Saturday, December 03, 2005

Let's Look at the Stats

And now, prepare yourselves for an exciting backstage look at the wonderful world of blogging, as I expound upon one of my minor obsession: site statistics. Sounds thrilling, don't it?

I am endlessly fascinated by the blog stats provided by SiteMeter. Every time I see a new IP address pop up in the logs, the amateur detective in me springs to life, determined to decipher exactly who the latest blog monkey could possibly be. Sometimes it's easy to decipher, especially when the visit time synchs up with a posted comment; sometimes it drives me crazy, since the location listed does not always reflect the actual location; I only recently discovered that a mysterious I.P. from Las Vegas that has been frequenting the site actually belonged to a former co-worker who now lives in Arkansas. Most of the people who visit while at their work computers (only during their approved break and lunch times, I'm sure) show up as being located at their employer's central offices, be it in Virginia, Massachusetts, or Canada. It helps when the domain name is the same as the employer, unless, of course, there are multiple people from the same office checking the site; UNT pops up a lot in my logs. Sometimes the referral URL provides a clue, such as when out of town Zinger uses his online bookmarks to visit; when I noticed that someone in Texas had used the link from the PFL message board to visit the blog and spend quite a bit of time browsing through my archives the day after The Eskimo learned I had a blog and had talked about him on it, well, you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure that one out. I like seeing who visits the site multiple times, checking back for updates and new comments; I like seeing who visits once or twice a week, getting a week’s worth of ramblings read at once; I like seeing who is just now discovering the site, and spending many hours trudging through my endless ramblings. While it’s not as good as actual verbal and written feedback, it does help keep me motivated to keep blogging away.

Just as fascinating as trying to ferret out the identities of the new blog monkeys is examining the referral URLs to see what sort of crazy searches have lead complete strangers to my little corner of the Internet. Some of the more interesting ones (to me at least), include: a search for "half-asian girls new lebanese" and a search for "cyber sex"; that one made me very happy: confusing and annoying sexual deviants is fun! I also got some hits from a search for "nietzsche tragic optimism"; it was this search which led me to discover that I had finally been indexed by Google; for a few days, CoIM was the number one hit for that search, as well as searches for "bubblegum tate," although now the Tate search actually takes you to some Futurama pages, which I suppose is tolerable, since that's where his nick came from. Anyway, the Google discovery lead me to start randomly googling for certain terms to see if CoIM would show up on the first results page; it was by doing this that I discovered that not only is Gutterboys the name of a band, it's also apparently the name of an erotic gay novel. And yes, I only wrote the last sentence to see how long it's going to be before I get a hit from a search for "erotic gay novel."

I was pleased to get a hit from someone doing a search for "eeeeeeeeevil" the other day, and was surprised that there were at least 400 other hits besides CoIM. I was also surprised that I got a hit for "disc world 'behold the turtle of enormous girth'" since the turtle quote was actually from the Dark Tower novels and not Pratchett's books (I’d already gotten a hit from a search for the quote itself a few days earlier). I'd have to say, though, that probably the most frequent search term which leads people here is "yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away" or some variation thereof. Honestly, I get at least 5 or 6 hits from that search a week. Somehow, I doubt they find what they're looking for.

While all of these random hits are entertaining to me, sadly none of them have translated into new readers as far as I'm aware. No, CoIM continues to be frequented solely by friends, family, and co-workers; my days of Internet infamy have not yet arrived.

2 comments:

Flunky lover said...

At one point I didn't have the website and I tried searching for it. I couldn't find it. I tried Flunky, G'ovich, variations on your name, crisis of infinite monkeys, and I can't even remember what else. Nothing I typed in came up with your website. I'm apparently not a good googler.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

I think the turning point with Google was when I started using del.icio.us to categorize my posts; before then, nothing ever popped up on Google, after that, the whole site's been indexed. So, a search for G'ovich now brings up 32 hits. Sadly, a search for Flunky isn't all that helpful . . . Flunky Lover, however, brings CoIM straight to the top of the results list.

Today's coolest search term hit: "millenium hands and shrimp."