November 2005

Recently a coworker recommended when I was looking for a webcounter service that tracks many webpages via only one account. does just this. You open one account and inside this account you can add as many projects (aka websites) as you like. You get a new counter code and a new statistics view for every website. Meanwhile I’ve installed statcounter on several websites and I don’t miss anything in the stats: from search engines, keywords to top pages it contains everything you might want to compare.

If you want to try it out, you might want to take a look at the demo stats.

(Btw: The service is free and I don’t get money for this ad ;-)

Several months ago Google acquired the website analytics company Urchin. While the merge didn’t seem to have any impact on Urchin’s business for a long time, Urchin has now changed a lot. Beginning today Urchin is called Google Analytics and thus is now integrated into the new google world. If you sign up for a google analytics account with your google account you will get webstats on steroids: geo-targeting with map overlays, automatic adwords integration, visitor path analysis, website goals … all for free. Only if you require a very large number of visits you’ll have to pay for google new service.

Google Analytics is integrated into now and I’m really looking forward to seeing my first stats tomorrow (it takes 12 hours before you can see stats for the first time).

Google has just extended its adsense website monetization program with a new product called “Referrals”. Besides paying for new adsense affiliates Google also pays a dollar for each referred download of the Firefox webbrowser including the new Google toolbar for Firefox. Unfortunately (at least for me) up to now only US affiliates can refer Firefox downloads.

Amazon just announced the start of it’s new Amazon Mechanical Turk program. As a software developer the mechanical turk allows you to let humans solve software problems a computer isn’t yet able to solve. Amazon itself offers some tasks - called human intelligence tasks (HIT) - where one can earn 3 cent for choosing the best photo of a company out of a list of pictures. This task is probably connected to amazons search engine: to provide shop photos for the yellow page entries, has sent trucks equipped with digital cameras to major US cities. By combining gps information and digital photos now has a large number of storefront pictures. The final task is to find out which of those pictures show a certain company best - a computer can’t do this, but for humans it’s a simple task.

Currently the webpage is still under heavy load from and doesn’t work all right all the time, but I’m pretty sure that mturk will lead to some interesting new software. For software applications is just another webservice, so we virtually get an interface to human intelligence.