As I noted on Facebook, one of the charms of the Culture Monitor blog is that Google supplies data on visitors to the site. Admittedly my blatherpatch has a nearly nonexistent readership, as befits an inconsequential clown like myself, but a few visitors do drift by, and the question nagging me is--WHY?
An easy default answer is that they are topic-hunting, and something in their search-terms directs them to my "labels" as Google Blogger calls them. Moreover, such an explanation strokes the ego, because it tells me people are actually interested in my ideas about art,conservatism, culture, Bob Dylan, Shakespeare, Mr. Ignatieff and his striking resemblance to Shemp Stooge, or whatever.
Alas, the statistics seem to undercut this. For one thing, no one ever leaves a comment, good, bad or indifferent, and that's a rather dismaying statistic. For another, most of my visitors seem to be... Russian? Yep. The U.S. has been ahead occasionally in the numbers game, but Russia is never far behind (my fellow Canadians are always a distant third) and for the last week or so Russkies have have been out-visiting the Yanks about 2:1.
A pleasant, idealistic theory would be that the Russians are interested in my review of the film Danton since, really, there is nothing else hereabouts of any special interest to them. No Pushkin. No Pussy Riot. But the Danton review hasn't popped up in the statistics, and the blog-leading Dylan-Shakespeare items are only getting one or two visits per day. What are the other four or five Russians per day looking at?? (actually, a burst of 11 or 12 today).
A disturbing possibility reared its head when I finally decided to investigate my Blogger listings of "Traffic Sources" that seem to be mysteriously directing people my way. Clicking on the main one, which seems to be generating 90% of all my traffic, and whose name suggests something film-related, I was shocked to discover (luckily I don't have a heart condition!) it is a hardcore porn site! Whaaaat?!
Further investigation revealed that this film site nestles here in two versions: the short version which is some sort of legitimate film-selling site, and a long version with the word "redirect" in it, leading to the porn site. To make a long story short, my fragile ego must now contend with the possibility that 90% of my tiny trickle of traffic is merely landing here at the Monitor accidentally, as a side effect of, um, shaky-handed uni-coital button-clicking.
What is worse, the CSIS agents watching me (hey, I'm a paranoiac, I assume such things) have probably concluded I'm a hardcore perv myself. After all, I clicked on that porn site a second time, just to make sure my first hit hadn't been accidental. Roll over, Pete Townshend.
Postscript (August 27)
Was rather surprised to see that this post disappeared from the blog for a few days. Somehow, tweaking it a little after first posting it, I saved it as a "draft" and thereby withdrew it from circulation. Didn't even notice this disappearance until I did a further investigation on the mysterious sites that direct visitors here, including one that is now providing as many vict... er, customers as the porn site. What might this NEW burgeoning provider be? As it turns out, a multi-site which "breaks down" into both a cooking-recipe site and a dating site: and a third site billed as:
Looking for Girl? Search for it with Findiest!
YOU tell me what it is, I'm scared to look.