Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Patting myself on the back

I noticed today that the "Visitors" tracker at the bottom of my page turned over to 10,000 sometime while I was asleep. Since I started the blog back in February of 2006, I achieved this milestone in just under 2 years. That's cool.

Unfortunately, the number really isn't that reliable. Some of those visits come from my own computer, when I look at the newly published posts to make sure everything is formatted correctly. Ordinarily, I have a bit of code in my browser that specifically ignores visits from my computer, but my browser likes to forget pieces of code if I don't pay attention for a brief period of time. I usually notice because I'll do a flurry of back-and-forth editing to line up a picture or something, then I'll be surprised when the visit counter climbs in proportion.

So some of the visits are erroneous. Other visits aren't counted at all. Some people have cookies blocked on their browsers for security reasons and that prevents my little counter from appropriate counting them. For obvious reasons, I have no idea how many visits are lost this way.

Then there are the random internet searches. The people who only visit to see the entries with the word "sex" in them somewhere or the disturbing run of people searching for "playing doctor", who were disappointed that I PLAY the trombone and am called DOCTOR. Lately, it's been people searching for my post about the 10,000 calorie intake of that poor 10 year old. I'd say close to one-quarter of the total visits have been unique visitors who pop on for one page from back in my archive, then never return. While these are "visits", I can't really claim them as "readers" in the traditional sense. They're here for the content, not the author. Ah, well.

All this combines to mean that 10,000 visits is probably not near the actual number, and that I have no idea where that actual number is. Still, it's my only yardstick and it does indicate a milestone with a lot of zeroes in it. For a blog that started off without a single viewer, I've made great progress by my own standards!


I love the randomness of the internet. I did an image search for "10,000" to find an appropriate graphic to go along with this post. Among the first five images was this promotional image from that forgettable film "10,000 B.C." from last year or so. But if you look closely at the picture, you'll see that this particular image in what appears to be German. I have no idea why that would be among the most popular images for people searching for 10000, but that's the magic of Google's algorithms.

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