Friday, July 3, 2009

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

About three weeks ago, I attached an invisible stat counter to this blog because I wanted a better idea of how many readers I'm getting and who they are. I find the results interesting enough to share with all four of you.

This blog gets an average of four hits per day. I have five regular readers. Okay, so Perez Hilton has nothing to fear from me for the time being.

I've had one-time visitors from all over the world. Most are from Canada (my home and native land). The United States, not surprisingly, ranks second, but I've had visitors from as far afield as the Republic of South Korea.

I've had one visitor from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. That tempted me to embellish my heading banner with the tag line "The preferred blog of Harvard scholars!", but Harvard's legal department changed my mind.

Blog Visitors by Location
(Click to enlarge)

(maps courtesy of Google Maps and

Incidentally, if you're concerned about privacy, fear not. The stat counter doesn't give me anybody's identity; just their IP address, location (country, region and city), their ISP, and what browser and operating system they were using. Granted, in some cases, I can deduce the identity of the person from this information if it's someone I happen to know, but these are generally people who I already knew read my blog anyway.

Most one-time visitors are directed here by a search engine (usually Google). The post that generated the most Google hits is my recent U/C Airplane Follies post. You'd be surprised how many people search for terms such as "super bee airplane", "miniature flying balsa wood aeroplanes" or "u/c stuka". South Korea was looking for references to "aircraft stuck into ground". Perhaps the North shot down some hapless Cessna from the South that ventured over their nuclear missile launchers and a friend or family member was hoping to find some clue as to whatever happened to them on the internet.

Just as surprising as the post that did attract the most Google searches is one that didn't. I'll admit to a bit of personal subterfuge here. Part of my motivation for writing about the death of Michael Jackson, though the thoughts expressed therein were sincere, was to try to pull in some of the multitudes who were surely Googling for him shortly after his passing. It didn't work. Google didn't direct a single person searching for Michael Jackson references to this blog.

And finally, one last word, as Joseph Campanella used to say. You may have noticed the complete absence of any ads on this blog. Oh, I could put them there alright. does have a "monetize" option that enables me to infest this blog with ads that theoretically make me money every time someone clicks on one. But at ... what is it? 0.04 cents per click? I figure my four readers per day would earn me roughly 60 cents a year. More to the point, I don't do this to make money. This isn't my idea of some get-rich-by-blogging scheme. I do this because I enjoy writing, to entertain and, sometimes, to make you think.

On the other hand, my ego is big enough that I'd like to increase those readership stats a bit, which is why I've recently added a "Share" button after each post. If you like what you read, I encourage you to tell others. Maybe they'll like it too.

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