Navel gazing

I rarely pay any attention to web stats for my personal site. I think the last time I checked was 2004. At that time, I was getting about 800 page views a day.

I just checked again, and it’s now about 10× that, with a page-to-visitor ratio of about 1:2. It seems to have leaped up since I switched to WordPress, which suggests that either typo was more unreliable than I was aware of, or that WordPress is doing a better job of pinging aggregators, or quite likely both.

Anyhow, even allowing for spambots and other crawlers, that’s a lot of people. I wonder who they all are?

A while ago I realized that if I really wanted to go for popularity (or what passes for fame on the Internet), I’m going about it the wrong way anyway. Successful sites generally pick a single area of focus and stick to it, whether it’s writing about gadgets, reviewing movies, or playing spot-the-next-big-trend.

Here, it’s a bit more random. One minute it’s physics, the next it’s cute squirrel anecdotes, then we’re back to politics by way of the latest Apple software. I’m reminded of comments Berkeley Breathed made about Bloom County: he said a lot of newspapers put it on the op-ed pages because it was political, then had people writing in asking “What is this crap?” a few weeks later when it was all about penguin nose jobs.

But that’s the thing: I find most subjects interesting. I want penguin nose jobs in my political commentary, so long as it’s interesting. I want to learn something unexpected every day. And that’s the kind of person I’m writing for.

If there’s a site out there that’s like I want this site to be, it’s probably Boing Boing. Only without the Disney obsession.