Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blogger and Sitemeter

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Dave Marron at The Thunder Run with a heads up on a possible denial-of-service lock-out attack on his blog. (Perhaps this was a replay of the Pro-Bama lock-out controversy in June.)

This apparently happened to a number of bloggers as well, and the outrage prompted The Yankee Confederate to post this provocative entry: "
Obama's Netroots Supporters Continue 'Blog Burning'."

The whole controversy, both political and technological, generated responses from both
left and right.

Then, late afternoon yesterday, I had trouble logging onto my own blog. I tried a couple of different computers, and keep getting an error message. A Google search sent me to
a Blogger help group, where I found that websites with SiteMeter code were gettting blocked in Internet Explorer.

I removed the code and that fixed the problem.

Wired has a nice summary, "
Web Sites Using SiteMeter Are Crashing with Internet Explorer":

A number of web sites that use SiteMeter tracking code to monitor the number of visitors to their site are reporting that the code is causing Internet Explorer browsers to crash when users visit their sites.

I haven't spent time testing a lot of sites, but the Gawker Media sites all seem to be affected. These include
Gawker, Valleywag, Gizmodo and Lifehacker, among others.

The problem appears to be affecting IE 5.5, 6.0 and 7.0. Internet surfers using IE to access a site that has SiteMeter tracking it receive a message saying the site cannot be loaded and "operation aborted." The issue seems to have begun late afternoon Friday.

SiteMeter has not responded to a request for comment and so far has
posted no announcement to its web site addressing the issue. But SiteMeter's blog has a few posts published earlier this week referencing its move to a new platform and changes to its tracking code.

A number of sites are reporting that once they remove the SiteMeter code, the problem disappears and their page loads fine in IE.
Captain Ed notes that the Hot Air blogs were affected, and he suggests having a backup browser available for Internet Explorer users facing trouble with website accessability.

For techies, see The Reference Frame, "Fix: IE7 with Sitemeter: Operation Aborted."