MyBlogLog – Y! Privacy and Widgetisation
I love the recent Y! acquisition, mybloglog. Its like a myspace with bells on. Ive encountered some really nice and interesting people too. In case you haven’t seen or used it before its a social media platform. You can join communities, add contacts, upload photos and if you install a piece of code you can get stats and display photos of visitors from their network on your site as they arrive.
On the user front I think its kinda cool. IMO I think It adds an extra dimension to ones website by way of showing an extra human dimension. You can see the latest faces of people who have visited and if you so feel inclined, go and check them out to see what they are all about; at least thats what Ive found myself doing!
Their stats page is cool too. Gives you a non fussy overview of where your readers came from, what they viewed and what they clicked. It even tells you what ads they clicked on too.
Great, for some at least, a quick and easy way to see whats what, without the need for other 3rd party metrics. Your top 10 referrers, top 10 articles showing the number of times they were read, and the top 10 external off site link clicks within your blog posts. The ad clicking feature is good too, showing you what ad was clicked on, or at least the target destination. Ok, so its lacking in a lot of things and could be a whole lot better granted. But hey, its free and besides if you want something a little more involved there’s always Google analytics or Web trends or for the ultra paranoid amongst us, there’s the traditional on server log file analysis approach. Webaliser, Analog, AW Stats all do a pretty good job at showing you the why’s and the wherewithals (ad clicks aside perhaps).
I can’t see porn sites using the widget, else you would just see a lot of hairy crusty blokes, viewing the hot lesbo action websites, lol. Good way to blackmail.
But what would be cool for geeks would be mobile phone text alerts that tell you when such and such has visited your site.
It’s a brilliant service with fantastic ways for it to go wrong.
It got me thinking about some of the privacy issues on all this; my cynical antenna went on to dark orange status and got me thinking in terms of if they wanted to, they could actually track your entire history throughout their network. Who you visited, what you read, how long you read it for, what you bookmarked, did you comment, what did you say etc blah. Lyndoman’s comical reference to Scott Rafer sitting in some room with multiple screens and white cat on his lap couldn’t be so far from reality.
Anyhow, it was for reasons like this that some time back I didn’t buy into the who Google personalisation/ search history thing. I don’t want Google or any other search engine for that matter knowing my searching patterns; especially when its aligned to me personally.Why? Just coz, EOS.What is really in it for me I asked myself. After a short while I realised, not very much at all. Great for them, hell yeah. Great user demographic info, priceless in terms of pushing the right products to the right people in the right places, provided I’d want them of course. As I’m not a big fan of cold calling anyways, I decided to pass.
So we have these privacy policies whereby we see that companies promise not to share data about us and all that – the whole thing of course, is built on trust. We entrust our actions to people and companies we don’t know. We assume that we are protected by law from infringements of our personal liberties and whatnot, we assume that just because they say they won’t do this or that, that they won’t. Just made me wonder really, what is there to safeguard us? Who if anybody monitors these things, where are the policies outlining who has access to the data and who doesn’t? We all remember the AOL user search revelations , we should also remember that everything we push out there into the big wide world goes through the servers of our ISP. Thats all of our Instant messaging, emails, web browsing, video conferencing – everything. I wonder who ensures the restrictions on all that too.
Important questions no? What do you think?Posted on: 15th January 2007, by : Rob Watts