Like Statsaholic? Boycott Alexa

    April 20, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Alexa’s lawsuit against Ron Hornbaker to shut down his Statsaholic (formerly Alexaholic) has spurred calls for retaliation against Alexa by boycotting its services.

This is another irony: Alexa is claiming that the data is proprietary, despite the fact that it relies on the community to supply that data.
-- Pete Cashmore highlights Alexa's apparent thought process disconnect, as the data it supplies is the data it receives from others.

Those others tend to be in the SEO community, given the Alexa toolbar’s popularity with web marketers and similar people. Many of them have probably encountered Statsaholic (which was down at press time) and appreciated the features Hornbaker built to enhance what Alexa has been delivering to websites.

All good things do come to an end, and Alexa took the step of slapping Hornbaker with a lawsuit claiming trademark infringement and theft of proprietary data, ie the graphs Alexa displays. Hornbaker had previously changed the name of his site to Statsaholic, and has offered to pay for the graphs in question as he already pays for the data.

Geoffrey Mack at Alexa had accused Hornbaker of stealing the graphs rather than paying for API access to them. Mack also wrote that Hornbaker is trading on the Alexa name by redirecting traffic from Alexaholic to Statsaholic; we noted this redirect is still taking place.

The lawsuit has triggered some negative feedback for Alexa, especially since they have publicly complimented Hornbaker’s work previously. Cashmore picked up on the boycott Alexa theme from TechFold, which suggested it:

HOW ABOUT MONDAY, APRIL 23rd FOR AN API ECS BOYCOTT? Post your thoughts in the comments. By “boycott” I mean if you use ECS to link to Amazon for affiliate sales, shut ‘er down and hit amazon in the wallet.

Cashmore would like to see Amazon come around and drop the suit, as its approach could be seen as a negative by developers:

The irony is that Amazon is currently promoting the openness of its web service APIs. At the Web 2.0 Expo, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos promoted Amazon