Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Watching the Detectives

About a month ago, I installed the StatCounter traffic log. (It’s the little black-and green number at the bottom of the left column.) For people who run serious websites, traffic analysis is a valuable tool for trying to see your site through your visitors’ eyes. Where do they come from? Where do they go? How long do they stay and what catches their attention? What should you offer more of, and what’s in the way?

This blog, however, is a narcissistic little endeavor, and I just use traffic stats to validate my existence.

My favorite report is the one which tells me, when someone finds my site via search engine, what keywords the person was using. There’s a rather predictably high amount of traffic for “hip deep in pie,” which I attribute to two things: first, it’s a rocking quote from a cult TV show, and second, I’m guessing there’s somebody out there who remembers the name of this blog but not the address.

(On the URL, by the way… I did consider; it was available. Show of hands: how many people looked at that and pronounced “Hip-Dee-Pin-Pie”? Well, I did, and that’s why I went with the short form. Sounds like the B side to “Minnie the Moocher.”)

I was pretty happy recently to see a couple of hits coming from searches for Dexter Manley. The “naming my posts with lines from songs” trope seems to get me a lot of hits for people trying to find actual song lyrics. I got a little traffic recently for taking a poke at Michael Gorman, although I’m disappointed that my criticism of 60 Minutes’ online handling of the Devin Moore segment hasn’t generated a hit yet.

And then there are the weird ones. I still don’t know how I got a hit for “perky blonde girl Diet Coke sparkle commercial.” Somebody in library school tried to tell me about the difficulties of computer indexing a heterogenous collection of documents. Maybe it’s that. “Erotic hip contest” was popular for a couple of days, whatever that means. I just want to know whether to be insulted that I wasn’t invited to be a participant, or a judge. There seems to be a lot of interest on the Internet about “movies with pies in the face.” Some of that appears to be of prurient intent. Whatever floats your boat, jack.

Today, I finally got one which worries me. Somebody coming through the UK searched for “Joe gets pie in face for birthday.”

I have 7 months to dwell on this. And dwell I will. I’m making a list of suspects. I’m checking it twice. Oh, I know what you’re up to, bub. I got my eye on you. You ain’t sneaking up on me with no lemon meringue, no sirree.

Unless, of course, your whole goal was to make me jumpy. In which case I’m playing right into your clever plot. Or… am I?

It couldn't possibly be personal, you say? Nobody would go to this kind of planning for the world's oldest slaptick joke? Oh, that's what you'd like me to think.

Stupid Internet.


Blogger Sandman said...

Here's a funny thing: I just started my own blog, and because I love just about every word that ever fell out of Aaron Sorkin's head, I had to name it - wait for it - Hip Deep In Pie. Until I ran across yours this evening, I hadn't considered the Hip Dee Pin Pie problem. Thanks for that, by the way.

The really scary thing? I chose the same Blogger template as you did, and name of the blog appears the same way on my page as it does on yours.

Check out

and see for yourself.

Happy blogging.

This drive-by comment brought to you by The Jeremy Goodwin Foundation.

11:13 PM, June 05, 2005  

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