Why I use Jetpack to track what’s unpopular

Tracking has become synonymous with spying. What information should I collect, why is it collected and what will I do with it.

First it should provide value to the readers

It sounds squishy and it is. In short, any data collected should do something for the consumer. In this case myself and my readers.

Jumpack Stats from June 14
Jumpack’s statistics page from June 14.

I recently added a paid version of Jetpack to my website for daily backups, anonymous viewing statistics and video hosting. As a result it brought along with it nearly a dozen third party trackers, Specifically 11 on my homepage. While I’m not thrilled at the number at least it’s clear who is tracking this information.

Trackers installed along with Jetpack.
Trackers installed along with Jetpack.

All 11 are domains are owned by Automattic and most are specifically heading to wp.com which redirects to WordPress.com and not a random advertisement or “service” relentlessly tracking your every move. Jetpack is a WordPress.com service so this looks good to me.

By providing basic statistics, I can now research whether a post is viewed or is mostly ignored.

Largely no one viewed my Cold Brew and GTD post.

So how does this provide value?

  1. Google Plus didn’t care about my Coffee and Reading post where I shared it.
  2. I didn’t properly tag the post’s subject “Getting Things Done” maybe that would have helped.
  3. The post didn’t resonate, perhaps I should stick to Instagram coffee postings.
  4. Readers of my website just don’t come here for this stuff.
  5. No one is reading this.

Tracking should be anonymous and not follow people around

Don’t be creepy, if someone views your blog post the last thing they want to see  are ads loosely related to the subject elsewhere tomorrow.

Tracking services should clearly describe what they collect, how they do it, and what it’s used for. I think Automattic does a good job on their Privacy Page. So lets give this a go and see if I can improve my site.

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