Now, I'm a geek, and I don't put much stock in this particular counter. For one thing, there's no way for me to exclude my visits to my own blog, which happens whenever I edit a page, modify the blog's template, and so on. I also check out how my blog looks in different browsers, at different settings, especially if I suspect there's a formatting problem.
This points out that it would be very easy to load the dice (stack the deck, mark the dominoes ...) and artificially inflate my count, just by repeatedly visiting my own blog. I suspect this has happened, inadvertently: this particular hit count was around 1065 just over the weekend; it's now at 1510. Hell, I am a geek, after all: I could just write a program which repeatedly visits my blog - say every minute or so - and hit #1 in no time.
But homey don't play that.
I mainly pay attention to two other visit counters I have in the footer: StatCounter and SiteMeter. Both offer limited tracking information for free. And both allow me to block my own visits, so they don't skew the counts or stats the way Top 100 does. Both also offer additional information besides simple counts, including:
- The referring page
- Entry and exit pages
- Duration of visits
- Type of browser
- Monitor resolution
- About half of you have a monitor resolution of 1024x768. But a significant number of you, around 7%, have your monitors set to 800x600, and many more, about 25%, have monitors set to 1280x1024. This told me I needed to customize my blog's template to use flexible sizing instead of hard-coded pixel widths, so the content will flow according to the size of the browser window.
- The majority of you use Internet Explorer as your browser, though a significant chunk use Firefox. So, although Firefox is my browser of choice, I also need to check out how my blog looks in Internet Explorer when I change the template.
The combination of all this information is stuff I look at frequently, several times a week, if not every day. It helps me to see what's working, and what's not working, even when you're not leaving comments. I much prefer your comments, so please, comment away! But even when you don't, know that I gather up the crumbs from your cookies, watching over your cumulative visits, like a beneficent demi-god.