Analytics with Piwik on

Brian brings up a great point here.  Seems a significant number of BC post-secondary websites are fine using Google Analytics despite it being contrary to guidelines and standards for “All provincial ministries and organizations that have a direct reporting structure to a Minister”.

There are a number of good reasons why you may not want to track visitors to your website/service.  If you do plan on tracking visitors to your website, you should carefully consider your reasons, and the impacts:

“The data is interesting.” “The data is valuable.” “The data is actionable.” “The data is monetizable” – bought and sold. So we’re told…

Are these sufficient reasons to track your website visitors?

Interesting to whom? Valuable to whom? Actionable by whom? How? Who’s buying it?

Do you use the data that’s being collected? Or are you just a proxy, collecting and handing it off to others?

 ~ Audrey Watters

If you are going to collect such data, and don’t want it handed off to third-party providers, you have 2 self-hosted options in



I have Piwik up and running on here at  It took me 5 minutes to install, configure, and start collecting some data.

1. Install Piwik at


2. Navigate to the [All Websites] link in the top right-hand corner of your Dashboard.  Select [Add a New Website] as pictured below.

3. You will be directed to the [Settings] page.  Select [Add a new website] and fill out some basic information about your site, including the domain name for you site.

Once you have filled things out, click [View Tracking Code].



4. On this page, you will be offered some Javascript.  Copy it.

5. If you are a WordPress user, install the Tracking Code plugin.  There are other plugins that also do the same thing.

6. Take the Javascript you copied from Piwik and paste it in your WordPress plugin settings.


7. Visit your site a few times and check your Piwik grain at



What are the advantages of using open source software like Piwki for your site analytics needs?



Hummingbird is also available at and lets you see how visitors are interacting with your website in real time.  A very different app from Piwik as it only provides a real-time view, but potentially useful for conferences, events, displays, & other such special use cases.

Setup is very easy:

  1. Fire up a Hummingbird grain
  2. Copy the [Tracker] code.  Paste it in the footer of your website or your Wordpress footer plugin.
  3. Watch your live visitor traffic.hummingbird-gif



Greenwald speaks

“As human beings … when we think that we’re being watched, our
behaviour changes radically. We become much more conformist, we become
much more compliant, we make choices that are the byproduct not of our
own agency but of the expectations and mandates of social orthodoxy and
convention. It’s really only in this private realm where we can explore
intimacy, love, friendship, different ways of thinking and being,
creativity, dissent … it all exclusively resides in this realm of
privacy where we can act without other eyes being cast upon us making
judgements. That is something that was crucial to Snowden’s evolution
as a person – the ability to have this private realm online where so
many people, especially younger ones, don’t just buy books and make
travel reservations, but develop who they are as people and make human
connections. All of that is severely crippled if not completely
destroyed when we live in a world of mass surveliance, where the
internet is converted into a place where we can always be watched and

from Glen Greenwald Speaks