Tuesday 9 October 2012

I'm Officially in Awe.

You may remember that I restarted the unique visitor counter at around 2300 UTC on October 5. [It's the last item on the sidebar at left.] I did so because I was aware that an indeterminate number of those visitors counted up until that time were likely to have been people looking for Gary Larson cartoons, images of Sid the Sloth, and inadvertently reaching others of my posts that contained famous phrases that people might be looking up on Google. I've taken those down--all but the Watson and Crick post, because I want anyone coming here for information on those two to learn about the substantial contribution made by the unheralded Rosalind Franklin. So, I reasoned, the unique visitor counter could now record only those visitors whose intention it was to study at the feet of the Subversive Archaeologist.

I had a little trepidation doing so--resetting the counter, I mean--in case my worst fears were to come true, and the total would end up amounting to my five BFFs and some well-meaning card masquerading as my dead mother. I was surprised, moments ago, to see that it's already at 509 and counting. I figure it must be too good to be true. Read on.

I'm guessing that unique visitors are identified by their ip addresses. Maybe someone can explain to me what happens when a service provider, for example, employs a dynamic ip address [I think that's what it's called]. Is it possible that the counter could be counting as unique visitors a number of different cookies generated by a dynamic system during a single visitor's session? Or, by the same token, could it be counting the same visitor as different people each time they click on a link to go from page to page, because their ISP's dynamic system registers as a unique IP address. Bottom line. Is it possible that there's some unknown multiplier in such counters? I don't really want to hear that the total is closer to 5 or 50 than 500, but at least I'd then be more certain of my reach, as it were. So, if you know anything about such things please leave a comment below.


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  1. Hey Rob, you should also note that there a couple factors that may make your count inaccurate, if the point is to calculate the number of people reading your posts. I receive all of your entries through RSS, so do not go to the site. Therefore you will have uncounted “followers” like myself.

    I would not think the system counts IP addresses as they easily masked and would be very inaccurate. Most companies route multiple systems through the same IP.

    My understanding is most counters count the unique visitor by the existence of a cookie. This will give you a fairly accurate representation unless the users have cookies disabled, or deletes the cookies. Just a couple of thoughts.

  2. That helps, DK. Thanks a lot. It means I'm way more popular than Mitt Romney!


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