Would you blog differently if you couldn't look at the Site Meter records? Do you know any bloggers who won't use Site Meter? Not seeing the symbol on the page doesn't mean they don't have it. If you pay for premium service you can opt not to show the symbol. Most bloggers seem to have Site Meter but not to pay for premium service. I think I'm in the smallest category: those who pay for premium service but don't hide the symbol or even block access to the records. I just like seeing the detailed records! What am I looking for? I'm not sure, but I have more to look at.
Some bloggers are proud of having no traffic meter, and others express pride in rarely checking the meter. They seem to think it affects the content of the blog and the whole feeling of being a blogger, and they are probably right. I'm a big meter-checker myself, and I probably started out as the kind of person who would be a meter-checker, but all that meter checking over the years, so closely connected to the daily practice of writing, has got to have had an effect on my mind. If the meter were taken away from me now, what would become of me?
UPDATE: Note only is Site Meter back, with all the accumulated statistics in place, but David Smith, the creator of Site Meter, stopped by the comments to this post to say:
Sorry everyone. Site Meter had a little problem this morning and the statistics are currently delayed a little. They should be back to real-time soon. I plan on Site Meter being around for a long time.Thanks, David. I (heart) Site Meter.
And some people have been asking in the comments if the Site Meter information affects what bloggers write about. It's hard to say for sure, since you can't experience that alternate reality of life without Site Meter -- unless today's little outage gave some insight. Perhaps I'd write less if I had no information about whether anyone was reading. But does it affect what I write? I don't really think so. I can see what gets linked and which links bring the most traffic (and also what gets the most comments), but I think the blog is what it is because of the whole mix, and the whole environment means something, even the posts that seem to get less attention. I just keep going following my own personal sense of what's interesting, and maybe I even especially like to do a post about something that I think no one else cares about.