I think most of us recognize that there are many elements that exist on the web to track your movements. You may even think that you know who or what these are. You may even be aware enough to install software in your browser to block the tracking of your online activities. You may even have installed or use the analytics from a web service so that you know where your visitors are coming from, how they’re referred, what type of browser they use, their operating system, …
I know that I use the statistical information that WordPress provides, for example, so that I know just how many hits I get on a particular day. I also know that I use the Ghostery extension to try and keep the information that I share to other websites at least to a minimum.
Recently, I noticed an interactive service that Ghostery provides that tries to educate you as to who the big players are in the tracking business. Colour coded, it presents them as Advertisers, Analytics, Beacons, or Widgets.
The layout takes the familiar form of a Periodic Table. It’s available online here and looks like this.
When you visit the website, hover your mouse over any of the elements to reveal the details. You’ll notice a pulldown menu for the dates and the chart has data created and posted every couple of weeks.
It’s fascinating reading and the results are very interesting to try to understand.
It’s an interesting world out there.
- Fixing Google Analytics for Ghostery (ejohn.org)
- Who’s Tracking You? (futurelawyer.typepad.com)
- How to Make Your Browser Run Faster, and How That Will Alter Internet Economics (mikethemadbiologist.com)