Sunday, January 15, 2006

Pleeeeeease Reeeeead!

Joe Ferguson put a counter on his site recently (thanks to the good people at and I thought hey, I should too. Then my counter started going faster than his. Much faster. At the time of this writing my counter has just passed 2900 while his is above 2300. Neither of these are extravagant numbers, but what's the deal? I thought I didn't have any friends. Let's check the numbers.

Here's a clue. Normally the main page gets the most hits. In this case, however, twice as many people viewed the December 2005 archive. There must be something from December that found its way to a search engine and got popular--more popular than my own (cough) notoriety.

I don't know if this is big enough for you to read, but it appears that others have searched Yahoo and Google for the spam E-Mail I posted on 5 December. You know, the one where Bill Gates gives you money for forwarding a chain letter?

Here are the actual search terms. An astounding 96.61 percent of searchers came to my website using some variation of the E-Mail's header. The other 3.39 percent came looking for information on Linda Stouffer, anchorperson on CNN Headline News. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but we should investigate further.

I tried out various versions of the Gates E-mail header on both Google and Yahoo. In some places my site was as high as 4th! For such a well-known hoax that's not to bad, especially considering I got the same E-mail ten years ago. I wonder how many saps click here thinking it might be their lucky day? Anyway, from now on I will simply post spam on my site to up the hit count. Lucky for you! Oh, and searching "'Linda Stouffer' bio" on Yahoo puts me at 7th or 8th, depending on its mood. However, one more question remains. Do I have any friends? The above graph proves the answer is: "only a few." In case the type is too small, that green Pac-Man represents the folks who spend less than 5 seconds looking at my blog. Pfft goes the ego.

Here is a fatter, more Irish Pac-Man showing that only 10.8 percent of viewers actually come back. Now let's compare this to Joe's less-viewed blog:

Now ain't that something. Joe has less hits, but a more devoted fanbase. It's as if I'm the Britney Spears of the Web while he's Sufjan Stevens. Or more literally, he's Joe Ferguson. In detail, here is more evidence. Below is a chart showing my last 100 viewers based on their location. Note how randomly distributed the readership is. I believe the blank space represents me as I gathered material for this post.

The second chart is for Joe's site. Remember too that Joe has friends and family in Western New York, California, and Nashville. See how much more concentrated his data set is?

Thus endeth the lesson. By the way, in a larger list of visitors that "Came From" another website to mine, only one out of a hundred wasn't a Bill-Gates-E-Mail-spam search page. That website was


Joe said...

I don't think I have any friends in California.

Brian said...

Sufjan is freeking awesome man!