Friday, January 21, 2005

Scarlet badges for the Meridian

When I began keeping this blog, I said (to myself) that I was under no illusions as to how widely read it would be but that, dammit, I sure hoped people would agree with me that I had Something To Say and An Interesting Way Of Saying It. To that end, I've been interested in knowing about my readers: who visits, how many of them, and from where. So, I've added some gadgets (what else to call them? "Tools" sounds too dignified, given the purposes behind this blog) and am not averse to adding more gadgets that keep records of such things and, just maybe, might bring other folks here, ensnaring their occasional attention in favor of this corner of the Web. So, yeah: ego partly drives this thirst for knowledge, but I truly AM curious to know who sees fit to visit my humble ablog. (oh, dear)
Based on a combination of people who leave comments and information from my site meter and guest map (see the bottom of the right-hand column), I can guess about the number of regular visitors (perhaps 10-12?--it depends on how one defines "regular") and know the number of total visitors (almost 1100 since July, though many of that number are visits by my regulars) and page hits (approaching 4,000), but have little clue as to where these people are. That's because only one person has seen fit to post "his" location on the Site Map (and I strongly suspect that "person" to have been Bravenet, seeing as the post appeared literally in the instant that the map appeared). (It could very well be, of course, that almost literally no one has SEEN the sitemap, given its location on my page). Hmm--another adventure in HTML coming up!
But that still leaves my curiosity aching to know something else: how my readership compares to that of other blogs. Technorati, which I already have, searches for those sites that have linked to one's own and ranks blogs in terms of the number of those links, but its format is not terribly shaming: the curious have to click on the Technorati logo to see who has linked to good ol' Blog Meridian. But Technorati, so far as I can determine, doesn't rank blogs in terms of how many VISITS one receives. And dammit, I want to know that! What's more, I want, right there on the page for all who care to look for it to see, just how I rank in the readership food chain. And so, another gadget will appear here as soon as the Blogger software sees fit to permit it to appear.
The Truth Laid Bear (the actual spelling) is a site that, among other things, keeps track of just such stuff if one registers one's site and then cuts and pastes the appropriate Javascript into one's blog's template. So, a la Hester Prynne, I can be both proud AND chastened as the Meridian is stumbled upon/surfed toward . . . man: we DO need some new vocabulary, don't we?

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jennifer said...

Your blog is great. Some of us who read regularly don't always choose to post responses though simply (for me anyway) due to time constraints or the illustrious technical difficulties, namely in formulating a response worthy of this cute little box. Anyhow, I really appreciate the diversity of information you put out on this blog and your annecdotes as well. Just so you know, maybe there are some things those fancy tools you put on here can't measure, such as all of the people like me who like to venture in and out relatively unnoticed or wait to say something until it's impossible not to. peace!

John B. said...

Thanks for the kind words, first of all.
You are right, of course. In fact, something that had flitted across my mind as I wrote the post was that all these gadgets do is quantify--they don't convey anything about a visitor's experience, which is what REALLY matters. Though, like Wal-Mart, I assume that a visitor's return signals that at some level his/her visit was a satisfactory one. I'm glad yours have been satisfactory enough to keep you coming back.
Having said all that, though . . .
Would you do me the courtesy of pinpointing Boise on my Guest Map?

Anonymous said...

I actually pinpointed my location on your map thing soon after you added it, I think, but then I felt a bit exposed, being the only one to have done so, so I removed it again. In any case you know where I am.
But I'll re-add myself anyway, on the proviso that you can (re)move yourself if you relocate.

I also, as you know, read your blog whenever I get a chance, and feel bad when I don't have anything to add as a comment, because I'm not content with just adding "nice entry, JB." or something that effect. It pains me when I've spent a long time composing an entry for my own blog and no-one replies, but then again I'd be miffed if all I ever got was one-liners. Still, it's nice to get one such comment than none at all, right?


John B. said...

Thanks for reminding me where Switzerland is.
I understand very well the frustration of writing something in hopes of eliciting comment only to be met with silence; you're also right that "Nice post" doesn't cut it, either. What can one respond to in such an instance except "Thanks"? Not much help in sharpening an argument or getting to clarify.
I check your blog at least once a day, too, just so you know. My rule is, if I have something substantive to contribute, then I do--a variation on the "If you don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all." But anyway, thanks (again) for being a Regular Reader.