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Feb 02, 2006


Ruby Sinreich

I'm so glad you mentioned this!

I started to sign up as an Attention Trust site, but then I remembered that I use Google Analytics. Doesn't that constitute collecting data about what users do without asking them or sharing it with them?


Hmmm. Interesting question, and it highlights an important issue that AttentionTrust has left unresolved--namely, what distinctions (if any) we should make between commercial and personal sites. In a perfect world, all sites would provide users with equal access to their attention data, and I certainly hope that AttentionTrust will encourage commercial sites to do this. But I don't really know how personal sites like yours and mine are supposed to accomplish this (not because it's not possible, but because I simply don't know enough about the technology involved.)

But looking at it more practically, I don't think it's a huge issue right now. Analytical tools on sites that lack the ability to track people on an individual basis (via cookies or some type of registration) are gathering pretty basic aggregated information--nothing of huge value to the user, and nothing that should set off privacy concerns.

Also, the existence of a tool like the Attention Recorder means that people can gather a great deal of attention data on their own, without relying on the sites they're visiting for anything. (Obviously, that only applies to Firefox users right now, but we're working on versions for other browsers.)

Definitely worth further thought, but I don't think there's a fundamental conflict between using a tool like Google Analytics and being ascribing to AttentionTrust's principles.

Ruby Sinreich

What about on a non-personal, but non-commercial site? I have OrangePolitics in mind, of course. I can't make money off the data (right now), but I can use it to my strategic political advantage.

I wish there was a way to allow the public access to my Google stats. I guess I could make a special login and make the pasword public....


Good point about non-personal, non-commercial sites. For that matter, I should also note that I recognize the distinction between personal and commercial is pretty damn blurry. I've sold Cafe Press items via this site, and plenty of people run substantial businesses from theirs. But let's not put too fine a point on it--some sites are primarily vehicles for personal expression, other are primarily vehicles for commercial transactions. There's a difference between me and Amazon. Just a tad. But I digress. AttentionTrust definitely needs to think these issues through.

To your other point, the only way I know of to grant public access to your Google Analytics reports is to create a user account under an email address that you're willing to make public. You can configure that account to view reports only, so people can't get in and muck around with your settings. You could then publish the email address and let people take it from there. But that seems like a lot of work for little return, and there may be some security holes in there. Google should definitely make it easier for Analytics users to provide public access. I have to assume it's not in their interest somehow.


Thanks for these instructions, Ed! Google just opened registration for Analytics again and I signed up today. I would've been stumped about getting this onto TypePad without these instructions. (TypePad's recommendation: "Upgrade to a Pro account"!)

Ernest Koe

Hey, thanks for the tip. I had no problems with GA when I was using Advanced templates. But I wanted to use widgets and had to switch back to the regular template, and now, I can't seem to get my GA script to work. I am curious how you managed to make your's work.

Ed Batista

Ernest, I can't tell you anything more than what's in the post. I haven't had to do anything further with my Analytics code since installing it. I don't know if TypePad's support can give you any advice, but it's worth asking them--they're usually pretty helpful.


Ernest Koe

Hi Ed,
Thanks for the reply. You noted that you stuck your Analytics scripts in a Typelist and placed it at the bottom of sidebar 2 (right). Looking at your page source, this puts the script at the end, not at the begining of your part. The amazing part is that this is working for you and not for me :) go figure

Ed Batista

That is odd, Ernest. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful--good luck with TypePad support!


Jack Ventura

Thanks for the precious tutorial, Ed, I found it searching with Google as I've just subscribed to Analytics and needed to embed the code into my TypePad pages!
BTW, have a great 2007!!! :-)



Thanks Ed- this was really helpful. An excellent use case of blogging as a tool for knowledge transfer anytime!

Ed Batista

Glad it was helpful, Jack and Mrinal.


Brad Goode


Your my hero! Could not have got that done without you. The bottom right hand corner part is right on.



Hi Ed, Great writeup. Seems to be working for me, even with just a left hand side nav, for the Discovery blog. Let me know if you'd like a link back.

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