They're at it again
Posted on September 17th, 2007
LiveJournal has several official blogs. By that I mean they use their own journaling software to post updates about the site. One such blog is used to notify users about upcoming maintenance or other maintenance related notices. Another is the official news blog. What's new and what's in the works will be posted there. The only blog of interest at the moment is their business blog. It's more of a behind the scenes than their news blog and it's also less frequently read. Keep that in mind.

Today a new post was made to the business blog. In the very near future LiveJournal is going to start using a site tracking software suite to learn more about how users browse the site. This isn't anything new; tons of sites do this and just about all websites have server logs that contain the basics of how the site is accessed. LiveJournal even allows you to opt out of this statistics gathering.

This isn't going to go well. After StrikeThrough and BoldThrough a fair number of the users are paranoid about LiveJournal's every move.

There are many questions in the air, such as:
  • Why is this "opt out" instead of "opt in"?
  • Why was this posted in an out-of-the way, infrequently read blog instead of the very frequently read news blog? Are they thinking that they can track more people in secret and cover their goat this way?
  • The previous entry was posted with comments enabled. After several people posted comments LiveJournal disabled comments on that post. Why the allowed/disabled jump?
  • According to LiveJournal this software won't track "private" posts. Catch: there are two levels of non-public posts on LiveJournal -- "friends only" and "private". Did LiveJournal mean neither are tracked or that "friends only" is also tracked?
  • This new software tracks what links you follow -- including links to other sites. Will following a link to a Harry Potter fansite get a user banned? Just BELONGING to Harry Potter communities got people banned before!
  • Will journals that aren't popular be deleted?
  • Will they discover that it has been the same person clicking on random people's "Report this page" links all along?
  • How many licks to the center of a tootsie-pop?

The world may never know.

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