Phantom Blog Readers

I know I’m still way too wrapped up in how many people read my posts and in how few of them actually “like” them.  A true artist creates what he or she creates without regard to whether or not anyone will ever see it, much less like it.  I’m not trying to imply that one should make the quantum leap of judgement to put me in the company of artists or even wordsmiths, I’m just saying I shouldn’t care…but I do, and I hate myself for it.

True to form, I spend way too much time checking my stats.  Looking to see how many people read me, and which of my posts are getting the most hits.  For the life of me, I don’t understand the success of Life Lessons From Gilligan’s Island, but there’s no accounting for taste.

There is an issue which I’ve recently discovered.  One which has thought-gremlins prancing around feverishly in my head.  WordPress has a map feature and it tells the writer how many readers he has on a given day all over the world.  I’m embarrassed to admit that were it not for the coloring-in of the countries, I’d be hard-pressed to figure out where in the world some of them are actually located.  As it happens, my posts were pretty big in Macedonia for a while.  I had no idea where it was, but I’ve always been a big fans of their nuts.

In any case, the country demographic piece has a hole in it.  When adding up the hits in the various countries, the totals are not always the same as the overall number of hits, sometimes substantially less.  The stat number says I’ve had 47 hits, but the country demographics only add up to 34.   I can’t help but wonder where the other 13 hits are coming from, if not from the countries of the world.  Possible explanations of where those phantom readers are located follow:

I’m not sure this is actually a ship. It’s more like a floating hotel/theme park/mall. I was on one of these once. Another blog perhaps (Image from

Ships at Sea – I know it sounds so 1940’s.  I’m confident that even today, there are in fact ships at sea, though it’s hard to imagine that anyone on them is finding the time to read my blog, since there’s a rock climbing competition on the Lido deck, scrap-booking classes in the Slave Galleria, and a 24 hour chocolate fountain in the Spanish Doubloon Ballroom.

In orbit – Do astronauts have access to the world wide web thingy when they’re not in this world?  Is there even a space station out there?  Are there people on it?   I’ve lost track.

Look at those creepy little guys! Tell me the one on the far left doesn’t look like Grampa Al Lewis! (Image from

Mole Men Living Beneath The Earth – I’m old enough to have been more than a little disturbed by that ancient Superman rerun.  As long as we’re on the topic of childhood demons, I have to account for the possibility that the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz may be reading my blog, though they didn’t strike me as particularly bookish.

China – I bet it’s China; they probably have some dark reason for not wanting us to know they’re reading me.  Or maybe North Korea where reading my blog is punishable by public ridicule (instead of suffering privately like the rest of you folks)

I couldn’t find a picture of a poltergeist – apparently they’re not too photogenic…anyway…look at the eyes on this zombie! and that suit!! He’s dreamy! (Image from

Zombies and Poltergeists – Reading me from beyond the grave – I think it’s poltergeists – zombies would show up on the world map, as they lurch through the countryside looking for brains to eat.  Lord knows, if they’re reading some of the stuff I write, they could use all the brains they can cram into their gaping maws.

People On Commercial Jets – Using electrical devices when they’ve been told not to.  So eager to read my blog posts that they, along with Alec Baldwin, put others at risk and take the chance of pissing off the stewardess.  I know some folks find me amusing, but is it worth risking honey-roasted peanuts and half a can of soda?

Holy crap! A strange being from a far off galaxy – who knows how intelligent he may or may not be! I wonder what he thinks of the space alien. (Image from

Space Aliens – Even though I’ve admitted to having never seen a Star Wars, Star Trek or Star 80 movie, I have to admit that it’s possible.  I hope they like my humor, but not enough to abduct and probe me.

49 thoughts on “Phantom Blog Readers

  1. I have never added up my country stats to compare them. Isn’t it true however, that your overall stats are total hits and country stats represent the amount of visitors (whereas one visitor can have multiple hits)?

    1. You might be right. There’s only one way to find out. When you’re done visiting Missouri, you’ll need to go soemwhere I have yet to register any hits. Once there, get online and carefully read each and every one of my blog posts, back to back. Luckily, I can see from your photo that you’re already a coffee drinker (don’t tell me that’s de-caffeinated green tea – or bourbon in that mug!). Send me a comment and let me know how it’s going. I’ll know it’s you from your catchy new name “VisitingBotswana”.

      I’m kidding of course! Your theory seems logical, but eventually, the number of hits and the country demographics do end up equalling one another. More importantly, where’s the fun in logical thought?!

