Blogosphere Thoughts, Fun With Referrer Stats

The vast majority of people I talk to who have recently started blogs all seem to say the same thing: “I don't really like blogs but I decided to give it a shot.”  This instinctive reaction against blogs is interesting – why is there a natural resistance to blogs?  (Going way back to entry one you'll see that I shared that feeling myself.)  Probably because there's (still) a misconception that blog = online diary, because they're now “trendy” and maybe because they're associated with amateurish, informal writing? 

Somebody asked me recently why I started blogging.  I list a few of my reasons in that first entry – the realization that the library blogosphere was both huge and something I wanted to be part of, to keep people at home up-to-date on my life and as an easy way to modernize the existing home page I had.  Have any other reasons come up in the past eight (wow!) months I've been at it? 

I guess that one big reason I've kept it up is that once I found a niche writing about my experiences and thoughts at library school.  I realised this could be valuable to students who come later and are increasingly going to turn to the web for information.  I remember how disappointed I was that I couldn't find a blog or web site that had a student perspective specifically on UWO's library school when I was accepted so, just as the best writers “write the book they want to see on the shelves”, I turned this blog into the web site I was looking for when I was accepted here.

I think I've mentioned previously that I actually got an e-mail over the summer from someone who was accepted to start this fall.  She said how helpful my blog has been and asked if I would mind helping provide any tips for finding housing.  I didn't mind, knowing this is something that's not available via either the FIMS or the Student Council web site (well, it is but that's a private site so she couldn't get to it.) Receiving that e-mail was one of my proudest moments in my brief blogging history as it meant that this goal was being achieved.  <Jason resists urge to make Management jokes about purposes and goals.>

Why am I thinking about this today?  I have a list of about 10 classmate blogs I check regularly and another list of about 20 or so that I check less frequently (update your blogs, people!  Aim for the first list! ).  Another strength of blogs that I rarely think about is the interlinking of ideas and commentary that happens. In the last few days, I've seen a couple people who've put best wishes about our pregnancy on their blogs.  How cool is that to know that complete strangers who visit these people's blogs will know about this happiness in our lives and may even visit my web site to find out more?  (Quinn has a friend who visited my site via a link on his blog and apparently told him “I don't know why but I find myself still going back to your friend's site.”)   And the more incoming links that happen, the more people that will find your site over time.  (I know that I still get hits from people who linked to my Alberta user fees essay five months ago for instance.)

The other thing is that, as of today, September marks the first month that I actually met my goal of posting at least once per day (and knowing what the next nine months eighteen years have in store, will likely be the last time I hit this goal..) 

Oh, and the other semi-related thing that I've always wanted to do was to take the time to pick out some of the funny/interesting referral messages I get.  The stats available for this particular blog hosting company are decent but not great.  But one of my personal highlights is looking at the sites and web search terms that brought people here.  The following are all things that brought people to my site in September: 
“Supernova + Lukas Rossi + Fan”
“Support your troops in Ontario Red Fridays”
“How to Print a Little Booklet”
libraryschool” tag on Delicious
“Are institutional paper towels better than kitchen rolls?”
“On a MAC computer, what is the equivalent of the Windows start button?”
“Sarnia Couple Swingers”
Master of Library Science Degree + Cleveland
“Places to cruise for sex in London Ontario”

Comments 4

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Take this: I recently had an email from a researcher at some UK institution wondering the status of my Information Retrieval and User Interface e”project” that I posted on my website! Little did he know that it was my 504 essay, and I never had intentions of properly completing the required data gathering!

    Posted 01 Oct 2006 at 10:37 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    *highly amused* So…when are you going to post that list of the top ten places to get laid in London, huh, Jason? šŸ˜€ Curious minds want to know!

    “On a MAC computer, what is the equivalent of the Windows start button?”
    What a question. There isn't one, really. And we likes it that way, Precious. šŸ™‚
    (Okay, I suppose you could stretch a point and call it the Apple drop-down menu button…)

    Posted 02 Oct 2006 at 1:24 am
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    That's hilarious. Amazing how people find us (and why). You should tell him that if he can come through with a grant and a position, you'll complete your research at his institution!

    Posted 02 Oct 2006 at 2:48 am
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm married so #1-10 are all places within my apartment and #1-8 are “in my bed”. (Is that too much information?)
    I think what's funnier than the search terms that get people to my blog is trying to figure out what *I've* written that brings up my blog as a possible answer to their query. Some are pretty obvious – that Lukas Rossi thing is because I blogged about creating a Wikipedia page for him. Or I often mention “library school” and recently wrote a bit about our trip to Cleveland so that gets my site a hit.
    But as for some of them, that's anybody's guess. The search function tells me that I've used the word “swing” or variations thereof three times in this blog so far – once in reference to a hockey player swinging his stick, once in reference to my MP3 player swinging from my neck and once in reference to a giant swing ride at Cedar Point. How any of that becomes “Swinging Couples in Sarnia”, I'll never know… (I think that was an result so if you're trying to figure out which search engine *not* to use, that's probably a big clue.)

    Posted 02 Oct 2006 at 2:58 am

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 1

  1. From Head Tale - Refer Madness on 23 May 2013 at 3:44 pm

    […] posted about some of theĀ Ā search terms that were bringing people to my blog. Ā I did this once a few months after starting my blog in 2006 and again during the 2009 NDP Leadership RaceĀ and probably a few other times as […]

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