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Web Logs Finally Meet Sim City

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the building-interactivity dept.

The Internet 218

l0rd writes "A good piece on wired says : A few games of Roller Coaster Tycoon don't usually translate into productive work, but for one developer the diversion planted the seed for making website analysis more intuitive. Several years after playing those inspirational games, Robert Savage came up with VisitorVille, a website-traffic analysis package that essentially crosses the DNA of SimCity with that of the traditional chart- and graph-centric tools businesses have long been using. Screenshots included."

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Picture (2, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378815)

If a picture says a thousand words, a city of pictures will help inform sysadmins/webmasters rapidly of infinite variables, by adding the 3d location of all data, relative to the position of information on the server. I wonder if this could be used somehow to stop spam, by "jailing" naughty virtual-citizens? Please, nobody quote Jurassic Park about this... oh hell, Lex [imdb.com] : "It's a UNIX system! I know this!"

Re:Picture (5, Interesting)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378867)

Nice try, but since it's web only it's not going to handle email :-(.

Looks like it works by putting a tracking image on your web site that resides on their servers and then using that to track remotely. Clever since it means you don't have to install any software on the web site or have control over your web server. On the other hand it would be a bit of a pain to edit all those pages. I'll have to dig deeper to see if it works with web sites that are all dynamic.

I have to say that I like the idea enough that I may well exhume my Windows machine to give it a go. Pity there's no Mac or Linux version :-(.

D

Re:Picture (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9378914)

what about that plugin someone wrote for Apache that identifies spambots and proceeds to feed it junk? The spambot could be contained in the jail cell.

Just like this: (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378981)

"A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding..."

Wow.

Re:Picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9378928)

A tracking image eh? I guess you wouldn't have any sim-lynx-users crawling around your site then.

Yes (2, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378934)

How hard would it be to use the same exact system for mail servers? Sim City mail servers or something like it for tracking usage stats, could reduce a lot of time for sysadmins, and aid in the fight against spam. Maybe I'm reaching... but it didn't seem that far away when I wrote the first comment on the subject.

Re:Picture (4, Informative)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379056)

I remember reading about this a little while back in this blog entry [outer-court.com] which happens to belong to the winner of the winner of the Nigritude Ultramarine SEO contest. [komar.org]

He does a real nice job describing his experience with it in an article titled "A Postcard from VisitorVille" which includes some nifty pictures - highly recommended viewing.

Re:Picture (1)

justMichael (606509) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379153)

If you are building dynamic sites, I'll assume that you have a common header and footer...

Just put it in one of those.

Personally I'd rather see an option to be able to license a server side version as I'd rather not use 3rd party tracking.

And I agree with you about the Windows only junk, but with VirtualPC or Win4Lin it's not a huge problem.

Re:Picture (1)

ryanwright (450832) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379070)

I wonder if watching this will be anything like Dark City [imdb.com] ... buildings suddenly growing from little townhouses to huge skyscrapers, morphing into different shapes, etc.

This looks like a great tool for us web admins. If this trend continues, I'll be able to play games all day and my boss will think I'm hard at work! "Ahh, monitoring the web site again, eh? You're such a dedicated employee, always working so hard. I'm putting you in for a promotion."

first post? (-1, Offtopic)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378820)

First one?

SimDisaster (5, Funny)

zenetik (750376) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378836)

It's all fun and games until a SimTornado comes and wipes out your city.

Slashdot (4, Funny)

Venner (59051) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378866)

They could do that. Just put a big slashdot logo inside the tornado.

Re:Slashdot (2, Funny)

lpangelrob2 (721920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378888)

They could do that. Just put a big slashdot logo inside the tornado.

And start blinking a "Run Siren" button... the only thing different from the game is, after you click the button, the people slow to a crawl instead of running for shelter.

Re:Slashdot (5, Funny)

mackman (19286) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379226)

Actually, in the Wired screenshots you see people arrive from askjeves.com in a bus with the askjeves.comlogo on the top. I would immagine /. would look more like that scene in Troy of the 10,000 boats arriving full of angry soldiers.

