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Gericho Loop notes

I actually dreamed about this. Literally. In my dream, I was talking to a client who wanted me to do something for them they heard about — taking a website viewer somewhere else to do something before going to the target of a link. They said it was all the rage.

Apart from advertising interstitials, I never heard of such a thing, especially the way it was described. In the course of the dream, I discovered it was called a “Jericho Loop”. Like many dreams of things, places, and people, I Googled it to see if it was something I may have heard elsewhere. It was not.

I don’t remember the exact details of what was in the dream or what I formulated to fill in the gaps afterward, but here’s the idea:

A visitor goes to a web page, but before the web page is served, they are taken (usually invisibly) to a “Gericho server” (I use the “G” spelling) for a “pass-through” where their visitor data is stored or processed (such as an email alert or phone app reporting for the webmaster), then returned to the page, possibly with instructions for that page to execute.┬áDepending on the purpose and response, it may initiate an optional pass-through for further action.

The closest thing I can think of is Google Analytics, but then I suspect that is simply reporting data processes by the web server being reported on. And even if it does divert the user to glean their data, it’s not two-way interactive, only storing and reporting.

The applications for this could be endless, and the use of a Jericho server means the repository of functions would be on an external, distributed, or shared operating system. These applications could be likened to a library of javascript applets to draw on, or generic modules that would be used dependent upon variables set forth in the code on the website (which could even be via a CMS plugin).

Examples of use:

  • Filtering (by browser, geography, etc.), then reporting and/or giving a behavioral result, such as automatically redirecting to another language set or taking people to only offers available where they are
  • Reporting Change in Page (may require some form of archiving or statistical comparison data), useful for sites such as wikis
  • Reporting the link used to leave (may require a site-wide CMS plugin to not be tedious in implementation), especially useful for a directory or links to cloud files whose accessing isn’t recorded in server traffic

If this was implemented as open-source software, the possibilities would only be limited by imagination and incentive of need.

Please someone, steal this idea. Just give my subconscious the credit.