Last year I removed the last of any analytics plugins from my blog and I don’t miss it.
I used to use Google analytics as most do, for my personal blogs, sites and my sideprojects. This is pretty much like the norm as how you have a domain name, you have an analytics and I’ve never questioned why.
I’ve always been a privacy advocate within my friends and family group and have basically canvassed to move away from a dedicated service (such as google) for all their needs. And I’m pretty mindful of how I use these services, what data they collect myself. Privacy concerns stems from the unnecessary data they collect which I as a user don’t feel comfortable giving out, even if its anonymized.
Didn’t realise the hypocrisy of my personal blogs, which has no use for those numbers, collecting those unnecessary data. That’s when I started pondering, do I even need analytics in the first place?
- Do I care if 10 people read it or 10000 read it?
- Do I care which articles people are most interested and which one doesn’t “perform” well?
- Do I even want to know where my users are from, which devices they’re reading it from and be more obsessive on how long they’ve read and so on?
The answer to all of these have been a resounding No. I’ve come to the conclusion we use analytics because everyone does, it is free and it is the “norm”. Now, I remember all the way back when the “analytics” was just a stat counter that’s embeded in the footer of the page itself for the visitors to see. And it was just that, one number and it was meant to be fun.
But today’s analytics tools which are nothing short of a blackhole subsuming all surrounding data into its soul-less vaccum and then to give back a little bit of it in cheery colours and graphs - is not fun.
I’m not disvowing the use of analytics completely here, I understand some of these answers are needed for certain types of sites, especially for the ones with commercial purpose. I myself still use analytics for my side projects because it is beneficial for the business to be better informed of the customers to provide better products. But for personal sites & blogs? I sure as well don’t think so.
I don’t even want to get into the disadvantages of the ticking number showing how many are reading it and giving wrong signals for your to follow instead of just writing what you want to write.
Review your sites, see where all you’re actually using analytics and ask yourself - do you really, ever need those numbers?