Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I AM Big Brother!!!

o boy, this is crazy stuff

So I have my this blog (which is run through Google's Blogspot) hooked up to a Google Analytics account because I was curious to see how many people were reading my blog.

A couple times a week I go and checkto see, are people reading my blog or am I just talking into empty space? Sometimes it feels like I am! With Google Analytics I can see not only how many people have visited my blog (277 visitors so far), but also how much time they spend on the site, and how they found my blog (email link, facebook or myspace link, through surfing Blogspot blogs, or via search engine).

I noticed that about 1/2 of the people who have been to my blog found it via Google (I had a huge spike in visits when i posted about Bikini Corrie - over 140 people came looking for that clip!) And currently about 30% of my visitors return to see the blog again. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

I wasn't too surprised that I could figure these things out via Analytics, BUT today I found some information that I really was surprised about. Now I already knew that Google can track every search we've ever done down to an IP address (and DON'T WORRY, I don't have any of my reader's IP addresses!! ahhh scary!) but I was surprised when I first signed up to find that I could track my visitors via the country they are in.
Wow, people have visited from 18 countries! This is pretty cool. Most of my visitors come from the US and Canada. But then I stumbled upon something even more interesting. Not only can I see what country (or state) my readers are from, but I can also see what city they are in! Lets take my home state of Pennsylvania for example:

According to this I've had 6 visitors from Pittsburgh, a couple from Waymart, State College, and Braddock and various other cities... and that big circle in the bottom right is the city of Flourtown. I've never heard of Flourtown before, but apparently someone is reading my blog there. Maybe its a friend from college who is living on the outskirts of Philly now, maybe its a random person, who knows. (I don't, but I'd be interested to find out).

Since this is a personal blog and I currently have a pretty small group of readers, this is very interesting stuff. I assume that most of my returning visitors are friends and family, but definitely not all of them know me personally.

With the limited information that Google provides me, I can only guess at who is reading my blog in the various cities. I have a pretty good idea of who my readers in Pittsburgh are, but for the person who visited my blog once on November 22 for 11 minutes from Denham Springs, LA... I have no idea who that was (it was most likely random). But, while the information doesn't tell me exactly who is reading my blog, I can definitely tell who isn't reading it... (a certain best friend in San Diego for example!)

It's pretty cool thouhg that people in places where I don't know anyone and that I have never visited are finding and reading my blog.

The information we can gather from the Internet is pretty fascinating... and a bit scary I guess. But since I am posting my thoughts over the Internet for anyone to read, I am very interested to know who actually is taking the time to check it out. I don't get very much feedback so for the most part its just me chatting off into the universe... So, please don't be shy about leaving comments or becoming a "follower" to show your support and let me know you're enjoying it (or that you disagree with me). I know people are reading, but for the most part, I have no idea who is reading, and I'd love to know who's out there and make this space a little more interactive!


  1. I've noticed when looking through my analytics that I get a lot of people from Lakewood or some other surrounding area.

    Also, for some reason, our IP address (at home) is a Denver one, so I think that sometimes IP addresses aren't correctly labeled.

    So, some of the people from Flourtown could actually be in Philly. I think that was my main point. Okay - back to reading.

  2. Hi,
    I'm Rachael and I'm currently living in Chaiyi, Taiwan. I found your blog when I was looking up some information on traveling around a bit. I've read through a few of your posts. I've been trying to find the post that explains why you are in Taiwan. I just find those stories fascinating, to see how random people end up on an island like this. Just thought I would let you know.

    This google analytical sounds pretty awesome. I think I'll have to figure out how to attach it to my blog.

  3. Hey there sea2stars,

    I just checked out your blog and could ask you the same thing! what brought you to Taiwan??

    My plans for moving to Taiwan started when I met someone in Japan that was teaching English there.I was just on a short visit at the time, but I thought that would be an awesome thing to do for a year after college. Then I decided that instead of learning Japanese I wanted to learn Chinese. It turned out that my college roommate had family in Taiwan and so it was thus decided.

    After landing in Taipei, my boyfriend and I headed straight for Taichung where my friend's VERY helpful aunt got us a job and an apartment within 48 hours of landing in Taiwan.

    We had an awesome year there, but are currently on our way back to the US. How about you??