Sunday, August 30, 2009

Self-Absorbed Boomer reaches the four year mark.

The fifth anniversary is usually reckoned the first biggie, but I can't resist giving the fourth a bit of fanfare.

Thanks to my Site Meter, I've learned a lot about who's visiting my blog, and why. Relax. I can't, in most cases, identify specific visitors, unless you're using a server at work, like one regular reader who works for a local college. When I get a hit from that college's server, I'm pretty sure it's him. If you're reading me from home, and use, say (as I do), Verizon as your ISP, your IP address will vary depending on which of your ISP's local servers your traffic is being routed through at the time. I can "tag" you if I send you a link to S-AB by e-mail and you follow it back; if you have, for example, a Road Runner address, and I see a hit referred from Road Runner at your location, I'll be reasonably certain it's you. But, unless you have your own dedicated server, I won't be able to use the IP address to identify future visits from you.

I've learned from my Site Meter that upwards of ninety per cent of hits on my blog (of which I'm averaging just over 1,000 per month now) result from web searches for things other than my blog or me. Some of these are just for concatenations of words that occur randomly in different posts (Google will aggregate these); my favorite, to date, being "married Nashville women wanted for casual sex". A fair number are for terms or phrases incorporating the word "boomer". For a while, I was getting a lot of hits from India, where apparently there was some kind of on-line game going called "Play Ben Ten Boomer". "Self-absorbed" is also an attractor: I get lots of visits off searches like "how to deal with self-absorbed husband" (no, it wasn't my wife). Most of these searches, however, are for topics about which I've posted. The two most popular, over time, have been subjects on which I've unwittingly become something of a web authority.

The first of these is the Eisenhower Lock, which is part of the St. Lawrence Seaway system, which allows ships of considerable size to transit from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The Lock is located about two miles from my in-laws' house in Massena, New York, and, being a ship buff, I almost always visit it when we visit them. I've posted about it here, here, and here. The other is a train we sometimes ride when going to visit my in-laws, Amtrak's Adirondack, about which I've posted here and here.

I'll conclude by commending to you some posts I've made over the years that I think deserve your attention, if you haven't already seen them. In the area of political economy, I recommend Is corporate greenery undemocratic?. For literature, please look at Riding the train with Fred Exley. For music, check out Marshall Chapman can't be like other girls. For visual arts, please see Pierre Bonnard, "Late Interiors", at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Finally, for local color, take a look at The Bells of Hell and The walk home through Red Hook.

I promise that, during year five, I'll do my best to merit your continued attention. I also welcome suggestions for improvement.