Every once in a while, as a source of amusement, I'll check the stats on my blog to get a feel for the size and reach of my readership.
I can't vouch for the accuracy of blogger.com, the platform I use to write and publish my blog, but it tells me the number of hits I get daily, weekly, monthly and all time for each individual blog that I post. It also tells me which countries in which my readers live, which is kind of interesting. Does that mean somebody in Uzbekistan really cares enough to read about the concrete driveway I put in last year? Holy smokes.
I'm flattered and thankful for the small number of faithful readers that follow my blog on a fairly regular basis. I write this thing mostly to entertain, perhaps provide a chuckle, to raise an eyebrow, maybe even to express a simmering outrage and to finally get that off my chest.
A typical blog post will generate about 40-50 hits on the day of publication. I figure 25 of you are regular readers, the other 15 or so are occasional readers or simply found me by accident. And I am more than satisfied with that.
Every once in a while I'll write something that touches a common core. When my friend Kent Crim passed away several months ago, the blog I wrote about him went through the ceiling, generating nearly 900 page views, about 700 of them on the day of publication. That was gratifying.
But this past month something really bizarre has been going on. A blog I wrote three years ago, entitled "Weighty issue" (see here), was lingering at about 60 pageviews ever since it was first published in 2011. Then, for some reason, it recently started smoldering, and then it combusted.
For the past month, "Weighty issue" was getting 40-50 hits per day. Go figure. I couldn't understand it. The world map on the stats page shades each country green when a reader from that nation pulls up my blog, and for some reason, France was always green. Dark green. Green when every other country was blank. Suddenly, it seemed, the French couldn't get enough of me.
As of today, "Weighty issue" has gotten 1,526 pageviews, although the upward trending seems to be slowing down. The story about Kent Crim is a distant second with 892 hits.
Incredibly, I had 2,200 hits for the month of October. Yikes.
I don't get it. I don't have any friends or relatives in France, so why the sudden international interest in my weight?
Then it hit me. Frenchmen are crazy. Their most popular Hollywood actor is Jerry Lewis, for crying out loud. So why shouldn't I be a popular bloggist in France?
I'm still not sure what to make of all of this. I don't know whether to be humbled for the increased readership or annoyed that the sudden impact of 1,526 readers could be skewering the stats.
I guess I'll be humbled. Merci beaucoup.