Monday, August 8, 2011
THE HIT LIST
I assumed that to write a blog would be to write for a few people: my friend, my other friend, my eleven official followers, a clutch of kith and kin in a handful of countries, the people who happen to catch the message on my Facebook wall before the page whizzes downwards, chased by more urgent messages, and some bewildered people who stumble onto the site by accident.
I check the stat counter now and then, to see if anyone is paying attention. Once in a while someone posts a comment – much appreciated, thank you. The hit graph swoops upwards briefly and then fades like the proverbial candle in the wind as the days pass, much like the blog itself. I expect nothing spectacular in the way of reactions, and indeed receive none.
However, the other day I happened upon a way of looking at where in the world the hits were coming from. That particular stat counter has only been operating for about six months, but I found the results incredible. Literally.
The bulk of the hits originated, predictably enough, from New Zealand. Most of the people I know live in this country. Another good handful were from the United Kingdom – several friends and family live there. The same for Australia – about a quarter of the UK figures but the numbers were about right. Canada (436) and the United States (486) accounted for a colossal number, considering that I know about four people in each country. So, if I am to believe this information, roughly eight people have read my blogs 922 times between them. There are fewer than 50 blogs so far so either that’s pretty good going, or those readers are gratifyingly dedicated followers. Of course, some people visit blog sites on the off chance that there has been another posting – I do it myself often enough – and that would account for many recorded hits, so it doesn’t do to get carried away.
Then we come to the incredible part. The other countries, in ascending order, were: Poland (40), France (55), Germany (67), Netherlands (81) and Russia (94). I know a very few people in Germany so, just perhaps, 67 is not too unlikely. But the other four results are astounding. Why would anyone in Russia read my blog? What could I possibly say to interest 40 people (or even one person reading forty blogs) in Poland? It would be remotely possible for young Kiwis doing their OE through Europe to tell 55 French citizens to take a look at a New Zealand blog – but surely they would select a travel blog, or an educational blog, or a … I can’t think of any other sensible possibility.
And where, I ask myself, are my South American visitors, my African public, my Asian and Middle Eastern readers? No one in Sweden or Norway interested? And what about Spain and Portugal? Italy, Greece, Afghanistan …? Not a single hit from any of those places. It’s true, I don’t know anyone who lives anywhere there either (except Spain) but that doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to hit counting.
It is, as the King of Siam said (in The King and I) a puzzlement.
The picture is "Summer Garden"