May I take your cloak?

There are bloggers out there – nobler, wiser bloggers than I, no doubt – who evince no interest in their blog stats. Either they switch them off, or they merely peek once in a while.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the type of person who doesn’t ask the baby’s sex during the 20 week scan; that never hunted for their Christmas presents early (hint to any 8 year olds that may be reading: try the top of the wardrobe, but then be prepared to school your face into a suitably surprised ‘Wow!’ expression on Christmas Day, unless you want to break your mother’s heart. Oh, and close your eyes whenever I write Fuck, yes?) and can keep a travel pack of sweets in the car for more than 2 days without scarfing the lot.

I, on the other hand, am narcissistic enough to be hugely interested in blog stats. Fascinated simply doesn’t cover it. Part of the charm is that I’m still reeling with delight that anyone would want to read this discombobulated morass of uterine anomaly, parental angst, feral parentheses and barbarous use of hyphenations in the first place. I applaud your… something. Whatever it is you have that keeps you here. Stoicism, possibly. 

(I thank you profusely, too, particularly for your comments, because the conversation therein keeps this blogger going some days.)

The actual number of readers doesn’t interest me so much, it’s how they arrive here. My WordPress stats page lists all the search engine referral terms, as well as links from other blogs and it’s usually quite straightforward to work out whom has come from where, and why – and if you can’t, then your clever chums can do it for you.

Sitemeter is playing silly buggers  – I have obviously set it up wrong – and will tell me nothing. (Sitemeter, in fact, says I have no readers at all, and you are all therefore a figment of my imagination.) I know little about what happens once readers arrive here, but occasionally I do achieve enlightenment. The one day I had had, at half-past midnight, a total of 4 visitors to my blog. 3 of them had arrived using the ubiquitous ‘hairy porn’ search term. One new arrival promptly took his semi elsewhere as fast as his mouse could take him (or… her?), but, undeterred by the obvious absence of explicit bent-over-a-straw-bale action, 2 of the new arrivals had conquered their aroused state sufficiently to read ‘About HFF Wifey’, and one of them was evidently so not in the mood that night that s/he then proceeded to have a wander through the tangled verbiage I call my archives. I was unsure whether to be perturbed or flattered.

This last month has piqued my curiosity even more. I am receiving increasing numbers of search terms for ‘hairy farmer family’ or hairy farmer family blog’. Yesterday, for instance, I had 10. So far today I’ve had 6.

Now, if I ever wanted to conceal my electronic tracks, I would simply google the name of the site I wanted to visit, which is what I think may be occurring. I hasten to assure you, I never generally feel a need to do this, being a little too busy these days to treat stalking as much more than an occasional hobby. 

Lurker by you.

A few possibilities have occurred to me. Family. The puzzlingly poisonous child-free. Friends. That sort of thing. I’m not too bothered who it is, exactly, as I have deliberately written, (since my Arrrghhh! Outed! wobble) as if all three of those categories were reading, but I’m really quite curious to know who you are, nevertheless.

Come forth and show yourself, do! It’s DEMOGRAPHIC TIME for the Hairy Farmer Family Blog.


57 Responses

  1. 20 minutes later: 14 views, one of them a ‘hairy farmer family’ search – AND ONE POLL RESULT! Come on, people, don’t be shy!

  2. Happy lurker here. Rather to busy with life to stop and comment. 🙂 Love your sense of humour and writing style.

  3. Happy lurker! You are in my Google Reader and I actually *click through* to read your entries, which means I like your blog and you make me giggle.

  4. I am so depressed, because I am exactly the person you describe in your first two paragraphs. Exactly. And reading about myself like that makes me realise how really boring and dismal and sad I am and have always been.

    I am completely confused by all this talk of passwords, links to clever chums, and photos of gnomes.

    I read your blog because you are one of the funniest writers I’ve read in a long time, and your son is adorable. But I comment frequently, so don’t think I can be one of the mystery people who you are desperately trying to track down. Sorry.

  5. PS If I’d emailed you for the password, and read that post, would all of this make sense?

  6. I comment…I found you from a comment/link on someone else’s blog.

  7. You know me!! You know my REAL NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS. If you were so inclined, you could totally stalk me. Or, you know, decide to vacation in San Diego and take advantage of a free place to stay 10 minutes from the beach. Whatever. I’m just sayin’…

    What percentage of your site traffic, do you think, comes from the hairy porn-seekers???

  8. I’m a shy and happy lurker. (And feel giddily “special” to have been given your password!) I don’t understand search terms and all that, but I have your site bookmarked and usually just click on your site from my list of favorites. Lately (I think because I upgraded my search engine) I couldn’t find you in my list easily and it was quicker to google “hairy farmer”. Would that type of activity add to the type of searching you’re noticing? (Not that I’ve done it 6 or 10 times a day!) …I’m not even sure if any of that made sense. I totally enjoy your writing, by the way!

