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My Newsletter's email links

My emailed newsletters track you! That's right. If you hover over one of my email links, like I suggest you do, you'll find really weird stuff like this:


Since it is going to r20.rs6.net, I visited that site and found a message from Constant Contact that the domain r20.rs6 was used by them on behalf of email campaigns for their customers.

What's going on here?

Links in my emails are sent to Constant Contact, the service that sends out my emails. They record who you are, what you clicked on, and when. This lets me see what kinds of articles and information is most interesting to my readers and which readers click on what sorts of links. Many other computer consultants read my newsletters and click on different sorts of things than my clients click on, who are somewhat different from non-clients all over the world who also take my newsletter. Constant Contact then forwards my readers to the actual link with is embedded in all that gibberish. Who clicked on what and when, is then available to me in a report when I log into my account. This information is useful to me. I can use it to gauge when I'm writing about stuff no one is interested in, and when I've hit something people really like - usually the fun videos.

If you do not like being recorded like this, but want to read my newsletter, no problem. You can change your email preferences to text only (or just email me and I'll do it for you). The text email has a table of contents and a link to the newsletter online. The online version does not track you or send your movements anywhere.

Also, at the top of each regular newsletter, is a link to view the newsletter online.

Should you care?

The report information is useful to me, but if you opt out of it, then it means you care about your privacy which also makes me happy. I keep trying to convince my readers to care about privacy, and am glad when they do. Please opt out if this tracking makes you at all uncomfortable. Or, if not, let me gather the information on what my readers are doing.

[ Edit June 8, 2017 ] - Constant Contact removed the ability have a text only option. The text version is used if the client does not have HTML email, otherwise it cannot be accessed! So, I suggest that instead you click on the option at the top of each newsletter to read on my website instead of in your email reader. I will see that you opened the newsletter and clicked on the website viewing option, but nothing else. Alternatively, you could just visit my website each month and see if a new newsletter was posted. I am posting them every month now.

Date: June 2017

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