Monday, September 15, 2008

Quirky Internet Technology. . .

Occasionally I write about the lovely quirks in technology. For me, the latest example came over the past weekend. I'm still scratching my head.

Like many other bloggers, I am sometimes too wrapped up with wanting to know how many people actually find my site and, possibly, read what I wrote. To assist in managing my curiosity, I added "sitemeter" to the bottom of my blog in mid- 2007.

It is a nifty piece of whatever-you-call-it-ware that counts the number of visits to my site and even lists where they came from on a number of different statistics pages. Like many other tools we use in life, sitemeter is not fully accurate. I noticed, for example, that I would get a comment to a post from someone whose visit did not appear to be recorded by my sitemeter. It seemed that it was choosy about who it would list. Or perhaps, some referring sites had a way of sneaking in without being counted. Being a bit anal, I realized that when I would post about reaching a new milestone (or is it a thousand-visit-stone), the count was actually low.

Then, a couple of weeks ago whenever I would go to sitemeter to check my numbers, I would get a pop-up message about the "new" sitemeter to which all subscribers would be migrated on Saturday, September 13. It explained how much more accurate the new incarnation would be; visits would no longer escape the counters. Or something like that.

Sure enough, last Saturday sitemeter disappeared. Finally, sometime about midday Sunday (PDT), the site reappeared with instructions about reactivating accounts. The problem is, I couldn't get it to work. I drove myself crazy for about 2 hours trying to find the listing of visits and all the other statistics that were promised. There seemed to be no page with listings on it. And there was a wavy section in the middle of the screen that proclaimed "loading reports." The problem was no reports were ever loaded. I took a break for an hour figuring that resting my weary, aging brain might help me find some clarity about how to actually obtain statistics from the "new" sitemeter.

When I returned, I clicked on my sitemeter bookmark and up popped a new message. It said, and I paraphrase a bit, that sitemeter would be offline for a couple of hours while they migrated back to the original version. Huh?? It wasn't me that had the problem? It was the dear techies at sitemeter?

Sure enough, a few hours later the original sitemeter was back and I was smiling again. But how many visits were not recorded while all this immigration/emigration was going on? I assume I will never know. But once again I can reflect on how quirky technology can be when delivered over the internet.

Let's see, last time I looked, my counter read something like 6525. I'll settle for that even though I know it's low. Who knows, maybe sitemeter will actually come back with a new version that works. Now that would be something different!


Charles Gramlich said...

I wonder why the new versions don't work as well as the older ones. Seems ubiquitous.

PipeTobacco said...


I too, find site meters frustrating. If you continue to experience odd issues, the latest one I have tried seems to work fairly well. I have often wondered if I could put several site meters on my site to see how accurate they are with each other.

Thank you for your kind words at my site. I appreciate your advice and I am thinking extensively about what you suggest. I keep hoping if I keep tugging on the bootstraps I will somehow be able to break free and be happy again.


Bill Cohen said...

There was a signbificant drop in my weekend visits over on Tattoosday. T
he sitemeter home page states that they rolled out their clunky new version "before it was ready". Duh. I concur with your frustration.

Leon said...

And one of the inaccuracies of sitemeter just happened again. BILL left his comment at 9:44 a.m. (PDT) but sitemeter does not show any visits near that time and the only other visits it does show this morning are the ones from CHARLES and PIPE. Hmmm!

savannah said...

i am so with you regarding sitemeter! it's still on my site, but i didn't know they'd gone back to the old version until this reading...i'll just have to go and check, sugar! ;-) xox

Eric Valentine said...

I use Statcounter myself. Can't say if it's any better than others around for I too get the invisible uncounted readers! :D