What do site runners value? Useful statistics on their site or the privacy of those who use it? Hopefully it’s a mixture of the two but when you hand off your analytics to a third party (as many sites do) do we have a problem? These companies clearly benefit from this data as do the site runners, but it’s at the cost of the users.
Why this post doesn’t matter
This post is not a well formed argument on the advantages and disadvantages but rather me writing down some loose thoughts on the matter.
Firstly, this site has no analytics running on it. I don’t know how many people have read this, therefore I assume it’s just me. Reason number 1 why I don’t care about this post.
Opinions, they exist
So to go over what I think. I think that it is up to me to ensure that visitors don’t need to worry about their activities being passed on. This site is a simple GitHub page and the DNS points straight to them.
I could have set it up with Cloudflare and used their simple analytics, or even set up Google analytics, but I decided not to because I don’t think that’s right for the role that I have.
When people visit here they see a bad blog, and that is what they should get. Nothing more.
This is not for everyone
I can understand why people run analytics, and I have in the past on other sites I created. It allows you to see what content is popular and where it is popular, it allows you to create more engaging content and more popular content.
I can see that argument easily pushes people to using that technology, it’s easily more beneficial than not. Yet I don’t think it’s for me to decide what information visitors provide me.
But it’s not for me
Ultimately a visitor doesn’t get given a large form that says “by using this site you allow everything you do on it to be tracked for my benefit” as soon as they load up a page for the first time.
However not everything is so clear
It’s also true that by virtue of how the internet works someone will have a log saying what happened when the user loaded a page. I don’t know what GitHub is tracking, I don’t know what the ISP that the visitor is using is tracking, I don’t know what the visitor’s DNS server is tracking.
With all this lack of knowledge of what is being tracked, why don’t I just get in on it?
The biggest reason of all
I simply don’t care.
I don’t have comments, I don’t have analytics, I don’t even have good content, I’m not here to be successful, I’m here to enjoy whatever it is I’m doing, whether people read it or not is not a particular concern of mine at this point.