"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 13 December 1995. Updated every WEEKDAY.

It's Log, Log, Log!


"What rolls down stairs         
alone or in pairs              
rolls over your neighbor's dog?
What's great for a snack       
and fits on your back?         
It's Log, Log, Log!"           

- The Log Song, Ren and Stimpy  


So you spend part of a lunch

break throwing together a home

page - there's the gif of

yourself and your pet iguana,

and there, at the bottom of the

page, is your mother's Nestle

Toll-house cookie recipe. A

couple hours go by, and one

question begins to loom in your

mind: is anyone even reading my

pages? How many hits am I



Enter the counter, those

ubiquitous odometers of the

Internet that provide the public

service of incrementing every

time they're referenced and

displaying the results. Cool,



Uh, no.


[The Counting Page]

A few brave souls will attempt to

cure you of your affectation

with the inconsequential through

the use of not-so-subtle irony.

If you need a little help with

what we mean by irony, ye

counter users, let us illustrate

by example - say there's an

issue of Wired with a digitally

altered photo of O.J. Simpson,

to make him appear fair-skinned.

Say that digitally altered photo

looks something like Arnold

Schwarzenegger. Say we glibly

refer to that issue of Wired as

the one with Arnold

Schwarzenegger on its cover.

That's irony, friends - when the

intended meaning is the opposite

of the literal meaning. So, when

you visit The Absolutely

Incredible Counting Page FAQ,

treat it ironically - Jason

Mayans doesn't really mean that

his counting page is absolutely

incredible - he really means

that counters suck. Trust us on

that one.



For those lucky enough to have

attended Mr. Tweeton's 7th grade

English class where we learned

not only about irony but also

about the absurd, may we

recommend Todd Jenner's The

Anti-Counter, which simply

displays a random number as a

gif image. And those of us who

later got kicked out of that

same class may enjoy Josh

Jones's Misusage Statistics.

Remember when you snuck into the

classroom and checked off all

the blank days in the attendance

roster for everyone? Same thing.


Of course, there are the

do-it-yourselfers, and then

there are those who like it done

to them. Maybe your service

provider doesn't let you run a

counter; maybe your fascist ISP

doesn't provide you with any log

reporting at all. Don't get mad,

get hokey - if you can include a

gif on your page, you can be



Normally an audit isn't something

you'd volunteer for, much less

voluntarily pay for, but it's

gonna be damn hard for the

Internet Audit "Bureau" and Web

Audit to make a buck if you

start thinking.


[Make Your Visit Count]


Now, we've seen an annoying

number of Internet Audit Bureau

icons lately, and we were

looking forward to, um,

"evaluating" the service.

Unfortunately, only the stats

pages are available; we haven't

been able to connect to the main

site for weeks. Maybe Paul

Colton, the bureau chief, is

hard on the auditing trail atop

his cool motorcycle... Funny, we

don't recall seeing an Internet

Audit Bureau icon on his home



[Web Audit]

We had better luck connecting to

the Web Audit site, though it

proved a bit difficult to track

down, having relocated a few

times, with the last move

appearing a bit hectic.

Nevermind; for the price of a

little free advertising in the

form of a Web Audit logo, the

service will tell you how many

people are viewing your page -

well, sorta. Actually, Web Audit

will tell you how many people

have loaded the Web Audit logo

that's referenced from your

page, but the counter should go

up over time. And that's what

it's all about, right?


You'd think one service being

unavailable would make it easy

for us to declare a winner

between the two, but you'd be

wrong. We're willing to call it

a draw: Internet Audit Bureau's

other registered domain,

"big-hits.com", perfectly

complements Web Audit's domain

name, "wishing.com". Damn, this

job is easy.


Logs don't provide feedback;

feedback is when someone sends

you a piece of mail, telling you

that your reinterpretation of

Laclau in the light of the

recent war in the Balkans is

completely wrong, but

entertaining nonetheless.

Instead of Logos, the Web is

about logos and logs. Newage

heroes like Rich Salz repeat the

latter-day mantra of "kinky

bestial oral spanking lesbian

child porno sex" to prove

nothing to anyone in particular

except to the all-knowing logs.


Now, before you go, don't forget

to sign a guestbook.

courtesy of Webster