Announcement: Introducing Google Analytics & User Opt Out

mach_kernel

Administrator
Dec 26, 2019
11
4
3
New York City
github.com
Hello everyone!

As part of initiatives focused on continuing to provide the best experience to our community, we are rolling out Google Analytics for the forums. To make it clear, this does not mean that we are introducing advertisements! This is purely so that we can better understand how the community uses our services, what there is a popular demand for, and also things like how we rank on search or what sites link to us.

For example, did you know that an article was written about us on OSNews? Neither did we, until we found that we were linked to via Google Search Console! These are all opportunities that we can use to grow our community and find motivated developers to help work on our projects.

For the privacy conscious: do not worry! You can opt-out in a permanent and forever way. Please visit your user preferences by clicking on your avatar -> preferences, and find the following field:

Screen Shot 2020-05-03 at 12.42.08.png


Users using adblockers are unaffected (it would not load Google's tracking snippet regardless). We are happy to hear community feedback on this change, and thank you for your support.
 

Unxmaal

Administrator
Feb 8, 2019
85
41
18
I HAVE BEEN CLICKING THE NO SELECTION BUTTON UP THERE FOR 10 MINUTES AND NOTHING HAS CHANGED. PLEASE SEND HELP.
 

foetz

Member
Feb 19, 2019
68
33
18
For the privacy conscious: do not worry! You can opt-out in a permanent and forever way. Please visit your user preferences by clicking on your avatar -> preferences, and find the following field:
this should be the other way around: off by default. and those who don't mind can turn it on.

and on the subject, whatever you're getting from jquery.com should be hosted locally. most forums' admin panels have that option.
for firefox users there's also this: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/decentraleyes/
 

mach_kernel

Administrator
Dec 26, 2019
11
4
3
New York City
github.com
this should be the other way around: off by default. and those who don't mind can turn it on.
Off by default poses a challenge in understanding lurkers + traffic from users that do not have an account. For example, we want to know why people leave the site and where the most time is spent. The way we have set up tracking, however, does not make a distinction between lurkers + signed in sessions. GA specifically requires you to send a user ID event which we do not do (and we welcome you to verify this yourself using your browser console). We never send your e-mail or forum user ID to Google. We get aggregate views of data and I think IP addresses, but the forum security plugins and/or HTTP access logs may already have that information. We could spend the time integrating all of these different data sources to make dashboard and/or roll our own time on page tracking JS, but it's time consuming and not as reliable or actionable for SEO purposes like GA.

I think also given the subject matter of the board, people conscious of tracking may already run block extensions or even network appliances like piHole or pfBlockerNG. I realize that the internet would be a better place if publishers didn't abuse GA or tracking tools with this kind of reasoning -- but we are not looking to do that -- and I think because our team is aware of this, we have taken very seriously the responsibility of using it in a way that does not harm our user base.

To compare: VCFED loads both FB and GA, 68kMLA loads GA -- neither offer opt-out functionality. We are trying our best to offer a middle ground, if that is fair.

and on the subject, whatever you're getting from jquery.com should be hosted locally. most forums' admin panels have that option.
code.jquery.com is a reliable CDN, is there a benefit we are not aware of? If the concern is the CDN betraying us, we can generate an SRI hash.

We appreciate your feedback, thank you for being an active member here!
 
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foetz

Member
Feb 19, 2019
68
33
18
We never send your e-mail or forum user ID to Google.
haha well that would be a whole new level of backstabbing :D

We get aggregate views of data and I think IP addresses
you get that from google as a result?

the forum security plugins and/or HTTP access logs may already have that information.
which doesn't matter at all for as long as that remains on your server.

using it in a way that does not harm our user base.
as soon as google gets the ips of the users the harm is done.

code.jquery.com is a reliable CDN
and used by millions of sites and is still free. doesn't ring any alarm bells? :p


and btw, fonts.googleapis and gravatar are 2 more candidates.
 
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  • Silicon Graphics User Group (SGUG) is a community for users, developers, and admirers of Silicon Graphics (SGI) products. We aim to be a friendly hobbyist community for discussing all aspects of SGIs, including use, software development, the IRIX Operating System, and troubleshooting, as well as facilitating hardware exchange.

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