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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Audience

Sometime back, Cheryl (our mentor, sounding-board, technical advisor, and over all go-to person) showed me something really interesting.

Get your minds out of the gutter.

We were discussing the internal mechanisms of the blog site. She asked me to log-in as I usually do. Then, she directed me to this little button called "stats". As this was during baseball season, I was expecting an automatic update of both the National and American League standings. With trembling hand, I left-clicked on the mouse, not knowing what to expect.

There before me  was displayed the number of views each column has had. The Internet Service Providers were listed. Most fascinating, the country of origin was also displayed!

Well, well, well....I had no idea the international impact this site has! And, I ain't just talking Canada, either. (Canada is ranked #2, right behind the USA. Go figure.)

 I was astounded to see regular followers in Western Europe (France, the UK, the Netherlands), Central Europe (Poland, Germany, Austria), and Eastern Europe (Russia, the Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus). Asia was represented by readers in China and Taiwan. India has followers. South America was represented by Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, and Venezuela). Israel is the sole Middle Eastern nation represented.

Instantly, I formed an image of a harried Parisian arriving home,  fresh baguette and bottle of wine in hand. With a sigh, he flops down before the computer. A few keystrokes and couple of clicks later, the cares of 21st Century French life are forgotten as the accounts of a somewhat out-of-touch American unfold. "Mon Dieu, Brigette!" he exclaims. "This American, he is funny, no?"

Somewhere in Moscow, an up and coming comedian furtively scans his i-phone before stepping onto the stage. A smile, reflecting his relief, spreads across his face. With renewed confidence, he approaches the microphone, as the packed house awaits another episode from "his American friend". It warms my heart to know I am providing gainful employment to someone unknown to me.

I see a hip young couple in their apartment overlooking the city of Rio, Brazilian jazz in the background, awaiting my column. Somewhere in Beijing, a college student relaxes while reading of America. I see people around the globe anxiously logging onto the site; awaiting their dose of humor, insight, and observation.

The ISPs are fascinating. Of course, Internet Explorer is the big cheese, followed by Chrome and Firefox. Yet, there are some I have never heard of; Silk, Phantom JS, Safari, Safari Mobile, and others. Most people access the site via a tablet or smartphone (60% Apple, 40% Android). The traditional PC falls in line behind these two devices.

Articles about dogs are a big hit. The columns about growing up in the 1950s and 60s are a close second. The more introspective columns have a high readership. Oddly, the all time most read column has been "There were two fires in Willoughby"

Most readers will be happy to see "Leaves"; it involves Ike and is also introspective.

What is to be gleaned from all this? I am uncertain. Perhaps, it is simply this: there are a lot of people around the World who just want to get away from day-to-day life, have a chuckle, shed a tear, and take in the view from the hill today. Or not.

(NOTE:  Cheryl, if this traffic is nothing more than  unsavory, underworld types nefariously phishing for electronic information, keep it to yourself. Let me enjoy my rose-colored  perspective. JEH)

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