Sunday, 31 January 2010

Keywords and blogs

As if twitter, Facebook and all things West Wing related weren't taking up enough of the time I really ought to be giving to such things as working, getting to know people in Belgium, keeping in touch with people back home, getting my tax return filed on time (ahem) and getting my novel written, I have for several months now had another new addiction, and, inspired by Kat with a K's blog, I thought I'd share it with the world.

It's "stat counter" - a handy little device that shows me exactly where, exactly when, and exactly how many times people have clicked on my blog. Self-obsessed? Shamelessly so, but quite fun nonetheless.

It allows me to get very excited when, for example, someone from New York City reads my fan fic - with only eight million people in NYC, it's bound to be Janel Moloney, right? - or, as the other day, "Dallas" pops up - I imagine Bradley Whitford is rushing out between takes of his new TV show to check the latest update of my thrilling insights into all thing related to - him, mainly. (I promise I will write about other things soon. I really promise.)

It also shows me which keywords people have used to get to my site, and that for some reason is a source of endless fascination for me.

Just shy of a quarter of you reach me through - drum roll, this is going to be surprising, I'm sure - typing "Bradley Whitford". Next most popular (but a long way behind) is "Janel Moloney" but in the last few weeks I've also had a fair few people search "Bradley Whitford m(o)ustache", and you'd be surprised how many people google "Belgium" and "West Wing" in the same breath. Luckily for them I have a page devoted to answering just that query. Hopefully whoever keyed in "West Wing tractors Brussels" found it.

I seem to get "the third best job in the world" quite a lot too, which is odd to me. (It's mine, by the way - the other two you can probably guess if you have been paying any attention at all...)

The teacher in me gets frustrated, though, when people go to my page asking a question and I know from the page they have hit that they won't have had it answered. (Sadly, statcounter does not as yet provide me with an email address for every reader of my blog!)

Things like...

- What does "bound to happen" mean? (this one pops up with surprising regularity... that Josh and Donna scene is frustrating enough when you do understand what she says to him - I really feel for these people!)

It means that something is destined, definitely going to occur one day. Inevitable, you might say, which coincidentally is the title of the novel I'm currently working on.

- Is Good Friday a Bank Holiday in Brussels?

Nope. Which I find a little odd. Any excuse for a bank holiday (that's a public holiday to you guys across the pond) normally... We do get Easter Monday though, which surely would not have any significance whatsoever without the events of Good Friday, and as as it is seems to have very little except perhaps allowing us to recover from our over-eating of Easter eggs and the like. It's a little like getting Boxing Day off (which we don't technically over here, though a lot of offices are shut between Christmas and New Year anyway) without bothering with the whole 25th December nonsense. Still, it's hardly the most baffling thing about this quirky little country.

- Janel Moloney pregnant

Yes, she is, and it's actually quite ridiculous how happy I am for her.

- English lessons through Skype

Yes! Email me at languagetuition at gmail dot com if you are interested in flexible, personalised language lessons from the comfort of your own home. Advert over.

- Oboe Abu Dhabi

Erm, can't help you there. Sorry.

- Janel Moloney been seen in New York.

That one's just cruel. She does live in NYC, so it's not entirely surprising she should have been spotted there, but despite knowing what some of her hangouts are, did I see her when I was over there? No. I did not.

- What can't you study in Belgium?

Creative writing. The Francophone world seems united in its belief that these things can't be taught. And maybe they're right, but it would be nice to give it a try.

So there you go. This has been fun, so I may do it again.

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