Cookie Monsters et al

cookiesNow don’t get me wrong, I think Jupiter does good stuff and I like Eric Peterson. But when I keep reading things like Jupiter made the first splash about cookie deletion and even Eric saying that others are validating his findings, I just scratch my head.

At Y! we’ve been discussing this issue for a long time. Not because we’re super-insightful, but because back in the spring of 2004 (almost a year ahead of the Jupiter study), there was a study done by newspaper research firm Belden Associates that says .. wait for it … some 40 percent of users clear their cookies at least once a month.

Does it matter? Not really. Just that it’s not new news at all, so I’m baffled by the recent storm of discussion. Kudos to Jupiter for bringing it to the attention of the wider industry, because obviously it wasn’t well-known previously.

Cookie Monsters et al

2 thoughts on “Cookie Monsters et al

  1. Bob, I am as mystified as you by the attention the report received given previous work by RedEye and Belden but perhaps the difference was that both Belden and RedEye wanted to sell you something after you read their report. I had a chance to discuss this with Belden folks just prior to the reports release and they were still talking about selling data. My comment to them about using their algorithm for calculating more accurate UV counts for the good of mankind as opposed to trying to profit from people’s fear, uncertainty and doubt was met with silence.

    Perhaps you should call RedEye and Belden and ask them about giving their methodologies away for the benefit of all involved. What do you think they would say?

    At JupiterResearch I have the honor and privilege of ** not ** having to sell — my job is to conduct the highest quality research possible and to disseminate that research first to our clients and then to interested external parties (e.g., the press, bloggers, etc.) Perhaps it was the combination of an objective, respected party publishing this informtion that was truly “the match that lit the fuse”.

    Ironically, my counterpart at Forrester Research, Bob Chatham, came wiithin 50 words of saying the same thing two months before my report came out in a report on the rise of anti-spyware applications. Really, if you think about it, technologists in the know have been questioning the accuracy of cookie-based systems for years … it’s just that nobody wanted to have the conversation since most of us are not sure how the problem will play out.

    Anyway, like I said at Emetrics, I’m ok being the “cookie monster” as long as companies like yours are actively trying to resolve the issue. The only response I believe to be unacceptable is no response at all. WebTrends and Coremetrics are to be applauded for including cookies and accuracy in their recent releases and I strongly believe that technology providers will find some competitive advantge arising from accuracy before too much longer.

    Thanks for the compliment. At least, I think it was a compliment. 😉

  2. Bob says:

    Thanks for the reply, and yes, it was a compliment .. as you said, others had previously discovered/discussed it, but you blew the lid off the cookie jar.

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