Monday, November 14, 2005
Here's Looking At You
Do you have a web counter? Do you check it regularly? Certainly in the early days of the internet, the page count was a form of vanity...your first web page...your first hit (was you)...your first ten hits (all you)...and so on. Well these days, web trackers can tell you so much more. Mine (formerly NedStat) can tell you where a reader came from, what browser they used, what they had for breakfast...
Statistics also tell you how readers found you - what link, if any, they followed to arrive at your site. I always look at this, not to necessarily see how many people are linking to me, but to see who they are, and what they say. This isn't vanity, more a case of my being interested in other people's interest in me.
Turns out...I've been caught red-handed.
Of course, I think this behaviour is essential to the community spirit of the blogosphere. Some of the work I referenced in my thesis (see Lilia Efimova) concerns the social network aspect of blogs, and I feel that is something very important in the academic use of blogs.
As the post that revealed by guilty secret says, there is interesting stuff you can learn. By reading what people are saying about my work, I can be involved in any discussion that arises. This then may give me ideas about my work or allow me to help other people with theirs. If people only ever read blogs, they would be useless as a form of communication...we would lose all the interactivity with which computers provide us.
I could write more about the nature of communication, and facilitation therein of blogging, but I'll save that for now. If this area interests you, why not post a comment and start a conversation.