I Know Where You Go

I realized, over the holiday break, that MyBlogLog reminds me a lot of Santa Claus. It knows who you are, where you were, where you go next and for all we know, whether or not you’ve been naughty or nice.

If you have an account with them, as I do, it’s a nifty little social app that collects incoming link stats and tracks your traffic. They’ve gone further with it over time, and it’s now like a mini-Orkut, in that you can create communities, make contact, send emails to your contacts or sites you’re a fan of, and otherwise do the whole networking thing.

Further down the page that gives you all this information, as well as avatars of those who have joined your community, is a section called “What My Members Clicked on Other Sites Today” (yes, the grammar is whacked) and to the right of it, “My Members’ Other Popular Communities”. The latter displays a screenshot of the site’s homepage, made clickable so you can go there if you wish to.

What I’ve found so totally fascinating is where some of my “members” go.

I’d give anything to know who was looking for the 13 inch I’m-not-going-say-what-it-was thing. That was pretty funny. (And, no, surprisingly, I didn’t click on that one to see where it went. The description was enough.)

In general, the sites that my readers go to aren’t that mind boggling. The usefulness of this section is vague, but I assume it’s another way to be informed of other sites out there, and if someone visited something that looks interesting, you might go there too. This is the link generation and all that.

I doubt anyone really wants me to know they’ve been to adult sites, however, and yet several days a week, this is what MyBlogLog is showing me. Like it’s my business.

It’s not my business.

So how come I’m being told where you all are going?

Do you know you’re being followed?

Curious, I looked for more information. There’s a link at the bottom of the site that says “Report Adult Content.” When I click on it, it brings up my email client and addresses “bug (at) mybloglog.com”.

If adult content is a “bug”, isn’t this something that should be filtered out on MyblogLog’s end? Doesn’t this report the adult site action set up a feeling of being a tattle-tale, or a prude? Like every time I see an adult site on my community page, I must report it? That doesn’t feel right to me.

I thought I should mention that their profile page is a mile-long and contains every possible thing anyone would ever want to know about you, for those who want to share. That includes your Second Life name, all your IM handles, a zillion web communities that you could belong to, most of which I’ve never heard of, your company, birthday and etc.

You can have a “hide list”, which lets you join communities that you don’t want others to know about. It doesn’t say whether this means that where you go after visiting a hidden community is also hidden.

I’m not complaining. Just making an observation.

I think that some of the sites where my readers go on the ‘Net may not be something they really want me to know about.

But some of you, however unidentified as you may be, are hysterical to watch.

9 thoughts on “I Know Where You Go

  1. Is it just me or do others find that amount of information to be totally frightening?

    Where I go and what I do on the Net is entirely my business whether I am directly identified or not.

    And if MyblogLog identifies so much is it time each of us included a genuine privacy statement on our blogs?

  2. My husband is a QA software performance engineer, and I brought this all up with him after I wrote in my blog. He was saying that there may be a whitelist of sites on their end, and reporting more adult sites is a way to add to it. He also pointed out that all the information is likely considered great marketing info that Mybloglog members want. That got us into a healthy debate about what “we” really want :) And my interest… do people know how much info on their Internet usage is being made available, do they even how it’s being offered, being used and do they care?

  3. Great, Kim. Thanks. You’ve now ruined my day because I signed up on MyBlogLog and now I am addicted to watching the stats and browsing around.

    and i had plans . . .

  4. I think this is non sense. I understand that Google is probably watching where I go, and I’m fine with that. But do I want you to know where I’m going? Possibly not. I’m not a paying member of MyBlogLog so I don’t have access to this info, and frankly I don’t care to see it. Expect this to be a big stink once everybody finds out.

  5. You know, I just took a look at this and I had hoped that the links were relatively “rated-G” in nature. I was surprised to see a lot of “Playboy” links there. I thought it was only you, Kim. Darn. :P

    Yes, this is an excellent observation, and I think that there should be protections put in place. Plus, it’s a total violation of privacy. I’m curious to know how MyBlogLog pulls that off (the cookie, maybe?)

  6. I continue to see them every day. With the sale to Yahoo! soon after I wrote this, I wondered if this info would come out in the coverage, but it hasn’t. In all the writing about how great MyBloglog is, I’ve yet to see anyone mention the porn links and the ability to see where our visitors are going :)

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