I Am Joe’s Blog:

February 15, 2005 • 12:25 PM

Statistical Anomalies

My standard morning ritual includes answering my email, reading a bunch of Web sites, and checking the statistics for things like the number of Take Control ebooks sold, visitors at Interesting Thing of the Day, AdSense revenues, sales from affiliate links, and that sort of thing. While going through my email this morning, I saw a message from an ITotD reader who had information pertaining to the article on Non-Human Farmers, which was written a couple of weeks ago by guest author Rajagopal Sukumar. The message basically said that in addition to the animals cited in the article, there was a type of jellyfish that also farms algae. Since I didn’t write the article, I said I’d forward the comment to the author in case he wanted to make any changes.

Moments later, when I checked today’s Web stats, my eyes popped out of their sockets when I saw how many visitors we’d had today. Even before noon we were just a few visits short of a record day. (Because of this increase, AdSense revenue is also way up for the day—always a nice bonus.) A quick glance at the referrers showed me that the spike was coming from BoingBoing, and all these folks were following a link to the article on Non-Human Farmers. I wrote the author a congratulatory note, but I couldn’t help being slightly chagrined that the site’s biggest day wasn’t due to one of the hundreds of articles I wrote myself!

Meanwhile, another faithful reader wrote to tell me she found today’s article on Cascading Style Sheets completely incomprehensible, and my Backups article on Macworld.com dropped down to a less prominent position on the page. So…good day for statistics, bad day for my ego. Ah well. As my mother would say whenever a minor misfortune befell me, “It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”