To address a concern expressed by Nella F...
...Speaking of tracking, has anyone visited http://shortwavedx.blogspot.com
& noticed that your location is instantly posted on the "Live Traffic Feed"? Wazzup Widat?!
...coincidentally I drafted a blog article touching on this general issue a couple of weeks ago. I should finish it up and publish it.
Meantime, here are a few paragraphs from it.
Most discussion forums, websites and blog record some data for visitors. Web traffic statistics are the life blood of commercial sites, and valued by non-commercial site/blog owners who want to know whether they're effectively reaching their target readership. The only significant difference is that some sites/blogs choose to alert visitors that their IPs are being tracked.
First, I wouldn't be too concerned about masking my IP on friendly or neutral sites - which includes most radio related discussion forums, websites and blogs. I do use proxies for browsing the FRN and certain sites in the radio scene that have a history of hostility**, but not for most.
As Terry suggested, you can use proxies if you prefer more privacy. There are plenty of free proxies that are useful for web browsing. Those may not be secure for sites that require logins, but they're good enough for websites and blogs you only read, or those that permit comments without registering or logging in with passwords.
Also, install NoScript and Adblock Plus for Firefox. Even without using a proxy, NoScript can thwart some scripts that collect data - but I wouldn't rely on NoScript alone for that particular funtion. Also NoScript and Adblock Plus can hinder the desired functions for some websites, so you'll need to customize these add-ons for your favorite sites. If I support a site and trust it to not misuse my info, I don't bother with proxies and will turn off NoScript and Adblock Plus so the site can benefit from more valid traffic info.
**Yes, I'm aware of the irony of that comment.
And, yes, I do recommend using a proxy and NoScript to visit my blog, at least to new visitors until they grok the quirky milieu. The ToRP blog
is deliberately confrontational, provocative and occasionally vulgar - because rhetorical polemic works. It's not to everyone's taste and isn't intended to be.
Even if you visit uncloaked, comments should probably be done anonymously or via an alias that can't be traced to your real life ID. A few commenters don't bother with aliases, or use familiar aliases by which they are known elsewhere in the pirate radio scene. Not everyone possesses such large, pendulous brass spheres.