Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, September 14, 2021

Sitemeter, the traffic-tracking service I use on this here site, just did an overhaul of their platform.

And it sucks, hardcore.

Others are going into detail, so rather than rehash all that, I’ll cite the two main things that don’t work for me under this revamp:

- Practically every metric is now displayed as a Flash object, giving it the illusion of complexity when it’s really just overkill. Not only is this wholly unnecessary for presenting the data at hand (just server traffic logs, consisting of numbers and identifiers — nothing truly dynamic that would require robust rendering), but it also means it’s unreadable via the iPod Touch’s version of Safari. If I can’t access traffic stats via mobile, they’re pretty much useless to me. (Yes, Apple needs to get on the stick and build Flash support for the iTouch/iPhone, but that’s beside the point, for the reasons noted above.)

- The only aspect of Sitemeter’s tracking that mattered much to me was the traffic view by referrals, which has now been renamed as “by path”… And which is now a Premium Account-only feature. Meaning I’d have to upgrade from my free account to get back that data. Which ain’t going to happen.

This is an obvious money-grab by Sitemeter. I’m sure the referrals view was the most popular data-splicing among most users, so transferring to pay-only indicates the company is looking to monetize a chunk of its user base. Of course plenty of current users will sooner dump the service — that’s by design. Sitemeter reduces the strain on its system by basically forcing a few thousand freebie-users out, and they generate a little extra cash from those who convert to Premium.

I can’t justify paying up, even if it is only seven bucks a month. This site doesn’t get anything like monster traffic these days; it’s been mired around 600 visitors daily for several months. And the archived pages that draw the most traffic are usual suspects at this point. I’d like to keep a daily eye on the traffic logs, just to see what’s what, especially with newer posts. But to pay for that? No.

I’ll be looking for an alternative. I have Google Analytics already installed, but it’s not a good replacement because it too uses Flash. I can always dig into my server-based logs, but they’re fairly messy to look at and decipher. Hopefully a few of Sitemeter’s competitors will be reaching out to the disgruntled…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 09/14/2008 01:28:01 PM
Category: Bloggin'
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