So I see this referrer on one of my postings today:

First reaction: giggle Second reaction: "Well, duh." No one's ever claimed that they weren't easy to fake, break, subvert, or otherwise derail. It's just that the default, unmolested behavior of many browsers is, happily, to report from where they came to find your page. This is fun data to play with.

Taking this "statement" seriously for a second: One thing I intend on doing with my next iteration of referrer tracking, is to chase referrers and attempt to verify their existence while trying to harvest some metadata from the page and surrounding site. That would filter out some fakes and provide some context. This is still frustratable, though, because you could provide me with metadata stating "Metadata is easy to fake."

But, in my mind, the goal isn't precise, panopticonical monitoring of visitors' activity. The goal is to provide easy cow paths for cooperation in building a semantic web, planning later to bring in the paving crews.

So, sure, you can fake the data I'm trying to lift from your activities. That's your right. You can even choose not to give it to me. No skin off my back. The nature of the endeavor is cooperation, so it's as up to you as it is up to me. It's the wiki way, it's the way of civilization.

You can kick my house over, walk by, or help me lay bricks. In any case, the house will still get built as long as I still like building it.


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