Sunday, December 05, 2004

My Biggest Fan

Some months ago I installed a statcounter on this blog, so I could see exactly how few many people were reading it each day. It was free, and easy to install, and even included the option of blocking my IP address from the count so I don't inflate my own stats every time I check my blog.

At first, things were pretty slow, with visitors in the single digits, but gradually more readers landed here, and I had the pleasure of seeing the little graph nudging upward every day. Sometimes when I was feeling depressed, I'd cruise BlogExplosion for a while and then check my stats. Even though I knew most of my BE hits were totally meaningless, it was still a thrill to see the line spike up.

Then, a few weeks ago, I started getting a ton of hits. My total readership didn't go up much, but one particular IP address in New Jersey was hitting my site dozens of times a day, with visits that lasted for hours and hours. "How nice," I thought. "An anonymous fan."

Day after day, the hits continued, always from the same IP address. Whoever it was didn't appear to be commenting, just reading. A lot. I began to get a little creeped out (didn't this person have a life?), but also kind of thrilled that I was racking up so many hits.

This afternoon, after posting the most recent entry below, I checked in on my statcounter. There was my New Jersey friend, on my site for hours, as usual. In fact, my fan appeared to be reading my site as fast as I was writing it. There was a hit on the earlier post I'd just linked to... and the Archives page I'd looked through to find that post... hmm...that was weird: my fan appeared to have viewed those pages even before I'd posted the link.

I looked more closely at the times of each hit. There were a bunch this morning, but they stopped right around the time...oh... right around the time I turned off the computer so I could take Mermaid Girl to Hebrew school. Then they picked up again just after I got back.

I smacked my forehead as the humiliating truth dawned: D'oh! My online stalker, the fan responsible for jacking up my stat counts, was... me! RW manages our online connections, and our ISP has apparently changed IP addresses and now lives in New Jersey. All those hits, hundreds of them-- they were all me!

At least now I know who my core readership is ;-)


Blogger Udge said...

Proof positive that bloggers do write for themselves! ;-)

12:54 AM  
Blogger squarepeg said...

Never mind, elsewhere -- I am also clearly my own biggest fan. I think it's an occupational hazard.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Kate R said...

I love it. You amusing yourself amuses the rest of us as well. . .

12:01 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Self-Stalking: A Mania for the New Millennium. Let's flip to see who gets to write that best-seller.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could this be the deja blog phenomenon?

2:39 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Now that is funny!

9:48 PM  
Blogger Anna said...


Are we related? Actually we couldn't be or I wouldn't like you so much.

*still giggling*

8:30 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Oh, I could have written this (except my mystery IP address was for my computer at work)! I'm glad to see that I am not the only one who obsesses over traffic. I take it all so personally...

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One day this semester I was looking over some of the examples I have posted in Blackboard, which is a web utility where teachers can post materials, and all their students can access them. I was reading sample consent forms (you know the kind of thing, which you sign to give informed consent to be a subject in a research study), looking for a good example to direct my students to in class. One of them I had saved from a previous class was unusually good-I was reading through it, trying to think back to which student in the past could have written it. The prose was so lucid! The tempo just right--moderate but sprightly! And what wonderful word choices this student had made! Who knew that the description of a research study could be so pleasurable? Until, as you have no doubt guessed, the study began to sound very, very familiar, and then there was my name at the end, because I had written it myself two years before. Periodically I get feedback on articles I submit that my writing is bad (it's odd, I never get neutral comments on my writing, only quite positive or quite negative) but at least I know that one person really enjoys my style.


2:31 PM  

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