Monday, May 08, 2006

A means to an end

They look like this!

If you scroll down all the way to the bottom of this page - past all the colourful photos and witty, uplifting dialogue (should you find any), you might see a small black number right at the very end. This is how I keep track of all you lovely readers - except my Grandparents, who read paper copies printed off and posted to them by my Mum. 'Silver Surfers' always slip under the radar. Anyway, thanks to the fine people at, I can get an idea of how many people visit the site, where they are, and how they came to arrive here.

I only do it out of mild interest, I constantly find it surprising people a) would want to read what I write, and b) can actually find me - given that there are 35 million blogs on the internet now. Feel free to click on the 'Next Blog' button at the top right there, which will - thanks to the magic of the t'interweb - take you to another random outpouring of a Keyboard Superhero making things up, much like myself. Or it could be in Spanish, so you'll never know. Anyway, a fair few people seem to find me by accident - and to them I can only apologise - but others come across DUaB after Googling for something.

Yep, such is the power of Google, it has now become a verb (or adjective, or whatever the right term should be. Ahem). So people looking for information bash in some near-sounding words and they get me in their list of possible sites. I don't do anything deliberate to end up in these results - some of them I read and scratch my head as to how my random outpourings get connected to what they were looking for. But hey, hopefully I can be of help - like the person who searched for 'SHOW ME WHAT SPIDER CRABS LOOK LIKE', I can only point upwards. Also, 'FUNICULAR AND CABLE CARS TO LAKE ASHI' I covered in some depth here, so maybe that person got the answers they were after.

I doubt the person who searched for 'ROBBIE WILLIAMS FAN SITE KILT PHOTO' went away rewarded though, although there is a picture of me in a kilt on here somewhere - as if that were any consolation. 'EASTER WEEKEND DUNE ACCIDENT' is something I couldn't remember happening, although I did see someone get hit by a flyaway parasol on Curl Curl beach once - maybe that was it. I don't think I've ever covered 'AUSSIE RULES CHANTS', or 'JEAN PAUL GAULTIER UMBRELLAS' - the mind boggles. As to 'WHY DOES A TELLY TURN ITSELF OFF?' I can only answer HAVE YOU TRIED LOOKING IN THE MANUAL?.

Some of the potential subjects people are after, and end up with me, are almost poetic in their strangeness. Take 'DOWN UNDER SYDNEY CITY LOVE', or 'TORRENT SUPERVOLCANO DUTCH'. No, me neither. 'CENTIPEDE ON SKEWERS' is a good one - Google has 910 entries on this important subject. It also has 692,000 sites answering the very valid question 'WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE 2012 OLYMPICS' - although if Ken Livingstone clicks on the 5th ranked result to find out, he'll get an old piece I wrote about a basketball match at Sydney Olympic Park.

I'll try and answer as many of these as I can though, so here goes. 'WHO INVENTED THE DEEP FRIED MARS BAR?' - A chippy in Stonehaven, near Aberdeen. 'TYPICAL BRITISH BANK HOLIDAY WEATHER' - rain. 'HOW MANY CALORIES IN A TUNNOCKS CARAMEL WAFER?' - not enough. 'INTERVIEW BLACKBURN'S LUCAS NEILL' - I would ask him why he gives away so many penalties. 'IRN BRU ONLINE ORDER NEW ZEALAND' - hungover again, Edd? ;)

The two most often searched-for terms that point people here are 'DANGEROUS THINGS ABOUT AUSTRALIA', and - I'm not making this up - 'WHAT DO MEN WEAR UNDER THEIR KILTS'. I'm not sure if those people are nervous first-time wearers trying to find out for themselves, or hopeful women looking for photos. Either way, I doubt they found out what they came for here. My personal favourite Google entries are 'TOKYO GIANT RATS' - which I'm sure I would have a recollection of - 'ACCIDENTALLY SUCKED INTO THE ENGINE - CAUSES OF DEATH', which yields 26,700 results, amazingly. But to finish, a perfect way to sum up DUaB. I congratulate the person who navigated here after searching Google for 'UNPUNCTUAL HUMOUR ESSAY'...