tapefailure: Whatever you’re looking at is looking at you…even closer.

What if a site could record all the behavior of its visitors? I wrote about this a few weeks ago with my about a little hack to record all the text selections that are made here on wanderingstan.com. (It’s still recording, as you can see.)

Well, as is so often the case online, someone has already done it. Yesterday I learned about tapefailure.com.

Tapefailure lets you record your users’ browsing sessions and play them back, just like a tape, as well as view numerous userful statistics about your users.

There are of course privacy concerns, but once again I recall the insight of Greg Yardley from last summer regarding the AOL search scandal.

Stop treating the Internet like a book or newspaper and remember that whatever you’re looking at is simultaneously looking at you.

(Previously mentioned here.)

Yardley’s advice may be lost on us old fogies, but I was encouraged yesterday by reading Dana Boyd’s keynote talk at Etech.

The rules of privacy are fundamentally changing. For the first time, an entire generation is forced to deal and, for the most part, they are dealing. It’s not pretty and there are plenty of hiccups, but they’re doing a lot better than us old folk. … Personally, I think that we need to look to them to see what they’re doing and try learning from it.

2 thoughts on “tapefailure: Whatever you’re looking at is looking at you…even closer.”

  1. That’s an awesome toy.

    Funny thing is, when I’m surfing around, I’m constantly clicking and selecting crap. ADD, OCD, I don’t know what it is. Clicked and highlighted five different phrases on this one entry before I realized I was being recorded.

    Incidentally — this is why I *hate* the New York Times’ new ‘feature’ where if you click on a phrase or a word it’ll pop a pop with a search related to it. Augh, I spend more time at the NYT closing pops now that I do reading articles.

  2. Oh man, don’t get me started on the New York Times’ selection feature. Drives me crazy!!

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