Strange are the ways of the Internet. Somehow my blog has become the leading global source for pics of sports celebrity Charles Barkley. That fact has artificially inflated the blog’s stats, and it has placed a rather trivial 2008 post about Barkley at the top of my “Busiest posts” list (in the right-hand column, probably invisible to those of you who read the blog with a phone).
What’s funny about this is that the original post was a real snooze, apparently. Only two readers looked at it when I wrote it, then it lay forgotten for an entire year.
In the third week of March 2010, Google Images took notice of the Barkley mug shot I was using. (I suppose it had just disappeared from somewhere else.) The hits started stacking up at my blog. Now they exceed 700 — a large number for a little blog. That’s why Barkley: Politicians have only three jobs remains at the top of the list of busiest posts.
Other posts have drawn a lot of hits that were clearly only image-related, not visits from engaged readers. But nothing else has produced the volume and duration of the Barkley JPEG. I’m tempted to delete it, so my list reflects something like actual reader interest. But then where else would Sir Charles’s fans go for a nice mug shot of their hero?
Images are not the only factor that inflates this blog’s stats. Some Google search strings have plainly brought people to this site under false pretenses. Many of these include the word torture in a pornographic context. Can’t say I’m sorry to disappoint.
Allowing for all the image searches, porn searches, and double hits by (most likely) a single reader, I still seem to get a genuine reader about 12 times a day on average. That seems satisfactory.