We small-time bloggers pay a lot of attention to statistics. As I approach my 7000th pageview, I'm watching, checking in periodically to see how many hits I've gotten. I get very excited about a day with 60 or 70 pageviews. Wow, I must really be hitting the big time, right?!
Alas, the statistics page also includes a reality check. I look at the sources of most of those hits, and realize a sad truth: there aren't people behind them. A truly amazing number of my "referring sites" have a .ru extension--Russian computers, doing some kind of weird search. Are they robots who drop in on every single freaking site on the Web each day? Whatever for? The Ninja Librarian has no ambitions involving Russia. One thing I can be pretty sure of: they aren't avid Russian readers of American children's books dropping in to see what pearls of wisdom will fall from my fingertips today.
We small-time Indie writers live and die by statistics--how many books did I sell? How many likes on my Facebook page? How many people added my book on Goodreads? The Stats page here at Blogger reminds me that Benjamin Disraeli (or maybe Mark Twain) had it right. Three kinds of lies, and the worst is statistics.
Part of me wishes there was a filter, so I could see how many genuine visitors, not search bots, I have. But part of me knows that would be depressing in the extreme. So I'll go ahead and celebrate when (tomorrow?) my view count tops 7000, and I'll plan on doing something special when it hits 10,000. After all, a little over a year ago when I started this blog, I had one reader, and even the search bots didn't bother to find me. It must be some kind of progress!
Coming Friday: a real post again at last--another Chuck Wendig flash-fiction challenge!