Who's got the Biggest? - Public Site Stats

Thread Title:
Transparent Traffic Stats
Thread Description:

Im not sure why, but there's a weird trend sweeping through the blogosphere that when you think about it, takes us right back to the geocities style hit counters and spinning logos days.

Showing your site stats to visitors.

Apparently this is done in the name of transparency, and not for bragging purposes. Frankly, i can't see any reason to be transparent for the sake of transparency.

I mean, what the fuck's all that about then? It seems to me that to function well within this new environment, transparency is a good thing, and i practice it at Threadwatch in many ways - and im not against showing site stats to visitors, where's the harm?

What annoys me, is the dressing up of silly "who's got the biggest" contests as something other than they are.


The apparently trendy, ethical, and transparent thing to do is use SiteMeter to show your visitors how many other visitors there may be on you website - It looks pretty neat, though i've no idea how accurate it is... You can see some bloggers stats here:

One thing i wonder about is the extra network connection, how much does that slow a site down?

The second thing i wonder, is if i should sign up get my tackle out with the rest of the bloggers in this who's got the biggest contest? It might be fun, informative, inacurate, silly, but it wouldn't be transparent...



First thought is bragging rights - second thought is that traffic data may provide useful research metrics.

However, I'm not seeing any particularly useful figures on those site meters - or is that simply the awful presentation?

Now, the boing boing stats are AwStats so they do offer potentially useful metrics. Still seems an act of muscle flexing, though. Are they trying to persuade someone to buy them? :)


"Transparency" for site stats? I want transparency in political campaign contributions, and transparency for conflicts of interest in the legal and legislative systems, and transparency in my close personal relationships...

...why I should feel virtuous about showing everyone my site stats, OTOH. I'm baffled.

Been thinking the same thing

I remember those days as I was part of it. The difference is that whereas most of those blogs died out mine is alive and well, top of several search engines for several terms.

The web is cyclical except that rather than 20 years for something to come back into fasion it's around 8 years.


Yep, bang on Richie - Many bloggers are very much "wide eyed" to things like stats tracking, search optimization and stuff - it's real dejavu time out there right now :)

Welcome to Threadwatch mate, do introduce yourself!

not to mention

referer spam lists 'liking the sites' because they have publicly available referer stats... dangerous thing to be on those lists. ;)

public stats

- just a quick look but i don't see any little blue pills here. That blog has a lot of traffic, so your bot has to hit it quite often to get listed - it's of course easier for smaller blogs.

On a more serious note:

With my background in the media world (i did television before i did internet) i can actually understand this. In the TV world, with Nielsen ratings and all that, each channel can track the traffic of all the others right down to a special demographics at second intervals. So you have your market shares for each show, each demographic, each friggin' second. Now, that's transparency.

In the print media world it's the same, only they don't have the fine grained metrics that TV has. There, you have to look at circulation figures and readership surveys in stead.

As for the internet in general, many attempts have been made of publishing "circulation figures", ie. comparable audience measurement figures. This has been a major challenge everywhere it's been tried, so it's not everywhere it's been successful. In Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland we do have published (as in publicly available) lists of traffic for the largest media and commercial sites - all measured using the same method.


("same method" : That's where this differ to the blogs, as they don't use same method - their numbers aren't audited or validated either)


Sitemeter: I can see having open sitemeter stats if you are selling Blogads adverts on your blog. It makes for an easy way for advertisers to confirm that your traffic claims are in the ballpark. Better than Alexa.

I've used Sitemeter for years, but that is because I'm lazy and it makes it easy to quickly spotcheck stats and patterns.

When that Alexa peak drops....

it will look unquestionably phallic.


Im gonna sign up, i want to play aswell!

I love these "keeping score" things, its very silly i know, but these little ways (like bloglines subs) of keeping count are fun :-)


I'm sure that there are a lot of porn sites that would love to do that amount of traffic on those keywords.

As for publically making your stats available with that set of referrer keywords - sometimes that sort of stupidity makes me cringe.


Pffft.. crap.

The only people who need to see your stats are you and your advertisers. This is just blogger willy-waving.

Maybe it's about settings...

I'm sure some of these folks do want to show-off their traffic numbers, but I use SiteMeter for a couple my little hobby blogs and the default setting is to make the stats available to anyone who wants to see. You have to manually change that to make stats only viewable by the account holder / site owner. So that may be one reason why so many blogs have public stats.

(BTW, one of my blogs gets more traffic per day than Micropersuasion. Cool.) :-)

Another thing that makes blogs different from ordinary sites

For ordinary sites it is generally not wise to show traffic like this. I understand some ordinary sites do need to show traffic for advertising demographic purposes. But then you only show them in your special way and not openly.

When blogs show their traffic like this is, it actually feeds into the community aspect. It gives the blog visitors another thing to comment on, helps people decide who to blogroll and hey lets admit everyone loves a good ego boost.


Agreed goodroi, i think it would be fun for everyone to see what we produce here - willy waggling? Sure....

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