Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some reflections - 8 months later

It has been 8 months since my last blog post. When I decided to stop blogging, I was afraid I would miss it. Truth be told, I can only think of once or twice when I think I have something "blogworthy" to say. This post isn't one of them, but I couldn't help myself.

Every few weeks I've been looking at what sort of traffic my blog generates. With the tracker I have, I can see not only where people are physically located when they surf to my blog, but also what they were looking for when they get here. I've noticed some interesting patterns.

Pattern #1: Students wanting to cheat
I use some book names in my posts, and the title of my blog - "Fear and Trembling" - is itself the title of a book. I get a number of Google searches for things like "summary of 'Fear and Trembling'", or "the theme of Ecclesiastes" or "psychology of 'Many Colored Days'". The most popular is "book report for 'Summer of the Monkeys'". I can just see a 6th grader needing to do a book report on "Summer of the Monkeys" and ending up on my blog. Bummer, dude. Oh, and how do I know these are students wanting to cheat? The overwhelming majority come in from a school computer lab. ;-)

Pattern #2: People love Giant Ichneumon Wasps
I get a lot of people searching for info on giant ichneumon wasps that end up on my blog. I didn't understand this until I googled it myself not too long ago, and realized that my post on the giant ichneumon was on the first page of search results. The really entertaining part is that the people who find that post visit it multiple times over the next few days. In any case, there are a couple of things I don't understand - first, how on God's green earth did that post get on the first page of google? If you have Google stock, you should probably seriously consider selling - the place is going to the dogs. Second, why do people come back to a post that is seriously not helpful to finding out anything about Ichneumon Wasps? I would say that it is funny, but I just read it again and it's not that funny. My guess is that they just love anything to do with Giant Ichneumon Wasps. That must be it.

Pattern #3: People love guns and ammo
My post called "Ammo for the War" from the Lessons from Sem series gets an insane amount of traffic from people looking guns or ammo. I have no idea why. I guess people just love bullets.

Pattern #4: Europeans and anti-sociality
The little comic image that I have plagiarized in the previous post gets a ton of traffic - almost exclusively from Europeans. I could make some reflective comment about why only Europeans care, but that feels too much like blogging. I would rather make fun of the word 'European'. I mean, if you're American when you go into the bathroom, and you're American when you come out of the bathroom...well, you know. And the one place I encourage anti-sociality is the bathroom. So, you can see the connection.

Pattern #5: Satirical Christmas Reflection
My post called "A Satirical Christmas Reflection" generated zero traffic until Christmas, when traffic suddenly went through the roof. I guess people are much more cynical at Christmas than I realized. If only they had a dog named Max and a village of Whos they could go burglarize.

Pattern #6: East-Coasters, Foreigners, and some Texans love Christian art
As much as was possible, I tried to use classical works of Christian art in my posts. Some Rembrandt, some Don Lorenze Monaco, and some others I don't remember right now. People from foreign countries, people on the east coast, and a couple of people from southern Texas really love that stuff. Other than that, they have nothing in common. Wait, didn't I read somewhere that a shared love of art overcomes all barriers? I'd love to see those Lebanese and Texans argue over art. Guns and Ammo, anyone?

Well, there you have it, the top reasons my blog still gets traffic to the tune of a couple of dozen hits a week. There are lots of other patterns, including some people who just keep coming back for no good reason. Bless those poor souls.