Web statistics

After years and years of requests, pleas and threats, finally our keen users can have a service which counts visits in their sites and blogs.

A/I Collective’s new web statistics include both websites hosted in our servers and Noblogs.org blogs, and are based on Piwik, which is free software.

Activating this kind of tool within our services wasn’t an easy decision for A/I, since we prefer not to keep users’ data, but in this case we weighed up the pros and cons, and the pros won.

The point is that gathering web statistics means monitoring every visit to the relevant websites and identifying their origin, and this activity can be easily associated with user profiling, which is often linked with market research and log keeping. But contrary to commercial services as GoogleAds, in our case we only survey some details, such as the URLs from which visits originate: instead, we don’t keep IPs, the addresses associating visits to real persons, and we also got rid of the most intrusive plugins like the ones checking the country of origin of each visit and the visitor’s screen size.

Besides, by using plugins against profiling such as Adblock on Firefox, visitors can hide from Piwik’s monitoring. For the owner of the site this can be a drawback because she won’t be able to count every visit, but for web surfers it has the advantage of offering the possibility not to be counted. However, you can suggest your friends to disable Adblock just for your website/blog and the problem will be partly solved.

If it’s you who don’t like the idea of profiling your readers, don’t worry: Piwik is not activated by default, but only if a website/blog admin chooses to do so.

Our new webstat tool is automatically active on Noblogs.org blogs but you have to activate it on hosted sites, using this howto

Consider however that this service is public and therefore anyone can look up your statistics. This also implies that you can publish your stats in your website, by using a number of widgets you can access from the stats dashboard.

In any case, we warmly suggest you to use Piwik if you are currently using a commercial counter (like Shinystat or Google analitics): actually, as you will have already read in our policy, this kind of commercial services must be absolutely avoided in A/I’s web spaces since it conflicts with anonymity protection we try to implement as best as possible.

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