Monday, November 1, 2010

Lies, Damn Lies, and well, you know the rest...

I hated my statistics class in college with a blue passion. The words "standard deviation" still make me shudder. Ironically, though, I find reading statistics someone else has generated endlessly interesting.

For instance:

Lord knows, I'm doing my part on that last one.

Recently, I've become fascinated with the statistics for my blog. Blogger tracks your page views by blog post, time of day, geographic place, referring URL's, and the search terms that got people there. Some of the statistics are illuminating, but most leave me bemused.

The United States is naturally the country in which most people view my blog, but just this week alone I had 19 views from the Netherlands and 14 views from Russia. Really? What am I saying that interests the Dutch? Or the Russians? I even had four views from Slovenia. Wow...

I normally have the biggest viewing spikes when I put up a new post which makes sense, right? But occasionally, I get these crazy spikes on old posts. My post on Self Doubt contains a Diana Ross video. 457 people viewed that one in one day, a month after the original post. My readership is modest, so I'm attributing that spike to Diana and not my own words of wisdom.

Posts which share titles with something more famous get lots of views as well. My Invictus post has been very popular, although I suspect some folks are disappointed when they find me instead of Matt Damon. Expectation is the Root of all Heartache has also gotten mad hits. Again, some poor high school student looking for help with his English homework is probably frustrated when he finds me.

Embedded pictures lead people to me. Twice, I have included pictures of buffalo in my posts. (Here and here.) Both have brought people my way. I wonder if any of them stayed after looking at my buffalo?

The most entertaining statistic is the list of most popular search terms which connected people with my blog. My name is at the top of that big surprise...but once you get past the obvious, I find myself in WTF country. Just this week, people found me by googling "he makes my cherry pop" and "Jazzercise with colostomy." Last month, someone used "I never sit on a toilet." Granted, I have actually used the words "he makes my cherry pop" and "I never sit on a toilet," but why would you google those phrases? I've used "Jazzercise" multiple times, but this is the first time the word "colostomy" has graced my blog.

The big dumb eighth grader inside of me wants to let loose a string of random, unrelated words just to see what kind of bizarre Slovenian (no disrespect to Slovenians intended, it's just...Slovenia?) traffic I get. So here goes...

I would expect Dutch apple pie and Russian dressing to make my cherry pop, but expectation is the root of all heartache. Mark Twain knows I don't wear a colostomy bag, even if I never sit on a toilet. It's all lies, damn lies, and well, you know the rest...

I am the master of my fate, Diana Ross, I am the captain of my soul.


  1. Your post "Expectation Is The Root Of All Heartache" came up when I googled the Shakespeare quote, and it actually helped me a lot in writing a paper for my senior language arts class. So no, you don't frustrate us high-schoolers, you help us make good grades. Thanks. (:

  2. As an English teacher, that makes me very happy.:)