Oh, the innocent and wide open hippie romping internet lost! Now we diligently must make sure we are not infecting our own sites with those nasty cloaked tracking devices, not only the googly analytical stuff, but others crumbs of cookies we may not even be aware of.
Audrey Watters, as she does so well, outlines her approach that sums as “what tracking provides is hardly worth it”. D’Arcy Norman follows with a look at his own site, and some decisions about what blog bits might be discarded.
I have a bit of a habit of mostly following What D’Arcy Does. So those little chicklet social media icons? They likely dribble dabs of tracking. So do a lot of media embeds (when you make a call yo a remote server, they can pretty much insert any kind of goobers in your site).
I’m not quite as formal as making policies here at CogDogBlog. I think you need committees or bylaws for that kind of stuff.
My first cut was cut all the social media sharing chicklets from the site, first by disabling the ones in the JetPack Social module, and also de-activating them from my theme.
I mean, c’mom, if you do not know how to share a post of mine in twitter or G+, I’m not sure I need to have you sharing my stuff. Are we that +1 like lazy?
Then I did do some self checking on my site with the Firefox Ghostery tool. I did not see too much, the most action I saw was on posts with vimeo media embeds. I saw stuff related to “Conviva”. It also looks like my theme has twitter button an facebook connect scripts loaded because of my theme. I can look where to zap those.
It’s harder to sort out what all this cruft is doing.
I could not find any traces related to the WP-stats module of the JetPack plugin. Does this mean they are doing things differently than tracking via cookie?
It is a question now of, do I get much worth out of looking at my WordPress stats? It’s not like I am trying to justify my traffic to anyone. That’s on the table for possible discarding.
Here’s what I think about cookies, not quite a grown up policy. I approve mostly of the kinds of cookies baked by moms and handed out to strangers. Personally, I have to eat sugar free cookies, but I did support the kind sold by Girl Scouts (curse those macaroons because they are so tasty).
On a personal blog, I am not funding much justification for cookies. I really loathe blogs where the URLs are all crufted with Google UTM tracking cruft on the end. I always chop them off before sharing. I am to chop all URL parameters not needed to display a post.
As far as tracking, the only kind I will do if you happen to leave something at my house, I may track you down and return it. Or I may track down your email address to thank you for a favor. That’s about it. The only tracks we like here are romps in the woods and snow.
But it is worth a more thorough review of the stuff we add to our sites. Because of all the needs for services to do the “M word” our own needs are to be nore wary and savvy about what stuff gets injected into out sites.
This concludes “policies” on cookies and tracking. Cookies are yummy and tracking is what we do outside.
UPDATE (minutes later): I just deactivated the JetPack plugin, **** stats and all the other stuff I don’t even need/use. This blog might go on a diet! That broke my theme. F**** WordPress used to be so simple.
Top / featured image : Those are the cookies baked once by my Mom cc licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by cogdogblog: http://flickr.com/photos/cogdog/5230276753
The post "Our Approach to Tracking and Cookies" was originally squeezed out of the bottom of an old rusted tube of toothpaste at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2015/03/tracking-and-cookies/) on March 23, 2015.