Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Image: quidquid
True story of how I spend nights in companies of software spiders and souls forever lost in the World Wide Web.

I'm starting to be excited about social networks. I was never really into it before, but now I enjoy being networked. During the last month I joined blogcatalog, bloglog, blogfrog and blog-who-knows-what-else. My password is short and simple, so it's not a big deal to jump in. I learned the whole new vocabulary and met all sorts of good and bad, beautiful and ugly people.

The most amazing thing though is to watch people from all over the world coming to my site. According to Google Analytics so far this humble site is visited by 179 people from 36 countries. Well it's not entirely correct because I myself visited it from few different computers in two different countries, but anyway. Every midnight I open Analytics and watch the world become greener.

So far I'm popular mostly in USA. Well, everything is relative of course and "popular" is maybe a little exaggeration. I think certainly there must be somebody on the World Wide Web who is much more popular than me in America, but I've got my 72 visits from 31 state. Despite that many of them didn't last longer than a couple of seconds, still that's more than from any other country and I'm sort of proud of it. Still missing 20 states though.

I found blogrfrog particularly useful to conquer USA. That's sort of blogging network for mums with kids and they've got a wonderful widget to put on their sites to see who is visiting them. It looks very similar to bloglog's widget, just nicer and more efficient, it takes you straight to the visitors site. So one evening I spent a couple of hours jumping around those sites and it didn't took me long to see them coming back. I knew they'll do. It looked like pretty closed community, where everybody is concerned mostly about their kids and diets and how to make money online from being concerned about kids and diets and of course they were curious who is peaking at them. (like everybody is, I guess) They didn't stay too long though and I think I never saw them coming back. However with such little effort I covered maybe few hundred thousand square miles on my Analytics map just in couple of hours.

South America is real pain in the ass. I think that's the most romantic continent on the planet. Because they have revolutions and heroes, and passion, and great literature and I imagine that life there must be like one never ending soap opera. So far I have only six visitors from there. 3 from Argentina and 3 from Brazil. Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, where are you?

And then there came this accident. I messed around with blogger templates and somehow lost the Analytics code without noticing it. For two days visitors on my site came and went without being properly recorded and during this time somebody from Qatar came over. Imagine? Qatar! I felt like birdwatcher in Northern Europe who missed the Emperor penguin in his own backyard while searching for his glasses. Everybody tells him that there was a penguin, but he can't put it on the record because he saw only blurred silhouette.

Africa is another huge problem. I've got the feeling that no African apart from one girl from South Africa knows anything about my existence. Why? How? To be honest I've got the same feeling once on the motorway in UK with all these thousands and thousands of cars passing by I suddenly felt so endlessly lonely. Now I even considered to join the site called afrigator.com which I stumbled upon accidentally. That's a community for bloggers from Africa. Still haven't done it. Maybe one day I'll do.

So here I am. A little piece of information somewhere on the vast World Wide Web. beep beep I'm sending out those pings or feeds or whatever they are called. I'm playing tricks and then again I'm sincere. Almost like in the real life, just everything is coded differently. beep beep click click If human language is digital medium, as it's written in a book called Stuff of Thought by American linguist Steven Pinker, then here we have a code within a code within a code. Is there somewhere under those layers of code something like real me? Whatever it is.

I met one friend, a girl at University, we didn't had the time to talk, but then she called me back later to tell that I looked bad. Too slim and my skin is yellow, she said.

“Are you sick?”

“No, no. I just have to write these essays and stories and that sort of thing. I'm spending to much time by the computer.”

Well it's true, but I didn't tell her, that I spend last three nights crawling the web together with Google spiders, just gathering whatever sort of random information there is available about links and networking and everything else. Basically just swallowed the sites byte by byte.

“You should quit smoking.” she said.

“Maybe you're right.”

And then we somehow run out of topics to speak about. I felt like... yellow?

Was it real me? The yellow one? Or maybe I'm real only when that something that I am is coded in readable for myself and for others format?

beep beep
click click

One day I'll die.

beep beep - will last.

Image: www.jumpingbrain.org
Honestly. I think that future belongs to the machines. We humans are so fragile (and other life forms even more so. At the moment some of them largely because of us humans, but that's different topic again). In the long run our future depends on our ability to colonize another planets and galaxies. In the very long run... who knows what will happen to universe in the end. There are all sorts of theories, but none of them is very optimistic. None of them is painting a world that at the end is habitable for somebody who needs to breathe and eat. In most of scenarios it can be tricky to survive even for the machines. But they'll sort it out. They've got the potential. They are our collective memory. And if memories are what defines us, that's maybe our salvation.

Well I know that I have the tendency to get overexcited with anything that I do or hear somewhere, but some others even more so. I met the guy, here on the web. Visited his blog to be precise. The blog consists almost entirely of ads. There is huge amount of them and in the middle of them there is a picture with a man begging and a couple of paragraphs with the text, where he explains that he can't afford to pay for hosting three domains that he has got. So he is asking people to click on his ads and then he will reciprocate.

Then I thought.. Wow, that's proper attitude. I didn't ask him why he needs to host three domains if it's so hard, I just sat there by the monitor admiring his faith and determination. I imagined him running around the globe... beep beep click click ...energetically negotiating deals worth few penny each, arguing about the ethical side of this thing and so on, and maybe his body is really starving at the same time. Who knows? Who is real he? And he is not the only one. And then I thought, if so many people put so much of their energy and thought in something, even if it's so absolutely meaningless, it can't simply go down the drain. It really must somehow materialize. It's still not clear to me how it will.

beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep

That's us.


klahanie said...

Hi there,
It's fascinating checking out where all the folks come from who visit our blogs.
So you are mostly popular in the USA. Well now you are getting some notice from this Canadian dude living in England.
And speaking about machines..evidently machines are now blaming problems on 'human error' :-)
Take very good care and happy writing. An excellent posting and thank you.
With respect Gary (way over here in England)

nothingprofound said...

Glad you're enjoying this blogging business. It is fun connecting with people from all over the world. That's been the main pleasure for me. Knowing people in India and Honduras are reading my aphorisms and sometimes even sharing them with their friends.

MG said...

Hi, thanx!
I'm also in England actually. I have never been to America. Though now I'm going there often in the format of pings :)
yeah but it is fascinating to watch them coming. sometimes I even google for these places where they are coming from.

MG said...

yeah, that's absolutely what I mean.

klahanie said...

Whoops. Just checked your profile. We are indeed in the same time zone. I too check out the places the visits are coming from.
Have a peaceful, positive day.
With respect, Gary:-)

Wapatu said...

I enjoyed your post and came across a couple other social networking sites that I'd like to check out. I already belong to quite a few, but find that there's not always enough time in the day to post to my blog, write the articles I write and make the rounds through the networks. I also check my "analytics" every day which I probably shouldn't be doing. I find that I get frustrated if I don't see growth. Regardless, I keep hammering the keyboard hoping that this all pays off in the long run. Good luck to you.

kww said...

beep beep

fenshim said...

good post love it!!lol

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