133 Words Per Visitor

April 12th, 2010 by Potato

So I forgot that after I got a real webhost I also signed up for Google Analytics, and it’s been a little sobering to look back on the stats now. I get, on average, 7 unique visitors per day. Considering one of them is probably me (since I no longer access the backend directly, as my real webserver is with some company with server farms and probably my old dog Schwartz frolicking, because he totally went to a farm like my parents suggested when I was 11 and not put down like they told me when I was 22, and if he went to a farm it was probably a server farm; and not a decrepit Windows ME system under my desk), that’s just 6 people who visit the site per day. True, many (uncountably many) people may be on the RSS feed now that it actually works, while others may only check every few weeks since it’s not like I post all that often anyway… but I also know that I wake up to 20+ spam comments caught in my filter every morning afternoon. The average length of my posts is about 800 words, so that’s roughly 133 words per visitor.

I thought I had more “real-world” friends reading than that, plus the odd internet person (or chatty AI)… apparently not. Though there have been more than 6 people that have commented in the past on particular posts, it doesn’t appear as though they stick around. So, guessing at the identity of my 6 readers, here are 133 words for each of you:

Wayfare: “She tries to get me to write, and I try to get her not to edit.” I know you must feel in some way obligated to read, if only to check in and see if I was killed in a horrible fiery wreck on the 401. Still, I know you like all the rants here. It’s tough getting this worked up about major (and admittedly, minor) issues and then writing about it for the internet, and mistakes are bound to creep in. I’m glad you use the comments section for corrections. Please send me adorable cat pictures, as I know I don’t have nearly enough for your tastes, and our cat is way cuter than all of Scalzi’s put together (which, as a 3-headed 12-legged monster cat, probably wouldn’t be all that cute).

Netbug: You got me into this whole WordPress thing, then abandoned your own for Twitter. I just can’t do Twitter, man… I can barely get this 133 word gimmick to fit in this one-off post, so a 140 character limit all the time is a serious straitjacket for me. Can you start doing movie reviews on Twitter? I’ve seen some awful movies recently that someone really should have saved me from: The Box, Amelia (actually, both of those I saved myself from after the first fifteen minutes or so). I’m reminded that I should start writing about the upcoming StarCraft2 launch to help get you psyched for it, because if you let me down on SC2, man, Ima gonna be pissed. I’m even carefully timing my graduation so I will have more play time!

Ben: I find it a sign of the times that we seem to be more up-to-date on each others’ lives by reading each others’ blogs than we ever were when we lived in the same city. Speaking of up-to-date on each other’s lives, what’s going on with the housing search?? You put that big blog post up, I put a big messy comment in reply, and then nothing except pictures of meat! (There are a lot of meat pictures on your blog!) Inquiring minds want to know! Also, I have no idea what the deal is with wine, so many of the “descriptive” words used make no sense to me, yet somehow you describing a Pillitteri Chardonnay (a liquid) as “Like a mouthful of oaky buttered toast” makes the world a stranger, better place.

Michael James: I feel bad, actually, that you read this blog. You’ve got an interest in personal finance, and I do occasionally have a post on finance which, IMNSHO, I totally rock. I even have graphs sometimes, and I know you must have a great love of graphs because you so often have such awesome ones on your own blog, and nobody graphs like that just because they think it’s a useful way to convey information. I’ll try to make more graphs (and good ones too, not just graphing alleged cookie ninja attacks vs university exam schedule). Still, I can’t help but think that I somehow tricked you, that every time another post arrives in your RSS feed, and you see it’s not finance related — let alone full of awesome crazy — you shake your head… Sorry.

Spambot: They say flattery will get you everywhere, and I’d say that it’s partly true. When you come in here and post a message about how awesome my blog is and asking for “more information on that topic”, it makes me feel good, in a really vague way. I start to convince myself that you might actually be a real person that likes my writing… until you post ten of the same message daily. That ruins the effect, Spambot. Plus, sometimes, you go and start what I can only assume is swearing in Chinese, and it’s not appreciated, even from a nascent distributed-computing sentience that hasn’t yet properly learned nettiquette. Also, it’s not cool to post more per day than I do, or to make money from my blog when I’m not. Fuck you.

