I know you’re out there. Or that you aren’t out there. What I’m trying to say is that I have my ways of knowing whether (or not) you are reading my blog. And when you read it, I know how many times per day/week/month, and how long you spend reading it per visit. And I’ve known for quite some time, since March at least. You see, I may not be that savvy when it comes to technology (in my world, the camera phone is a new invention), but I have friends who are. If you are feeling that your privacy has been invaded a bit, blame Liz. She taught me how to use Google Analytics.
At first I didn’t really understand the purpose of this kind of tool. My friends in the blogging world were talking about how many hits their blog was getting, which of their posts was most popular, by what route their readers happened upon the blog. All these things interested me mildly, but my curiosity was peaked when I realized that I could tell exactly who was reading, or not reading, my blog. Granted, unless I know your IP address I can’t single you out from other readers who reside in the same city. But many of my friends, readers and miscellaneous others live in places where they are the ONLY person I know.
For example: If you were reading my blog from one country, then moved to a new city where you are the only person I know, then moved again to another country, I have been tracking your progress. And well done you for keeping up with the blog! But seriously, seven times in a day? Another example: I thank those of you who take your lunch hour to check my blog routinely, it’s for you that I write. But the IT guy would die if he knew you were sipping your Diet Coke over the keyboard, you’re just asking for the blue screen of death.
Google Analytics has other information for me, as well. For example, did you know that 15% of the traffic to my blog comes from hits off search engines? The most common search words that lead people to my blog are: traveling circus (makes sense), travel with circus (not as glamorous as it might sound), bobby pins (love ’em), lane bonk (it’s Clark-Bonk to you), nude circus (pardon?), elderly nude (what?) and public sauna. So essentially, people who end up on my blog are either searching for me specifically, or are pervs with unruly hair looking to run away with the nude circus. We call that diversity.
Another 35% of traffic to my blog comes from referring sites, which basically means other bloggers/friends who have a link to my blog on their site. Andrea leads the most lemmings to my words, followed closely by Lynn and then Caitlin. One way of thinking of these ladies is as the pimps of my blog, sending the clients my way. It’s my job to lace their drinks and get them hooked. I hope my blog does the same service to you ladies! Other referring sites are more random. For example, while checking Analytics for the purpose of writing this blog entry I discovered that a couple dozen Bakersfieldians have been linked to my blog by the bloggers at the local newspaper! Maybe I should be flattered, but I think linking without telling is a bit of a blogging faux pas! No?
I’m not telling you all this to get you paranoid and find Jason Bourne type ways to access my blog without leaving a trace. I’m telling you because it’s a rather passive aggressive way of thanking those of you who miss me enough to check out my blog periodically. Not everyone is a comment-leaver, so I’m glad I have a way of feeling you on the other end of this internet connection. And if we’ve never met but you’ve found my blog through a mutual friend, please stay a while and soak up some of my wee wisdom! And if you were searching for nude, elderly circus but stumbled up me instead, welcome! But leave your clothes on please.