Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Aragorn Effect

The figure above summarizes daily visit statistics to this blog during the last month. Usually the number of daily visits chugs along at somewhere between 15 and 20, sometimes reaching an average of up to 30 if I add new content daily. So I was surprised by the March 14th peak*, shown in the diagram above.

A little closer investigation, using the sitemeter tools, shows that this is evidently a direct consequence of a specific post I made wherein I mentioned that I might be reading "Don Quixote" in parallel with Viggo Mortensen. A great number of those 130 visitors ended up on my blog following a search on the name "Viggo Mortensen".

What I found strange (and kind of nice, really) was that a surprisingly high proportion stayed and poked around the blog for several minutes. Obviously Viggo's got a highly discerning fanbase.

*: Still nowhere near the all-time daily record of 1500 visits for the June 1st, 2008 post (explainable by having been linked to on the Genentech intranet).

By the way, I do not recommend equipping your blog site with the sitemeter "extra" statistics module. Although it's not hugely expensive ($6.95 a month), it's almost guaranteed to cause you to waste huge amounts of time, if you have even a mildly obsessive personality. Questions such as who might be visiting your site from Palau or Tuvalu, or who your stalker in Kazhakstan might be, will just haunt you incessantly. Though I did find it amusing, during my 2007 trip to Spain, to be able to total up just how much work time Genentech employees were spending visiting the blog in an average day. A figure which I will not share here, to protect the guilty.

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