Since I have installed Woopra, I have attentively watched visitors come and go, browse around my site etc. One several occasions I gathered up enough courage to actually initiate a chat with someone. Not one of them has ever chatted back.
I got to thinking about this, and I’m not really all that surprised that no one has chatted back. For one thing, perhaps they all had popup blockers and they never even saw the window! Or, how often have you been to a site only to have one of those fake chat windows appear with pre-programmed responses? Or, worse yet, isn’t it just downright plain wierd to be visiting a website and knowing someone is watching you! I mean, talk about big brother.
When I go to initiate a chat, I have am staring at the visitor’s IP address – you might as well be watching their front door – I know what city they are from, I know how they got to my page, and I know what they are reading. Imagine it like this:
“Hello friend from Springfield, Illinois – I know you’ve only been on my site for 3 minutes and 15 seconds since you got here from Digg – but do you want to chat? I just got this new software called Woopra and it lets me do that! It’s cool huh?”
Okay, so I’m not that creepy. But seriously, how would you respond if someone started chatting with you out of the blue? Would you feel like your privacy was being invaded? Would you feel like they were stalking you?
From the blogger’s perspective it is great fun to watch people come and go (In Woopra you can even tag visitors with partictular nicknames!), but real time stats great reduces the anonymity of web surfing. I guess the closest example is back to my BBS days. Logging on then meant they knew what you were up to all the time (their computer would make that great modem sound just to let them know you’d connected, for one), they knew your phone number, and several other things about you.
One thing I know for sure, is that for better or for worse Woopra is going to change the face of web analytics, and quickly. My previous post, Woopra – The Chuck Norris of Site Analytics has become the best viewed post ever on my young blog. Woopra is making waves. Woopra pre-approved invites are even being sold on eBay!
What say you? How do you feel, knowing you’re being watched right now?