Rushing Labs

Website Vlog Update - 02 // Plausible analytics

I've integrated Plausible analytics to the site. And I want to be transparent about it.


Google Analytics is a really cool product...through a specific lens. Outside of that, it leaves me with a sour taste. It's a level of user-behavior tracking I'm not sure we need, and IMO definitely unnecessary for little hobbyist sites like this one. I see where the internet is with advertising, CTRs, ad blockers, auto-plays, a new era of pop-ups, confusing cookie notifications, and downright dark UI/UX patterns.

I don't claim to have an answer for it, so I'm doing my best to just not include it in an area I can control. At least in this space, my goal is to just turn it all off and focus on cool stuff. So, no ads here. Ever.

Now, yes. I do see the irony in claiming "no ads, no tracking" on a website that conspicuously pushes readers to watch YouTube videos hosted by the very corporation I just criticized. Remember how I said I don't have an answer for the larger issue? It's messy; I wish it was better.

So, why any type of tracking at all here? Honestly, seeing a metric (at all) helps me feel like I'm not writing and creating for absolutely no one. It's the most basic of progression metrics and that's it.

Author's Note§

Further research for this post led me to a blog article from Guillaume C. Marty demonstrating how Google Analytics can be tuned for a privacy focus. Allbeit, from 2014. Even still, I needed a solution that was more plug-n-play, and wasn't going to require me to potentially play a cat-and-mouse game with Google's changes. So, even though this is a competing argument to the common view of GA, it still shows a need for simple, privacy-focused alternatives.

I found this while reading Stephanie Hobson's article, on Mozilla Hacks, where she was describing some interesting challenges and solutions while using GA.


I want to be transparent about what the Rushing Labs site is, any data I've gathered from it, and in the future, if/how I'm able to monetize it (for now and the forseeable future, it's "funded" by me). I can't say this model/posture on ads and analytics works for everything or everyone, but I don't know how to yearn for more privacy and transparency online if I don't at least try to live out that example.

So, to implement this, I like that Plausible allows making analytics public with a simple configuration. So, that link I shared earlier?—yeah it's completely public. Want to know what the top sources leading to the site are? Or browsers used to visit it? Or countries users are coming from? It's there, and nothing is more granular than that. Further, this link is also in the site footer so it's available from every page.

GitHub Work§