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Management Update 31

Site statistics

Published article count was 20 in May, down from 32 in April. Published comments were 822 in May, down from 1119 in April. 

We didn’t publish 21 abusive, content-free or incomprehensible comments in May, including a few from when Eliot tried our patience (more than ten comments in one day) : total comments intended for publication and not published: 21/843=2.5%.

Excluding search crawlers, robots and other non-human visitors, 30,994 people visited the site in May and looked at 332,000 pages, up again from 27,500 unique visitors in April. Because each page has multiple elements, this comes up in Awstats as more than 1.3 million hits, plus another quarter million from bots (a third of those Googlebot).

I've been doing a bit of analysis on how these visitors come to us. As has been true pretty much since the site's inception, most of the pages read on the site are either addressed directly (71% of page views), or via a search engine (24%, almost all Google). Apart from "webdiary" itself, the search terms involved were incredibly varied, with no one term causing more than two hundred  inbound visits, and the only terms close to that being "julia perry" (?), "bill henson" and "arie brand" (?).

That leaves the 5% who came referred from another site. This is also extraordinarily varied, being divided over nearly 900 source sites. The only referees sourcing more than 25 visits were from stumbleupon, edge.org and ar15.com, all to the Oil Dollar Euro ULP article, and totalling 600 or so visitors between them.

Each weekday around 2000 people visit the site (around 1300 on a weekend day). Less than half of those (probably drawn from those who came in via searches) make that one visit and move on, and more than half come back again (within the same month - the "unique" count resets at the beginning of each month). Obviously some of you come back more than a few times. Around 60 of you in any month log in to make comments, the thousands of others just read - and hopefully enjoy.


As in most recent months, cash income in May was $30 in donations, versus expenditure of $13 for bank fees. Cash in the bank at end April was $2,514.67. May Google ad revenue was US$17, accumulated unreceived total is US$81 - Adsense pays out when this reaches US$100.

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Editing my comments

Since Ian has agreed to do some editing for a while to help out, I have asked that he not be the one to edit my comments, or to deal with comments of others who might be taking issue with me.

I mean, can you imagine the fracas in this place if he DNP'd his own wife?

Fiona: I'd love to be a fly on the wall, Jenny ...  

Driving me crazy

Ok you experts, how does one get out of that Hebrew looking script that one's computer jumps into when you accidentally hit one of those buttons on the right bottom of the keyboard next to the space bar? The document I am working on simply will not let me out of it even though I can type emails and text here in roman. When I go back to the document it is still in that script. Driving me crazy. Tried shutting down to no avail. Help someone.

Nothing to worry about

Please do not let this concern you too much Jenny.

The Hebrew script of which you speak that ensnares your documents from time to time is merely a small technical hitch left over from The Lobby's takeover of WD (and the computers of contributing Webdiarists). These things are supposed to be thoroughly concealed but sometimes the experts are too smart by half.

I can assure you that we are working on the problem as a matter of top priority. In the meantime it would be best if you did not resist.

Fiona: Very droll, Geoff. I hope you found Alan's suggestion of some assistance, Jenny. 


Jenny, the only buttons on the right hand side that can do anything is the one between the Alt and Ctrl key. When you press this one it is the same as right clicking with the mouse. When you are reading WD hit that button and in the panel that comes up "check the ëncoding" to see if you have altered anything.It should have a little dot against Unicode (UTF 8).

Thank you Alan

Thanks Alan. Well I did that and yes the Unicode was just that and then I went back to my document and the scripy had gone. I tried putting it back by hitting those two bottom right buttons again, one is Garnet which I don't understand anyway and never use but I could not recreate the problem. So it may have just undone itself by being shut down overnight.  Got me beat. Will try and avoid the problem again as it was very frustrating. Even saving to a new document did not help. So it brought me to a full halt for the day.

I guess it is time though as the Scot says to get out the book and learn my way around this gadget.

