Wednesday, May 27, 2015

More Stats

After last week's Bitcoin Paywall comic was posted on Reddit, hits to my comic reached new levels. At first I didn't know where all the additional traffic was coming from, so I improved my stats page to let me see the top referring URLs and top comics accessed in the past day.

The most important thing I learned from the stats is that I shouldn't look at the stats.

First of all, I worry that the comic is not getting enough traffic some days. Is it not well-publicized? Do people just not like it? Am I a failure? And on days when it does get lots of traffic, I tell myself that it's not enough.

Why should I care? I do the comics because I need a creative outlet. I went 20 years without writing a frog comic and it bothered me. I bought amphibian.com in 1997 with the intention of putting comics on it and never did until 2014. Now I don't know why I waited so long. Some of them are bound to be more popular than others, but I write them for myself - not for anyone else. If people like them, that's great. If they don't, that's fine too. My kids like them. Well, most of them.

Secondly, I noticed that I get a lot of "referer" (yes, it's a misspelling of "referrer" and it's really that way in HTTP headers) sites that are very suspicious and almost always Russian. When used properly, the HTTP "referer" header is supposed to tell me the URL that had a link to me and was followed by a user. But these sites have no such links to me. When I first saw this, I went to some of the sites - and regretted it. They are clearly not operated by anyone who has a legitimate interest in linking to frog-related entertainment.

So what's up with that? I can only conclude that they are some kind of bots who feed me bogus referer data. Really, with the content of web pages all advertisements and the web readers all bots, is there anything useful on either end of the Internet these days?

And so I have a new slogan, one that will really differentiate my site from everything else out there:

Amphibian.com: Almost Completely Legitimate Content!

And in today's comic, the frogs pick a logo to go with that slogan...

Amphibian.com comic for 27 May 2015