Friday, April 03, 2009

Participating in the "What I love about being a mom" meme threw lots of extra traffic my way. My nifty counter over at Blog Patrol showed I've had twice as many readers as usual over the last two days. Things are back to normal today, but it got me thinking about how people end up reading this blog.

First of all, there's family and RL friends. Not all my family and friends, mind you. I've discussed this with other bloggers, so I know I'm not the only one to be surprised that not everyone who knows me cares about my blog. (I am restraining myself from inserting a frowny face made from a colon, dash and parenthesis here) I am myself SO interested in reading the blogs people I know IRL. I'd attribute the problem to my blog maybe being...not very good. But lots of smart people (Hi, Mom! Barb! Ruth!) like it just fine. So there you go.

The second group is the faithful blogger pals. We don't know each other IRL, but it doesn't matter. We read each other's posts and generally leave comments. Bloggers know the awesome motivating power of comments. Just knowing someone is out there liking what you are doing counts for much in this world.

The next group is the google pilgrims- people that stumble onto the blog through search engines. About half of them mean to end up here, or at least somewhere very much like this blog. They employ search terms like Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, moving, expatriation, mask dances, etc.

One word that brings a huge amount of visitors year after year is pagne. There's not a lot of info on the internet about this cloth so typical of West Africa, so many people end up reading this post. Also, I get hits at least a few times a week from the phrase Burkina Faso passport photo, which takes them to this post, which is a mildly amusing anecdote, but probably not very helpful, unless the person is already in Ouaga and wants to know which photo studio to avoid like poison .

Other search terms that bring people here on a regular basis are: Francis Cabrel lyrics, wall waxing and mask festival, which makes sense.
But what's more interesting is some of the really odd keyword combinations that lead people here. The absolutely strangest ones that I can recall are: 'I am shrinking', 'my used fork' (!?) and 'Japanese mom was surprised cleaning bathroom'. The last one was so weird that I did a quick google search using it. I ended up with results linking to lots of kinky porn sites. I really don't know how it brought someone to my tame, 100% porn-free blog. I guess that's one reader that went away very disappointed.

But some people seem happy to end up here. I recently noticed one reader who found my blog for the first time and then stuck around reading it for over three hours , apparently not bothered by the lack of startled, hygiene-oriented Japanese mothers.

Some people write because they are artists and they have to express themselves. They don't care whether there's an audience out there for them or not. Me? Not the expressive artist type (as you've probably noticed). This blog started out for as a way for me to keep in contact with friends and family while I was living in Africa and it still serves a very important social function in my life. I feel connected, somehow, to everyone that reads this blog. My world feels very big.
It matters to me that you are reading this. I'm not sure why, but it does, very much.
So, thank you.

By the way, want to buy a used fork?


TeacherMommy said...

I prefer sporks myself. They're so global in their approach to the entire concept of Food Conveyence.

I feel the same about those who do, or do not, read my blog. I'm relatively new to the blogging world, and I have to curb my patience sometimes.

That being said, feel free to visit and comment at my blog, too! :)

oreneta said...

It is cool meeting people through the blog...have you ever met up with a blog buddy? It is odd, because you don't know each other, yet you do....

Beth said...

TeacherMommy- ITA on the sporks. While they are not, perhaps, very useful as silverware, I think their humour potential is vastly underated.
As for the comments on your blog- consider it done. I'm there.

Oreneta- Well, I met up with 'Babzee' IRL in 2007. While she's not technically a 'blog pal', I met her through a chatroom, so it's sort of in the same vein...It was indeed a bit odd, I agree with you there. We knew SO much about each other, but had never even had a cup of coffee together. This modern life is strange. Good, but strange.

chrissoup said...

I might have been the three-hour lurker, a few months ago. I found your blog from someone's blogroll, and found you just as you were moving back to France. I had to see what the back story was!

I enjoy ex-pat blogs, and yours is one of the best.

babzee said...

Babzee is thrilled and delighted to be your IRL guide. Some of you bloggettes get a little wobbly on terra firma after a few circuits through cyberspace, so I'm happy to lend a figurative or literal arm.

Anonymous said...

or maybe i was the accidental googler who read for three hours straight? that sounds about right. i still remember my early days when i stumbled on your blog (don't remember how) and read through your blog a few months at a time like a book-starved soul. there were so many weird and funny entries over the years, like the burkina dancers with weird saliva issues, the housewives united for rifle association, the scissors for hostage, your friend's childbirth experience (sad, not funny), your daughters' dance routine, and anything to do with goats....

just a few of some of my favourites. i bet you have more than a few lurkers who keep up to date, your blog is hilarious and sweet and interesting. yah!


Cid said...

I am so happy to have followed the "Around the World in 80 Clicks" to your door. The blogosphere is a strange and wonderful place, indeed.

Beth said...

Wow! Thanks everyone!
No wonder I love my readers. My readers ROCK!
(In grown-up talk, that means: Thank you all ever so much for your kind comments and messages of support and interest. They motivate me and make me feel like I'm not out here basically just talking to myself.)

Joy said...

Or, maybe that three hour visitor was I, trying to read some back stories, but getting pulled away from the computer by my children...

I did find you through Her Bad Mother, and I am so glad that I did. I look forward to reading more, at night, when my children have fallen asleep! ;)