The Library Basement
Reading under ground

On web analytics

Some time ago I began questioning the value of tracking viewership of this blog and my various other websites. Additionally I felt that tracking code was a bit invasive to my readers' privacy. So I disabled the Google Analytics tracking plugin and accepted that I would just be ignorant about my readership outside of comments. This sentiment coincides with a general trend of mine to stop relying on Google and other free service providers and roll my own services where possible. Yet I still wanted to know some general information about my visitors.

Enter Piwik, the free software analytics system. You can host it on a standard PHP/MySQL stack, so it is easy to roll your own. The data it collects stays with you. You can also configure it to provide better privacy for your readers, including anonymizing IP addresses and providing an opt-out feature. I installed it, loved it, and added it to all my sites. I am not storing the last two bytes of IP addresses, meaning the best I can do is narrow users down to a class B subnet.

So, yes, I am back on the analytics bandwagon.

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Category: meta Tags: software

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