Sunday, 1 June 2008

Delighting My Inner Nerd

I cannot get over the interesting stuff you can learn on the internet.

Because I am very much new to this internet thing, having worked over a dozen years for a company that had no internet connection, I have only just discovered that my site meter is a source of endless amusement. I can hit the world map and see little lights going on all over the place. This delights my inner nerd inordinately.

Someone from Kazakhstan recently visited my blog and I am still reeling from the thrill and the honor of it. Never mind that whoever it was only wanted to find out how to get dandelions out of their garden (they have dandelions all over the world it seems, and a huge number of people have googled me because of my dandelion post), this was someone living in Kazakhstan, folks! I have had visitors from Saudi Arabia, Korea, Malaysia, Iceland, Brazil, Burkina Fasa, and Lithuania, and finding these in my site meter is a lot like finding unusual and beautiful seashells at the beach.

If I hit 'Location' I can find out why people have visited my site, and here is what I have learned: people in Montana, Maine, Florida, Alabama, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada want to know how to get the dog smell out of their car. Isn't that incredible? Someone in Boston wants to know why Vicks Vapor Rub doesn't smell like eucalyptus anymore (I want to know this too, come to think of it; Mr or Ms Boston, I think you're on to something!); someone in Norway is interested in henpecked husbands, and people all over the world want to know what a resident alien really is.

Isn't all of this exciting? It can be frustrating too -- when whoever has googled me doesn't have a hope in finding out the answer from my blog, but -- I happen to know it! Then I am filled with chagrin at the missed opportunity. If I'd known they wanted to know, I could have told them!

"Too much sugar in Cocoa Puffs Milk 'n Cereal?" writes someone from Nebraska. I don't know this stuff, but I'm betting dimes to dollars the answer is yes. "Is Scotch moss poison to dogs?" a person in South Carolina googled. No ma'am, our neighbors' dog eats job lots of it every morning along with my organic slug repellent, which she adores, and she's as healthy as corn. "Is eating honey instead of sugar okay for my diabitis(sic)?" someone from upstate New York has queried, and all I can hope is that whoever this is will have a good long chat with their doctor, but on the off chance s/he comes here again, the answer is no. And to the person in Hawaii who wants to know whether you can get salmonella from eating cookie dough, the answer is yes, but I'm still okay. You can get killed crossing the street too, and eating cookie dough is more fun.

There is hilarious stuff -- "Why billy goat smell stays in my hair?" and "Can I get rid of wasps with vacuum cleaner?" are two of my favorites. (Whoever asked that wasp question didn't stay on long enough to check out my wasp nest post; maybe she'll come back if she tries this. I hope she does; she won't feel so alone.) There is also weird, creepy stuff -- "Pictures of good-looking girls and boys" (discouraging me from wanting to post the cute pictures of my daughters in kimono) -- and "Where can I find gorgeous Japanese ladies?" (Well, in Japan there are plenty, duh).

There is also WTF stuff: From Birmingham, England: "Do angry men last longer?" Oh please, be more specific and put me out of my misery! From my home state of California: "Hogs making keening noise?" That one kept me awake. Which hogs? What were they doing?

And finally this wonderful question: "How can I eat slugs?" from someone in Queensland, Australia. How can I eat slugs? You've got to love the ambiguity.

But once I'd read that one, I had to know the answer myself. And that's so wonderful that I'll have to save it for my next post.


Charles Gramlich said...

LOL. Yes, many strange and wonderful things on the internet. People are endless sources of amazement and amusement. And they would be overwhelming in person but here I can study them at my leisure without being swamped. Great funny post.

debra said...

It IS interesting, isn't it? I've had someone looking for porcelain clay for female mud wrestlers, someone looking for civil clay marbles (are there clay marbles that are uncivil?), and now many reptilian searches. Then there's the spam: for a while it was mostly sexual in content; right now it's insurance.Go figure.

Carolie said...

...with lots and lots of butter and garlic...

Anonymous said...

You get such interesting searches! I get very boring ones... how do girls pee? and hairy women xxx. It's quite unpleasant. I don't go round my dashboard much these days.

I should probably bring the content out of the gutter :)

I want a map thingy.

Eryl Shields said...

I need to take a more detailed look at my sitemeter.

Mary Witzl said...

Charles -- You are so right: the internet is a great place for safe, relatively hassle-free people watching. You can pretty much sit in on conversations or lurk about, monitoring angry discussions -- and not have to get involved yourself. What's not to like?

Debra -- Wow -- porcelain clay for female mud wrestlers is a really good one! I'm betting whoever looked up civil clay marbles left out the word 'war' and failed to capitalize -- right? Otherwise, that one would keep me up at night wondering.

Carolie -- As I wrote this post, I was thinking of you and imagining that you would know the answer! You have my tremendous admiration if you've ever eaten slugs. If you have, PLEASE share this story! My next post will be about eating weird food.

Kate -- I'm very impressed with that hairy women query; it's so nice to know that there's someone for everyone. And is your content in the gutter? Remind me to visit your blog more!

Eryl -- Well, I need to get a life. Honestly, I do feel like a wally, checking my site meter. I blame Kim for setting it up for me and getting me hooked on it.

Robert the Skeptic said...

There exists virtually loads of interesting information on the Internet. I can find out almost anything about anything here. I refer to it constantly.

Do I follow any of the sage advice I find here? Hell, I may be curious... but I'm not "stupid"!

Carolie said...

Hee hee, thanks Mary! Not much story to it...a culinarily gifted friend insisted that slugs were just escargot without houses, and set about to prove her theory. (They were good, though I don't think I could harvest and prepare them myself!) Of course, escargot are just a conveyance to get butter and garlic from the plate to the mouth.

