Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Internet and Its Discontents, or Why No One in Russia is Really Reading Your Blog.

" Be careful what you wish for", my mother used to say, "You might get it". It was one of what she called her "home truths".

I have been writing this blog for close to two years. Many a time it seemed that I had few readers. I envied people who knew how to add little side widgets. Who knew they had readers, because there were those tantalizing messages-

"A visitor from Florence, Italy visited this site one minute ago".

How I wished someone from Barcelona or Prague or London would find my blog and send me a comment.

And then, Blogger added Google Stats. It appeared I had readers in over 40 countries! Russia, and Latvia! Bulgaria. Nigeria. Page views from everywhere, and hundreds a month.

But only to one or old posts. And over and over. Why would anyone in Russia want to read about the five-lined skink lizards on my porch?

No one in Russia did. My blog was being invaded by something called "referrer spam", hatched in "spam farms' in the old Communist bloc countries. Scam upon spam, one might say. And disheartening. Those hundreds of readers were an illusion born of my own naive hopefulness.

Google "Stats" poses as many questions as it answers. Perhaps it would be better not to know who reads what one writes. Obliviousness as bliss-

I wish I had never found out about spam farms and "bots" that creep around the web stealing and plotting. Whose only goal is to get the unwary to click on their referral site and be rerouted to Russian porn sites and pages full of viral malware.

What a world.


Out on the prairie said...

sounds like the twilight zone.

Clementine Moonflower said...

Oh, that's just not fair! For the longest time I thought I had a devoted reader in Moscow. He/she would visit once a week in the beginning. How sad that my Russian friend is probably imaginary.