system

When Evernote first started getting adopted by web agencies in the mid to late 2000s, it’s feature of being a cloud note taking app on your phone that could also have the same notes on your PC or Mac was revolutionary.

Producers, designers and techies made great use of the Evernote app and new additions like the browser extension for clipping pages. Competitors have scratched away at Evernotes market share for the past twenty years, some becoming interesting enough to warrant us investigating. Especially as Evernote’s parent company was acquired last year.

Our first trial this year was with Dendron. This git based note tracking tool was a big transition and lacking a mobile option. As a file based solution there are work arounds we could have explored, but they would probably require manual upkeep. In the end, we didn’t think it was a good fit for a team of two and when only one of us is a developer.

The next alternative we looked at was Notion. As far as features go, it’s possibly one of the best tools our there. You can make kanban boards that link to notes — it’s kinda amazing, albet a bit slow. Unfortunately after a few months investment into Notion, we lost entire boards due to a few quirks with the UI and lack of data validation/modelling. Our data was recoverable but just the fact it was so easily done made us dump the entire solution.

Many of Open Studios file are already git based, we use a Kettlefish based document generator for invoices and quotes. Garrett suggested we just go file based for everything and it’s gone great. We’re using folders and text for Kanban now, it’s synced instantly by our cloud file apps and we can edit it quite easily on any platform.

At some point in the future we plan to use the ELK stack, or something similar, to consume our file based data and drop it into dashboards. This would go nicely with our other decisions like going with Matomo, giving us direct access to our website data so we can make cool displays with it.


Building a presence online in 2023 is a bit of a rollercoaster! Household names like Twitter and Facebook are no longer the powerhouses of grassroots brand engagement. Everyone wants visual, fast and to be engaged instantly. Instagram is good for influencers, Youtube/Tiktok are fun for kids and bored adults — but what about a space for professionals that aren’t robotised clones of one another *cough* LinkedIn *cough*.

While DeviantArt is still a thriving community for creative professionals, ArtStation seems to have supplanted it in recent years. As such — we’re live on Artstation as the sixth studio listed in Australia!

Find us online!