n. The virtual path a person takes while surfing the web.
2001 … licenses clickstream data from ISPs to find out what more than 8 million active Internet users visiting 200,000-plus sites worldwide are up to.
—“Spy on the Other Guys,” Smart Business, November 01, 2001
1995 (earliest)
At a March 10 meeting in Manhattan, the group will advocate that researchers develop technologies to measure "clickstreams" — that is, the paths online users take as they navigate various menus or home screens, as well as the elapsed time between each move.
—Wayne Friedman & Jane Weaver, “Calculating cyberspace: tracking 'clickstreams.',” Inside Media, February 15, 1995
This word may be a play on jet stream, one meaning of which refers to the flow of exhaust gases created by a jet engine. Part of these gases is condensed water vapor which forms a so-called condensation trail (also: contrail or vapor trail), which enables an observer to see the path the jet has taken.
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