Few things can do more to inflate or deflate a blogger’s ego than a hit counter. Comments are great and we all love getting them, but not everyone who’s a reader is a writer so not getting a ton of comments is not necessarily an ego crusher. No, the hit counter is the true mechanism by which a blogger measures his worth. For the truly disturbed it goes beyond even this. A mere hit counter is not enough. We want to know where these hits are coming from, who are the hitters, how did they get here, how long did they stay, etc., etc., etc. We need a significantly more robust tool for that kind of information. And that’s where the site meter comes in.
If you haven’t noticed before, or did but just didn’t care, the last section of the sidebar, The Fine Print, contains a small graphic that says Site Meter. If you were to click on said graphic you would be instantly transported to a webportal filled with enough numbers, graphs, and charts to make a mathmetician think he died and went to math heaven. These numbers mean nothing to you, but to the blogger they are the lifes blood that keeps him going. Our precious stats.
Site Meter is a service, free up to a point, that tracks every hit that has ever hitted on a website, in this case Life of Ando. It provides various morsels of information about those hits: the ISP of the hitter, their location (country, state, city), what operating system and browser they’re using, how long they stayed, even their screen resolution. I assume most sites that use services of this type do so for marketing purposes, but for me I just like to see where my readers are coming from. I wonder how someone from the Netherlands stumbled upon my blog? Ah, I see the reader from Oklahoma City is back again. There’s something comforting in knowing that I have regular readers that I don’t personally know. Makes a man feel good.
Of course, as the trackee, you, the reader might not find this so comforting. “Who is this sick freak checking out my monitor resolution without my knowledge?” you may be asking. While I understand your concern, fear not, I am not a stalker. Of course, that’s what a real stalker would say, but really, I’m not. Besides, no real critical information is divulged. All IP addresses are cut off and unless someone wanted to hunt internet equipped house to internet equipped house at the lattitude and longitude coordinates Site Meter provides, you’re plenty safe. At least from me. But I’m no hacker. Someone with some real scripting skills could probably do some reeeall damage. Soooo…happy internetting! Let’s change the subject.
WordPress provides some stats of its own, though not quite with the same detail. What it does provide are stats for individual posts. So I can see over time how many hits my post about the St. Matthews Church prayer rug has gotten on a day by day basis since I wrote it. It also provides information on what search engine searches have led people to my blog. So for instance, when someone googles “st. matthews church” or “prayer rug” and my post pops up and they click on it, the stats let me know. Interestingly, this info has helped me track how often St. Matthews sends out their prayer rugs. I noticed that every once in a while that post would get a spike in traffic. I got my rug in the mail and posted about it in early January of 2007. Then in early March that post saw a traffic spike. Then in early May that post saw another traffic spike. In talking to a couple of friends, I discovered they had receieved rugs in the mail a couple of weeks ago. So I deduced that every two months or so SMC sends out their valuable prayer rugs. How about that?
Ok, great. So what? I don’t know, I’m a blogger. I don’t know what I’m writing half the time.