The Daily Routine

Every morning after I awake, I sit down to read my morning's news and comics.

I use Firefox, and build all of my bookmarks into my Bookmarks toolbar folder, so all of my stuff is sorted in subfolders that are drop-down clickable right there at the top of my screen.
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So each morning, I use the 'open in tabs' command to simultaneously pull all the links out of three folders in a row. Even if it's not an update day for half of the links in that category, this saves me time and allows to me check for any breaking news.

I read comics, artistic collections, and blogs this way. Among the list of daily victims are blogs, photoblogs, web comics, print comics and even a satire site or two. And each day, my computer diligently pings all of these pages, pulls the cover page from each, and displays it for me.

Now, it occurs to me (since I run sitemeter here to track my own traffic) that there must be several websites where my daily visit is dutifully recorded by some tracking software package and I show up as a visitor to that site, even though I knew it wasn't a day for an update and only opened it because I was opening everything else in that subfolder.

Now, the tracking software I use shows time-on-page between loads, but of course if you only access the first page and then close the window the software can't record the amount of time you spent reading. So it makes me wonder if my daily visits are falsely or accurately increasing someone's page logs? Making up for those people using ghosting re-routers or just taking up extra space?

Who knows. It also makes me wonder about my own visitors. Makes me want to delve just a little bit deeper than tracking how many visit, to tracking who visits. That user that spent 5 minutes reading from a student account in Japan? Who was s/he? What about that 45 minute browsing session from someone in Pacific Time? Do I know them? I once had friends and contacts on the West Coast; it is possible.

Do my updates leave an impression or do most of the people who got here by random browsing merely shrug and skip it for the next blog? What is their reasoning? Are there not enough pictures or is the layout too spartan?

Does traffic reporting make me a better writer, by giving me a feedback loop to my readership, or does it do what I always feared comments would do--give my readers control over my voice and my writing, leaving me little more than a people-pleaser again?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


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