Re:Slashdot (2, Insightful)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379278)

I know you're joking, but to use the actual Sim City metaphor, you should see a building/web page turn into an archology with the /. logo, then it blasts into space and the vacant lot that is left behind has a server message (depending on server and settings) that says the building/page is inaccesible.

Re:Slashdot (1)

Murf_E (754550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379350)

ok someone set up a web page, submit it to slashdot and get some screenshots of what happens it would be amazing to see what actually will happen

Nah.. rioting. (4, Funny)

Otto (17870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379371)

A much better metaphor for the /. effect.

Thousands and thousands of buses with "/." on top pour into the town. They all dump 50-60 passengers each and the streets suddenly become full. It's so packed that there's rioting in the streets and fighting. Everyone pours out of the buildings to join in the looting, and every building in town goes dark as people make for the exits. The streets are so packed that the /. buses are just plowing through the people in town, leaving bloody corpses strewn in their wake. As the looting continues, people start making off with the foundations of the buildings and, one by one, they start simply collapsing and filling the area with rubble and dust.

After you yank the network cable, the dust slowly clears and all you find is countless corpses, destroyed buildings, and smashed busloads of people from where the buildings fell on them.

If that isn't the perfect metaphor, what is?

Re:SimDisaster (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378966)

Was that SimTornado a result of a SimClimateChange due to SimGlobalWarming?

Re:SimDisaster (1)

mrwonton (456172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379021)

Or the SimSlashdotEffect?

Re:SimDisaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9379037)

That was a SimHorribleMovie.

Re:SimDisaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9379067)

More like a 747 crashing into the tallest building.

I like it (3, Interesting)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378862)

It's an intuitive design that uses visuals to display what even the best log-analysis tool could never display.

Floor Wax (2, Funny)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379292)

It's an intuitive design that uses visuals to display what even the best log-analysis tool could never display.

But wait! There's more! It's a desert topping AND a floor wax, too!

Oh man... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9378864)

I love those games. I had the most fun with 2000 and the original (the SNES version). 3000 and 4 just got a bit too complicated, though... too much micromanagement. I'm still waiting for a version where I can actually wander around the city of my choice in 3D... maybe in SimCity 5.

Re:Oh man... (0, Offtopic)

Spamlent Green (461276) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379074)

Didn't they have the spin-off game "The Streets of Sim-City" or something, which I seem to recall from the box was like Death Track, but you used the city map from SimCity...

Anyone ever play this?

Re:Oh man... (0, Offtopic)

mrwonton (456172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379272)

I never played that one, but there was also a sim-copter where you flew around putting out fires and saving injured people. It was the same deal, it used maps from SimCity, and let you fly through them in 3d. It was a pretty cool idea.

Slashdot Effect? (5, Funny)

protolith (619345) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378873)

Would it appear as a swarm of locust?

Re:Slashdot Effect? (2, Funny)

daniil (775990) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378931)

A rain of whales would be cooler, though.

Re:Slashdot Effect? (1)

MissTuxie (722948) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379343)

How would a beowulf cluster of those look like, then?

Re:Slashdot Effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9379052)

musroom cloud. Or that is what the server would wish that it could do as it melts down

Just like RCT? (3, Funny)

Fiz Ocelot (642698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378880)

But Can I pick up visitors and toss them in the water just like roller coaster tycoon? That game is awsome, I certainly hope they make another with full 3D environments.

Re:Just like RCT? (2, Funny)

ack154 (591432) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378946)

But Can I pick up visitors and toss them in the water just like roller coaster tycoon?

So would that be an IP denial?

