I put a hit-meter on this blog some months ago. January 7th, to be exact.
I’m sure it was because I wanted to know how many people were dropping by so I could feel good about it in my very Diotrophesian way.
When I went to the site offering the free counter, I had a choice to make: Visits? or Unique Visitors?
The first just counts how many times someone drops by. The second counts how many new people drop by (or at least how many new computer addresses drop by, since some folks – especially dialup folks – may have a different one every time they log on to the ‘Net). If they come back with the same address assigned by their ISP (Internet Service Provider), they aren’t counted.
So I chose the second option. It’s not as informative as the first, for the reason I just described, but I was curious.
It turns out that this blog is getting visited, on average right now, by about 1,300 new “people” a month.
I don’t have a fancy stats package that tells me how many of them are robots or spiders (poking around on my site for the search engines) and how many are genuine human beings. Or ingenuine human beings.
I don’t have a clue how long the real ones stay, what they read, or where they go when they leave. I can’t tell you who’s coming and going, where they’re from or what they’re looking for. I don’t know who all the regulars are (well, among the lurkers; I can pretty much tell you who the commenters would be!).
I have no idea if they just duck their heads in and look around, sit down on a pew and absorb, skim, doze off, or do other things while forgetting that they’ve opened a window to here.
What’s really sent a chill down my spine is the realization that I have a pulpit here. A rather bully pulpit, actually. I can say whatever is on my heart here, and even if someone disagrees, I can go right on saying it.
And that there are possibly more new people checking out this cyber-pulpit each month than there are dropping in on my real-world church of 1700+ members each year.
That’s just downright scary to me.