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Friday, March 05, 2010

The Fascination of Web Site Statistics

A few months ago, I started keeping a counter on the number of hits this site receives. I wasn't brave enough to put it up where everyone could see it and anyway, I wanted more than just how many hits I got. As it happens, I found a lot more people than I had ever imagined were visiting this site - so far, in the several thousands, since I started keeping a tally.

One of the things that intrigued me was the kind of search term people were using that led them to stumble on my site. Some of them were fine - they were looking for reviews or information about certain books and writers or things fannish and hopefully had found what they wanted. And some were coming from the web sites of writers who were pleased with their reviews and had urged their own readers to go take a look.

Then there were kids (I assume) who wanted help with their assignment on an Andy Griffith novel and no doubt decided to cheat just a little. Plenty of folk looking for reviews on Catherine Jinks' Genius Wars. Stacks of hits looking for my review of F2M and Girlfriend Fiction books. Some looking for stuff about filk music or Tolkien's Elves, on both of which I had posted.

In the case of others, I was thinking, "Boy, have you come to the wrong web site!" Some finance web site seekers who stumbled on my post about libraries and ELR (Education Lending Right). Quite a few that wanted fan fiction about their favourite books and writers (no - I don't do fan fiction any more and if I did, it wouldn't be about Kylie Chan's novels, I never did anything but media fan fiction).

To the person looking for a way to contact Kerry Greenwood (one of the search terms), if they ever come back to this site, it's easy: she puts her email address in the back of every book and yes, she will reply. She's a nice lady. If you're that much of a fan, you should be reading the notes at the end of her books.

Someone else was looking for recipes. I don't do that either, though I am considering doing a recipe blog some time, to publish my mother's wonderful recipes. But not this one. "Quadriplegic fan fiction"? Huh? "Cats in Aida" . Maybe the person looking for that had read my short story "Nefer" in the Spinouts series, in which a mummy cat came to life, enlarged and completely wrecked an arena production of Aida while being chased by a werewolf boy who had changed when the full moon came out. There are otherwise, as far as I know, no cats in that opera. If they WERE looking for a reference to my story, I am terribly flattered!

Maybe I need to improve my tags. But then - it's fascinating to see what people look for in Google. And intriguing to think that somehow it led them to my site.

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