Thursday, October 23, 2008

wondering through google


People arrive at this blog through various means. In what is effectively both a blessing and a curse, I am able to see how people come here via statcounter. This is simultaneously fascinating and frustrating. It's a bit like getting a snippet of a conversation but failing to grasp what it's about.

The majority of people come here as 'no referring link'. This means they've bookmarked me. And it's nice that people bookmark me. If you're one of those people I salute you and compliment you on your good taste, ha ha. But you'll have to forgive me for saying that this is not what fascinates me. What has me spellbound are the people who've searched for a topic and had one of my pieces come up in google.

Following on from the last piece and its discussion of the net as a place for those who seek, being privy to what people are looking for (at least when they arrive here) is an enthralling process. Were one higher in the food-chain, like Sergei Brin the owner of Google, I could well imagine it to be intoxicating. Unsurprisingly Google has dreams of creating some kind of Artificial Intelligence. If Ladbrokes were taking bets on it, I'd put my money on that particular venture not ending well. Not for us, anyway. (This and a thousand other things...). In the meantime there's merely me and my glimpse into what people are searching for.


People search for the strangest things. One individual arrived at my recent piece about Curt Maynard and the Apple Onion by searching for 'shat myself'. Um, okay... why not? But other search subjects are real head-scratchers. For these, I will click the google address they came from and see the same page they were looking at that prompted them to click the link to here. I'm just guessing but I expect that a lot of these searchers will be disappointed at what they find, ha ha. Someone searching for 'barber's stool' almost certainly did not want a discussion about fear and repression (or the lack thereof) in China. Never mind, they should feel free to dismiss me.

And then there are the disappearing google pages. I often go to the google page which someone used to arrive here, and I see the terms they searched for and the results they got, and yet this blog is not amongst them. Nor on the next page, nor the next, nor any of them. And yet I know they came to me via that search a few hours earlier. So where did I go in between times? If I re-enter their precise terms and add the word 'nobody', I still don't get me. How does that work? Does it mean anything? Obviously I did turn up in their results and now I don't. Me, I shrug my shoulders.

These are curiosities, sure. But in amongst them are obvious trends. I shall get the biggest and most obvious out of the way first. As such, it is my melancholy duty to inform you that easily the greatest number of people arriving at this blog via google (with daylight second) consists of brain-dead gamers looking for news on when they might re-indulge themselves in more mindless killing - which is to say they search for hitman 5. Hitman is an assassination game, for those who don't know. It's the kind of game that, if it didn't exist, the CIA would have invented it anyway. If the people who did make Hitman weren't funded by the CIA, then they missed out on free money.


Me, I find this ever-increasing avalanche of would-be assassins unfailingly depressing. To be honest it's my own fault. I wrote the piece deliberately to be found in this fashion. I intended to screw with the heads of both the gamers and the people who wrote the game, by way of a mock interview. As best I can make out, I failed. I doubt I made a dent on a single one of their rock-hard skulls. But my timing was something else! I'm guessing that hitman 5 is due out shortly and the gamers are working themselves into a lathered frenzy of anticipation. A whole new world of people to be shot, stabbed, and poisoned! Fantastic!

Absurdly, if you put any variation of 'hitman-latest-news' into google, my imagined interview is top of the page, more or less on it's own. It's also been linked to by two gamer sites, one in Holland and one in Finland. I have no idea what they make of it all, since it's all Greek to me (there's babelfish of course, but it provides information in inverse proportion to comedy). Amongst this brouhaha, I'm vaguely astounded that the creators of the game haven't sent me a cease-and-desist or somesuch. Perhaps they think I'm not worth it. To be honest I don't know what I'd do if they did. Frankly I'm sick of the whole fucking thing. My brain fills with tedious images of cockroaches taking over the earth. For now I leave the article there as an act of bloody-mindedness. If those addicted to assassination games gain nothing from my piece apart from confusion, then fine, long may it continue.

But there are glimpses of hope. I see other trends in searches. Curiously, many are transient. I wonder at these 'waves of interest'. I suspect that google features 'that-which-is-new' and with the passing of time older articles are less likely to pop up - ie. people are constantly interested in a given topic but only found me whilst the article was new. Or it could be that people search in a faddish pattern - ie. google hasn't changed but the people have. I have no idea.


But some topics are perennial. In what I view as a good and useful thing, people continue to be curious about the holocaust. I figure if anyone is going to read about the holocaust they may as well read my take on it. At least it's funny. The other topic that perpetually pops up is that of Amalekites. Me, I'm pleased, because I liked that piece and it seemed that other people grooved on it too. Three cheers. I have no idea if these searchers are religious froot-loops or the right-thinking curious. For me, it's all good.