Re:Just like RCT? (1)

lpangelrob2 (721920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378948)

Completely off topic, but you should check out the website [rollercoastertycoon.com] . There's neat video on it... :)

Re:Just like RCT? (4, Funny)

aerojad (594561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378961)

Pick them up and toss one by one? You're so inefficent! See what you do is delete the path leading out the park. Wait a while, thousands of people stand by the gates not being able to get out... then you lower the land under the remaining path until it's water. Then delete the path as the people still stand on it :D

Re:Just like RCT? (2, Funny)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379161)

Bah. Set up the launcher ride (you know the one - it goes straight up and back down) at maximum height and maximum force. It will quickly become the most popular ride at the park, so make sure you have a big queue for it. In fact, it's *so* popular, that people will keep coming back, even after multiple explosions.

The people will LINE UP FOR HOURS WAITING TO DIE.

What's more, if you put the ride on land that's high enough, it will clip off the top of the game world and your people will be counted as leaving the park twice. Kill everyone and watch as the park population actually goes into the negative!

Re:Just like RCT? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379346)

You've never actually played RCT have you? The Woah Belly is wildly unpopular once you push it much beyond the default settings, oh and if a ride crashes you have to stop it and restart it, which empties out the queue.

Re:Just like RCT? (1)

JJahn (657100) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379375)

Its _way_ more fun to build 70 mph accelerated roller coaster ramps to send your favorite guests flying to the stars (and of course crashing in a flaming wreck somewhere in your park ;-) At least until people stop going on your ride no matter how much it costs...

Price? (2, Interesting)

manduwok (610836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378895)

If this guy's product takes off and the price is right, it may give WebTrends [netiq.com] a run for its money (literally).

the city that never sleeps (5, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378897)

A company's entire Web presence is seen as an urban or suburban neighborhood, with each individual Web page presented as a building. The more visitors on a site, the taller the buildings, and the brighter the lights on each floor.

Visitorville [visitorville.com] 's sure in for some real skyrises and bright lights today...here we come :)

Re:the city that never sleeps (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378998)

Well, for the moment it looks like a blackout.

What I'd like to know... (4, Funny)

Queuetue (156269) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378899)

Is if this is just useless, or if it's expensive, as well.

Re:What I'd like to know... (2, Insightful)

Lizard_King (149713) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379100)

If you read the article, you'll notice that the fee structure is a monthly rate - $30 per month for sites with less than 1k unique visits per day.

Useless? Keep an open mind - this is a tool that can help smaller web sites and less experienced webmasters analyze their web traffic and make better decisions based off that information. True, these folk may not fit your ideals b/c they can't grep their own logs, but alas, even your underlings deserve consideration.

Re:What I'd like to know... (2, Interesting)

FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379282)

At $30/mo for low-traffic sites, I think the price is way too high. IMO, it would be more reasonable to charge $5/mo for low traffic, and maybe $30/mo for a high traffic site. Neat idea, though.

Themes? (1)

bigben7187 (754240) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378918)

Would it be possible for websites to declare a "theme" on their city? For example, could a site like eBaums be creating something more like RollerCoaster Tycoon, and a site like slashdot could be creating a geeky paradise of open wifi and hi-tech gadgets? It might be an interesting twist to this idea which already seems like a very cool thing.

Damn Kids! (5, Funny)

Dorf on Perl (738169) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378921)

Get those damn kids off of about.html's grass!! Get outta here, you whippersnappers! Why, when I was your age, we more'd through NSCA logs by hand and we liked it!

Re:Damn Kids! (1)

Ratfactor (15886) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379206)


Get those damn kids off of about.html's grass!! Get outta here, you whippersnappers!
Thank you, you just made my morning.

Free Trial (4, Insightful)

PktLoss (647983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378933)

A fre trial would have been really great. It looks like a good tool, but I would need to see how usefull I found it before I lay down my cash. Even if you cancel in the first month there is a %10 processing fee

Re:Free Trial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9379063)

I like the idea, but I'm not going to pay $30/mo for it. I also don't want log handling or analysis done by a third-party. If it were something I could download and install, that would be good. I'd pay $50 for that.

Re:Free Trial (1)

PktLoss (647983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379156)

Yeah the monthly fee could add up. I see my usage going something like

Day 1. Install the product
Day 2-5. Play with it
Day 4-8. Look for problems, areas where users are having difficulty getting to the information they need, and places where users frequently abandon the site. Fix those problems.
Day 9-10. Monitor results, adjust as needed ..indefinete untill the website changes..
Start over.

