Not Watching You

Draft created: 3 September 2012
Last updated: 18 March 2013
Status: Second draft

I’m not watching you. Plenty of other people are. They’re tracking you with Google Analytics and Chartbeat and Omniture and Bitly ( And they’re enabling others to track you, by placing social-sharing widgets, advertisements, and other third-party paraphenalia on their sites. I’m not.

By avoiding all of the above, I’m hoping to carve out an oasis for the both of us. You get a break — whether you realize it or not, and whether you care or not — from the web’s pervasive surveillance. (Caveats below.) And I get a break from caring just how many of you actually read this, or how long you spent on the page, or where you arrived from.

Website analytics are great for businesses, but bad for humans. Businesses thrive on instant feedback, quantification, and optimization. Humans wither. The narcotic pleasure of pageviews hollows other incentives for writing, editing, photographing, composing. Ignorance isn’t bliss, but maybe it’s freedom.

Here are some details, as of March 18, 2013:

Rather than spend my time staring at online dashboards, I assume — though perhaps wrongly — that if something I write or build is great or terrible, I’ll hear about it through human communication. So, if you feel like it, don’t hesitate to send me an email or a tweet.