Monday, July 07, 2008

one potato, two potato, three potato, more?

I added a hit counter to this site in April. In the past three months, I have had 6000 visitors. I would say it is time to celebrate, but I am not certain what I would be celebrating. 6000 is just a very odd number.

The counter gives me only a vague idea where the reader's server is located, and that is often misleading. For instance, a friend just outside of Salem shows up as viewing in northern California -- because that is where her server is located.

Even so, it is interesting to see the all of the countries where people view this blog. Not surprisingly, the largest group is American. But Mexico and Canada are close behind. And then there is the international crowd. I have seen hits from Germany (especially my good friend, Hollito), France, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, Sweden, Argentina, Brazil, Finland, Greece, Turkey, Israel, India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

I say "hits" because not all of the 6000 hits on this page are readers. When Babs of
Babsblog discovered the number of hits she was getting each day on her blog, she wrote: "I thought I was a voice talking to the wilderness, but heck there are 'beings' in that wilderness reading and not commenting - like over 140 in one day! OY VEY."

Michael Dickson and I have discussed these statistics. If you take a close look, you can see that many of the"hits" are people who have managed to dredge up the site in a Google search or who linked over to see why this site was on another site's blog roll. Most of those browsers take a quick look and depart the store -- the same way I react when I accidentally end up in ladies' lingerie at the local department store.

I did a quick informal survey to discover the type of Google searches that lead people to my blog. Surprisingly, it was neither "Mexico" nor "retirement." It was "Billy Collins." As strange as the result is, I find it rather comforting that my favorite poet would create that number of informal links with strangers on the internet. Maybe that is why we write blogs. We are trying to convey the poetry of life -- our lives.

I only know that I am happy to be in this moment connecting with others through this almost magic medium -- especially those who stay to read a few words, and have a cup of coffee while we chat about things that are blue or why Mexican paper towels are so thin.


Babs said...

In THREE months you've had 6000 hits! Wow, that's amazing...I'm just "small potatoes"........

1st Mate said...

Hey, Billy Collins is my favorite poet too. Remember the one about the dog? "I came back to tell you I never liked you..." Did you catch his appearance on Prairie Home Companion?

VisitLaManzanilla said...

Hi Steve, I found you on a google alert of la Manzanilla.

I just starting blogging and I think I like it but I'll have to give it a few months to really know!

Find me and my adventures about moving to La Manzanilla at

or at my website

Come by and see us in La Man starting this Sept. Cheers! June

Anonymous said...

I got a link to your blog because of Billy Collins. I have a Google alert set up for "billy collins poet." I get links to all the things on the internet with his name included-- and your blog included his name. If people only knew what Billy Collins could do for them! ("What can BILLY do for you?" rather than "What can BROWN do for you?")

Theresa in Mèrida said...

I get most of my search hits from people looking for information about Panama! My favorite searchs are "all the plants in the world and their names" and "What do queens do all day"....huh? My cooking blog mostly gets people looking for recipes.
It's interesting.

Calypso said...


Congrats on the readership. Putting it all in perspective the hooker that serviced New York's X Governor got 1.5 millions visitorss in a 24 hour period.

Just kidding amigo - I really think your Blog is grand - and lately I am using it to keep up with new entries with your slick blog links by post time - cool.

Keep on trucking...

Steve Cotton said...

John -- Thanks. If I could just get the same hourly wages, I could retire today. I now know why people always call me that name that siound like a gardening implement.

Theresa -- Panama? Queens? Perhaps the House of Windsor suffers from geographic dysfunction, as well as all of its other problems.

Anonymous -- I wish you had given us at least a first name to work with. But, like you, I have come to really appreciate the simplicity of a Billy Collins poem. I read a review of "Sailing Around the Room" that accused Billy of being a lazy poet and a writer of trite verse. A graduate student, mind you. Another Salieri, perhaps. Please feel free to comment at any time. I suspect another Billy Collins moment may be coming in the near future.

visitlamanzanilla -- Now, there is a moniker. Welcome aboard. Nice to see a new face and a new blog. I may end up in La Manzanilla myself one of these days. But Melaque first.

Bliss -- The poem is "The Revenant" -- and you may see it soon. Very soon.

Babs -- 6000 hits. I suppose I could increase it by entitling my next posts as "free sex -- just ask" or "i'll send you my money -- and this isn't even from nigeria." No one would read anything but the title, but it would be a fun experiment. Maybe I could just riff off of John's idea.

Richard said...


Where did you get that counter?

I have am doing a post on Blogging Gangs and how we all look at counters and what information we actually get about who is reading us. The readers fascinate me as so many are anonymous and leave no trail but a page view.

About your Green Jade - is it bad enough to be on a No Buy list? You gave me an idea of men buying souvenirs at the last moment at the airport gift shop or while drunk.

Steve Cotton said...

Richard -- I have two counters. The numerical counter is from SiteMeter. If you use Google/Blogger, it is one of the tools you can find in Layout. The map counter is from Feedjit. You can find it at Of course, there are numerous others on line, but I found these to be the two easiest to use with Google. Try one or both. I saw both of them on other blogs and thought they were an interesting idea.