Although I don't number myself among Quantitative Self Movement enthusiasts, I have become one of those obsessive-compulsive data crunchers when it comes to blogging, thanks to ingenious Google programmers who've hooked me on their drug of choice.
One of the perks bundled into Google's free site, blogspot.com, is its backend; the Stats section provides decipherable information about the number of readers and from what area of the world they are clicking. This data breaks down numbers and geographic areas by Now, Days, Weeks, Months, and All Time. Wowza.
While advertising agencies, politicians and other social animals utilize this type of information for marketing purposes and other nefarious schemes, my inner anthropologist follows these demographics in order to understand why certain countries respond more -- or less -- to the musings scratched out in this blog.
The United States remains the largest readership, which makes sense since the issues discussed come from the pondering mind of a transplanted New Yorker turned devout Southern Californian and inveterate neurotic.
Until this week, the second largest readership was France, which also makes sense because my husband is French and thus friendships have developed on the other side of the pond. Predictably or unpredictably depending on your perspective, French readership topped the charts when I was in France for 10 days and blogged about my experiences on their soil. Since returning to the USA last week, that readership has plummeted into third position. ET phone home.
Amazingly, Russian readership skyrocketed when the blog addressed topics on space programs, yet steadily declined when this blogger moved on to fresh territory. Does the mean that Sputnik lives on as a space station?
Chinese readership remains constant, although it was three times higher when the blog mentioned the Dalai Lama frequently in the first month. One of my friends wondered if it was the government reading the blog or a real public person interested in what was being said about this "splittist" as the Chinese call him ever so falsely. As the readership now remains a constant of one per day, it might be a government censor and not an avid reader clicking in.
The other numbers vary considerably and include people from the United States, France, China, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, Poland, Serbia, the Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea, Israel, Italy, Spain, Jordan, Gabon, Norway, the Netherlands, Moldova, Finland, South Africa, Slovenia, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Algeria, the Philippines, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, Guatemala, Brazil, New Zealand, and Australia.
The most amazing stat derives from Malaysia: it now sits in second place for readership on a daily basis, far outpacing other nations. Originally, Malaysia popped into the Stats section when a post was written about exotic animals, kept as pets by thousands of Americans under deplorable conditions. Parts of Malaysia house the largest variety of flora and fauna on the planet, and some of those rare American hostages might come from their diverse landmass. But a single blog on exotic animals does not explain this consistent surge of readership.
So this is a shout out to the Malaysians who, next to Americans, have now topped the charts in attending to these daily ramblings. Can I visit your country some time? I can only dream of visiting your oldest forest on earth, some 130 million years in the making.
From Los Angeles with love.