From LinkedIn profile peeping to blog surfing, nothing you do on the Web is a secret. (Nor “semi-private,” as the Mayor of Arlington, TN will tell you.) It’s not that Big Brother is spying on you, it’s that everywhere you go, your Internet browser leaves behind a trail.
A recent example: a White House staffer reads Suburban Turmoil and Lindsay Ferrier has the screen shots to prove it.
Is it cool and fabulous that a person inside the most powerful office in the world reads Lindsay’s blog? Um, totally! Did he for one minute think the author of the blog would ever know, much less write about said visit? Nope.
Know this: nearly all Web authors–including this one–check their Google Analytics and/or StatPress-type visitor logs. We’re curious about the number of folks who find our writing interesting, how often you come back, etc. It’s actually sort of an obsession akin to watching a Chia Pet grow.
We can’t see your name or street address, but we know your city and state. We can’t see the name of your company, but we usually can see the server upon which you surf (state/federal employees!). We can even see what search term you used to find us, what Website referred you, how long you hung around and what links you clicked on.
If knowing content managers are spying on your stats makes you feel a tad icky, I’m sorry I’ve made you feel uncomfortable. That said, you know how I feel about your Web wanderings: a healthy dose of caution is always a good thing.
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