Re:Free Trial (1)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379194)

I think the number of people from Slashdot requesting free trials would have bankrupted them.

Their bandwidth isn't doing so great with the Slashdot effect, so I'm not sure if they're even ready for all the customers this is going to bring them. (I'm probably going to give it a try myself).

D

site content (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378937)

So, would they have say a building going up in flames if your per day hit count dropped a lot.

demilitarized zone (4, Funny)

dfn5 (524972) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378939)

VisitorVile is telling me my web site has turned into a getto. Time to install the police station apache mod and upload more parks.

Re:demilitarized zone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9379304)

My web pages keep turning into churches. I've tried deleting them and restoring the old page, but it keeps happening. And if I delete too many churches... I mean pages, sometimes really bad things happen.

As if that weren't bad enough, some of the new churchs have been the Church of Scientology. Now my site has links to their copyrighted material! It can't be long until the plague of lawyers appears.

And I'm broke, so I can't really afford major renovations to the site. Anybody got the cheat codes for Apache so I can dump some more money into my treasury?

SimDisasters! (4, Funny)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378941)

Obviously a single page that gets overloaded should be represented by the Riot or Fire events.

Slashdotting would be, what... the Tornado? Maybe the giant Godzilla! Rawr!

Re:SimDisasters! (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379246)

an a worm as a monster stomping through your city ....

Re:SimDisasters! (2)

SkorpiXx (567249) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379277)

Well if we were to go in the context of a program, it would be along the lines of a TransAtlantic Ocean liner crashing into the port and a mass exodus of people rushing off the site so they can hop back on the ocean liner to be one of the first to say something witty or informative.

SimEarthquake (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9378942)

make me money and click the banner at www.SCKEYS.tk !

Good Job (1)

KrisCowboy (776288) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378947)

I'm starting out as a system administrator and I'm playing a lot of quake lately. Maybe I'll come up with something after a couple of years. Guys, watch out!!!

Re:Good Job (1)

ElForesto (763160) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379053)

The best part is that you can now cite all those hours of Civ 3 as "research". Not that your significant other will buy that when telling you to go to bed at 3AM...

Re:Good Job (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379248)

Too late. [sourceforge.net]

i need this (1)

dan2550 (663103) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378956)

i dont really have a very good website, but if i could get this tool, i may actually have to "invest" in my own domain

Best Replacement for Brick and Mortar Customers (4, Interesting)

SeinJunkie (751833) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378963)

I like this idea. This could be a great replacement for the feeling you get when a physical customer walks into your store.

Is it feasible to just run VisitorVille on a PC or a big screen in your virtual store's office/room? I would enjoy watching a visitor walk around my city, go through various buildings all while I'm writing up product descriptions and working on site design. This could really give you a sense of how your business is growing, as well.

Has anyone actually used this product, yet?

Re:Best Replacement for Brick and Mortar Customers (2, Insightful)

Phurd Phlegm (241627) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379192)

I like this idea. This could be a great replacement for the feeling you get when a physical customer walks into your store.
Hmmm. Except you can't greet them, assist them, or try to sell them anything. Other than that, it's exactly the same.

I guess I don't see how this is anything but eye candy for people with websites. Maybe that's the point.... I don't always understand the point behind everything. For instance, those segway things....

Re:Best Replacement for Brick and Mortar Customers (4, Informative)

SkankhodBeeblebrox (581971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379377)

from http://www.visitorville.com/overview.html [visitorville.com] :

Visitor Interaction


Initiate chat with any visitor to your web site. Plus, have them able to interact with you via Live Help. Your visitors are no longer mere IP addresses; they are alive, and now you can assist and engage with them simply by selecting a visitor and clicking "Chat" (and your visitors don't need any software, either!)


