Sunday, 27 October 2013


Gadgets. Widgets. I have those things on my blog. Hell, why not? Recently I added a listing widget, showing labels affixed to blog posts. You can run down the list, looking for items of interest - or of no interest, if your mind works that way.
   The list is configured to give size-based prominence to much-mentioned labels. Missy Biozarre, being Kacey Vanderkarr's writing buddy, is often mentioned in the same breath as Kacey - their blog labels are of similar size in the listing.
   Karen Woodward, having propelled me into blogging, is mentioned far more frequently than Alistair Cooke - who inspired the scattershot methodology behind my blogging.
   Doug Chambers, a character from serialised blog fiction, makes his presence felt well-beyond his influence - in the story, his colleague Roy Falafel is the real star.
   Staring at those labels, I wondered how organised they were. They weren't. I didn't take to labels immediately, when blogging. If I misremember rightly, they were called tags before the great Blogger interface revamp.
   I added labels to blog posts on whim rather than by decree, and, with the listing gadget up, that non-policy showed. Well, here they are anyway. I write a post, adding labels for convenience, searchability, and as a sign-off to the blogging process.
   Affixing labels tells me I'm done with a post. If I can find any labels to add. This is all by the wayside. Once I nailed up the gadget that listed labels, I looked short and soft, then long and hard, at what I'd created.
   A few labelling errors and glitches crept in. I'd accidentally listed a load of poets as one entry. For some arcane reason, I'd allowed Courtney Love to lie atop Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson's grave in a combined label.
   I struggled with the peeling of a digital sticker, sorely tempted to let Courtney be. Yes, I had a task separating those two. Peeling the joint label from Queen Courtney's side, I wasn't surprised to find celebrity skin underneath.
   The author of The Body-Snatcher would laugh at today's world, I'm sure. Meanwhile, what I should have done...
   Yes, there's a label on the blog for Craig Ferguson. I should have created a Courtney-Craig combination label. Accidentally-on-purpose.
   In memory of that time Courtney fucked Craig at Carrie Fisher's house. This doesn't feature in Courtney's memoirs. Could you imagine that marriage? Courtney Ferguson. Or would that be Craig Love? (Craig Ferguson's porno label.)
   For legal reasons, I should point out that Craig Ferguson didn't actually fuck Courtney Love - she turned him ten per cent gayer instead. I'm having trouble spelling greyer. Bing Hitler's lawyers, take note.


Okay. Time to hit the point of this fucking blog post. (Too late.)
   I organised blog labels. Fixed glitches. Attended to duplication of effort. No big deal. Later, I was back inside my blog looking at stuff and, in the statistics, I noted an absurd rise in traffic.
   Loads of people in America suddenly jumped to my blog. At 7.00 in the morning, going by the East Coast time-zone. Eh? So what were they reading?
   Nothing. Hundreds of hits on the blog. No one accessing articles or dedicated pages. Well, okay, a few people were in - reading items on formatting. Where were the hundreds of visitors?
   Check the source. Two offenders. One called vampirestat and another called adsensewatchdog. Googling these, I found they were spammer scammers.
   You find the traffic in your statistics, and, wondering what the score is, you might be tempted to visit those sites. All sorts of malice may then occur, according to many sources on the internet.
   How to ditch these ethereal visitors? Google Analytics has an admin page with filters allowing blocking of phantom statistics. Just follow the instructions. That's as far as Blogger is concerned. If you are using another blogging method, your platform will likely have a similar remedy. Root around.
   Why did I start off discussing labels? The phantom-bots keep a lookout for alterations to blog posts. Because I went through my posts like a dose of salts, tidying labels, the posts were published afresh. That gave something for the vampiric spammers to latch onto.
   I'm not obsessed by blogging statistics. Now and again, I'll check the traffic. I was annoyed when I saw this phantom surge. So wild a spray of visitors looked like a scam to me.
   If you are new to blogging, don't become obsessed by statistics. Never click on links to referring sites when you snuffle around in the stats. Type the name of the site into Google, and search to see if scam warnings come up.
   Checking my stats, I see one lone reader is in RIGHT NOW. He, she, or it, is reading up on the adventures of Doug Chambers. Episode sixteen. Doug is mentioned, but doesn't put in an appearance.
   What will my Chinese reader make of that? I'd hope for a realisation that fifteen episodes precede the blog entry under perusal. Maybe the reader slyly read those episodes earlier. I've no way of knowing.
   Though I do know this. I can block phantom visitors with the digital equivalent of bell, book, candle, and Holy Water™. My advice - do the same.

Update. Rinse and repeat. Blogger itself eventually blocks the vampiric sites. At which point, the minions step in and remove stakes from chests. I've had to block the vampires again. They spawn and respawn like Space Invaders on commission.
   And yes, updating this blog gives the vamps another vein to latch onto. Stick with my main advice - if you are new to blogging, don't become obsessed by statistics. You can see the real page views anyway. Google links before even thinking about musing about considering clicking a link.


  1. "If you are new to blogging, don't become obsessed by statistics."

    Excellent advice!

    If I contributed in any small way to your beginning this blog then ... well, I'm tickled. The thought makes my day.

    By the way, I'm about 1/3 of the way through the first episode of Orphan Black. Good so far.

  2. The thought that I made someone's day has now made my day. So did you contribute in any small way to my blogging? No, Karen. You contributed in a very LARGE way by telling me to blog. Hitting me over the head with a massive foam hammer carved in the shape of the word BLOG, as I recall. ;)


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