Monday, December 26, 2011

An Instrument to Measure New Years With

     While I was paying attention to something else, the people who provide the internet application for my blog were collecting statistics on my readers.  I maintain a mailing list of a few dozen friends and relatives, as well as some loyalists I have never even met.  The shelf-life of a new blog posting of mine is usually about three days for those of that number who are interested.  Then readership falls into single digits, including zero.  Of course, anyone surfing the internet can enter key words for a subject of interest at any time, and if I happen to have written a blog about it, internet magic will connect us. 
     According to the Wizard of Google, readers of my blog since 2007 used Windows (89%) and Macintosh (7%), with leftovers picked over by other computer operating systems.  Don't ask me how Google knows.  They have their ways.  They are like the C.I.A.  The rest of us are better off, the less we know.
     English speaking countries account for 71.5% of my blog readers, if you include Canada, which is bi-lingual.  The surprising thing about the geographic demographics of my blog readers is that 11% are in countries of Eastern Europe.  Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, and Slovenia.  At first, I pictured 1950's ads for Radio Free Europe, courageous liberty lovers behind the Iron Curtain gathered around an illicit computer screen to read my blog.  What else could explain these statistics?
     I posed this question to a veteran telecommunications specialist, retired from a government agency that will not even admit knowing how to spell C.I.A.  He explained my blog readers in Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, and Slovenia this way: hackers and spammers.
     For encouragement, Google lists the ten most popular blogs I have written.  Three of the ten blogs that have had the most pageviews share the same magic words in their title: "Flannery O'Connor."  Internet searches for Flannery O'Connor or Mary Flannery O'Connor certainly account for this coincidence.
     The blog posting of mine that has attracted the second highest number of readers is aided by a link from the website of Charleston, S.C., Gullah Tours, which is detailed favorably in my blog.  But the number one blog I have written, far and away the most popular, immortalizes my favorite plumbing fact, about an essential part of every modern flush toilet, the Crapper Flapper, named after its English inventor, knighted by the Queen a century ago for his contribution to Western Civilization and known thenceforth as Sir Thomas Crapper.
     I wish the happiest of New Years to all readers of refinement and appreciation of history.
     Google All Time Statistics
     (Pageviews since 8/18/07)
     Crapper Flapper Flap (498)
     It Ain't Necessarily So (488) 
     Bluebird on My Shoulder (318)
     Flannery O'Connor's Milledgeville (186)               
     Dangerous, Uncontrolled and Unconrollable (117)

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