So you CAN greet them, just you probably can't add a shopping cart plug-in yet :)

May I help you? (1)

tigre (178245) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379221)

Add to that the ability to communicate with the user, maybe by opening a chat session and you have the complete virtual store experience. You could have a virtual clerk that they could meet and talk with.
See this article from yesterday [slashdot.org] for some tech that basically handles that part.

Warning to patentaholics, this post is prior art!

Nice visual metaphor (1)

grunt107 (739510) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378969)

this seems similar to a VRML presentation layer. There should be graphics for the various exit actions the visitors take. If exit is by a 'back' reference button, user leaves by same bus. If by the 'back' arrow or address change, visitor jumps off building before the building resizes/relights.

Re:Nice visual metaphor (1)

nanter (613346) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379155)

And we all know how well VRML caught on.

<roll_eyes/>

corepirate nazi felons finally get blogs? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9378976)

they got this won, anyway? whoever thought up the gnu online dating was probably suffering from a greed/fear/ego based crack in their .asp.

from a post meant to be titled:

light bringers may succeed in rescuing us? (Score:-1, Offtopic)

by Anonymous Coward
on Wednesday June 09, @07:44AM (#9375526 [slashdot.org] )

despite ourselves, & the whoreabull bedevilment set upon us by
unprecedented evile et AL, aka, the corepirate nazi execrable.

all is not lost?

consult with/trust in yOUR creators..... unbreakable since forever.

tell 'em robbIE?

[ Reply to This [slashdot.org]
]

  • glowbull warmongerers doomed to failure [slashdot.org] by Anonymous Coward (Score:-1) Wednesday June 09, @07:47AM

    from a post meant to be titled:

    unprecedented evile nearly disempowered, forever?
    (score: mynuts won:-) previously PostBlocked(tm) material reposted)

    by a disorganized rag-tag team of a few billion near nobodys, using what was available to them, which was almost nothing?

    & just who are some of unprecedented evile's local representative(s)?:

    The contract was awarded to Accenture, formerly Andersen Consulting, over two competing contractors, Lockheed Martin and Computer Sciences (a veritas (cess)pool of evile stock markp FraUDsters). Several industry executives and analysts said that the award surprised them and that Accenture had widely been considered the outside candidate.

    The award also brought controversy. Accenture is incorporated in Bermuda, and some critics attacked the idea of awarding a contract so valuable and important to national security to a company with its headquarters outside the United States.

    After Accenture was named, Representative Lloyd Doggett, a Texas Democrat, suggested the company took advantage of an uneven playing field to win the contract over Lockheed Martin and Computer Sciences.

    "If companies truly want to contribute to our nation's security, they can pay their fair share of taxes. If they want a slice of the American pie, they had better help bake it," he said in a statement.

    A spokesman for Accenture said that the company paid United States taxes.

    Representative Richard E. Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat and a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, also questioned the award.

    "This decision is outrageous," he said, in a statement. "The Bush administration has awarded the largest homeland security contract in history to a company that has given up its U.S. citizenship and moved to Bermuda. The inconsistency is breathtaking."

    the stock markup FraUD/softwar gangster payper liesense hostage grab 'business plan' is looking a little hapless now?

    Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, anonymous comment posting has temporarily (forever, if we had some ept) been disabled. You can still login to post. However, if bad posting continues from your IP or Subnet that privilege could be revoked as well. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner or login and improve your posting . If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down (like with fuddles' phonIE bouNTy hunter scam). If you think this is unfair, we just don't care.

Wow! Great Idea! (1)

serutan (259622) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378984)

Over the years I've often thought it would be nice to create design or debugging tools that depicted programs as 3D pictures of machines, with widgets stuck on them performing logic functions and data flowing in and out through pipes and valves. But I've never done anything about it. A city is like a big machine, and streams of people flowing through the streets seem like a perfect way to represent web traffic.

Maybe the next step will be a website designer similar to the x-Tycoon games, that lets you plunk down buildings (pages) and throttle traffic with road sizes, stoplights or some other visual metaphor. I call this thing Cool!

Re:Wow! Great Idea! (1)

emorphien (770500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379034)

I for one am ready for computers to catch up to the 1980s.

