Monday, April 28, 2008

Analytics, or Why I'm Too Paranoid to be Published

After reading of a certain friend's delight with the Google Analytics tracker she added to her blog, I opted to try this chunk of code out for myself. Who could resist pure curiosity as to who is reading up on you? It's like being back in seventh grade and hoping that that cute guy from pre-algebra is looking at you when you're looking away, except now you can find out for certain if he was.

Alternatively, it could be like being back in seventh grade and hoping that that cute guy from pre-algebra is looking at you when you're looking away, except now you can find out for certain that he was staring out the window, but that scary kid who sharpened his teeth down to points sure was lookin.

I can't deny the fact that I'm somewhat paranoid, but how can it not weird one out that there's...strangers...out there, reading what you write? Admittedly, most of the location hits I saw were from areas where I have known friends or acquaintances, and I can only assume that my readership consists largely of these people, but seriously, I thought I had four readers. Maybe five. And maybe that is what I have, but they all travel extensively. To places like Dublin. and Kansas.

For the overwhelming majority, the hits appear to be accidental--readers spend 10 seconds or less on my main page, which sounds like "oops, I clicked on the wrong Google entry" or some sort of internet-flitting robot trying to glean information off of it at random. Those have a name, I'm sure. But several possible readers have spent more than a nanosecond, and have even read more than one page. That's just...weird to me. Who would want to read what I write? Why? I actually manage to bore myself with my speech and writing, so I can't imagine anyone but an insomniac would seek my idle musings out intentionally.

(complete side-note, but speaking of "boring," in an oyster station on Saturday I explained to my girl scouts how I could tell the Chesapeake Bay oysters apart from the Gulf Coast oysters in our tub (we dredged up the Bay oysters from a sanctuary at Fort Carroll and as such could not harm them--we'll return them to their home tomorrow. we buy the gulf oysters from the market for dissection.) the Gulf oysters are covered in little circular drill-holes from boring snails, which we don't typically find in this area. I asked the girls if they knew what a boring snail might be, and one said "well, they don't do much." I got a charge out of that.)

Anyway, now that I'm officially a little freaked out by the idea of readers of my drivel, I may drop this thing entirely. I'm terrified that people may come across this and judge me according to its contents--while those judgments are likely accurate, I can't imagine any of them are desirable. The best way to avoid making an ass of yourself is to avoid speaking.


. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

For whatever it is worth, I think the BRT scene shop registers as being in Plano or Dallas Texas.

We use Feedjit which seems a pretty accurate map.

There is a town called "Boring" in Maryland. Ho Hum.

Kim said...

I want to hug that girl who said that the snails don't do much.

Ben said...

If you stopped writing this your public approval rating would plummet, as would your chances of ever becoming president of Belgium.

Leslie said...

don't stop the blog, kristen! i enjoy popping in every once and awhile. :) MN, mmhmm.