Don’t Count Me (dot com)

dontcountme.com

Actually when it says pre-Alpha, I think it’s more like pre-vapourware, but this is an open call to all the inventors and brilliant people out there.

Will someone please invent a web-hit-deleter.

A few times recently (in fact twice today alone) I’ve visited a website and then wished I could retract my traffic figures from its logs. (Maybe I’m particularly grumpy today).

I don’t want to be a ‘unique user’. And I don’t want anyone to mistakenly attribute my stupidly hanging around to see if anything meaningful would happen as some kind of ‘dwell time’.

What I want is a ‘pretend I never came here button’.

Surely The Internet, as the all-measurable media, can afford me such a facility…?

I can’t stand the fact that I leave an unquestioning vapour-trail of ROI behind me. I want to choose which sites feel the benefit of my visits and more importantly which ones don’t.

I also want a feature where I can send on a link to people to tell them to go and look at a site, but put a sort of cloaking device around them so that they don’t add to the site’s ROI either. At the moment if I send a link round the office telling folk about a bad piece of work I know that I’m generating valuable unique users.

So here’s my offer.

If anyone wants to build such a thing they can have the domain name dontcountme.com for free, yes free. Totally free. I own it and to be honest I’m never going to use it.

I’ve got no idea how to build the thing that does what I want it to do, but I’ve had a few thoughts:

  1. It could either be a server installable thing that people choose to add to their sites in the name of fair play and honesty with their stats (like that’s going to happen!)
  2. It could be like an inverse Stumble Upon or Digg – where site owners can proudly display how many people didn’t dig their site ;-)
  3. More likely though it needs to be something that sort of exerts a subtle kind of pressure on site owners to look more honestly at their stats. And we all know we’re a little bit guilty of some subtle stats-manipulation from time to time…

It’s probably a stupid idea. But if someone wants to take it on as a project (even a novelty project) let me know and I’ll let you have the domain name (for free).

I know that what I’ve just written is a really stupid, elaborate, and long-winded way of saying that unique-users, hits and dwell times (especially in the day of the semi-infinite loading bar) are actually a load of old cobblers. But that domain is there for the taking ;-)

8 thoughts on “Don’t Count Me (dot com)”

  1. god, no…. THE TITAN OF UNSUBSCRIBE!

    yes, i feel you.

    maybe something like, INTERNET FOR GHOSTS could be interesting. “surf among us” haha.
    or for ALIENS. “we´re not browsing alone”.

  2. Oh so recognizable.
    Another symptom of this syndrome is where if someone sends me a link to a YT video I go look at it on his computer as to not be another view. Then, if good, I might go look at it on mine. I don’t even know if that works with being on the same network and all, but it makes me feel better.

  3. My immediate response to this brief was a Firefox Extension that put a ‘This site is shit’ button in your menubar. When disgusted, you’d hit it, and a record would be kept at dontcountonme registering dissent. But on top of that, anyone else wlth the extension would be warned *before* visiting the site, which should keep future hits down (like Google’s malware alerts).

    I’m pretty sure I could build the first part, but not sure I could do the same without crippling both dontcountme’s bandwidth and everyone’s browsing experience. If someone can suggest a way to check the shitlist of sites on the fly like this, I’ll do it.

  4. Could you do something with your user-agent (which is configurable in a few browsers) so you’d be browsing as if you were a Googlebot or something which stats servers don’t count?

    Just a thought.

  5. i was thinking about this idea – couldn’t it be a force for good (and of value to marketers)?

    surely you could count the amount of people who wanted out, which would actually add meaning to existing webby stats. “Wow, we got a million hits, but 999,998 thought the site was pretty shit and a waste of their time. Maybe we should do something about that”

    have i just ruined what it was all about?

  6. Hmmmm. What about thinking about it in terms of ‘micro-feedback’ – for people with websites that are definitely not ‘webchod’ place a little thumbs up/thumbs down somewhere that you can Digg-like in once click rate the site as webchod or not. This is displayed proudly on the site for all to see and the webchod or not responses are linked and ranked centrally so people can see what’s ‘chod’ and what’s not. Actually isn’t that just Digg? Alternatively, build a hot or not clone and just do it like that with some sort of micro version for people to display on their site if they want to or people like you with some real hatred towards a site to upload and get the votes going. In short – don’t know. Maybe someone else knows.

  7. I had an idea similar to Alex, if you want to signal the site owner that you don’t like their site, you could use various FF extensions available to modify your user agent to something commonly agreed, like “Don’t Count My Hit 1.0”. Most site owners wouldn’t notice unless enough people used it that it moved up the site’s browser rankings. If your site gets more hits from “Your Site Sucks” than it does from Mac browser, you’ve got a problem.

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