Unknown reader: I don’t know who you are, you’ve never commented. This whole Web2.0 thing is supposed to make it possible for people to provide feedback and make the web all interactive, but that doesn’t mean you’re obligated to. I respect your decision to remain silent and anonymous, and thank you for your readership anyway, and hope I’ve helped entertain or educate you. Besides, I hardly ever comment on other peoples’ posts, even though I read a lot out there. You wouldn’t think it from a guy who goes around blogging and trying to get readers for his blog, but I’m actually kind of shy myself, even on the great anonymous supertube network highway, and sometimes compose comments on other posts, just to delete them without posting. So I totally get where you’re coming from.

In conclusion, I suppose I should be glad I don’t have more readers, because otherwise I’d be up all night looking at what crazy google terms you used to land here, and have to write minor monologues to each of you…

10 Responses to “133 Words Per Visitor”

  1. Marianne O Says:

    Either I’m the unknown reader, or one of your guesses above is off. I do check in every day, though I must admit that I’m only *keenly* interested in about one post in five. But for MLB that’s a decent batting average … I think … :-)

  2. Netbug Says:

    Yes, it’s true. I’m a slacker and lazy and totally gave up on the blog posts.

    Sometimes I would like more than 144 characters, but you see with working from home, I only usually have time to type about 144 characters between callers.

    I have had a total revamp of the blog in the back of my mind for a while now; what I would like to do is integrate it so it will read my twitter feed but also allow me to put longer posts up when necessary (then I could just twitter the title and the link).

    And yes, I read your posts through RSS at present, so I’m not contributing to your per day count. Sowwy. :(

  3. Rez Says:

    I’m one of the RSS-reader readers (yay no ads!) and never have anything useful to say so I don’t comment. The only time I come to the site proper is to leave the odd comment or to look at a picture you’ve posted (which usually don’t work in the RSS feed for some reason). Post more pictures and I’m sure people will drop by more often. Even if it’s just a random pic you grabbed off the net that is just marginally related to the post (for example, for today’s post, a pic related to words or writing would suffice). If all you did was post pics of your cat I’d be back here hourly. I can’t be the only one who wants pics, can I?

  4. Potato Says:

    Oh no, this has backfired horribly!

    Marianne: I don’t even know a Marianne, but fortunately, Leonard Cohen does, so I’ll fall back on his primary research: Click over to this window, I’d like to try to read your PalmTreo. I used to think I was some kind of geeky boy, before I let you talk me into grad school. Now Marianne, it’s time that we began to laugh, and cry, and cry, and laugh about it all again. You left for my curious four out of five posts, but knocking one out of the park brought you back; I don’t follow baseball so I can only assume that’s good, like washing your eyelids on a mountainside. I may not remember much, but I do take requests, even if I slice them out of the queue like a cold razor blade.

    I forgot you subscribed to the feed
    The RSS you faithfully read!
     Though I thought I had fixed
     The pictures betwixt
    The text that grows like a weed

    You’ve been here since the very beginning
    I don’t know what I must have been thinking
     To ignore you so long
     Was terribly wrong
    Especially for a gimmicky posting

    I most sincerely hope you accept
    My explanation that I under-slept
     A brand new gimmick
     To switch to a limerick
    As an apology somewhat inept

    Constructing rhymes is very much harder
    Than to hammer out prose which is longer
     A hard thing to count
     Simple math to surmount
    To these posts I devote all my ardor

    Despair not! It’s never too late
    To start over fresh, wipe a new slate
     My comments section bombard
     With paragraphs hard
    And number my readers as eight!

  5. Netbug Says:


  6. Netbug Says:

    whoops. Didn’t read the caption on that one. It wasn’t dumb at all… just facepalm worthy. :)

  7. Marianne O Says:

    Love the poetry. If you were here I’d offer tea and oranges. Good point above about the pics, they do add a lot to interest. Got to run to a meeting, but I’ll be checking in…

  8. Rez Says:

    Poem: Awesomesauce. :)

    Also I’m glad I’m not the only one wanting more visual stimulus!

  9. Jenn Says:

    Hey – I’m an RSS’er.
    And I like cat pictures too ;)

  10. Michael James Says:

    You shouldn’t feel bad that I read your blog. I spend so much of my time reading the work of academics who have minuscule ideas cloaked to seem mysterious and important that I’m happy to read something that at least makes some sense.