We like facts around here, and among those are statistics about how many people are using this site, what they read, and where they come from. You’ve a right to know what we collect and what we don’t. So here is an example. This is a snapshot of our traffic from this afternoon (Friday March 10, 2006). Each of these individual entries represents a single visitor. The hits tell you how many pages they have looked at so far. The red dots indicate they are on the site at the time this snapshot was taken. ‘Timed out’ simply means that they have been online for more than 30 minutes, the limit at which the system ceases to record the length of the visit.
We do not — and never will — track individual users. All our system records is where you come from, which for individuals means your various ISPs (such as ntl and aol, seen here). Companies and organisations visit through their corporate networks which, if they have named them, appear under those names. So you can see, from this information, that this afternoon someone in the House of Commons has spent 13 minutes and 23 seconds reading 12 pages, while another visitor from Imperial College (ic.ac.uk) has spent 11 minutes and 5 seconds viewing 11 pages. We have also had visits from Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council, as well as Kent on Sunday (kosmedia). If you have any queries about our statistics please ask. But let me reiterate: we do not collect any individual information, simply the IP or network addresses which all professional sites use to monitor their visitors.