But by far my favourite searchers, the people I love, are those who come here seeking to know more about selflessness. If this blog was a zombie movie (ha ha), the gamers would be the zombies and those seeking selflessness would be our plucky heroes. Silly cinematic metaphors are the first thing to pop out of my brain, sure, as I roll around what these searches mean. But other thoughts occur too. Firstly, there are people out there who put 'selflessness' into google. They exist. This augurs well and makes me happy. But this happiness is something of a mixed feeling. I wonder if it isn't a variation of Groucho Marx's line about not wanting to be a member of any club who'd have him.

Which is to say that when people search for selflessness, why am I so front and centre? Oughtn't there to be a zillion articles on this? Shouldn't this little blog be 'selflessness' search-page #47? Seems not. Best I can tell is that selflessness is a word that doesn't get much coinage. If they're coming to me, then there ain't much out there, if you can dig it. And then there's the awful thought - They come to me? What the hell would I know? I'm an ex-advertising bullshit-artist who spent a week in a monastery. God spare us. It's sad really. So - I'm happy and I'm sad. Three cheers and commiserations. Still, in amongst the zombified army of the undead it's nice to know that humans live still.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Back to normal- whatever that is.
Tony

Anonymous said...

nobody... what did you do??
Tell Les
Tony

Anonymous said...

Stumbled across this- immediately thought of (the paranoid) you.
Tony
ps tried to post this days ago

nobody said...

You lost me Tony. Tell Les what? Did I do what about what?

Is this the discussion about comments not posting that's taking place over at the haiku blog? Um, I don't know anything about it. And I've done nothing to remedy it, whatever it was. Is that what we're talking about?

Anonymous said...

Yep! Looks as though it fixed itself
Tony

nobody said...

And hats off to this rare evil genius. Sir! I salute you!

www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=nobody looks at his statcounter too much&start=10&sa=N

nobody said...

Sure enough, I just wandered through statcounter. And it seems that people are trying to comment and not being able to. Hmmm... I don't know what it all means. Those who can might want to email me. Otherwise I'll pop over to someone else's blog and see if I can post a comment. Since Tony has obviously succeeded here, maybe it was a temporary thing?

Anonymous said...

Probably updated redundant software on your machine nobody- should be OK elsewhere whenever others do whatever you did???
Thanks for being the pipeline
Tony

nobody said...

But I didn't do anything!

Mind you, I just went to Les' and his comments thing is very odd. The graphic codeword thing pops up after you comment. Curious. Who knows what it all means.

Meanwhile I'm off for lunch and I'll see what's shaking later. Fingers crossed if people want to comment...

nina said...

Maybe eblogger has completed their planned outage shown on my dashboard taking place at 8pm PDT 10/23/06. 8pmPDT would be GMT + 10 hours for the Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane zone which is ...drum roll please ... 10pm, 10/24/08.
I mention this because it appears eblogger already did whatever it was they wanted to do at whatever time was most convenient. Maybe you got caught in it? Les got caught in something. But after going offline a few hours, my comment is showing.
Also, give site meter a try. I like it better than stat logger You get more details. But, after looking at it all for a few minutes, it means nothing. Nothing because most do not leave comments so you have no sense of them as friend or foe or troll or spiders, and nothing because I see myself on these tools as coming from mirrors located thousands of miles away. You can only know where someone is located when they tell you.

kikz said...

odd, this looks like the 'old' drafts page.
yestry it did not...

the leave comment is upper right..

there is the option to show/collapse the original post.. all looks as before...
headscratch .......


things still look altered over at les'...
i still can't leave comment, cuz no generated verification word shows up... at least on firefox.. i've not tried safari...
whatta drag...

hey...wasn't i just shakin my fist at the blogger code toads???!
hehe.

kikz said...

well.. as of 4:42 CST

thanks noby.. my cookies are/were on...
although i draw the line @ 3rd party cookies... yuk!

so, dug thru the browser prefs/security/cookies pulldowns and added www.blogger.com as an exception, even though it's NOT in my 'blocked/disallowed cookies' that seems to've worked over at les' place as blogger recognized my 'identity' and i was able to see the generated word verif gif.

i won't know until i see it there.. as the 'comment saved until owner approval' text now appears under the comment box, and is cut in half.. only the yellow box color is visible, bout half the size of a line of text.. jeezuz i hate bugs..

thanks noby, wish your advice would've been included in the troubleshooting blurb over on blogger... their advice was to dump cache, wade thru cookies, yada X3.

is odd though.. today on church, it's back to the 'draft page', looks the same as always... however les' place still sports the new/NOT improved embedded comment form :P
i think there is a pr release on the new form on bloggerbuzz if anybody is interested...

happy friday...:)

john said...

