When Blogger foisted stats on me, and everyone else, a year or so ago, after I had long and resolutely refused to have any thing to do with them, I had determined I was not going to be a stats whinger. At that time, I was getting about a hundred hits a day, increasing a bit from time to time, like during Nablopomo, so it varied from a bit over three to a bit over three and a half thousand a month. I've no idea, and only very limited interest, honestly, if this is good, bad or indifferent, but anyway. Over the last few months, there has been a general decline to an all time low last month in May of about two and a half thousand.
Since a lot of people seem to have been bemoaning low stats of recent times, and knowing that people were reading on feed readers or deserting old-fashioned blogs like this one in any case, I just assumed this was how it was going to be. Though comments were down a bit too, I know that plenty of old friends and new are still around, and that's the main thing, and I am aware I'm not quite as assiduous a blog visitor myself as I might be. There were certain posts which continued to get more views than others, notably my brother's guest post on Cats, which persistently got twice as many as anything else - I even added a PS to that one asking where everyone was coming from, but with no result; surely people don't just feed the word 'Cats' into Google and read all of the nearly half a billion (yes, I've tried it...) results that come up? Other perennials are the post about how to tell sweet chestnuts from the inedible ones ( I like to think I might have prevented a few cases of indigestion there, so serving humanity in my own small way...), and the collage of the North Porch of Chartres complete with numbered key, which was rather Look-and-Learn-ish but I was quite proud of it. Other occasional hits were the couple of posts, one of which was only in the a comments thread, wherein was provoked a discussion about Nutch, a now defunct and, I gather, fairly disgusting chocolate spread product of near mythical renown which I personally have never tasted, but the only information about which seems to be on this blog. Anonymous readers on Google searches are sometimes kind enough to leave comments on this one. I've always done quite well out of image searches.
I digress ( but what's new?). Accepting my place in an evolutionary blind alley in internet terms, I regarded my dwindling blog figures philosophically. Then, about a week ago, Box Elder's stats shot up from an average of perhaps 70 a day to well over 200, getting on for a threefold increase. What's more, they've stayed there, and gone up some more. All kinds of posts from the archives which I'd forgotten about have been looked up, And not only this blog, but Out with Mol, which was lucky to get into double figures most days, particularly when I neglected it as I frequently did, started notching up fifty plus, and even Compasses/Questions, the ball of which has been sitting dead on the ground in my court for a month or more, has started looking quite perky on the visitors front.
(No, I'm not putting self-promoting links in, the stuff's on the sidebar somewhere...)
So what's going on? Have I become famous and nobody's told me? While I shall lap up any compliments anyone cares to leave to the effect that I thoroughly deserve this recognition and a book deal is surely round the corner, frankly it seems to me inexplicable (and I don't actually imagine stats of 200 odd a day warrant a book deal, in fact, it hasn't gone to my head that I'm that deluded...). I have been posting frequently but frankly unremarkably. I have rather felt of late, in fact, that I have been treating this blog rather like a sidelined spouse or parent, fobbing it off with gifts of flowers and postcards from holidays but not really sharing anything very important with it. Perhaps it's actually happier with that arrangement, of course...
(Which raises the question of what exactly is the persona of a blog, its writer or its readers, or some other entity created by the connection between the two?)
Blogger's stats recording is fairly rudimentary, but the traffic sources don't indicate anything special; referring sites are mostly those of regulars and friends as ever, and though the traffic is up from all of them it doesn't account for all of the rise. Search keywords give no clues either, and the geographical audience is much as ever: USA, followed by the UK then France, and all the others in double figures only (come on you Aussies, let's be having yer!). I don't get that many from India (probably accounted for by Anil and my cool new mate JP), the few from Malaysia are probably Hliza and friends, and none registered from China. Those funny Ukrainian boys and girls who I'm not sure if they want to sell me something are still hanging around but they don't worry me. Neiither followers nor commenters have increased significantly.
So where are they, you, coming from? Has blogging become so old hat as to be now charmingly retro and undergoing a revival of interest? Has anyone else noted similarly elevated levels of traffic?
Never mind, it's probably a flash in the pan. Whatever, it's having the positive effect that I'm thinking I ought to be lavishing a bit more attention on all my blogs, (I might even have something to say about kites and swallows soon...), and I've even gone so far as to edit one or two of the older posts that were being looked at a bit.
The downside is, I appear to have become what I vowed not to be, a complete stats bore.
~~~Enough. Here are some pictures of the herb garden, an assortment of containers on the terrace, in the long-awaited rainy weather. Mostly the bronze fennel plant, which I love as a plant, though I don't use fennel much in cooking, and don't really care for the bulb vegetable at all. Anise flavours seem to me a very French taste; we Brits like ginger, and vive la difference! However, I may pluck a discreet few fronds for a potato salad with pickled herring tonight.