Thursday, January 18, 2007
Fun with Statistics
The most observant readers (you know who you are) of this blog may have noticed an addition this week. Yes, that little Go.stats counter was added a couple of days ago. I looked at some counters when I first set up my blog but decided after reading how you can start at whatever number you choose (wow, this blog has had 47,322 visitors and has only been up 6 days?) that it was mostly for show. After reading a comment on one of the blogs I visit frequently, I realized that useful data can be mined from some counters. So I signed up for the FREE version of Go.stats. Dave Ramsey would be so proud of me. Allow me to say that even the FREE version of Go.stats is VERY interesting. When I sign in, it gives a summary of hits on the blog in numerical and graph form. But it really gets interesting when plundering the detailed reports. You can see what page your reader left to arrive at your site. I was not surprised to see that the top "previous page" was Laura's blog. Thanks, Laura, for the hook-up. But was educated to see some of the sites listed as the "previous page". I knew some folks were reading and never commenting--which is fine--because sometimes a person will comment face-to-face about a post when I had no idea they even were aware that I had a blog. That occurred a couple of times after the "Echo" post because it resonated with several people. But the Go.stats data reveals some other readers I was completely unaware of previously. You can also track how many arrived at your site via a search engine, which search engine, and what the search term(s) were. That info made me aware that some of the folks that found my site by googling "Wayne Spires" are still checking in for updates. Very informative. It offers much more, for instance, the IP address of each computer from which someone has visited my site. That's riiiiight, I've got your IP address so you are not as stealthy as you thought. It is too late to log off now, I already have it. And, I am not making this up, Go.stats even provides me with data about your computer, such as monitor size and resolution settings. Yes it does! Turns out, not many with really large monitors visit my blog. You know what that means. No, me either, but it is fun and amazing data. It does make you stop and go hmmmm to think that an old guy who grew up on a dirt road could stumble on that much info, just think what a tech-savy hacker could do. Well, I have nothing to hide. So, if some hacker is looking around my computer right now, leave a comment. I already have your IP address.