A goodbye to analytics

As an unintended side effect of CTCAJW Mode, this site bids a fond farewell to The Numbers.


Update, 2022-10-11: I later returned to Fathom Analytics, but am leaving this post here for the sake of transparency. (Turned out my referrals were paying enough to justify it; besides, I like using products made by good people for good purposes, and the folks at Fathom surely fit that description.)

The site now is nearly a month into CTCAJW Mode, and is a few days away from the two-year anniversary of when I started using Fathom Analytics.

One of those will continue while, because of that, the other won’t.

In that order.

Let me make one thing extremely clear: I’ve been 100% pleased with Fathom from Day One and, were the circumstances different from what I’m about to describe, would’ve stayed with it well into the future. I continue to recommend Fathom Analytics for any website which properly respects its visitors’ privacy. The great people behind Fathom really, really have that aspect nailed and yet still provide an exceptional service, despite the seeming limitations such concerns might present. You won’t find any finer analytics provider, or team behind such a provider.

So why I am leaving? Well, simply, I’m leaving analytics, period.1

Here’s the deal. Because I’m issuing posts more often, I no longer announce each one on social media because I don’t want to be spammy. Instead:

  • I now tweet/toot only once a week when I issue another edition of my recently begun series, “The site this week,” summarizing the previous few days’ posts.
  • Thus, I’m now emphasizing that regular readers should subscribe to my site’s feeds (RSS and JSON are both available), each of which alerts you to every newly added post. More to the point for what I’m explaining herein, each such feed appearance shows pretty much the post’s entire content, not just a summary of it. (I did briefly try tracking those feeds’ visits by using UTMs, which Fathom supports, but the feed-to-site traffic thus indicated was extremely small. This confirmed my guess that the vast majority of those reading my feeds probably wouldn’t go further. They get my content, but not by actually coming to this site.)

As a result of these two developments, I no longer need the analytics data from Fathom (or any other provider), so I decided to save a few bucks and pass on renewing for another year’s worth.

However . . .

I am retaining a free affiliation with Fathom — so, if you’re interested in giving Fathom a try, you can still take advantage of that to give yourself a $10 credit toward your first month (and, yes, give me a commission) by using this link. End of plug.

  1. The exception to that occurs when this site is on Cloudflare Pages, as it is at this writing. To quote my privacy policy: “This site’s traffic goes through Cloudflare and is configured to use its Web Analytics tool, which Cloudflare claims doesn’t track individual users and doesn’t leave cookies.” However, Cloudflare Analytics — at least this freebie form thereof, which is the only kind I’d be trying — shares most of the flaws I listed in 2020 for the similarly server-side Netlify Analytics, so it doesn’t begin to hold a candle to what I had with Fathom. ↩︎