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Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Love Information

and statistics and I enjoy tracking things and making lists. This is part of what I love about my little ticker on the side there telling me how many visitors I've had. I am fascinated by the people who visit me here. I like to read about where they connected, which other website referred them to me, or what search terms they used to get here (oddly enough the most used search term that gets people here besides Arabian Knits is Epiphany jokes). When it comes to where people are from, I am most interested in those people who live either really near me or really far away. If you're in China or the Czech Republic or if you are in Tacoma or Bremerton, I am more likely to take a closer look at your entry. With my very simple site meter, I can see what operating system your computer uses, and to what language it is configured. It tells me how long you looked at the blog, and if you clicked on a link on my page. This kind of stuff entertains me, what can I say?

Well, sometimes when I am checking the blog statistics certain people stick out. Either they are repeat visitors that I have kind of gotten to know from seeing their reading habits here, or they are people I actually know, and certain things give away their identity. Shortly after I posted my update, I noticed a spike in a particular reader population. Some of these people visit the blog fairly regularly anyway, but one in particular struck me.

You see, once upon a time, I was an active member of an online community of mostly women. It was sometimes friendly, and sometimes hostile, and there are some people from that group I still think of as friends, but it became less and less a group I had much in common with, and eventually, I backed out. I still check back every now and then, when I want an update on certain people that I just talk to via comments on each other's blogs, or when I am wondering about a particular person.

Well there was one person on the group who disagreed with me at least as often as I disagreed with her. We didn't get along, you might say. She always was rather vocal about how she was a defender of free speech however, and that every belief was valid, and everyone should have the right to his views, etc. I know this is going to come as a shock to you, but she didn't really believe that. Some years ago, she was so upset by my views and my insisting on expressing them, that she tried to get my internet provider to shut down my account. I don't know if she knew that the company is small enough that they just gave me a call when she complained to ask what the deal was, who she was and what was going on, or if she just didn't care. In any case, I made it a point not to respond to her from then on, and pretty much kept my distance without making a lot of noise about it. It was clear from her actions as well as the things she said that she was not all that hot on me either, so it was no love lost. Needless to say, hers is not one of the names I look up when I check in with that group.

What is surprising to me is that she occasionally checks my blog. I know where she lives, and her isp, and she is referred by something that, with her location and isp, pretty definitely identifies her. I do not know why someone so opposed to just about everything I believe in and stand for, who tried to get me shut up by my isp would purposefully seek me out and keep track of my blog. She never e-mails me or leaves me comments, so I can only assume it is idle curiousity, but it is a mystery to me nevertheless. I've sometimes been tempted to ask her why she visits, but I don't really want to start up what may be a headache for me.

So, do you follow, even casually, blogs of people you dislike? If you do, why? I have to say, I don't. I tend to read topic driven blogs, so that does generally put me reading people with whom I have at least some things in common. I do read blogs written by people with whom I don't agree, but if they say something I think it too offensive, or crosses a line with me, I stop reading them. I don't read blogs written by people who annoy me if they do it too often, I just don't have the time to dedicate to things that bother me that much.

Comments:
I don't visit bloggers I dislike. I do visit bloggers I disagree with. I followed Dawn Eden's blog for a while, for instance.

I would be curious what is up people from high school, even ones I didn't particularly like, though.
 
Obviously, I know the group to which you're referring. I can't for the life of me figure out who would have actually done that, though. Seriously? That's so... well, I don't even know. Surprising!
 
I don't visit bloggers that I dislike either. I occassionally will visit a site of someone that I disagree with unless they rant about their opposing view too often. Most of the time I visit people's blogs that stick to the topic. I prefer a blog to be about the person and their topic. Just me but I do read alot of blogs. I also prefer blogs with pictures. I personally try to put pics up even if it does not work with the topic but to have something pretty to look at.

The only people that I read that don't conform to my knitting, food, and style reports are ones that I am personally friends with. I subscribe to their feed and watch from afar. Occasionally I will comment but at times I just silently stalk them. I feel at least a part of their lives even though they are really far away and we don't talk much or at all any more.
 
Webhill:

I wonder if it would surprise you if you knew who it was. At first, I was just shocked that anyone would do it, but once I got over that, it didn't surprise me in the least.

Chrispy:

I'm pretty much like you. Although I read other mommy blogs, too, for comic relief. Those, like mine, don't always stick to one topic, and tend to jump all over the place.

I do keep track of people I know by reading their blogs, but I try to leave comments occasionally. I know it thrills me to get comments, so I figure other people might like it, too.
 
I read you occasionally, don't always agree with everything you write, but enjoy "watching" the kids grow.

Congrats to your whole family on the upcoming addition.

Ann
 
Well, i obviously know to which group you are referring, also & like webhill I think I would be floored if I knew who it was!

BTW, I've been meaning to post congrats on the new addition!

Tawel
 
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