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December 10, 2006

What We Say and What We Do

Britney Spears and her underpants or lack thereof seem to have drawn the attention of the normally high-minded members of the Fractals of Change community on MyBlogLog. MyBlogLog is an interesting service which not only provides statistics I use to find out where my readers come from, which pages they go to, and which links they follow out but also allows the formation of communities around blogs.  Readers decide which communities they want to be members of.

Here is an interesting list from MyBlogLog of the other blog communities popular with those who’ve joined the FOC community:


No real surprises there.  Already know you readers are interested in entrepreneurial stuff both from the CEO and VC POV plus technical stuff.  The comics at bLaugh are a recent addition to the list.  Have to check them out.

But there’s another display: which links FOC members follow OUT FROM MyBlogLog community blogs.  Usually this list looks something like the list above.  Not for the last couple of days though.


Hmm…  half are Ms. Spears (sorry, the links aren’t live above).  Yesterday it was 80% but I didn’t save that. Probably people doing research on her high search engine rating.

These are statistics only.  MyBlogLog does not report who linked where, just aggregate numbers for link behavior.

When you go to the blog site of a blog like FOC which is a member of MyBlogLog, you can see how many people have followed a particular link if you hover over with the mouse.  This is useful and fun but, remember, it does mean that links are being tracked.  In fact there are many other tools which track links followed from a particular website and can associate whatever information the site has about its viewer with the outlink.

If you want to be totally anonymous, you have to make sure the site can’t identify you.  The FOC site has no idea who you are unless you comment (and doesn’t track you even in that case) but, if you are a  MyBlogLog member, then by default you are tracked by that service when you are on MyBlogLog blogs (that’s why some blogs can show your picture in the sidebar when you’re on them and add your picture to a comment).

Absolutely no evidence that this information is being used at the individual level or FOC wouldn’t be a MyBlogLog blog.  Quite properly, the MyBlogLog privacy policy does give all this detail and more and has a link which allows you to opt out of being tracked.

These Britney outlinks do NOT come from FOC.  I know that because FOC didn’t point to any of these URLs.  Below are the top five links that FOC readers (whether or not they are members of the community on MyBlogLog) followed out from this blog:


Looks like cheap or free phone calls are like soft porn to my readers.  Of course, this also reflects what I link to.

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