Yes Geoff, very droll. But I'll let that pass. With your record in cyberspace you need a few breaks.  Hi Fiona. Lovely and warm up there I suppose.


Jenny, just curious, what is Garnet, and what kind of computer are you using?

Computer administrator

Alan, Garnet is a word that sits next to an image of a small chess board on top of the start box after you click start or hit the four diamond/start key on the bottom or left of the space bar, next to alt.   If I click on that chess board it lets me in to start playing around with screen savers, images and a whole ot more on my computer and the chess box is still there with Garnet: Computer Administrator written beside it. 

The computer is an IBM clone I bought from a relative second hand. It runs windows XP.  It sounds like I need to stay right away from Garnet or I will stuff the whole show. Sorry, I am no expert on this thing. I only use it to write documents on and have yet to play with all the other functions, like the new mobile I have.  The book had every bit of advice about all sorts of fancy functions and all I wanted to know was how to make a blasted phone call on it,  which one would have thought would be on page one, but oh no. Plus you need a magnifying glass to read the instruction booklet, and I am being serious there.   Cheers.

I am legion

Does the reporting system count me as one or many?

Each time I log on to my ISP, I am assigned an IP address from a pretty large pool. I usually shut down over night, and often during the day.That means that over a month I probably have up to 50 IP addresses, all for the same computer.

The logging system can certainly identify my IP address, but it isn't clear to me if it can identify my multiple IP addresses as originating from a single computer.

David R: no idea, actually - I suspect it may also be different depending on your browser. As all the world knows, Explorer embeds information in your page requests which would enable the site to uniquely identify you. That's 64% of visitors. Firefox (29%) and Safari (5%), maybe not. Likewise, Windows (92.5%) also embeds such stuff, Mac OS (5.5%) possibly, Linux (0.6%) probably not. You will spot from the fact that these stats are routinely available that your computer is reporting stuff on you all the time, and not just moving pages from servers to your screen ... 

Multiple counting?

Have no idea how these count systems work but how reliable they are in real terms. I have a habit of going to the site for a few minutes, then going to work on Word Documents, and then flicking back every half hour or so to WD when I am bored working on documents. I often leave the page open but rather than go back there and refresh I more often than not just hit favourites and load the site again. Am I being counted half a dozen or so times in a given day as a site hit?

How are unique visitors identified? Just interested. All that stuff is beyond my ken.

Richard: We'll have to wait for David tomorrow on that one Jenny.  I'm pretty sure I recall him mentioning some sort of timespan for each "visit."   A half hour or so?  Summat lak thaat.

Counted each day and each new login

Hi Jenny. The "unique visitor" count will only ever count you once in a month, tracking your origin. The one exception to that would be if you log in from a different computer (and possibly if you log in with a different browser, but I'm not sure about that).

If it worked as a "visit"  every time you come back after an hour or two the "total visits" count would be much much higher than it is - as can be approximately worked out form the numbers above, the "total visits" count is just on 51,000 - 1.65 visits per visitor. On the other hand, if it was only the 60 logged in commenters who return, and the other 1900 never come back, the "unique visitors" count would have to be a lot higher (nearer to 60,000 for the month).

ADDED later: just got the numbers for 1 June (because Dreamhost is in California, the stats package reports on days that end at midnight there, 5pm the next day here). So we can use this one day as an example: 1462 separate people ("unique visitors") came to the site in that 24 hours (which for us were mostly Monday, thus a weekday). 1791 visits were made - so 329 of those people came back again, or 110 of them came back three more times, or more likely some mix of those, plus a few who came back more often. We can't tell exactly without breaching the privacy of the visitors - and anyway the information isn't always reliable - for example, I know that my own IP address (the only one I can identify for sure) is identified as being in Melbourne by GeoIP - presumably because that's where iinet connect it for some reason of their own ...

Gotcha David

Thanks David. Got it.  No multiple computers here. Only two.

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