Saturday, April 23, 2005

Site Meter Support Group

Loretta at Gone Feral has a problem, and its name is Site Meter. Earlier in the week, Loretta explained that
Now I have Sitemeter, and I can see how many people visit my blog per day (about ten) their average length of time spent on the site (about five minutes), what time zones they holler from (Mostly CST and EST, with Paris and Alaska in the mix) and who sent 'em. . . . Delightful info, right? Well, some of it. If you hail from an academic institution, I can see you log in and usually know who you are. I can also see that you left after only thirty seconds. What, did you not like my post? Also, why have you not emailed me in three weeks? You see where this is headed. Should I worry about the fact that someone with an Army email spent eleven minutes on my site? Am I being investigated for subversive internet activity? Are my descriptions of baby shit a little TOO graphic for the Bush administration?
Now, she concedes things may have gotten out of hand:
It's only been a week that I've been seeing Sitemeter, but I think it's fair to say that we've gotten to know each other very well in a short period of time. Sitemeter knows the most intimate details about me - or at least, my blog - and I, in turn, have memorized all of Sitemeter's lovely features, especially all the options for graphing site traffic by hour, day, week, month and year! You know, so that when I close my eyes, I can remember what Sitemeter looks like.
Now, I've blogged a bit about Site Meter before (see here), as has my friend Ann. Lots of good information comes to me via Site Meter. I know, for example, that I get 40% of my traffic from the east coast of North America; I know that there are a handful of people from Finland who check in now and again; I know that getting a link from Jesus' General can bring several thousand hits over the span of a few day. I can also see where Google searches factor into a blog's daily traffic. Yesterday, someone came here because they thought I might have some information on whether Evel Knievel was still alive. Someone else wanted information about "criticism of Evel Knievel." I know that one of my clever readers — I suspect my brother but have no proof — was recently trying to discover the most absurd and vulgar search terms that might to this blog (e.g., "passionate axis of presidential ass fucking," "Karl Rove caressing his groin," "David Noon fondling himself with a long bony middle finger," and so on). Ann, for her part, learned that quite a few hits to her blog were coming from people looking for a porn star named "Ann Angel." And James eventually got so frustrated with the spelling errors that brought visitors to his doorstep that he flew into a rage and lectured them on the difference between "know" and "now."

So like Loretta, I check Site Meter. A lot. And I can't stop. Between the time I started this post and now, five people have checked in. Will they ever come back and see what they missed? It's like it's 1997 and I just opened a fucking Ameritrade account. Part of it I'm sure has to do with the sense of isolation one gets living in Juneau; part of it is my parents' fault (I'm not sure why, but I blame them regardless); part of it is my endless, self-defeating pattern of procrastination that promises to fit my career with concrete shoes. But as I explained to Loretta, she's got quite a distance to travel until she can compete with me in the Site Meter Obsesso-Olympics. So do the rest of you. Until you're sitting in a faculty meeting — as I was yesterday — looking at stupid fucking documents on your laptop (ones you were too lazy to print out), and you decide to "have a little peek" at your Site Meter stats, and you shake your head in disgust because you're "behind" your average for that time of day, and everyone thinks you're responding to the document you're supposed to be looking at, and they ask you right then for your feedback since you seem so goddamn animated about it all, and you have to say, "Oh, sorry, I was looking at the wrong document," and everyone knows you're a fucking liar, and they think you're probably playing solitaire or looking at midget porn or something else, and what you're ACTUALLY doing is so much more embarrassing and pathetic, and you really WISH you'd been looking at a midget having roasted chestnuts shoved up his ass by a monkey instead of obsessing about how many dozens of people in a world of 6 billion are stopping by your moronic blog for 30 seconds... Until you reach that point, my friends, don't talk to me about having a problem.