Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Spy Who Loved Me

I'm being super nosey and have added StatCounter to my blog  which was free to download.  This means that I can track the visitors that I receive. Consequently I get excited  when lots of people have seen my postings and feel disappointment on the days when my writing seems to sink into the Internet equivalent of a black hole.  It can sometimes elicit contrasting emotions almost simultaneously.  For example, a few days ago someone from the hallowed ground that is the BBC in London visited my blog but, if the statistics are to be believed, they didn't stick around long enough to discover me as a top notch writer worth paying megabucks.

The world map showing where my visitors come from is quite fascinating.  At first, my visitors were almost exclusively from the UK.  However, my British followers will be pleased to know that  their exact whereabouts is hazy and I can't pinpoint their geographical location.  Rather than discovering that user X is sitting on the loo in their ensuite in Barnsley presumably with a laptop, I believe I'm given the whereabouts of their service provider instead. I sussed this as all hits from NHS computers (of course generated when users are on lunchbreak) are noted as coming from London. In hindsight the BBC probably operate a similar system and my viewer there was probably a locum maintenance man given temporary access rights at somewhere like BBC Radio Shropshire.

I also get hits from other, mostly English speaking, countries too and these cause me to be particularly gleeful. However I am a little puzzled if a visit lasts more than a little while.  Why would someone in Florida spend three hours looking at my blog and who is 'My Man in Calcutta'? My slowly increasing (international!) audience gives me hope that there is more people out there who return to read my posts than my current measly tally of five Google followers and infrequent comments attached to my post would suggest (Welcome though Piggie Heaven, my newest recruit!)

Anyway it's all harmless fun and if I ever get round to analysing some of the data I'm collected I might concentrate my efforts on writing more of the stuff that you stealthy lot like. This espionage-like activity begs a more serious question? If I'm watching you, and additionally doing a bit of extra nosing facilitated by Facebook, Friends Reunited and the like, who on earth is out there watching me?

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