Hidden Dirt

Unless viewing this through an RSS feed reader, it can be plainly seen that KoHoSo.us has its first, full new look since I blew the whole thing up and started over in 2010. The content since that time remains plus "Overly Excited Listerine Guy" stays on as my virtual face.

The new theme I am using will get lots of work over the next few days as I try to figure out its much more detailed workings. If any oddities are seen or some portions are difficult to read, don’t worry. I see them and will get them fixed as soon as possible.

One major change is that the main portion of the layout is now a single column. That combined with other behind-the-scenes changes should make this site much more friendly to those looking at it on tablets and smart phones.

The change to one column has also required the creation of a new page: Links. All of the sites that used to be linked down the right-hand side of every page will be in this new spot — still organized by category and now with easy in-page navigation. As of when I am writing this, Links is still under construction so don’t be surprised if not every site is "lit up" yet.

The revamp of this site has also helped me take a fresh look at what goes on when somebody visits this site. This is especially true in light of the fact that I recently changed my browsers’ privacy add-on to Privacy Badger from Ghostery.

To put it plainly for the non-tech-savvy portion of my audience, much to my dismay, Privacy Badger has helped me discover that certain items I have placed on my site in the past have been tracking your web surfing. While most of the items I have discovered so far are not too terrible, they can still be used by other entities that track your behavior if you are not using any privacy add-ons or other software (which, even much more to my dismay, I know most of you don’t).

As I have always tried to make any site with which I am involved as free of the bad side of the Internet as possible, I apologize to my audience for not discovering the presence of these items sooner. As I go through the site in its new form, I am quickly deleting anything I see being picked up by Privacy Badger…with one exception for now.

Amazingly to me, Ghostery never warned me that pictures or even tiny icons I linked to from Tumblr were tracking this site’s visitors. This is going to be a tough call for me because I still have a lot of friends on that service posting great material that I want to share. In addition, it’s not like I haven’t already sent people into Tumblr’s ever-increasing number of trackers as, of course, I always link to the original post so the originator of the material gets a "hit" (plus my hope that people will explore more of what the person has to offer).

As I continue to dial in this site’s new theme, I am going to spend some serious thinking time on what I should do in regard to Tumblr’s tracking coming through KoHoSo.us. I will have to decide if my stated policy on only having Gravatar track those that wish to use it for comments is unrealistic or if I’m going to have to take a lot of my potential material off the table.

I really want KoHoSo.us to be a truly safe place for folks to visit. As I have said before, one of the great things about old advertisements is that they didn’t follow people around like they do today through their computer devices and, now, even via their cable and satellite TV boxes. I just wonder if I am trying to make an impossible island out of this site by attempting to keep the whole ocean of trackers out instead of just the true sharks.

If anybody has some thoughts on the subject, I’ll be glad to listen…leave a comment or send me an e-mail (my address is now down in the footer section of each page). Other than that, I hope the new look here will bring everybody even more enjoyment out of KoHoSo.us.

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