Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Spread like a virus, sting like a bee...

Computer generated image of a Rotavirus created by Graham Colm, find him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:GrahamColmDear Gentle Reader,

After a week talking about the Black Death entering Europe, via Mongolian germ warfare, your scribe is switching focus to going viral on the Internet.

Two of your scribe's posts smoulder along, keeping a low level of interest alive like a peat or a bog fire. 

Between one third to one half of my daily traffic is due to strangers visiting to look at these two postings.

Fantastic! ...Then these readers move on...

Obviously I am not as fantastic as I wish I was.

These posts seem to be sent by word of mouth, or, more accurately, by word of finger campaigns.

Your scribe watches as people with a common interest in pigs and roosters, or in Finnish metal culture, share their enthusiasm, through their fingers, with each other. 

These emailed referrals never go full-viral, they always fail to exceed the tipping point.

Better writing is needed to exceed the tipping point.

The realization that my writing needs to get better stings a little, like a baby bee sting, but mostly it prods me to keep working.

Which postings are getting passed around the web?

These two.


The quixotic nature of the web continues to surprise your scribe.

If you write a blog or a website, which pages attract external attention? Of even more interest, are these the pages that you thought might attract or deserve a wider attention? Leave me a link so that we can all check them out!



jjdebenedictis said...

Er, yeah...

The truth is, I hardly ever check my stats, but because you posted this, I went and had a look at them just now.

Um. Y'know that blog post about Robert Pattinson's hair?

That got 858 unique hits today.

And I tend to average about 10 hits a day normally. OMG.

However, my terror is calmed significantly by the fact that roughly 75% of the visitors spent less than 5 seconds on the site, and the massive majority of them were only looking at that picture of the hunka-hunka-du-jour. Given the post is several days old, I suspect it just got picked up by a web crawler today.

Of course, now I feel terribly guilty, because unlike you, I totally stole that picture without permission...

Sepiru Chris said...

Hiya OxyJen,


Now, for the data analysis.

The "less than 5 seconds on the site" reading only means that they did not click onto another page of your site with a counter, or they did not reload that page.

It does not mean that your readers really spent less than 5 seconds on your site.

If readers do not click on another counter, there is no way to know how long they spent reading your post(ings). Anything on that page could have been read...

A good number of them likely read the whole post...

Woo hoo... 858 in one day. Wow...


I now dub thee Virala (or Toxina, seeing as how virus is Latin for toxin)...


jjdebenedictis said...

Virala sounds unpleasantly like Viagra. I'll take Toxina, thank you. *curtseys*

I suspect most of those people didn't read the post, however, because I did not get comments from anyone I don't already know. Given the statistics, you'd think I'd get at least one.

I am secretly relieved.

Sepiru Chris said...


Given the statistics, that does make sense, Toxina. But then again, not many people leave messages; it seems to be a peculiarly small subset of readers that actually leave comments...

My experience, at least, is that not many readers leave comments.

Don't get me wrong, I like comments. Comments authenticate the fact that someone has read what has been posted and has a point that they wish to share. And, I hold that it is a very small subsection of the total domain of readers that actually leaves comments.

But you are right, it does seem odd given the numbers of users.

Maybe they are all possessed of mice but no keyboards...

Tschuess mit Bussis,

Cloudia said...

Perhaps you are too unique to go viral (read: "common")

I need to learn things by myself, or from people I like & trust like you, Scribe. Perhaps this is why I'm ill-shod and mis-alocated. Your post fascinated (vain) me, because I'd love to have analytics on my blog, but am afraid to tamper with templates, or html and just *poof* my whole web-existance. Sure would like to know those analytics, though . . . . .
All I know is comments & peeks at my profile which I assume are only a fraction of readers. . . people LIKE pictures of palmtrees. i should post more cats too, I suppose. Eh Chris? Aloha ;-)

Sepiru Chris said...


I am off to Cambodia in a couple of hours, but I could walk you through "http://www.statcounter.com" or "http://www.google.com/analytics/" by skype when I get back if you wanted.

Analytics can be sort of fun sometimes, but I try not to focus on them too much because I would rather focus on a lot of other things...

As far as cats go, it seems to me you post yours to another site!

The cat that owns us spends most of his time on the business end of the camera, being the director (dictator?) of the various photo shoots...

I quite liked the picture of the ginger peering in the porthole, btw.