Saturday Sundries 4

I’m at a wedding today. Somehow, my niece is old enough to embark on this journey, and yet I swear it was just last year that I became an aunt and was holding her newborn self. But today she’s a wonderful young woman on the first day of what I hope will be a lifetime of happiness and adventure with the man she loves.

So for today’s light fare we have the following offerings.

More WordPress Mysteries

We all know I spend too much time exploring the mysteries of WordPress’s stats. Today, it’s the map showing the countries where readers are. Notice anything odd about this one? (Besides the paltry number of views. This was from six o’clock on a Saturday morning.)

Map Inconsistency

These numbers do not compute.

Before you say it takes time for the map numbers to catch up, that’s not the case. It’s unique visitors that can take a few hours to calibrate. The map should be quicker. And I’ve had the error appear in the morning and not be resolved the next day.

So who are these mystery visitors? Where are they from? I like to joke that the folks on the International Space Station or aliens are reading my blog and WordPress can’t pinpoint them to a country. But seriously, who are they? Conspiracy theorists could have a field day with this—intelligence agencies, military groups, shadow governments…. The possibilities are endless.

Another mystery is why I sometimes get an email notification that someone liked a post, but the orange notification light never comes on and the like never shows up in the notifications list. And yet, the person who left the like is a WordPress blogger. Why do these get missed?

Why Am I Moderating So Much Spam?

Akismet does a great job of filtering spam comments from my blog. But I’ve noticed an upturn in “missed spam” the last few months. In some cases, the comments are looking more legitimate. I can understand missing those. But others are the same old mangled and nonsensical grammar of the spambots. Why are those being missed? And recently, one comment I was asked to moderate was literally 239 lines of links when viewed on my 17-inch laptop screen. There was no other text that might somehow be construed as a comment. How does Akismet miss this as spam?

Fun With Search Terms

These have been a bit tame recently, but there have been a few that made me smile. Like “person speaking clipart.” I had no idea “clipart” was a language. I wonder what it sounds like?

The 1980s are apparently popular. Searches for “a day out in the 1980s” and “a day in the life of a mom in the 1980s” led to my “A Day in the Life of Me” posts.

And how cool is it that a search for “cool archeology haiku” led to my blog? Of course, how many people are writing haiku about archaeology? But I suspect whoever searched for “henry viii jousting clipart” was sorely disappointed by the simple Microsoft clip art they were led to on this blog.


And so ends another sundry post. Hopefully things will settle down again next month, and I can get back to some meatier posts. Or should I? Would you prefer lighter fare over the summer?

The Lincoln Memorial from the Potomac River. There aren’t as many tourists on this side of the monument.

My internet time will be limited this next week, so I probably won’t be visiting many blogs until after the Memorial Day weekend. I follow too many to catch up with all the posts I’ll miss, but I will pick up again when I can.

35 thoughts on “Saturday Sundries 4

  1. You will solve these WP mysteries soon, I’m sure of it! 😉 As for stats, I better avoid looking at mine during my blog break. It could be very scary…


    • I might just stick with aliens or the ISS crews. I think they’re more fun. 😉 Yes, this is a brutal period for stats. When I get back from this trip, I’ll have to avoid looking at them too much….


    • Thanks, Gemma! There are lots of stats issues that don’t add up for me. And since I’m curious by nature, I tend to let my imagination run free about what’s behind them. 😉


    • Honestly, I’d be better off if I didn’t check them so much. 😉 I should try to cut it down to once a day. And then maybe wean myself to once a week…

      The wedding was absolutely wonderful. And I’m being completely objective when I say my niece was beautiful and radiant. 🙂


  2. I saw today that I had a view from someone in “Myanmar” which is new to me. I’m not even sure where it is 😉

    I agree with you about the aliens or those on the International Space Station reading our blogs – sometimes my stats never add up 😯


    • Myanmar used to be Burma, so near Thailand. 😉 I’m sure there’s a far more mundane explanation for the missing views on the map, but I’m sticking with aliens and the ISS crew. That’s far more entertaining to me. 🙂


  3. Honestly, I haven’t quite figured out how to make the best use of the stats page yet. That doesn’t stop me from checking it. It’s nice to see a bump of visitors after another blogger spotlights you, (that much I can understand) 🙂

    As for meatier vs. lighter posts over the summer – whatever works for you. Either way, you always find a way to make your posts interesting! Happy Sunday!


    • I enjoy seeing where people are viewing from (even if some are missing from the map!), and also what the “referrers” are, such as the Reader or another blogger’s site. And the search terms can be great blog fodder. 😉 But they’re not terribly accurate, and unless you’re trying to gain a huge following, they really don’t mean too much. I really shouldn’t look at them so often!

      We’ll see what my brain comes up with this summer. That’ll be the biggest influence on what I write.

      Have a great week! 🙂


  4. I know, I couldn’t believe when my first nephew got married (husband’s side). Now, 4 of 6 of them are married. And, it really got surreal when I became a great aunt. Glad you were there to enjoy her wedding.

    WordPress … yeah, well, I’ve been getting “make money blogging” spammers click dozens of ‘likes’ on my pages without actually clicking on the post itself. There is no way to take the ‘likes’ off my home page with my theme, or at least I haven’t found a way. Many times I get ‘likes’ and don’t even get clicks on my home page, and I think maybe people are just clicking ‘like’ in the reader? I don’t know. Weird.


    • The wedding was wonderful. The bride was absolutely beautiful, and everyone had a great time.

      Yeah, I’ve gotten a lot of follows and likes from those “hugely successful” bloggers for money. Have you noticed how many of them are in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario? Somehow, I find that hard to believe!

