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SiteMeter bug hurts us all, so we wish them speedy recovery August 2, 2008

Posted by ClustrMaps Team in News.

[UPDATE: SiteMeter’s own blog at weblog.sitemeter.com says “We corrected a compatibility issue with our SiteMeter tracking code and IE7 and IE6 browsers that started last night.” So everything mentioned below now appears solved: Excellent news!]

As widely reported on Techmeme, The Reference Frame, The Inquisitr, Mashable, and elsewhere, a nasty interaction between Internet Explorer and a Javascript coding “anomaly” caused thousands of sites using Sitemeter’s web analytics tools to display “Operation aborted” error messages. As The Inquisitr states:

the problem happens when anybody using Internet Explorer tries to open any sites with the Site Meter code present, and thousands of websites/blogs have been shut off from IE users, including PerezHilton.com and blogs in the Gawker Media stable

We commented on a few of the tech blogs reporting the problem that “as a 3rd party analytics provider, we feel SiteMeter’s pain… blackouts/blockages like this are no fun for anyone… here’s wishing everyone a speedy recovery from this blip… outages/blockages like this are bad for all of us in the analytics/geolocation business, so it’s good for everyone to get this resolved soon, to restore user confidence!”

Although we are in a slightly different niche from Sitemeter (we offer rapid gestalt geographical overviews of thousands or millions of visitors on a public map with some statistics, whereas Sitemeter offers detailed statistics with private maps), we of course overlap and compete to some extent! Nevertheless, we feel strongly that outages like this are bad for all 3rd-party-analytics and widget-providers: in that sense, we’re all “on the same side”, and that is why it is in our interests for SiteMeter to recover quickly from this difficulty. Future users of their widgets, our widgets, and those of other providers, need to feel confident that they are immune from outages and bugs like this. Sure, bugs happen, but this is the very reason that many widget providers, including both ClustrMaps and SiteMeter, also offer a ‘plain vanilla’ HTML option: for ClustrMaps this is typically ‘option [B]’ when you sign in to your Admin page or use the rapid-registration ‘Create yours’ shown at the top of any of our big map pages. For this option, ClustrMaps deliberately provides just a simple jpg image wrapped in a simple link: no javascript, no cookies, no spyware, no tricks.



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