Atten.TV: Letting others spy on your clickstream

Why would you want random folks to see what you're looking at online? Atten.TV founder isn't quite sure either.

Atten.TV is pure vanity.

It's also slightly creepy. Atten.TV is a Mac-only client that lets individuals sign up to have their clickstreams--or records of Web sites visited--recorded and sent to a server. Anyone can then opt to watch what these other random folks are browsing, in the same manner as one might watch television.

The Atten.TV player is a viewing window with a menu on the left that displays the clickstreams that can be tuned in. Eventually there will be an Atten.TVGuide that lists who's on. Clickstreams can be recorded and viewed later, or tuned in live (with a slight delay).

Browsing several users' viewing habits at once. Atten.tv

Founder Seth Goldstein gave a demo before this week's SF New Tech Meetup, but he officially unveiled his nascent project at last week's Emerging Tech Conference.

Goldstein's thesis is that at least "a couple people out there are comfortable exposing their clickstreams." He compared the idea to Justin.TV, except instead of looking at his view from behind a camera, you're looking at what pages he is browsing.

How information like this will be used in the future is unclear. Behavioral marketing experts would love to have this kind of information, but Goldstein says he needs to get hundreds of thousands of clickstream broadcasters to sign up for Atten.TV--and voluntarily give information like gender, ZIP code and some personal preferences--before approaching any marketers.

More screenshots of Atten.TV can be found here.

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About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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