  2. I think most of my readers are mole men.

    I hate it when I suddenly lose a big chunk of followers all at once. I wonder if one the mole men’s tunnels collapsed on their computer?

    (This post was hilarious, so good it should be FP.)

  3. Very funny and so dam true. I love the Mole Men picture…weird eyebrows are always interesting. Now…Back away from the Stats button…slowly…good now stay there for a week and cut yourself a well deserved break.

    1. Sorry for the delay – no good comment should go unrecognized. Posted this and then went to work, then left work and went to second job, then got home and promptly left for dinner with my visiting son. Thanks!!

  4. My Reader agrees with ^^all of the above^^, and yes…JOTS thinks you should be FP’d! Can we sign a petition? Vote you in as a write-in? (Where are Maineiac’s mole-men when you really need them?)

    1. While I appreciate your praise, I would hope that if the FP gods ever smile on me, it will be for soemthing better than this post. Even training tips from coach 1 point was better (in my humble opinion)

  5. I’m not a blog scientist anymore, but when I was, my studies showed hits came from all of these sources. I get a “shit ton” (yes the scientific term), from people searching for Bob Dylan and Val Kilmer’s Doc Holiday pics. So many hits coming from pictures is deceitful, and I don’t care for it.

    1. My biggest site stats day was on New Year’s Eve, when I posted an image of a 2012 calendar and my most popular search term is/was a variation on “birthday cupcakes,” also to grab the image. I felt sort of deceitful drawing visitors in that way (albeit unintentionally). I just love a chance to say “albeit.”

      1. People are still hitting my Life Lessons From Gilligan’s Island, which was an OK post, but far from my best – I’m sure it was due to having something to do with Gilligan’s Island. I’m planning on dropping the names of additional iconic, but lousy TV shows in the titles of upcoming posts. Keep your eyes peeled for my soon to be released “I Got Seasick on the Love Boat”

  6. I don’t know where these mystery visitors come from, but I am willing to bet that they are the ones leaving “this post is excellent wrote with much learning perspective” comments.

  7. Is it to do with the route that a visitor arrives at your blog? Maybe it can’t tell which country someone is in if they have come via a search engine? No…that can’t be right. Ooh, I know! Maybe it’s the bots, maybe they are able to disguise which country they originate from, so a country stat can’t be recorded. Or maybe if people are in certain secret places like military bases, or government offices, their IP locations are hidden. Or maybe I just don’t have a clue…yeah, I think that’s it. I like your theories though!

  8. The people who leave the likes actually are aliens. No one knows whether or not they really exist. They just click that button and vanish off into the ether.

    Nah, as long as you’re getting comments and people keep coming back you’re doing a good job. Small blogs are just more frustrating because you’re always trying to keep your best work at the forefront because most people don’t have the patience to read more than 1-2 posts (and inevitably, not everything is going to be your best work…)

      1. The mothership spent a lot of time and effort teaching me communication and empathy… They also suggested I wear clothing, which helps me to fit in. Other than that I’m entirely real.

  9. You mean there are stats and maps and other cool things I could be doing other than writing a blog post? Or changing my theme? I must get on those immediately.

    By the way…I make it 15 likes for this post. That’s not chicken liver you know. Sometimes I’m lucky to get one. 🙂

  10. You made me wonder if they have wifi on the Space Station, so I googled it. They apparently got it in 2008, so that is a very likely explanation to where your extra views are coming from. It’s good to know that our astronauts have access to I Can Has Cheezburgers.

  11. “As it happens, my posts were pretty big in Macedonia for a while. I had no idea where it was, but I’ve always been a big fans of their nuts.” That just cracked me up!
    I get obsessed/upset by the blog stats too, especially when something I’ve written that I think is brilliant goes unnoticed, while some lesser piece gets lots of hits! I also grumble when I read someone else’s posts, and it’s boring and full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes and then I notice that they are getting hits like crazy! (Grumble, grumble, grumble!), so I’m right there with you!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the Macedonia joke. I’m never sure about writing things like that. I think a small percentage of people get the joke, enjoy it and move on, another percetnage reads it, groans at my predictability and corniness, and still another percentage things that’s where macadamia nuts come from.

      I hope that grumbling I just heard was due to mistakes in my grammar or spelling…

  12. I never thought about all the hits that aren’t registered. You bring up some very interesting possibilities. I like to think that the Mole Men are reading some good stuff. Aliens, denizens of subspace, people on oil rigs… there’s a big audience out there.

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