Sitemeter offers various information about the people who visit this site. Since I refuse to shell out the money to get the Premium Service, the information is very general (i.e., it gives a location of the server you're using -- not your location! -- but not individual IP addresses*). (I don't want to know individual IP addresses. I would find that creepy. I even feel vaguely guilty about the location, except that I know other blogs collect this information. And because I confess to being curious about where my readers are.) And while it is mildly amusing to know that someone from Manchester UK read a post, generally it is not much use, except as a rough approximation of traffic. (Even then, it does not take into account Google Reader and RSS and Livejournal readers. I have no idea at all how many people read my through those means.) In light of its limited usefulness, I keep planning to get rid of it altogether, but I haven't bothered to yet.
One of the few occasionally interesting pieces of data is what search terms people are using to end up here. That is how I am able to know, for example, that most of the traffic on this blog comes from people Googling "children ardent for some desperate glory." By far. So much so that I am the second hit for that phrase. Part of me is disheartened that it is not my writing drawing people here, but more of me is delighted that I can introduce people to Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce et Decorum Est."
Somebody today Googled the words "gay 'pat greene'". The only reason I found this at all intriguing was that I wondered how far down in the search results I would end up.
The fourth page. Halfway down. So what I am curious to know -- what was this person looking for? Me? Probably not. But they were so determined they waded through four pages of Google search -- hell, the most I ever look through is three.
Well, I hope you found what you were looking for. Unless you were looking to do harm to whichever Pat Greene you were seeking, to out them, to damage their reputation, or their relationships with their family, their friends, their church.
In which case, not only do I hope you fail to find it out, you can go to hell. When you get there, say Pat Greene suggested you drop in.
*There is only one case in which the server will tell me who you are: if it is a large corporate or educational server, and I only know one person at said institution or corporation. (For example, stanford.edu will tell me bupkiss, because I know too many people there, and too many people who find themselves there who use the Stanford wireless as a guest.) This applies to exactly two people I know read me with some regularity, and one who occasionally drops in. They are all friends who have told me separately that they read my blog. Oh, and the Rocket Scientist occasionally checks in from nasa.gov, but that doesn't count. Even then, at one point, when I knew more people at the agency, that would not tell me who was reading me.)