I have nothing exciting to talk about today. While discussing this with Linda she suggested that I write about how my daughter manages to get massive stains on every piece of clothing she wears, that way when people Google "how to remove stains from my daughter's shirt" this site would come up. While that seems like an extremely exciting topic, instead I've decided to talk a little about how people end up finding this little corner of the IntraWeb.
If you've ever scrolled down to the bottom of this site, you'll see a hit counter from Bravenet. Part of the free service they offer is that I get to see the referrals to this site at any point in time. Unfortunately I don't have access to historical referral data as I'm a cheap bastard and won't pay for it, but I do check my referrals daily and I've noticed a pattern. Here, in no particular order, are the most common ways people get here.
I get a bunch of referrals from Bones and Greg's sites. I'm assuming this is them reading the site and just getting here from their own linkage. Given that most of my visitors are first time visitors, as opposed to returning visitors, regular readers make up a small percentage of my readership. I'm trying to figure out how to swing this the other way, but short of just being a more interesting writer, I'm not sure how to do that. I don't see myself being more interesting any time soon. Lately I got a nice uptick in traffic from Bill over at Dubious Quality, and occasionally someone will get here from me commenting at Scalzi's site, but those rarely end up in increased repeat readers. Again with me not being interesting.
Toddlers with Various Ailments
Some time ago, I wrote a post making fun of the fact that when toddlers are sick they can't tell you what's wrong with them. Making fun of those that haven't developed communication skills sufficient enough to express the extent of their bodily discomfort is what makes me Father of the Year. In the post, I mention a number of possible ways a kid could be hurt, and mention a time my son claimed that a spider bit him. As a result, I get a bunch of referrals of people genuinely trying to figure out what's wrong with their sick kid. Some of them are normal requests like "Toddler ear pain" and "toddler stomach ache" but I've had some real oddball ones like "Toddler spider bite", "Toddler sleeps all the time" and "Toddler can't walk". Why the parents of a child who obviously has Polio is taking the time to Google it, rather than call a doctor, I have no idea, but I feel a little bad that these distraught parents get to my snarky site instead of someplace that can actually help them.
Various Science Questions
Despite not having written a science post in quite some time, I still get an occasional visitor wanting to know why leaves are green or why their pipes are expanding and making squeaking noises. I'd like to think I'm helping to educate the world one visitor every other week at a time.
Fun With Oblivion
At least half of my referrals come from people searching on "Fun with Oblivion" or "fun in Oblivion" or some sort of phrase with the words "Oblivion" and "fun" in it. Sometimes it's people looking for certain items or quests in Oblivion, but mostly it's people looking for some good, old fashioned fun. I have no idea why this phrase is so common for searching, but it drives at least half of my traffic, so I guess I'm just happy it is. The post people get to, also happens to be the post with the most comments, a whopping 9. Wahey! So remember kids, if you want fun in Oblivion, this is the place for you.
So one day as I'm checking my referrals, I see that someone got to my site by surfing my wife's name. I say to her "Hey, someone was searching for you" and she gets this sheepish look on her face. Yes, that's right, my wife was doing some ego surfing, found a story here she wanted to read and went ahead and read it. The funniest thing was her getting defensive and saying that I shouldn't be able to see how people get to the site. She's so cute when she's embarrassed.
Based on these findings, I've devised a new phrase that will do nothing but send my traffic to the stratosphere. It is:
Linda Cackowski-Schnell diagnoses sick toddlers while having fun in Oblivion.
Open the floodgates boys! They're coming!