A while back I posted "Blogging in the Dark", talking about the information I could get on visits to the blog and the questions it raised but didn't answer. For example, I was intrigued and slightly puzzled by acquiring a Russian and a Latvian readership and encouraged the Russians and Latvians to talk back. They didn't, but I do have a theory about the Latvians: suddenly all at once I had 26 hits from Latvia and thereafter only one repeated, so I wonder if this might have been a computer-savvy English-language class looking through English-language blogs. The Russians, though, gradually increased until they overtook the USA into second place (the UK being unsurprisingly first).
Then, dramatically, the Americans hit back. The Russo-American space race was nothing to the SibatheHat blog race. A sudden surge in American hits coincided with sudden interest in a very early posting I'd thought had vanished without trace, "The dangers of being customer-centred". I was very pleased by this as I felt I'd been saying something important there. Soon hits from the US were running at about 2/3 of the total and after they'd looked at the customer-centred thing and the two posts on happiness as an aim of government policy, all six most viewed posts were episodes of The Odanglesex Chronicles, my lampoon of English local government. The conclusion is unavoidable that this has found interest in the US somewhere - but why? I'd be fascinated to know.
At the same time a level of two or three German hits per week trebled and France came from nowhere(well, France was in France all along, but you know what I mean) to overtake Russia for third place. Interesting and a bit mysterious too.
One reason why this all remains a mystery is that unlike on my poetry blog (http:simonsworlds13.wordpress.com, and please do visit that too) hardly anyone is commenting. Please do (by clicking on "comments"): I'd love to get some discussion going.
Just a birdwatching note while I'm about it: my yearlist is now on 211 without being a twitcher or leaving Britain (Glossy Ibis and Great Grey Shrike at Fingringhoe, TICK); there was a White Wagtail feeding in the next street along four days ago; and while good numbers of many winter visitors in Essex hadn't been matched by winter thrush numbers, especially Redwings, suddenly along the Colne valley on Christmas Eve there were lots. Birder folklore might suggest this was one of those movements ahead of hard weather, but the meteorologists said no and they were right.
Back to the Odanglesex Chronicles soon. I think they'll be struggling with Agile Working soon, but maybe first, an ukase from the Secretary of State...