The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Did SiteMeter Commit Suicide?
UPDATE: It’s Working Again, But Unfortunately, My Traffic Sucks

Posted on | April 5, 2013 | 26 Comments

As of right now, it’s dead. Donald Douglas at American Power and Doug Ross at Director Blue both report that the best, easiest-to-use traffic analytics site failed to renew its domain registration, an error that would require a special kind of stupidity.

Let’s all say a prayer that they can get it fixed, because without SiteMeter, I feel like I’m blogging blind.

People talk about other analytic software as being technologically superior, but here’s the thing: SiteMeter allowed sites to make their traffic data public in real-time. This permitted apples-to-apples comparisons between sites, which was especially helpful information for entry-level bloggers trying to figure out how to grow their traffic.

You could not only know what your own site traffic was at any time, but you could also see who had more or less traffic, and whose links were driving traffic to other sites. Some bloggers (foolishly, IMO) set their SiteMeters to private, as if they were embarrassed to reveal their traffic data, or as if they failed to understand the value of transparency. “No shame in my game” has always been my attitude, and I simply can’t understand why anyone would attempt to conceal their traffic data as if it were a proprietary trade secret.

Constantly checking SiteMeter is a deeply ingrained habit for many of us, an addiction classified as a symptom of Blogger Mood Disorder by Professor William Jacobson,  (See also “Site Meter Envy” and “Sitemeterenfreude.”)

There was a time when Technorati was also useful as an analytic tool for bloggers, but they “improved” it until they ruined it,  and if SiteMeter has now managed to commit online seppuku, this would represent a real loss to the blogging community.

UPDATE: Linked by Ed Driscoll and Charles G. Hill and now — without explanation — SiteMeter is working again, which is depressing, because my traffic sucks so far today.

Ignorance is truly bliss sometimes . . .



26 Responses to “Did SiteMeter Commit Suicide?
UPDATE: It’s Working Again, But Unfortunately, My Traffic Sucks”

  1. DanRiehl
    April 5th, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Did SiteMeter Commit Suicide? #TCOT

  2. crosspatch
    April 5th, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    Wow, thanks for publishing this. I had a domain that expired a week ago and forgot all about it. Just called Network Solutions and fixed that.

  3. Russ Emerson
    April 5th, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

    And of course now it’s up.

    Figures it would be down on the day I get a link retweeted by Ace.

  4. Don Surber
    April 5th, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

    I am a huge fan of site meter (still get weekly reports 11 months after cashing in my chips as a blogger) and a bigger fan of people who made their site meter stats public. Like Mister McCain (and Smitty too)

  5. Dana
    April 5th, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

    It’s working again, but could they install an app that forces more people to read The First Street Journal? 🙂

  6. Finrod Felagund
    April 5th, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

    This is why I have my domains set up to auto-renew.

  7. » This one doesn’t count
    April 5th, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

    […] Addendum: Robert Stacy McCain considers the possibility that it was suicide. […]

  8. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 5th, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

    I live with the clunky blogger data. Better than nothing but not as good as Site Meter.

  9. Charles G Hill
    April 5th, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

    It’s still not working for me, but I tend to assume that I’m always at the far end of DNS propagation.

  10. John LaRosa
    April 5th, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

    In the interim, you could always post more cleavage photos. #ProTip #MoreHitsWithT*ts

  11. Zilla of the Resistance
    April 5th, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

    I stopped obsessively checking mine when I got too sick to blog much, but I just checked and mine is working so I guess they fixed it. The #s are a little different and the stats tell you more about where your traffic is coming from than the stuff in the wordpress dashboard.

  12. Zilla of the Resistance
    April 5th, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

    You can add sitemeter to a Blogger blog, I did before I moved to my own server. I still get stats from it too!

  13. Ed Driscoll » Sitemeter Suicide?
    April 5th, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

    […] “Did SiteMeter Commit Suicide?”, Stacy McCain asks: […]

  14. Scribe of Slog (McGehee)
    April 5th, 2013 @ 4:23 pm


  15. Libertarian Advocate
    April 5th, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

    I just checked mine. It’s working.

  16. K-Bob
    April 5th, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

    I expected this was a failure of the auto-renew function. They can’t have been that stupid, can they?

  17. SDN
    April 5th, 2013 @ 8:53 pm

    Dilbert is an operations manual.

    This may be the closest we ever get to universal truth.

  18. Bruce Webster
    April 5th, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

    Thank you. I thought I was going nuts earlier this afternoon, particularly with the strange page that was coming up.

  19. jsn2
    April 6th, 2013 @ 7:12 am

    Mr. Gores’ invention is getting old, it’s the first case of obvious internet dementia. Everyone, check your zipper before going out.

  20. Rich Vail
    April 6th, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    If I had 1% of your traffic…I could actually make money from advertisements…

  21. lonely conservative
    April 6th, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

    I finally gave up on sitemeter. 🙁

  22. Susan Nunes
    April 6th, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    I still don’t have mine back.

  23. Allen Reinertsen
    April 6th, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

    “Constantly checking SiteMeter is a deeply ingrained habit for many of us, an addiction”

    yeah, been that some thought these last two days.

    High! my name is Goodstuff and I am a blogging addict

  24. Vishal Panchal
    April 9th, 2013 @ 2:45 am

    Sitemeter not working from last 3 days. Now can login but it doesnt show any stats at all… Their customer care doesnt revert too

  25. Elaine Reel Life Photos
    April 9th, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    My sitemeter is still dead, so am having serious withdrawal symptoms! Any ideas when it will be back on again in the UK?

  26. K-Bob
    April 10th, 2013 @ 2:45 am