Do you have any idea for community/school project?
The other day, I was thinking about site monitoring network using our own sites and/or home machines.
Using tiny resources of our own sites or home machine, just like seti project,
we can create accurate site/host monitoring network operated by ourselves.
As the data can be gathered from many different locations, it cannot be cheated by hosts.
It will help to make some users understand if it's problem of the host or their own mistake of some kind.
Also, it can be used for identifying problems, like expired domain, DNS setup errors, web server setup, CGI/PHP/dynamic page, Database/FTP/Mail/other server errors, etc.
Basically, we install small site checking script in our site, and access it from other sites or home machines using cronjob or scheduled task.
The results are posted/gathered to another site and it can be mirrored by a few other sites for redundancy, if needed.
It's pretty simple and we can start doing it in a few days, if we are talking about http only.
It costs almost nothing.
We just exchange a bit of resources each other.
I have a DreamHost account kept for the backup and not used a lot.
I can use it to check several other sites (at least) every minute without any problem, for exmaple.
Maybe nice and competent hosts can offer some resources, too.
And we will have totally independent and reliable means of checking sites/hosts.
Another idea is the comprehensive and current database of web hosts.
We can distribute a small script that checks many aspects of the host, automatically.
Also, we can setup a for where users can enter the features of the hosts.
And the result can be shown as simple HTML (or even csv), which can be imported by users to their DB/spread sheet apps.