November 14th, 2014

Who Is Out There?

I don’t know how many people actually visit the Vine Maple Studio. Web analytics, the statistics collected by the web server, count approximately 120 visits per day and in the neighborhood of 1000 visits per month. That is tiny by successful site standards, but I am not sure I have even that many readers.

I am skeptical because the analytics also say that approximately half of the visits come from China. I have studied classical Chinese and I do occasionally mention the Confucian classics in the Studio, which might generate some Chinese interest, but I am inclined to suspect that most of these visits are from robots that are probing for whatever robots probe for.

The site also gets a fair number of spam comments. I have a spam trap that weeds out most of them. Some of the spam offers cheap prescription drugs and luxury watches, others are clots of URLs meant to game Google, yet others are strange ungrammatical mumbling with no clear purpose that must come from rootless demented text generators, which one can only pity.

In September, I decided I would start posting one item a week. Since I began that practice, the number of visits has gone up steadily. I suppose a robot could detect new posts and step up its probes, but that would require a bit more intelligence than I would expect anyone would bother to put into a web crawler. I prefer to believe that there are curious humans behind the increase.

So how many real people are out there? The only realistic way of gauging human participation is from comments. Therefore, if you are reading this, drop a comment and let me know you are there. I would appreciate it.

However, if your name happens to be “Hermes belts for men” or “authentic NFL jerseys” don’t bother to comment, my spam trap will roll you up into a tasty snack.

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