Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hi, My Name is Kent and I am a Tracking Addict

I have read that confession is good for the soul. O.K. I confess that I have developed a fascination with the tracking software on this blog. When I click on the little counter at the bottom of my blog, I go to a report that shows how many hits the blog has gotten in past days. It also usually allows me to see the city, internet service provide (e.g. AOL), and the length of the visit. I suppose it is a bit of a pride thing to check to see if anyone has visited my blog (If you prefer to visit anonomously, you are reasonably safe. I can only guess who visited based on city and ISP.) However, part of why I check is simple curiousity. This is especially true since I learned that often the referring URL (web address) is listed. Often someone hits the link on my daughter's blog, or my son's blog, or some other such obvious route. However, more often that I would have believed possible, people find my blog when they do Google searches with a variety of search terms. A lot of searches just happen to hit some key words in one of the couple of hundred posts that I have done over the years. What really intrigues me is the nature of some of the search terms. People seem to be using Google to research fundamental questions about life. I won't quote exact search terms here, but I have seen quite a few folks who found me while searching about making a big choice. In fact, that search has the broadest worldwide audience. I have seen hits from Tonga, Australia, India, Japan, and others. It seems that at least a few people scattered about the world turn to Google when confronted with life challenges. Another search had terms about" relationship father dying" or similar words. That person found a post about how I struggled with my own father's death and our relationship.

I have often said that my motives are mixed, and I thank God that they are. Too often they have approached being purely selfish or prideful. So mixed is a step in the right direction. I hope the less selfish part of me is learning something from watching how people find my blog. Since my blog is one of many millions, I hope I learn some humility. Since some people find it when researching serious questions, I hope I learn some more humility. I pray that God will help folks find answers to those deeper questions (and those not quite so deep), whether my blog is involved or not.

May God bless each of you with true answers to important questions.
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