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The addictive properties of Web analytics

Much has been written about the potentially addictive qualities of massively multiplayer online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft and Eve. And a similar case might be made about Facebook or Twitter. But there's also another Internet-Protocol-fueled addiction quietly sweeping the nation: real-time Web analytics addiction.

In a very funny post, self-proclaimed "Internet superhero" Dave Pell writes about how analytics addiction so often plays out:

And then it happens. The hits roll in and the numbers rise. Ping. Ping. Ping. A few hundred. A few thousand. You’re peaking. You’re tweaking. You’re viral. The wave of readership washes over you and you don’t dare allow a single blink of your red, glazed eyes for fear of missing even one hit. You’re accelerating into the zone of peak experiences where so few have tread. There’s Springsteen on stage in Jersey belting out Born to Run. There’s Obama on election night in Hyde Park. There’s Joe Montana with less than a minute left and a championship on the line. There’s Moses looking back as the Red Sea collapses on Pharaoh’s army. And there’s you in your undershorts, fists pumping in the air, awash in the glory of the coming of the traffic.

As co-founder of this blog, that experience is eerily familiar (all except for the undershorts bit).

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