Google Analytics and my privacy policy

I'm looking to be a little more active on this blog. However, I want to put up content that you want to read. Up until this point, I haven't really looked at keeping track of user engagement. I generally write about things I'm passionate about on here. I want to start finding out what we are mutually interested in so I can keep you coming back for more.

To that end, I'm going to start using Google Analytics on this site. I was going over the license agreement yesterday and Google requires that I put up a privacy policy (this will also be linked at the bottom of every page on the site). However, I thought I would post an explanation here as well.

Google tracks each user on a participating site with a random non-personally identifiable tracking number. This allows me to see which posts are getting the most engagement (through user clicks, comments and sharing, for example.) I can also see when you access the content on here. As a matter of full disclosure, if for some reason I see that everyone is coming on here at 2 a.m., instead of posting at that time, I would write something up earlier in the day and set the timer for its release. I say this only because if I write a blog post that absolutely changes your life and you feel you need to call me and talk about it, I probably won't pick up the phone in the middle of the night unless I get a job that has me keeping different hours. Please email me instead and know I will have the smile on my face when I get it in the morning.

Google Analytics also gives me the ability to give buyers some hard metrics if I ever decide to sell ads on here in the future. This is not anything I see as imminent. If I find I'm delivering content people like and attracting readers, it would be nice to pay for the cost of the site and maybe make a little extra money. I promise to let you know if and when this happens. Any potential ads would not affect your enjoyment of the rest of the site. I promise no full-page takeover ads.

Google does offer an opt out option via an add-on for the major web browsers. Don't worry about bothering me if you use it. I'm just glad you like my writing.

The last paragraph of the privacy policy is an acknowledgment of the fact that this site, like any on the Internet, continues to evolve. If in the future I collect any user data (e.g. username and password system for comments), that information is between you and me. If I get a legal request to turnover user information, I will notify the user so that they may challenge the request unless prevented from doing so by law or when I get a good faith assertion of something I think presents immediate danger to the public. I take your personal privacy very seriously.

I want close by thanking you for reading this blog. I write this mostly because I'm interested, but I'm incredibly gratified anytime I get feedback that someone likes what I write. Getting someone to smile makes that endless writer's block worthwhile.