Who’s Watching the Watchers?

April 14, 2008 at 10:30 pm 7 comments

Over the weekend, I had an interesting experience on Facebook. Sitting at the laptop with my sister logged onto her profile, we carefully observed the photo album of a friend who went to junior high with me. Her pictures are always bordering on the outrageous–think lots of tube tops, body shots and Halloween taken to the max. While checking out the latest, we commented that it was such a relief Facebook friends can’t see who’s viewed their pictures and for how long. So we back-click to her profile, and ironically we see this enormous profile picture of my sister in a sidebar that says, “Nicki WAS HERE!” This Facebook application’s called “Anti-Stalker” and it put a damper on our Facebook enjoyment until we read the fine print days later.

It turns out, it’s a trick meant purely to freak out your friends and only the friend whose name appears in the “{Name} WAS HERE!” can see it. Phew. It would be a privacy violation otherwise if users could track other users’ trail on the site. Phew again.

However, do heed this warning for Evite. Did you know that as the host of an event, you can see who has opened the invitation but not yet responded? Your excuse of, “Sorry I missed the party, I didn’t get the Evite in time,” won’t hold up.

With our blog, we don’t know who our readers are (besides loyal commenters such as TRussell, SportsAttitude and Critts); the only thing we know is sites they’re directed from and the search terms used to find us. After one splendid year of blogging, it’s worth noting that the top three search terms that drive traffic our way are machu picchu, corset and soups. Machu Picchu has led 2,006 souls to perhaps the worst story they’ve ever heard, topping any personal experience they used to think was horrendous. Lending perspective is a continuing aim of IRF, while of course protecting our dear readers’ privacy.


Entry filed under: JL's Posts.

The Lamentations of Lowry – Chapter 5 We could all learn a thing or two…

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lemare  |  April 15, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    My heart skipped a beat as I read this as there is a boy on my facebook in good shape sans shirt and I may have inspected the photo more than once!

  • 2. Patty  |  April 15, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    As a Facebook and blog voyeur I am relieved that there are no one-way mirrors on the Internet. Congrats on your one year blog anniversary. You’re a blog well worth reading.

  • 3. Sportsattitude  |  April 19, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Heard a lot about Facebook but have never taken it in. I have to admit anytime I visit a web site I assume I’m leaving some type of footprint and can live with the “results” should they be revealed to a mass audience someday. LeMare, many kudos to you for coming clean on this whole “sans shirt” incident, being proactive and getting out in front of this story so it won’t affect your standing in the Internet community one bit. View on!

  • 4. critts  |  April 22, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I’m a loyal commenter?! I love it! Now I feel bad for taking a blog hiatus for a few weeks.

    On a related front – I have yet to join the Facebook movement. Partly because I’m afraid that as soon as I put forth the effort it will be replaced by something better and then the cycle starts again and I am always a step behind. *sigh* I’m just not cool.

  • 5. lemare  |  April 22, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Facebook, Critts. Everyone’s doing it. JL for one. Joe Lowry just joined. The TRAIN is even a member.

  • 6. Lowdogg  |  April 22, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    I’ve been on “the book” for a while. I didn’t realize you were, but you have about 200 more friends than me.

    So popular.

  • 7. critts  |  April 23, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Le Mare is little miss popular these days. I couldn’t join because I’d be embarrassed that I only have two friends. Maybe I could persuade Marcus to join just to be my friend.


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