Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tonga

Many months ago I added a tracking feature to my blog. It doesn't give me names of who visited. It does however show the city and country for any computer that accesses the blog. (by the way, at first there was a little site meter on my blog letting you know that the tracking was going on, but it disappeared and I don't know how to put it back. I don't want to seem sneaky!) At first only my immediate family read what I wrote. But soon I noticed that I was getting hits from all over the world. The other night I learned how to see what page had referred a reader to my blog. I was amazed to learn that a substantial portion of the time, someone has done a Google search. For example, recently, someone on the island of Tonga (as far as I know, someone who never met me) did a Google search on a term something like "how the choices I make affect my life" (no quotes in the actual search term). I had written a blog post on choices and how they impact our lives. So someone in Tonga spent about 12 minutes reading my blog to see what I had to say.

I get about 9 hits a day. About half are for zero seconds. Sometimes folks far away will spend quite a few minutes reading various pages of the blog.
I have had visitors from many countries on all continents except Africa and Antarctica. Once I had a hit from a remote part of China. It showed up when I was showing some coworkers at HP how the tracking program worked. One of the guys said, "Hey, that was me!" He had been vacationing in China, visiting the family of a student he and his wife had hosted.

O.K. So what? I am not actively trying to get a big or distant readership. I am trying to write things that are meaningful. My conclusion is that we all impact more people than we know. In this case, your computer leaves a little mark that it was here and that someone in your city read my blog. But for most of what we say and do, we have little knowledge of who will see it or hear of it. We have even less knowledge of how those other people are impacted. Nonetheless, they are impacted. My prayer is that more and more of what I say, write, and do will impact folks in a positive way. In particular I pray that God will be glorified. I pray that he will use me.

It happens that my wife is in Africa this week. Maybe I will get my first hit from Africa! Then I just have to work on Antarctica :-)
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