Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Audience

I recently found the "stats" button on my dashboard page. I am not sure at the veracity of the data here but taking it at face value, it appears to be interesting and sobering reading.
The first thing that strikes me is that this very blog has had 354 views in its three years of existence. I guess that is one every three days on average. Not a great deal I suppose, but it means that at least someone has stumbled over the page and perhaps read the words deposited for better or worse upon it.
What intrigues me more is the audience. Ok, the most significant audience appears to be the USA with just under a third of hits, then the UK with about a fifth. I do know some people in the US, but I am not sure they know of the existence of this blog, so I can ony assume these are passers-by.
Then of course Germany with about the same (thank you my dear loyal friends, especially you, my Friendly Librarian).
However, a proportion of the hits are from South Korea, Brazil and Iraq. Iraq? Who reads this drivel in Iraq? DOn't you have more pressing things to be worrying about than the pathetic angst and irrelevent ramblings of some bloke in England? I mean, a war torn country where bombs go off on a daily basis surely must wrest control of the attention from such trivial things as the struggles with inarticulacy of a mediocre intellect and the activities of cypriot ants?

A small note of disquiet however, is sounded in my mind by the sudden visceral realisation (grasped intellectually from the beginning of this verbal journey several years ago) is that these outpourings are public and that anyone exposing their inner fears and hopes on the internet, should do so in the knowledge that ANYONE with a computer can read them.
Of course, how the readers choose to interpret the words they read is entirely up to them, though the skill of the author in expressing the meaning clearly will obviously help to keep the intention clear. But offence can be taken, meanings misinterpreted and passions inflamed in a number of ways. We would all do well to bear this in mind I think.

Well, wherever you hail from, dear readers, meagre in number as you are, I salute you for your curiosity and well, just generally, say a cheery "Hello!" from Gloucestershire. And whatever interpretation you choose to take from any of my ramblings, please understand that they are meant with whatever sincerity my blackened and tattered conscience can muster on that particular day.

1 comment:

Librarian said...

(You are welcome!)
Oh wow, I had no idea a look at those stats could be so interesting - and of course I went and had a look at mine just now.
Never again am I going to complain about lack of attention, although of course a page view does not necessarily mean someone has really read any of my posts. On the other hand, the views per post can also be filtered according to day, week, month etc., and the audience is even split up according to what browser and OS they use!! Librarians love stats (knowing full well that these are open to interpretation much like any other data).
An interesting detail: Whereas in my general overview of audience Russia does not feature at all, I have had 3 page views from there this week.
And someone came across my blog while googling "Picture of a Boy", no idea what they were really looking for - anyway, I hope they were not disappointed!
Anyway, thanks for pointing the stats out to me, I'd never have looked at them without your post.