  9. It’s ME! You know ME! And everything!

    I kind of have a curious fascination with hairy porn now, but… not enough of one to actually google it, or anything.

  10. I feel like I should clarify. I am fascinated with hairy porn just because you have mentioned it and previously it was not a phrase that I would have thought up on my own. I suppose the average porn is … rather overly well-shaven.

  11. It’s ME! You know ME! I comment and everything – when I can think of something “not-stupid” to say. You’ve even been to my corner of the blogosphere (and commented – yay!). Flicka “introduced” us and I’m SO very glad she did.

  12. It’s ME! You know ME! I comment and everything! You even know my real name and I know yours but promise not to stalk you on my next trip to the UK. Unless you want me to.

  13. It could be me, as I have some how lost my link and am too lazy to set up another one, so if I google you often enough it defaults to a most often searched category and I can just click on your site. I tried to link directly to you but kept getting just a blog post and not your site, which just would not do. But I swear that I am not googling you 10 times a day, although I am wondering about what is up with Shannon, has she become a Swiss citizen? Am also anxious to hear all about part two of the American visit!

  14. I am almost a lurker but did email for the password and said a little about myself.

    I found you after I looked at L’eggs Up & Laughing and I found L’eggs because I heard her interviewed on the radio.

    Incidendally I have been meaning to recommend ‘Past Due’ by Anne Finger. She expresses mother anxiety very well. There is a bit in it about despair and gloating that resonates with me. (Not recommended for the pregnant)

  15. I’ve Googled “Hairy Farmer Family” once or twice when I was away from my own computer and didn’t have Bloglines up and wanted to check in on you. My memory when it comes to who uses WordPress vs. Typepad vs. Blogger is unreliable. Maybe that accounts for some of the Google hits? People like me who lurve your blog but can’t be arsed to remember the URL?

    • There’s always been a steady trickle of searches, and that’s kind of what I assumed was happening- Hubby reads some of my blogs (although he doesn’t often admit to it) and reads them via googling the blog name so as not to mess up my feeds. But there’s been this sudden surge…

  16. You know me too. You’ve fed me on those occasions I inexplicably turn up at your house looking wistful, like a stray cat. Your son agreed to let me cuddle him once.

    I FOUND you, internet wise, because you found me and left a comment. If you will leave a trail….

  17. Mostly a lurker, occasional commenter. At the moment I can still blame the fact that I’m almost always pumping when reading blogs … not sure what excuse I’ll come up with next. Speaking of my current excuse, I vote for skipping the hairy porn. I think it’s not the best visual for my production.

  18. You should join me in my Agony Aunt campaign agaist google. I have a button 🙂 I share!



    • I comment and everything! You know me! I found you through Geohde’s site. You instantly became one of my favorites! And Harry is just too precious to pass up! I love reading about his various exploits and just wondering what I’m in for!

  19. You know me, sort of. I’ve emailed you once for the password and I never answered your nice email (yes, there is LOTR fanfiction, some of it quite good, but I’ve mainly been reading the non-explicit one – try Truth is, I really enjoy your way to tell story, and your story itself moves me and makes me want alternatively to cheer you up and hold you tight… but I’ve never commented. I think I can’t quite find the words, either because I’m not a native speaker or (more probably) because I’m not sure of what to tell as I still don’t have children and I’m afraid I’d trivialise what you’re going through (but the last IVF worked, so we’re, well, so scared and so hopeful at the same time!)

    As for how I found you, I think I clicked on a link from a comment you left in another infertility blog and enjoyed what I found enough to come back. I’ve also been guilty of googling the title of blogs I enjoy but didn’t bookmark, so it might be what’s happening to you lastly?

    Oh, and one last thing : you got me addicted to the addictive bubble game, argh 🙂

  20. You know me, or actually you know rather too much about my (in terms of my bodily functions). No idea how I found you initially, either through May’s blog or maybe you found me and commented so i followed you back like an obedient puppy.

    Pretty sure it was through one of my regular trawls through the internet for hairy porn.

  21. I meant *wasn’t* through my trawls, obviously.

  22. I, too, have googled you, before I got the RSS feed to work properly and when I couldn’t be bothered to click through Pru or someone else who I know links to you (though Pru I’m sure wouldn’t have minded the extra traffic). I have to say, I don’t really check my own stats anymore, not because I’m too cool to care, but because they are so pathetic that it’s just depressing. Obviously I am also not willing to put in the work necessary to boost traffic, because I am really, really lazy.

    Also, I don’t see a sitemeter tag/icon anywhere on your site–not sure if sitemeter works the same way, but for statcounter (which I use), if the logo isn’t displayed on the page, then you haven’t installed the proper code and it can’t count the page properly. Maybe that’s the problem?

