Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adventures in Internet Blogging, Pt. I.

Hello gentle readers. Allow me to take a small break from your regularly scheduled travelin' and boozin' and researchin' about boozin' to peel back the curtain a little bit on some of the subtleties of having a "web log".

Folks who have had a blog know that whether you're trying to scratch out a living or you're just starting out at some point the amount of traffic you get on a day-to-day basis becomes something of an obsession. I can't say exactly why it happens for those of us who aren't ever planning on making any money off blogging. It's probably narcissism (or at least that's the explanation with which I'm most comfortable.)

Regardless, this obsession is a universal thing. Bloggers pore over their traffic numbers like they're religious screeds. They analyze and determine the types of posts that are the most popular (here at Fernetiquette these babies are by far the most google friendly) and the posts that no one bothers reading at all (basically everything else.) This is a daily ritual, and for most of us it's a sad, silent struggle against sanity.

However, one of the great joys of compulsively checking your traffic numbers is seeing exactly how people stumble upon your site. The average reader may not know this, but when you load Fernetiquette I can see a whole lot about you. Not only do I get information on how many people view my page, but I am told those visitors' locations, their browser settings and how long they spend on my site before clicking off to look at lolcats. Most interestingly, I am also told the link that brought you here. I ALSO see it when people find me through a google search and I see what the google search was that drew the hit. As you can guess, google searches are often pretty funny.

For example, last Friday I posted this about the Eastern Standard in Boston, Mass. Because no Fernetiquette post would be complete without pithy, immature tag I slapped one on the bottom of it that said "Tom Brady is a Handsome Man." I did this for a few reasons. One because before Tom Brady was the quarterback for the Patriots, he played for Michigan.


As I explained in the True Faqs, I am a rabid Michigan Football fan. It is also true that Tom Brady is in fact quite handsome.

Proof pt. II. You know you want him.

Astute readers will note that my description of the Eastern Standard's "Heather in Queue" cocktail used the word "foxy". Less than an hour after throwing that baby up, I got a hit from someone in South Korea who had apparently googled "Tom Brady foxy". I found this amusing. You may find this sad or unremarkable, but this gets back to the Pathetic Life of Your Poor Blogger.

Along similar lines someone in Pinole, CA recently found me through this search, which ha ha google suggestion lulz.

Not quite as tasty. Or dangerous.

But my absolute favorite example of this phenomenon so far is the apparent confluence of this post about Varnish in Los Angeles and this one about the Football cocktail which produced a google result for Fernetiquette when someone searches for (I kid you not) "homemade cream for décolletage". Insert relevant picture here:

Insert inappropriate joke here.

UPDATES! So speaking of The Eastern Standard, behold the Power of the Twitternets!

Re-tweet away, minions!

To say that the post on Friday was the Most Popular Fernetiquette Post ever is a bit of an understatement. Someone in Boston found it Monday morning, tweeted about it and BOOM this blog hit triple-digit page loads for the first time in its young life. And there was much rejoicing.

There was also some helpful clarification. In the comments to that post, Frederic answers our question about Ms. Heather:
This cocktail is named for a regular Friday-night customer who was standing “in queue” when Jackson created this drink for her as a replacement for the Hoskins, “as I was running out of the then famous 164-bottle stash of Amer Picon that I picked from a dusty corner of the Martignetti warehouse.”
More at the Drink Boston link, which Frederic also helpfully provides. FWIW, My friend Aly who lives in Boston but is unfortunately not a Fernetophile had this to say about The Eastern Standard:

The Eastern Standard is the only good place to get a drink in the Fenway area. It's near the park, but manages to stay douche bag free.

So there you have it. More Fernet, Fewer Douchebags. How can you go wrong?
Filed Under: meta, The Pathetic Life of Your Poor Blogger, Tom Brady is a handsome man, Boston, these are a few of my favorite things, All Your Updates, Fellow Travelers, MSPaint Skillz

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