That is genius (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379006)

When people ask you what genius is, show them the world before this, then show them this. Tools like this are the future of computer science,IMHO. I hope to be the artist that draws the little people/artwork/etc. for everyone's "software", rather than hand-writing programs forever.

Re:That is genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9379082)

Actually, that has been done before; there was at least one San Francisco company doing this from 1999-2002.

Call me crazy, but I think it's great (3, Interesting)

tbase (666607) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379022)

All these types of games are highly addictive. People waste insane amounts of time playing them. I can imagine hiring a few of these "addicts", showing them some basic web promotion techniques (and more importantly, how to teach themselves more) and set them loose with it. I'd have no problems paying someone to play this game, especially if they could build a huge city. If it were customiseable, the first thing I would do would be to turn the order confirmation page into a shopping mall. Turn that puppy into the Mall of America :-)

Screenshots (4, Informative)

Adam9 (93947) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379042)

Here's a direct link [visitorville.com] to the screenshots.

It can even trace traffic flows [visitorville.com] . Neat stuff.

Re:Screenshots (1)

mikespub (786833) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379329)

Well, if someone is willing to do the SimCity part, I can contribute the logfile analysis and traffic flow [sourceforge.net] part :-)

hackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9379043)

will appear like the thief in GTA and he would go around robbing your vistors of there information and crashing there buildings...

vulnerability scans? (3, Funny)

jabella (91754) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379071)

i wonder if someone scanning for the newest webdav worm of the week shows up as a little bank robber running around the town, checking every door....

My favorite new running metaphor! (5, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379093)

"That's the 15th 'Slashdot' bus I've seen this morning! Is there a Fat Virgin Convention in town? I have to get my ass to work!"

"I know, not only have they plugged all the streets, but they're filling every coffee shop. I tried to get a biscotti this morning and I couldn't even get to the counter! They were just pushing and shoving to get to the counter, and then they'd just read the menu and leave. Bastards who did order just got a cup of coffee, then dumped it on the floor. Bastards."

"Yeah, the Mayor ought to do something, maybe put up signs for Slashdot tourists that send them to TubGirl town, or Goatseville. One sight of those neighborhoods would get their asses out of here..."

"Who lives there, anyway?"

"Trust me, you don't want to know..."

Not just for web would be very cool (4, Interesting)

psyclone (187154) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379103)

Imagine this on your corporate or even home lan. A long freight train rolls thru town and you say "damn it, Jim is using bit torrent again". Or the calm stream starts over-flowing and you exclaim "damn Kathy, stop streaming your radio and turn a real one on!".

Or on the corporte lan where user Joe has a 'house' and all of a sudden cars and people are jamming around it (he just emailed a link to his beta web project stored on his local PC).

And the BOFH could stomp through as King Kong and wreak havoc on Jane's mail-merge (since she attached a 5MB file instead of linking to it).

If not already posted, check this summary here: visual summary [visitorville.com]

Ok, so who's going to use perl/php with Ming modules to do this? (or something better of course).

No Free Demo? (1)

alex2 (786826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379104)

If this were actually a useful tool, I would never know.

I am not going to give out a credit card number just to try it out.

Too bad, they might have gotten my business.

Uninstall? (2, Insightful)

PktLoss (647983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379112)

Installing the product involves tagging each of your pages with some specific code so you can monitor whats going on, this leaves a couple questions:
Where is the data being generated stored?
Is the creator's website storing it all for me?
How secure is their site?
Most importantly (for those who care about their code)
If I choose to uninstall the product, will it rip all of its code off of my pages?

Slashdot representation (4, Funny)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379120)

So have they programmed this thing to show a frothing, bloodthirsty mob with pitchforks and torches, to represent the Slashdot effect?

I can just see it... there would be a spotlight that comes out of the sky, and then the zombie users would descend, burning everything in their path and reducing the building to rubble. Then little clean-up crews and such afterwards.

zerg (4, Funny)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379129)

Until they give it a name on par w/ "spinning cube of potential DOOM", it's not gonna cut the mustard.

