Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Lurkers

 In celebration of the twentieth year of this blog, I have a few tales to tell. This post is one of them. This series will occur off and on throughout this anniversary year, I hope to illuminate some behind-the-scenes stories and highlights from the blog during this time. Enjoy!

Anniversary Header based on Jeff Kerkove's original design for this blog.

Back in the mid-2000's Google did not yet have the stranglehold on data that it has now. Blogger was its own entity, not yet owned by Google. So there was a bit more transparency and one could actually get "real" data on visits to your blog, as a for instance. 

One of the add-ons I used back then allowed me to see not only how many people were viewing the blog, but where they were viewing it from, right down to the computer's IP address and who owned the computer! I imagine there is some way to do that now, but it probably cost money , maybe lots of it, and well.....Google owns that data these days, I think. Or at least they control the access to it. 

GT at his bench circa 2005 at Europa Cycle & Ski

For instance, this stat counter Google allows me to see for free on this blog today says that I get around 100 to 150 views a day on new posts. I know that this figure is far, far less than reality. It is comical, actually, to think that is anywhere close to reality. 

Actually, if you start digging into what Google lets me see, their own stats do not agree with each other. I see in another metric where there are more views and on another stat, less views of the same post. So I know the stats I see are pretty much only good for reference in a very broad, general sense.

I suppose if I paid the big bucks to Google I'd see what reality is, maybe, but that isn't happening. They used to say in retail seminars that there were ten more customers thinking the same way that the one you just heard from does, only those ten you'll never hear from. So, I only can say that if there are ten more people behind everyone that says they make this blog a regular stop then the stats I see are basically a joke. 

But back in 2005? I could tell you how many people were lurking here and where they were lurking from. I had people from Trek, actually several computers there, lurking on this blog back then. I could see some other company owned computers coming up on a semi-regular basis as well. QBP was another big lurker back then, as I recall. Anyway, it was fascinating to see these locations pop up in my stats every day back then. 

In a way, what Jeff had been telling me all along before I blogged seemed to be true. People did like reading my thoughts on things. But I was surprised that some of those people worked at some fairly influential cycling based companies. Eventually, what I was doing must have resonated with these people at these companies because later on I benefited from that in ways that I had never contemplated. 

Thanks to you lurkers out there! I know you are still hanging around, but these days I cannot "see" you as I once was able to.

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