Since this is my blog, I thought it was OK to write about, you know, my blog. I mean, after all, it is my blog. I’m no expert on blogs (far from it – I still haven’t figured out RSS, trackbacks, pingbacks, and a bunch of other things I see on other blogs) but I thought it would be appropriate to opine about a few things I’ve learned so far. And even if my opinions and comments make no sense, bore the hell out of you, or cause you to run screaming from the room looking for your gun, I’m going to do it anyway, because … it’s my blog.
Now that we’ve established that, take a look at this:
This is a graph that WordPress so kindly provides showing visits to the site. This is a snap shot of one month taken sometime last week. As you can see, I had a real spike in hits between May 8 and May 12. I can tell you I went from about 30 hits a day, to a high on May 12 of 690 hits. (Yes, six hundred ninety – eat your heart out PZ Myers. [cue laugh track]) All because I happened to include what some thought was a little smut, in a previous post, (which I will not invoke again, here, for fear of bringing back the smut gods to my site) . At this rate, I figured I’d be catching up with Tobe at A Load of Bright any day now.
I tweaked the offending post and as you can see from the graph, the hit count dropped significantly by the 14th, but still leveled off in the high 200s. That still seemed too high. I couldn’t figure out why at first. I tried to change all the impact words in the post with nonsense letters, diphthongs and other typographical characters. But I was still getting numerous hits from search engines on the original offending words (again, I will not repeat them.) Then I got lucky. I looked inside the HTML for one of the graphics, and found that when I copied it from the website, it was named with a description containing two of the words that kept showing up in the search engine hits (OK. The first begins with an “s”, and has an “x” in it, and the last word is “positions”. There. You happy?). I removed the description, but again, nothing really happened. I even got a spike on May 19. It leveled off again until May 29, where I got a lot of hits for the Local Evolution Story, primarily because I sent the story to PZ Myers, and he did a little post of his own on it, linking back to me.
Then dramatically, I dropped down to my original numbers. Maybe someone more familiar with search engines can confirm this, but I surmise that when I did the second tweak, it took about a week for Google, and all of the other search sites, to purge the words out of their search algorithms or cache, or whatever digital mumbo jumbo they use to create those great search sites. Makes sense to me.
For awhile there, though, I was getting a bit creeped out. All these people were looking for porn, and they ended up clicking on a site called “Spanish Inquisitor”. What was going through their brains? Maybe they thought it was the title to an X rated movie? I have a history background, not to mention a good bit of time invested in watching Monty Python, so I hoped that the last thing one would have normally thought of when one saw a site titled “Spanish Inquisitor” would have been SS – EE – EX. Apparently I was wrong. I started to imagine curvaceous blonds strapped to the rack, with hooded men holding whips waiting for an opportunity to use them. I had to start thinking of pink elephants.
Anyway… That long explanation was for anyone out there thinking of trying to expand their hit counts.
I also want to mention that I joined Planet Atheism, as you can see from the little button in my widget column (and everyone looking at PA can now see this post). It’s a nice atheist aggregator and I recommend it to everyone, not to mention that it adds some color to the site.
Finally, I’ve been adding some blogs to my blog roll. Every time I see a new one I like and find myself going back to, I will add it. I want to thank everybody who’s read and commented so far. I find this to be both fun, intellectually stimulating, and time consuming. I hope I can keep up not only with the pace of maintaining this blog (along with my day job, my home, and my family) but also with reading all the blogs I keep discovering.
We are living in an amazing time, and I hope people reading this can fully appreciate it. Our access to information has grown to the point where infinity is both a simple concept, and simply mind-boggling. Our connectivity to like-minded people brings us all together, but also has the potential for isolating us in little pockets of similar digital communities, so we must be willing to look outward, to make sure we are being exposed to alternative thinking. It will be somewhat self-defeating if in the process of encouraging reason, logic and open-mindedness, we close our minds to everything we disagree with, simply from lack of exposure.
Now, if you have a gun, don’t shoot the monitor. You’ll come to regret it.