Sunday, January 17, 2016

Referrer Report and Link Development

The migration to my new server is taking longer than expected. I keep hitting diversions and suffer long interruptions.

Yesterday, I had a short break; so I created a referrer report and opened a disqus forum titled Link Development.

Rather than just starting a new web site. I want to draw people into a discussion about the direction of the Internet itself.

The World Wide Web was written in a language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language). The defining trait of HTML is the Hyperlink.

Hyperlinks are an interactive feature. You can click on a link and go to a different internet resource.

The configuration of links is actually a very interesting topic, but I rarely come across people openly talking about the overall configuration of links.

Right now, the Internet is dominated by large repositories of links called "search engines." I question if this domination of link repositories is healthy because it effectively centralized power and concentrates wealth.

If centralized repositories are not the best structure, what alternatives can we develop?

I developed the Community Color web sites are simply human edited directories which list links for select towns in the mountain west. I developed the directories to investigate the natural links between local entities. I live in Salt Lake. It frustrates me to no end that there is so little local internet in the direction the Internet is headed.

But there might be people in the broader world who find a discussion of the linking structure of the Internet interesting.

The referrer report tallies up info from the REFERER variable submitted by web browsers that visit my new site. The Link Development is a stub for a section of articles on the topology of links and internet traffic and steps that individuals can take to help keep the Internet a level playing field.

I have to complete the site redesign before writing the articles. But I think it's fun to discuss web design while knee deep in the process.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Privacy Policy for New Site

I am working on a major upgrade for the Community Color sites.

I am developing the code on

I added a code viewer so that I can claim the site is open source.

I decided to log statistics for the site in a SQLite Database.

When writing the "privacy policy" I decided to show the information that the site has collected.

I did this to emphasize that the data collected by small sites like mine is basically harmless.

The reason I track data is to answer questions about the site. For example, I want to know how many people visit a page and the amount of resources consumed by a page.

About seventy percent of the traffic on the web is robots and webcrawlers. I want to know what the robots are doing.

I want to be able to defend the site against DDOS attacks.

I learned the painful lesson that one cannot offer interactive features to the public, like a guestbook, without attracting a great deal of spam.

I require a log in for interactive features.  I use a system of User IDs and Sessions to track usage.  Interactive sites require an id, otherwise they can't respond to the things that you are doing.

The privacy concerns we face on the Internet are not the result of cookies or web owners monitoring their sites. The problem is with huge corporations (and governments) seeking to dominate the Internet by tracking individual activity in minute details.

Unfortunately, the self declare privacy rights activists use methods that make life very difficult for small sites.

The fact that small sites use cookies to provide interactive features is not a problem.  The big sites that monitor activity can do so without cookies.

I hope that my showing the details I track on the site to the public, people will learn that independent web sites are not a threat, but it will probably backfire.