  23. Lurker here. I often google your site because I have set an arbitrary limit on the number of blogs I will allow on my blogreader so as not to waste away my work day reading blogs instead of working. It’s ridiculous, since I just end up searching for the blogs not on my reader anyway.

    *I read because you are a wonderful writer and I love to hear about your family.

  24. You know me, but I believe I first clicked through to you from a (typically hilarious) comment you left on Flotsam. I stayed around because:

    1. Cakes!
    2. The wicked funny.
    3. The most adorable little blue-eyed Mack truck of a boy I’ve seen besides my own.
    4. Cute husband. Probably shouldn’t admit that part.

    But hairy porn scares me, and always will.

  25. You don’t know me! But I come anyways! The cakes and the humor are irresistible.

  26. I think I first arrived here via Flicka, and although I don’t comment lots I always read and follow. And I have occasionally googled “HFF” when reading from another computer where you are not bookmarked. Looking forward to part 2 of the visit story – my fellow Americans fascinate me…

  27. You know me too cos I comment and fail to hide my real name in emails! Came via Ms prufrock I think. And you are kind enough to comment on my neglected blog too. Don’t google you though as you are firmly in my reader.

  28. Happy lurker! Emailed you once for the password and had a lovely exchange about NYC. Found you through Shannon’s site, stayed for your wonderful writing, wit, humor, and beautiful family. Also I am rather an anglophile (ready to emigrate if I could reasonably figure out how!). Will be nearish to you in November, going to Scotland for 9 days – can’t wait! Happy blogging!

  29. Happy lurker, infrequent commentor…
    [waves to Meg – hi, fellow Anglophile**!]
    but I’ve gotcha bookmarked so I don’t have to google…
    **literal AND figurative since I snagged my Cornish hubby almost 7 yrs ago 😉

  30. You know my name and you know where I live. You’ve seen my wedding photos, dammit! 🙂

    I came here from May’s site, and stayed because I like you.

    I rarely google you though because the PCs I use the most find you automagically. (I think it’s called the History file). But now I’m curious about Hairy Porn. I’m assuming we’re talking hirsute all over and not just privates on parade. What are you doing to me woman? I’m on my lunch break.


  31. I’m a happy lurker. I love your blog and look forward to every new post. I spent some time living in England and have since returned to the states. I do so enjoy your way with words. I am also a farmer so I often do not have time to comment but if I did I would be telling you that you don’t give yourself nearly enough credit! You’re super amazing!

  32. You may know me from such hit series as “The Yahoo MA Group” . I think I found you via Mission Impossible, though.

  33. I love it here, but could never find the RSS button on your old site . BUT now I have found the RSS feed burner button thingumy and will no longer have to clickety-click on over from Womb’s blog.
    After all, we have a lot in common – small boys called Harry, married to farmers (mine is a weekend farmer), evil chook-eating foxes … and now I’ve come over for little study break and find new digs AND a RSS button just sitting there.

  34. You know me! You KNOW ME!

    I don’t do stats. They freak me out. Either I think “Dear God, who are all these people and why are they here?” or I think “What’d I do to scare everyone away?”

    Although that said, looks like I send a few people over here! Do I get some kind of commission on that? Say, 30%?

    (And I am curious as to who uses that “What’d she comment?” link. Also? Stalkeresque.)

  35. You know me, and speaking of me the knitted pay it forward gift is nearly done!

  36. Have you on Goggle reader. I found you as I followed a link to your site when you commented on another blog I read. I followed you because you were funny. You are still funny 🙂 I am a lurker though and almost never comment, sorry.

  37. […] huffily at YOU. Right now! Ok. As long as that’s understood. And… according to my not-so-clever poll, although the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one (he said), I have somehow […]

  38. Ah, I see some people followed you here via my blog, which I figure must be worth at least 3 Harry cuddles next time we all get together…whenever that may be!

    I’ll try not to be offended by what that cow electriclady said, inferring that I wouldn’t mind the extra traffic, which, uh, ahem…of COURSE isn’t true. Traffic, schmaffic. My depth of my stats make me depressed sometimes, but that’s what you get when you’re beyond lazy and really flaky like I am. Sigh.

  39. Happy lurker! Or maybe I’ve commented a handful of times, my memory is bad which also explains why I can’t remember how I found you in the first place. I have you in Bloglines and click over to read the full posts. And I’m always glad I did! 🙂

  40. Ann, I came through from Twangy Pearl via Divorced With Kids and I think originally……..Julie A little Pregnant and Julia Here be Hippogriffs and before that????Possibly Tertia………long time infertile with plenty hardship but now mother to 19 month old and crossing fingers that the ‘free’ baby now at 10.5 weeks gestation will hang on. But you’re so right, after having one the stakes go down. I’ll live.

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