The keyword searches to get to my site are all rather mundane -- "Japanese gomi" and "Okinawan pottery" and such. Yours are FAR more interesting! Now, of course, I wish I hadn't looked, because the average visitor spends less than a minute on my site. Yes, I know I am woefully behind, but during months in which I've posted, I'd rather hoped that folks who stumbled across my blog would stick arond to read at least a little bit!

Guess that means I should post more often. *grumble*

Carole said...

I have never even seen a site meter. I should think I would be watching it constantly and never get any work done. You however have made very productive work out of it, by writing a post about it, with more posts to come. Good job.

Kim Ayres said...

One of the most common search phrases for people turning up on my blog is "Naked bearded men", most of which land on an old post of mine linking to an hysterically funny video (9 Naked Men)

Angela said...

Wow--sounds like your stat meter is way cooler than mine. I do like seeeing the searches that lead people to my blog. No super weird ones yet, but a few suprising ones.

I should keep a list!

problemchildbride said...

My site meter throws up all manner of child-bride seeking perverts. It's my own fault entirely although it wasn't really something i considered much when I set me up in bloggery. More fool me. I am regularly disgusted with it.

problemchildbride said...

The slug thing! I wanna know about the the slug thing!

Kara said...

i've totally thought about blogging about the shit i find out via google analytics (or google stalker as i like to call it), but i don't want to scare anyone that i'm tracking them or something so i haven't. but you did it for me,

Mary Witzl said...

Robert -- I'm quite the expert at ignoring advice myself. I get all kinds of excellent advice and let it slip right past me.

Carolie -- How right you are about snails being a way to eat butter and garlic. I reckon that an old tire might taste good if it were done with butter and garlic.

Finding your blog was a wonderful bit of serendipity for me! I think I googled 'gomi,' 'Japan,' and 'recycling' -- and crossed my fingers. And I found you!

Carole -- You've put your finger on it. Until I knew I had a site meter and realized how to use it, I got a lot more done. Now it is a distraction that just fascinates me. Shameful, really.

Kim -- I will have to google that 9 naked men post! A friend of mine who had a horse website eventually had to make it members-only. She got quite a weird type of visitor, apparently, who had the Wrong Idea.

Angela -- You should! I don't think mine are any more interesting than those of others; I'm just easily pleased -- and entertained. It's because I have a very simple nature.

Sam -- Now that I think about it, I can just imagine! But how funny, really.

Don't worry -- I will definitely blog about slugs next, though I worry you may get information overload. It's nasty stuff!

Kara -- I know that you could do this in an entirely different and hilarious way. Go for it!

Gorilla Bananas said...

I get 10-15 visits every day from people interested in sex dolls. I don't like these googlers, they are b-grade traffic. The slug one you got is interesting.

A Paperback Writer said...

What's a site meter? I'd like to know who's visiting my blog, but I only know if they leave comments. (Most of them are from school anyway, but I occasionally pick up other writers and the random person who stumbles across my blog.)

This is totally off-subject, but here's the URL for the Twilight-post-that-will-not-die, which I posted last August:

Sorry I can't link, but I have an older version of Safari, and Blogger doesn't like it.

The Quoibler said...

I wonder if the angry man and the billy goat were making sweet love, hence the lingering odor?

So much to ponder...


Brave Astronaut said...

One of the more popular paths to my blog is a post I did some time ago on the rest areas of the New Jersey Turnpike. It is amazing what people come looking for.

Alice said...

I get a lot of plantar wart queries since I went on about my son's toe, but my best search yet is "I got spackle in my ass." Maybe I'll have to blog about mine now!

Linda D. (sbk) said...

LOL, wow. Your stuff is way more interesting than mine. I get a lot of hits about the Titanic and filing missing persons reports. I always feel kinda bad about that one because I wonder if those people really are missing someone and they need real help. My post is just a big joke. Oh well.

Sarah said...

I wonder if it shows that you are on my bookmark toolbar. . . and that I click from there.

Mary Witzl said...

GB -- Bun-bun girl, who has commented twice on my posts, posted a URL back in April about a man who had an extensive collection of, um, life-sized dolls. He said he preferred them to real women; that real women fooled around on you. Poor guy: he was the sort of fellow even a good woman would be tempted to cheat on.

APW -- The site meter is the little thing on my sidebar that keeps track of who has visited. I didn't know what they were until Kim mentioned them to me and showed me how to install one. (Actually, he installed it for me. That's how challenged I am.) You can click on it and find out all sorts of interesting things about who has visited your blog, however fleetingly. I've just discovered mine and I'm having a blast with it -- I highly recommend your getting one!

And thank you for that URL. I looked for ages and could not find it.

Angelique -- My mind is right there in the gutter with yours: that was my very first thought, and shame on us. But it is hard to see why else one would have such a strong smell of billy goat about one, isn't it? Maybe this person was a beginning veterinarian? You can see how this sort of thing can be compelling, can't you? (Or am I just nuts?)

BA -- I can tell you right now that hundreds of people in the States are obsessed with Scotch moss and montbretia -- they ask all sorts of questions about what to do with these and how to care for them and whether their pets might be allergic. Next they'll be asking if they can eat them.

Alice -- You absolutely have to blog about that! I'm sure I could not resist it myself.

Plantar's warts are no fun at all. If I'd known you'd blogged about your son's, I might have checked that post out myself.

Linda -- I feel that way about the term 'resident alien.' People are obviously googling it in earnest, wanting to find out what their immigrant status is. Although I am a resident alien, I'm still using the term in a whimsical way.

Sarah -- Actually, it doesn't! I'll put you in my posts section too.

freetofly said...

Hi! Love this quirky post! I have been wanting to visit and say hello. I visit Carole regularly and your comments are always so interesting! Sitemeter is a blast. Things that make you go, huh?

Slugs, ewww! I'm with you! :)