      And if people click “like” in the reader, it doesn’t show up as a view in your stats, and they may not have even read the whole post. I know WordPress is trying to make it easy for people to interact with a blogger, but that might not always be the best way to go….


  5. Maybe Akismet suffers from some sort of link overload anxiety. It couldn’t take it anymore and gave up. (Yeah, I have no earthly idea; but it’s interesting!)

    Glad your niece’s wedding went well!


    • The wedding was perfect—so good to see my niece and her now-husband start their married life with family and friends all having a great time celebrating with them. We’re still traveling and visiting, so I’m still exhausted. But it’s in a good way.

      Poor Akismet—maybe all those links sent it into a seizure! 🙂


  6. I’ve noticed a recent increase in spam messages getting through too. To go along with the increase in new followers who are distinctly suspect!

    The stats definitely don’t make sense. I particularly noticed when I set up my second blog because I was starting from a zero point, and there were several strange things. I can’t remember exactly, but it was something like on my first day the number of total views was different to the number of views that day, and it said that one page had had no views, and yet someone had both liked and commented on it. Things like that anyway!

    Hope the wedding went well!


    • Have you noticed how many of those new “followers” who quit their day jobs to make money blogging are either from or in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario?! The new Internet World Capital perhaps? 😉

      All I can think is that when the programmers are making “improvements” to the stats, stray bits of code are leading to computation errors that aren’t being fixed. But I also know I’m looking at them far too often. That’s something I really, really must fix. 🙂


  7. Wedding of one who was once a little wide-eyed wiggler in your arms – best way to spend time ever ( best hopes and wishes for the couple!)
    Stats? crazy right now all I can say. not sure of accuracy or method WP is using…having to detach from it (which probably isn’t good for WP…if it looks depressing and futile, people tend to get discouraged and walk away…their system for stats needs an announcement from them). The like thing from the reader is also a problem – be better if that was eliminated as well as the re-blog without permission (spam once again)
    Spam has been also crazy – I got that long one, too. What’s with the obvious spam “subscribers” – those need to be heat seek missiled.
    Have a great break! See ya when you’re back and writing up a storm..ok storm is probably not the best word to use this time of year…writing up miracles!


    • Occasionally I look at the forums to see how volunteers are responding to blogger questions about stats and spam. And when it comes to “followers” like the folks in Sault Ste Marie, the answer is that as long as they aren’t violating WordPress’s Terms of Service, there’s nothing WordPress can do. So if those SSM types are savvy about the terms, they’ll probably be around for a while. The best thing would be to not visit their sites. That might drive them to greener pastures somewhere else….

      The stats probably need a serious rebuild. It’s great that there’s a paid version for folks who are really serious about the numbers, but something simpler, and accurate, would be nice for the rest of us.

      I can understand the idea behind “liking” from the reader—it is a time-saver for people by cutting down the number of clicks. But it means we don’t get credit in our stats for them reading and liking and also that some folks who are less serious about quality blogging can abuse them. I suppose it’ll always be a trade off….


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  9. Hope you had fun at the wedding! It’s crazy how fast they grow up. I still think of my niece and nephew as kids that I used to twirl around in the air but now the youngest will be graduating from college soon. Don’t know how that happened. Good luck with all those mysteries! 🙂


    • We had a great time. Lots of family and friends were there to celebrate, and it all went beautifully. They’re a wonderful couple and off to a great start together. 🙂 But where those 25 years went is another mystery to me!


  10. I’ve been trying hard to not pay attention to stats – they’re too easy to get sucked into! 🙂 I have noticed that issue with the numbers not adding up, though. Not sure what’s going on there.

    Personally, I enjoy these sundries posts. I never know what to expect. 🙂

    Hope you had a great time on your break! I look forward to seeing what you post when you come back.


    • Still enjoying the break. 🙂 Just taking a few minutes this morning to catch up on a few blog comments. I sometimes think the more WordPress (and any tech provider/innovator/designer) feel they have to “improve” the product every few months, the more glitches and problems pop up. I wish consumers would slow down on the demand so supply could be better. 😉

      These sundries are fun, and a bit easier, in that they’re good for topics that really aren’t suited for a longer post or that I don’t want to turn into longer posts. 🙂


    • We’ll see how my brain functions this summer. 😉 That will have a big impact on what I post!

      If there are humans around in 15,000 years, maybe they’ll think of clip art the way we do of Paleolithic cave paintings in Europe…. Hmm…. There might be a story idea in there….


  11. LOL. I want to know where visitor #2 was too. I really enjoy these posts intermixed with your more meaty ones. Can we have both? Hope you had a wonderful time at the wedding and wishing your niece lots of love and happiness with her husband. 🙂


    • Honestly, I think the ISS or aliens is a great excuse that WordPress should use. 😉 I’ll probably do a mix of both. I don’t think I’m someone who can be all one thing or another!

      The wedding was such fun. Everything went smoothly, and everyone had a great time visiting with each other. Just the way things should go. And thank you for the wonderful wishes—they are such a good fit for each other. And great people. I know I’m biased, but I’m not exaggerating, either! 🙂


      • Seriously. I’d love to see UFO as a country option. 😉 Excellent! I enjoy the variety.

        That’s awesome! Sounds like the dream wedding. It’s lovely when people find each other like that. I’ll take your word–I trust your judgment even if it might be a smidgeon biased. 😉


  12. I hope you had a nice time at the wedding.
    One of the things that I find confusing about WP lately is it’s hit and miss approach to informing me of new followers.


    • I’ve noticed that, too, about the following notifications. Maybe it’s because of the way someone clicks to follow? But sometimes I look at the number of followers and realize it’s gone up, and WP never notified me!


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