Sunday, January 30, 2005

In re counters, trackbacks, and other administrivia 

The free Bravenet counter that I had been running since February 1, 2004 -- yes, almost exactly a year ago -- crapped out on me today. Instead of posting my nifty accumulated 80,000+ visits in the last 364 days, it went all goofy and told me that I had to install new code. Well, it did not say what new code, so after extensive screwing around I put a new Bravenet counter in at the bottom of the page and moved the still operative Sitemeter counter to sidebar (and put in the Javascript code so I can see the referring pages). The sidebar now seems to load more slowly, perhaps because it is waiting for the Bravenet counter to load at the bottom of the main page. If that annoys either me or my readers too much, I'll move the Bravenet counter to the sidebar or back it entirely. I retained the Bravenet counter because it tracks "returning" visitors, which to me is the most interesting number, but I can live without that data if it drives us all nuts.

Once I got digging around in the old template, though, I decided to take the big plunge and install Haloscan's trackbacks, which any number of fellow bloggers have requested of me. I did not go with their commenting system, though, because I have wordy commenters who would not like the confinement of Haloscan's 1000 character limit. So we now have Blogger commenting and Haloscan trackbacks. I hope that it all works.

UPDATE: In a matter of minutes, the slower loading times did, in fact, drive me nuts. The Bravenet counter is back on the sidebar, even though it shows a total of 25 visits. Which is a blow to my blogesteem, but I've recovered from worse.


By Blogger Jehane, at Mon Jan 31, 09:34:00 PM:

Men... :)

Can't you set the StartCount? You can with many of those counters. If so, you could put your missing visits back in, couldn't you?

You probably already thought of this, but I just thought I'd suggest it. If not, I know you can set the StartCount with SiteMeter.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Mon Jan 31, 09:50:00 PM:

I could set the start count, but I rejected it because, well, I wasn't sure what the count was, give or take a thousand, and my fetish for precision overwhelmed my need for a manly counter total. Of course, it is a false precision for several reasons, which just reveals the underlying foolishness of my overall point of view. I suppose I'm a bundle of contradictions. Anyhoo, I have the SiteMeter total intact, and I know in my heart o' hearts that the Bravenet counter should be around 80,000 higher.  

By Blogger Jehane, at Tue Feb 01, 05:36:00 AM:

Men II [Sigh...]

Are you all so stubborn?

The statistician in me is doing triple backflips... :) My inner statistician also thought that was, perhaps, what was going on in your mind, and would have set the counter to the most likely number -1000 or so and lived with being -1000 off, as that is far closer to the "real visit count".

We must all learn to live with imprecision in measurement. Better to live with an imprecise number that's only 1000 or so off the true number, n'est pas, Mr. TigerHawk?

Since the purpose of the counter is to count overall visits, better to miss by an inch than by a mile (or a factor of two) :)  

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