A Solution You Can't Count On.
As long as we're talking about web stuff, can someone please explain
to me why web designers insist on placing counters on their home pages?
Try as I might, I can't figure out why anyone, anywhere, would want to display
the number of visitors that have clicked into this or that little piece
of digital paradise. What is this, an ego thing? Half the time, they don't
work and the other half, they're not accurate. As a matter of fact, putting
a counter on your home page is fast becoming the hallmark of newbies, and
a totally wrong decision for a number of reasons:
1. THE NUMBER IS TRUE. Okay, let's say you have a gizmo that actually
calculates the real number of visitors that have clicked on your site. You
have the latest, state-of-the-art number-clicker technology. You've carefully
carved out precious space on your site to display the holy number. The only
question is, who really cares? Does anyone really think that showing a higher
number count is going to encourage more people to visit more often? Conversely,
does anyone think that showing a low number will discourage them? And as
long as we're at it, who defines what's low and what's high? Finally, has
anyone considered the fact that a large percentage of everyone's daily hits
are from search engine spiders and robots? "Hey, I got 15,000 hits
from non-human technoid drones!"
2. THE NUMBER IS FAKE. Considering that nobody knows the answers to the
questions in #1, what point is there in assuring accuracy with a number?
There was a time (believe it or not) when people hotly debated the accuracy
of counters. In my book, that's about as important as debating the ethical
qualities of cheese. Of course, if you must have a counter for your site,
and you really believe that a high number increases repeat visits to your
site, simply install your counter starting at say, oh, 1,243,778. Who's
gonna check? It's sort of like numbering your new checks at 1001 instead
of 101; it makes people think you're a lot more established than you really
3. THE NUMBER IS GONE. This is the solution that makes the most sense.
Lose the counter altogether. After all, there is no upside to this gimmick,
there's a lot of downside, and you're eating up display space that could
more readily be used to show your content. But even this isn't my favorite
4. BREAK THE DAMN THING. This is my favorite method of disposing of the
counter issue. And the best part is that it's simple as can be: display
a GIF file of a broken counter. This is a great solution, because there
really is no downside, only upside: First, it's funny, adding a nice element
of personality to your page. Second, it doesn't rely on a number to gage
your site's success. What it does do, is imply that so many people accessed
your site that the the damn thing broke from overuse.
For those of you who would like your own version of Frankel
& Anderson's Broken Counter, simply click. We'll have it up and
not working right away.
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ANDERSON * Advertising, Marketing & Killer Creative * http://www.RobFrankel.com * Toll-Free in USA & Canada: 1-888-ROBFRANKEL * Telephone: 818-990-8623
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