The huge popularity of all those games is depressing, it seems like such a huge waste of time to me. What do people have to show for all those hundreds of hours learning how to kill things on a computer screen?

A few months ago I was listening to the radio and there was an interview with a mother whose daughter had been killed by a group of drunken thugs who had stamped on her head when she tried to protect her boyfriend, both attacked because they were dressed as goths. Stamping on people would never have been a manoeuver i'd have thought of when I was young. The interviewer then cut straight to a piece about how great the new grand theft auto game was going to be...

In the uk where I live we become more and more surrounded by intrusive technology. I have to take a bus to work 45 minutes each way and I have to put up with the tinny annoying noise that comes from ipods or people playing tunes or brief snatches of tunes on their mobile phones and even people playing games on laptops sat next to me, it really never seems to end and most of the time no-one notices the beautiful view out of the window, the autumn trees etc, what goes on? and of course the security cameras that are everywhere and don't seem to bother anyone.

I will almost confess to having a blog myself. One of my postings was about atomic bombs and it was really interesting to see where the hits were coming from and it continues to be my most popular posting ever, bonkers really.

I am also laughing in a slightly evil way from my hideout on this tiny island and slightly raising my hand - sorry nobody the statcounter gag looked too good to miss, though genius no. Cheers everyone.

nobody said...

How coy you are John. And I wondered if that wasn't you. I have a few Englanders read here regularly but I think you might be the only one who comments. And otherwise, games, ipods, and all manner of stupefaction machines - I hate 'em. I refuse to buy an ipod. If people out there own them, relax. All my friends have them too. Me not having one is not a comment on those who do.

And ta, Kikz and Nina. Funnily enough, way back, when I used to get twenty hits a day, it was possible to figure out who was who. But not anymore. Now I have no idea. Which is fine with me, ha ha.

notamobster said...

Ya know, it seems terribly tragic to me... what with gamers the world over meeting, to talk shit and kill each other. I have a few employees who brag about their online gaming, new friends from Germany, Iceland, Norway, S. Africa, et al - but all they ever seem to do is talk shit, and kill each other. No information of any value; or real emotions are exchanged. Nothing to nourish one's mind, just more perpetuation of the aggressive militarization of the human mind.

The googles are absolutely incredible. Near as I can tell, the date of matching documents has no relevance to their placement. I pulled up a search yesterday, which gave me interviews from 02-04. Nothing recent matched, but these articles were exact. Seems I was thinking in the past, sir. I guess some ideas, are just timeless.

nobody said...

Yeah, I used to work with a bunch of gamers. Lunchtime conversations - tedium!

kikz said...

hey nota...

read over on les' site, you've been stricken frm the voter rolls...

i'm sorry ya had ta go thru the hassle.

i'm not going to bother... but it would be kind of fun to know if i (registered independent) am also... i just did jury duty back the end of aug... that would be a blatant kicker if i showed as stricken.

paul said...

I played one of those Hitman games in the past :p

paul said...

"I have a few Englanders read here regularly but I think you might be the only one who comments"

Not quite!

nobody said...

Well Paul, you're on your Pat Malone on this comments page mate. Everyone else is from the new world.

Don't fight it. Embrace your minority status! Wear those Tim Brooke-Taylor underpants with pride!

Phishy said...

I'm a little confused about your irrational anger towards the "gamers". I play games. I've actually played a few of the hitman games. Does that make me addicted to assassination games? Do you see the broad generalization you have made?

Whatever. I'm glad I stumbled over to your blog, I will waste countless hours at work reading your archived posts.

I enjoy the attitude you take and your style of writing, and can see why it was linked on smokingmirrors.

I'm interested in some of the topics you've touched on, as I am with most of the writings Les produces. I'm concerned about the environment, I'm concerned about the state of the world, I'm concerned about the wars and coming wars.

But does none of this matter because I play a few games now and then? How am I the mindless zombie, I'm not generalizing. the people you complain about surely do exist, but that isn't to say every gamer is one of them, it's quite the opposite. Those gamers wouldn't tear themselves away from world of warcraft long enough to google anything, let alone hit up your site.

nobody said...

Thanks Phishy, that was a most excellent comment.

Small sparkplug synapses are sputtering to life in my head and I shall write a thing about it. The other six unfinished pieces can wait, ha ha. Who wants to read a thing called 'A World of Fuck-Dolls' anyway?

Later...