Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Internet is Scary, or, Cristiano Ronaldo calls Soccer Mom ‘Douchebag’ after Sideboob Incident

I want to talk about my blog. I realize that technologically, I’ve always been a late adapter and that blogs are considered passé. It’s all about ‘the Twitter’ now. But blogs might not be dead yet: in Saturday’s Globe and Mail, in a review of a book that grew out of a popular mom blog, columnist Leah McLaren said she felt ‘wistful for the (blog’s) cyber verbiage of yesteryear’ when writers posted entries of more than 200 words. Then Sunday’s New York Times Magazine mentioned that the most prominent sportswriter in America is Bill Simmons, a blogger who sometimes posts up to 6000 words on some topics, and that his blogs are downloaded an average of 600,000 times each. Of course, these are actual writers writing about relevant things, not just navel gazing in soccer cleats, as I have been known to do— but reading about these popular bloggers made me curious about my stats. Who reads me? And then I discovered a button on my blog that can tell me just that.

Don’t worry. I can’t see individual people and I don’t know if you are ignoring me. But I do have a button called Stats that tells me which countries people are viewing my blog from. It’s totally addictive. Why? The other day I checked it to see who was reading me and it turns out my blog had already been looked at 19 times in the Ukraine since that morning . That’s more than the 12 Canadian readers I had in the same time period. The Ukraine? (Oh dear. Given my dodgy grasp of geography, I’m ashamed to admit that if I was handed a blank map of the world and forced to pinpoint the location of the Ukraine, I would kinda wave my hand over one general area, hesitantly, and I might be wrongish.) I’m also inexplicably read by a fair number of readers in the BRIC countries (other than China, who doesn’t give a damn about me.) I even have 1 reader in Zimbabwe.

Naturally, this makes no sense whatsoever.

Luckily it can be easily explained by another kind of statistics my blog gathers for me: the keywords people google which help them find my blog. Of course, there are the expected ones—people who know me and google me by name. But yesterday someone found my blog by googling ‘garbage cans that go up stairs’, because of a piece I wrote about my physiotherapist that mentioned both stairs and garbage cans.

A surprising number of people also google Cristiano Ronaldo and end up on my page. Why? Because a year ago I posted a fake interview I pretended that I had done with Ronaldo. Also, people that googled the word ‘sideboob’ found my blog because of a piece I wrote back in March. ‘Soccer Mom’, and another popular key word, ‘douchebag’, have also landed people on my page in reference to posts I wrote or a friend guest wrote, in the past. Does the title of this post make sense to you now? Cristiano Ronaldo is probably perfectly nice and did not do anything wrong; but, rather, my title might just be the tiniest shameless attempt to increase traffic to my blog. (It’s pathetic, I know. The New York Times Magazine article I referenced earlier has Simmons quoted on others sports blogs as saying “The worst thing that’s happening now is that people are writing things just to drive traffic and get attention.” Oh yeah? Suck it, Simmons, with your 600,000 readers and your ESPN masthead.)

Now I almost wish I didn’t know these statistics at all because it makes me wonder what to write about. In a ridiculous attempt to appeal to my newfound Ukranian readers I actually googled ‘soccer pierogies’ to look for a picture I could use- because pierogies are one of the only Ukranian things I can think of- but sadly, Google Images came up with nothing. (I did find a race where men dress up like pierogi mascots and run on a field {see above}, but there was no soccer ball, so that’s out. I also found a Jesus pierogy that a woman discovered one Easter in her frying pan and sold for $1775 to Golden Palace, the same people that bought the Virgin Mary grilled cheese a few years ago for a much higher price.)

The last stat I discovered is the hardest one to face: my most popular blog ever, by a wide margin, is the only one I did not have a hand in writing. Yup, my friend Frank’s An Open Letter to Soccer Douchebags is my (his) most popular blog ever, having been looked at hundreds of times. Dang.

To console myself I’m going to try to scrape the pentagram shapes of a soccer ball into an uncooked perogy so I can hopefully sell it and make millions. I clearly won’t be making any dough (pun intended) from my writing. Except, perhaps, in the Ukraine. (Wherever that is.)


  1. I see you're getting into SEO (search engine optimization), this might get some negative blowback but.. why don't you have some small google ads here? after you get a certain amount of readership, you could make a couple of dollars without having people even click the ads... just a thought

    - Man that's lurnt some teknilojikal buzzer wurds

  2. Frank! That was not the response I expected from you (I expected more gloating). Look at you, being helpful! Who knew? (How many dollars? Two? I'll think about it. Thanks.)