Speaking of which, ever since I read that article, it's been pretty much downhill for everyone else's project names too. Hm.

Robots and Spiders (1)

SWroclawski (95770) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379133)

What about Google traffic that's just google spider index tool? Does it show spiders crawling around your city?

How about other robots, such as spam harvesting tools? Do we get to see little cans of spam running around?

And with all these robots on the site, will a Blade Running scenario emerge?

Slashdotting represented by reactor meltdown (1)

sakyamuni (528502) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379185)

I suppose the Slashdotting they're experiencing now (screenshots already fail to load) is represented in their software as a nuclear reactor meltdown destroying the city...

Re:Slashdotting represented by reactor meltdown (1)

CXI (46706) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379296)

That was my thought too, with the webserver being the power plant that gets closer and closer to critical as traffic increases...

Re:Slashdotting represented by reactor meltdown (2, Funny)

sakyamuni (528502) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379379)

Time to file that patent application, eh?

Slashdot through proxy (1)

killermookie (708026) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379189)

So now Slashdot is using other news sites to Slashdot people's servers. How often do we get a chance to use a new site that can hold up to our bombardment only to follow their link and bring that server to a crawl?

Cute, but is it useful? (1)

Stephen (20676) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379196)

It's cute but is it useful? Has anyone tried it? I suspect that it doesn't really yield any insight, once you've got past the "Wow" factor. But I'd be interested to hear if anyone has found out anything using it.

VisitorVille traffic as of today (3, Funny)

luxuryluke (754716) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379215)

and the VisitorVille.com analyzer reports:

"SimCopter 1 reporting heavy traffic!"

Metaverse (1)

SkorpiXx (567249) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379239)

This sort of graphic environment kind of reminds me of Stephenson's "Metaverse" in Snow Crash.

Excellent Idea! (2, Interesting)

bobej1977 (580278) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379243)

This is a great idea, and takes one of those annoying corporate menial tasks into something interesting and enjoyable. But, let's hope to god nobody figures out how to write the corporate management RTS game.

I don't want to be a naysayer, but I'd be a little careful about how an application like this will convince a user of the metaphor so well that they may start to come up with invalid conclusions. That's not altogether bad, it could help a designer think outside the box, but imagine your PHB deciding that your web-site is too crowded.

MRTG and SNMP as free alternative? (2, Interesting)

MyHair (589485) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379299)

Very cutesy, but the 3-d data layout could be useful.

I've been playing with MRTG [ee.ethz.ch] a little lately...I wonder if you could have Apache or other processes provide info via SNMP and use or modify MRTG to provide more 3-d and 4-d (brightness like VisitorVille's lit/unlit buildings or color) 'graphs'?

It's probably a strech, but maybe....

you FAIL 5it?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9379313)

NOT GO'ING HOME

open source alternatives? (1)

apachetoolbox (456499) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379322)

anyone know of any open-source alternatives to advanced traffic logging systems like this? i've been using webalizer for years but there's gotta be something better by now.

The metaverse is close (1)

jamiguet (232071) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379327)

Does one of the avatars appear with a drill if he is trying an exploit on the web server?

Linux vs. Windows (1)

enamore22 (629787) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379354)

I hope they included street brawls between Linux and Windows users!

Slashdot Wrecking Ball (1)

kkovach24 (710560) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379357)

If http://www.VisitorVille.com/ were a building right now there'd be a big wrecking ball swinging in it's direction with '/.' written on it.

- Kevin

Message on visitorville webpage. (1)

jhill (446614) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379370)

Please note: We are currently experiencing an extremely heavy server load due to the Wired article. Some images may not load. Thank you for your patience.

I'd just like to point out that they've misspelled Wired.

Almost Like Neuromancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9379385)

This way of picturing things really reminds me of the book Neuromancer [amazon.com] by William Gibson where net users interacted with networks, systems, and data using a 3d visual representation. Of course, this is far cry from hardware implants completely taking over a persons senses.
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