Sunday, September 14, 2008
They ruined my Sitemeter, and I've tossed it onto the trash heap of Web history
Sitemeter has put me in a bad mood. Until this weekend, it had been a simple to use and easy to read tool for checking traffic on my website. No big deal -- I don't get so much traffic that I really need to know much about it. As for many small bloggers, checking it was really a harmless diversion and mild addiction. When I was bored, I'd click on the Sitemeter tab for a quick update.
Not anymore. I've tossed Sitemeter onto the trash heap of Web history. The rollout of their redesigned software this weekend eliminated a nifty, elegant and speedy software solution and replaced it with slow-to-load bloatware that produces a confusing maze of charts I didn't ask for and which obscure the information I was looking for. I'm not alone in hating it. The redesign seems to have been created in complete ignorance of what users liked about Sitemeter. To find equivalent inward-looking hubris, you have to go back to the disastrous rollout of New Coke.
To access the new Sitemeter, you had to install new code in your blog template, which I did. But when I clicked on the statistics on the new Sitemeter, all I got was a blank page. The reason seems to be that the data is delivered in the form of Flash applets that require the latest version of Flash, which my otherwise perfectly usable iMac running OS 10.2 can't run. (Which Sitemeter lacked the Web etiquette to tell me.) The data did come up on the other, newer computer in the house, but was terribly slow to load. Bye-bye, Sitemeter. If you're going to make it that hard, I'd rather switch to another app.
Update: As some commenters note, Sitemeter did acknowledge their mistake and restore the old version -- so I reinstalled it. But I don't really trust them. I've half-adapted to Statcounter already, and if they pull anything like this again, I'm outta here -- permanently.