Monday, November 22, 2004

Fun With Site Statistics

I was just looking at site statistics for some of the pages on www.mavarin.com, as I do from time to time. By and large there were no surprises. The index page gets the most hits, averaging about one viewing a day. Next most popular is my favorite authors page, which generally attracts people looking for information on or quotes by the authors I've written about there. I imagine that at least half of those hits come from kids doing book reports. Third most popular is the page about my mom. This is partly because I link to it often, but mostly, I suspect, it's because of people doing genealogical research on people named Johnson.

It was on the statistics for the mom.html page that I found the surprise of the week. This page had 4 hits on Thursday and 17 on Friday, well above the 0 to 2 hits per day average. Yahoo reports that people arrived on the page from the following search string:

60.48% typed "eric johnson dusty tabs"

Eric is my brother's middle name, Johnson is my mom's maiden name / last name, and a song lyric I have posted on the page mentions "dusty pictures." I don't think the word "tabs" appears on the page. So yeah, I can see why that search string would lead to the page, and it's fairly clear that people were looking for someone named Eric Johnson. But dusty tabs?  Why are the tabs dusty? Are they unopened bottles or cans of the low-calorie Coke alternative that originally stood for "Thin And Beautiful"? Or is Dusty Tabs some associate of Mr. Johnson, a rodeo clown and part time stunt man who gave himself (or was given) a silly stage name? Alas, I don't care enough to try to find out.

Here are some other search strings that led people to my pages:

a fine name for a mage + girl 65.94% typed "names of mages"

37.38% typed "favorite quotes +once and future king"

67.38% typed "united whovians of tucson" (this one makes sense; I was Lord President of that club)

100.00% typed "three knocks from the dead"

48.39% typed "mage+girl"

65.04% typed "shela- day"

0.00% typed "archaic tongue" (how many?)

73.37% typed "is religion and magic the same"


This all strikes me as wonderfully random, but of course it isn't. These words do appear on these pages, so the search engine is doing its job. But I'm certain that whoever typed "three knocks from the dead" was not looking to sample Chapter One of Heirs of Mâvarin. Whoever wanted to know about archaic tongues was not searching for my fictional one, Lopartin. I have no idea what the "shela- day" person wanted, but probably not a page about Lady Shela Cados of Odamas. I wonder what the Googlers thought, coming upon my pages out of context like that. Most of them probably took five seconds to say, "That's not what I'm looking for," and hit the back button; but what about the others? Did the people who wondered about the intersection of magic and religion find confusion, enlightenment or both in my discussion of the fictional theology of Mâvarin? Did someone think Rutana was a fine name for a girl mage? Did the T.H. White quote researcher like the one I provided on my favorite authors page? I'll never know.

Young Eric Johnson and old Dusty Tabs
Seek Google's deep wisdom to say
The lost names of mages, in dribs and in drabs,
And what to call Shela by day.

They'll invoke Whovians in archaic tongue,
And they'll hear three knocks from the dead.
They'll make a new mage of a girl who is young,
And ponder the words that they've read.

They'll wait for the Once and near Future King
(Is magic and religion the same?)
And, while waiting, read pages 'bout some other thing
By some blogger who seeks her own fame.

Not my best poem, but look at what I had to work with.

Karen

3 comments:

ryanagi said...

Holy crap! Your "favorite authors" page...you could have been standing in front of one of my bookcases when you made your selections. I love ALL THE SAME WRITERS as you. LOL

ryanagi said...

Oh...and love the poem too, by the way. LOL You are a clever clever woman. :-)

bosoxblue6993w said...

"Never count your boobies before they're hatched." ... 'UNICON IN THE GARDEN'
 I, too have Thurber.  And E.B. White.   My favorite, however, is H.L. Mencken.