I implemented a top sites hit counter for http://www.utahrealestatehelp.com. Users can join the program and they get some code to put on their page that will display an image. The image is a counter…or whatever I want it to be. The reason people would do it is because if they’re in the top however many sites I decide (20 or 50 or 100), they get a link to them from a high pagerank page on my site. I do it because I get all of these people linking to me. It’s really a cool idea.
What’s even better is that I implemented it with software that already does it. I found some open source software and integrated it into postnuke. I’m getting pretty good at taking existing software and integrating it into postnuke. My philosophy is, if someone else has already written it, why do it again? They probably did it better, debugged it more, and wrote more features into it than I’m going to do. This is the great premise of open source. I can use the work that someone else has done and use it for my purposes.
There are a lot of people out there who make the mistake of always wanting to write stuff themselves. The “write your own” camp. I just think this is a huge mistake. A waste of time, effort, brainpower, and a loss of business experience. If you’re re-inventing the wheel, you’re not contributing to society.