Newspapers keep a running tab on their circulation figures.
People who run sites like this also tend to have a passing interest in their readership figures.
Every now and then I delve into the morass of statistics and have a poke around to see what's going on. If nothing else, it's good for finding broken links and stuff like that. It is also quite heartening to see that I am not the only person who reads my shit.
One of the software thingies I use is a thing called Hitsniffer. The more observant may have noticed that I have a link to them on the sidebar.
Now Hirsniffer isn't like Google Analytics or any of those, in that it tells me what's going on right now. It's a lovely little[?] package and It has a nice little map of the world and anytime someone visits, a little blob appears over their hometown. It can tell me quickly and easily who is referring visitors to this place or what keywords they are using. It tells me the most popular pages on any given day and a ton of other shit besides.
I have learned two things recently.
The first is the countries where my readers reside. It's a long list and includes such exotic places as Argentina, Botswana and Bradford. Top of the countries list is the UK. Over a fixed timeslot I had 1472 visitors from there. In comparison the US has 648 and Ireland has 571. So the UK sends more visitors than Ireland and the US combined. So really this appears to be in English site rather than an Irish one?
The other thing Hitsniffer does is it remembers what names people use if they comment on the site, so if any of you are online when I happen to have the programme open, I can see what you're reading. It also has a facility that I can call you up and start a chat, but I reckon that would scare the shite out of people so I have never used it.
I asked it to tell me who my most frequent visitors are. There are lots of familiar names in there, including my own, so you would imagine I am top of the list? I'm not. And nor are any of you regulars.
I don''t know who my most loyal visitor is. All I can say is that they are from the Harlow area of the UK, use Windoze 7 and Firefox 36 and their service provider is Virgin Media. So far, they have visited this site 2,494 times. I have some more little details but that's between me and them.
So whoever you are, I thank you for your loyalty. You must be a right glutton for punishment, and that deserves a round of applause in itself.
Or maybe it's the Mercans spying on me again?
Is there an NSA/CIA/FBI/Homeland Security office in Harlow?