Experimenting with public internet history.

My web history reveals that I’m far from the person I’d like to be: too much time distracted, too little time doing deep thinking.

I’m making my web history public for a while – when I know I might be watched I at least pretend to be the person I want to be.

I’ve tried this once before, but that took a lot of work to make.  This time I’ve written a  script that reads the history from both Firefox (for my main machine), and Safari (for my phone) to creates a page.
To be safe, the script takes out everything but the main domain and time. If this works then I’ll start to add more information for some pages. You can see the history so far here.  The page starts from 2018-12-10, which I when I decided to do this and it’s already working.

I’d like to try this for a week, and hope to add more and more detail to it.  Script code is available on GitHub, and here is the list of improvements I should make.


Reflections after a week:

  • My internet history is a little bit more focused. Less faff, more useful
  • There’s some bug with safari syncing, will fix when I have time
  • I whitelisted a bunch of the sites: stackoverflow, wikipedia, are the main ones.  I’d like to add youtube (lots of Peppa Pig at the moment)
  • I’ve ended up with both facebook and instagram on my phone, so I am still doing some ‘off the books browsing’. Will look at that later.
  • I need to be a bit more public about it. Will do a facebook post about it today.
  • I know about private mode. I don’t use it (I will have to from now for any sensitive work)
  • I know that there are lots of other ways around my history appearing.  All of which are more work than, you know, stopping doing the thing I’d want to hide.
  • Yes this is information that removes my anonymity and could be used steal an identity. I’ve thought about that a lot (it’s about my family and they come first) and asked people I trust.  However, it’s also a lot less information that is already on Facebook and other places about me, or lots of other people.  If I get hurt because of this, you’ll read about it here first.
  • This doesn’t include pages visited when livestreaming – I have a different account for that.  Given that it’s live streaming I don’t think I’m hiding anything there.
  • I also have a laptop, on which I’m playing around with Ubuntu.  If I use it this week then I’ll add the history script for that.
  • I don’t have the Instagram or Facebook app on my phone (which wouldn’t be recorded), nor do I have Netflix or Amazon Video. I do have YouTube, but I’ll remove it if I find myself spending all my time on it.
  • I’d put up a lot more than this, but I have to be careful about other people’s data as well: postcodes, screennames, and a lot of other information goes though my history and that needs careful thinking about.

I put this page though simplewriter and the error words were: