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WIRELESS — WebSideStory Enters Wireless Market With Tracking Tools

San Diego’s WebSideStory, Inc., known for its Web tracking and analysis tools, is entering the mushrooming wireless market.

The 4-year-old firm will release the first wireless tracking tools for the Internet on Monday.

One tool, called HitBox Wireless, accurately monitors Web surfers who access a site through wireless-enabled Palm devices and wireless phones.

Besides tracking real-time visitor statistics, HitBox Wireless can also identify the type of device being used to access the Internet, determine the make and model of the device, identify which browser version is being used, identify screen resolutions, identify the service provider, and, in some cases, the area code of the wireless phone being used.

Users of the technology would subscribe to the service to track wireless usage of their Web sites.

“People don’t know anything about the wireless Web,” said Charles Glommen, WebSideStory’s senior software engineer who helped design HitBox Wireless. “You see a push for it but we don’t know much about it at this point because nobody’s measuring anything. This is the only way (companies) can measure the success of their wireless Web sites.”

Since HTML , the language used for creating Web sites , is too graphically rich for devices like cell phones to access, companies must create separate Web pages for wireless access.

‘New World For The Internet’

“I don’t think wireless is competing with the regular Web,” Glommen said. “It’s a new world for the Internet. It’s a quick way to get information wherever you are.”

WebSideStory’s second new tool is an added feature to the firm’s HitBox Enterprise, an Internet audience intelligence service for E-business.

The new feature allows subscribers to check their Web site traffic and analysis data through wireless devices, including Palm hand-held computers and Web-enabled phones.

HitBox Enterprise provides up-to-the-second visitor statistics, including unique visitors, page views, referring URLs, time spent on the site and most requested pages.

“We’re no different from the guys during the gold rush who were renting equipment to the miners,” said Blaise Barrelet, founder and chairman of WebSideStory. “Those are the ones who made the money. WebSideStory is positioned as a shovel and equipment rental company.”

The French-born Barrelet said Internet companies will need such Web-tracking tools as wireless becomes more popular.

“If Wall Street or Nasdaq go down, it’s going to be very critical for these Web companies to have information to maximize their value.

“People understand that being successful on the Web is not saying, ‘I have a Web page,'” Barrelet said. “They have to be very smart about what’s happening on their Web site. They’re going to get the very best rental equipment they can get.”

As for WebSideStory’s success, Barrelet says his company will be the next local Qualcomm, Inc. in terms of growth and number of employees.

While WebSideStory only has 114 employees compared to Qualcomm’s nearly 7,000 local employees, Barrelet said his company is growing fast. WebSideStory, which hired 10 employees last week, plans to release 10 more products this year.

“Our first office was by Qualcomm and when I would tell people where our office was they would say, ‘Oh, you’re across from Qualcomm,'” Barrelet said. “At some point people will say, ‘Qualcomm is across from WebSideStory.’ ”


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