Tapping the tapper

I installed a bunch of little tools on this blog sometime back. You'll find all of them on the right column of this page, towards its very bottom. Yes, I know they are a bit narcissist in nature: displaying a map of the world to show where around the world the visitors came from, what they were referred to here by, etc. After all, no-one really is interested in knowing all that if they came to this blog. If you, as a reader last longer than reading through the latest post, you might stop by to comment. Perhaps the more interested people also read through the other comments before shooting one off on your own. But thats about it --- it doesn't really bother you to see that there is a blob of readers (or visits) even from Madagascar!

As the author of the blog, on the other hand, these little tools are more than just that for me. They are sort of little pieces of a huge puzzle that come as hints from everywhere. Let me put it this way: imagine how you would feel if you could suddenly be able to listen to all conversations in town that uttered your name. Imagine, for example, how interesting it would be to be able to know what your buddies discussed about you in the confines of their house over a cup of coffee: obviously assuming that you can't hear them. Frank, honest opinions, things that were perhaps best kept secret, discussing and comparing notes, behind the curtained walls of their privacy. But you have your ears everywhere... every time your name comes up, be it the guys praising you for taking a brilliant catch on the field or the two girls discussing how gruffly you behaved when you went past them and did not even hold open the door: you can hear it! And whats more, you can see the whole conversation. That, exactly, is what these little tools offer.

And add to that the beauty of IP address tracking and GNU IP/Country databases, Whois lookups, etc. I'll spare you the techno babble, but suffice it to say that if I have once known where you're from, or what you were referred to here by, I can almost always (if I want to) trace back the entire thread of your visit. I know what time you visited this blog, what you were doing here, which pages were of interest to you, and sometimes even how much time you spent here. And it is a whole lot of fun, believe me --- to the point that when people visit this blog from UseNet groups like "Dating and Love Consultancy", it is a great deal of fun. And that too, these are just tools that are hosted as JavaScript code snippets on a pre-determined template. If someone is publishing on a home-brewn template, then a lot (and I mean A LOT) more can be tracked and traced. And add to that the knowledge of a seasoned googler and some regular expression writing practice ... all it boils down to is a little smiley --- :)

I am not trying to scare you. Really, believe me: I am not telling you that I know your little secret or that I am a big brother watching your every move. The point is that while the internet may be a great anonymous medium, it is not as anonymous as you would like to think. Just like I can trace your visit to the blog, you can trace my whereabouts as neatly. Even if you are not one of those people who are into computers and networks so much, you don't need to worry. All I am trying to say is that it is a double-edged sword, a closed circiut. You plug into the mains and let the current flow: sure as hell you will be electrocuted together with me --- we're both the hunter and the hunted.

For me, at least, I don't hunt down people who came and left a malicious comment (and thankfully, there have really been a scarce few ever). But the fun is the pleasure of knowing that this blog is read by so many people from all around. That these words suddenly become relevant in so many different contexts, that people relate to them in their own personal situations --- that is the pleasure. What else can you feel when you come to know that someone googled for the words "I felt homesick" and found your post and then actually wrote a mail telling you how much he/she could relate to you? Or, for that matter, how would you feel to know that some people were actually inspired to start writing their own blog after they read yours and actually claimed that in one of their first posts? No I am not giving the links, but I am just trying to tell you something here. I hope you get the point.

Comments

  1. Woops... looks like I scared away whatever little readers I had. Never mind... :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You didnt scare anyone away nor did you give out any brand new info, or at least not to people like me. We think the web offers anonymity, but you couldnt leave yrself more open and vulnerable than you probaly do on the internet - knowingly or unknowingly. Interesting though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What you said has serious privacy concerns heheheheheh :D. So you are tracking us eh? Evil Evil :P

    S

    ReplyDelete
  4. He he, I know what you mean. I recently discovered the joys of spying on the blog visitors, however few they may be. It does give a little ego trip. What's more funnier is the ways by which they reach your blog, esp. the ones coming from search engines. You're bound to get some funny/weird/shocking search terms there.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very true. Kinda interesting (and boosting your ego) to know that people from all over the world read our posts. It surely encourages us to try more too. But, the price that we pay(privacy)is very high. Well, life can't offer everything, rite? :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous (SKY), yes... thanks. But it is a very different take from what I said earlier wishing for anonymity. Well maybe they are not so different thoughts :)

    Supremus, naa naa sirji... aisa nahi kehte hain. I'm tracking no-one. Just that the recent hits are so interesting to watch! :)

    Cafeboy, exactly! It is the ego trip. And yes, I left that compiled list of search hits out deliberately: that is a whole new fun place to be.

    P.S. - Welcome! :)

    Anonymous (Das), you are someone who thinks he is smart enough to ask this, checks again within 40 min to see if there is a reply to his comment (will probably do again), and is also on my list of most favourite people right now :)

    Alpine path, yeah it is a ego booster for sure. Life can't offer everything --- as I said, it always is a double-edged sword.

    ReplyDelete
  7. When you know that your blog inspires, motivates and makes someone think or laugh it creates a feeling of self worth. I guess for me blogging is like teaching. If you have ever taught someone you can probably relate to this feeling. For the student being taught is an enriching experience and for the teacher it is a learning experience. I get this same feeling from Blogging- it enriches me in unique ways. As for the technological and security hazards related to it, I think I can handle it in some way :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Life Lover, very true, ma'am. I have been a private tutor for about 2 months for a kid, and I know the fulfilling experience you are talking about. But I guess for me it is more a way of expressing myself than playing to an audience. The security hazards, well... we'll have to handle them :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Boss, post to achchi likhi hai, but USA ke Christmas ke baaremei kab likhoge? I WAS waiting for authentic account. :-(

    ReplyDelete
  10. Alka, thanks... lekin Christmas turned out to be a rather damp quib here. Unless you are a pub hopper, it isn't much fun being here (unlike Diwali and stuff back home). It is a rather personal festival than a social one.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That was a very good point you made across all your readers. Sounds like an anticipatory bail notification, hehe. I liked it. :))

    ReplyDelete
  12. Syrals, Anticipatory bail notification? :) Thats a novel way of putting it! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  13. sirjee dar unko lagein jo aapke fan nahin hon...right !!
    vaise dayein haath ko kuch or bhi sites hain...lekin samagh nahin aaya - marriage consultancy ke saath divorce consulting bhi...wah kya baat hai...!
    Aapko koi "kalkaji devi" jagah se bhi likhta hai- heard of 3 kalka ( one near shimla, 2 in delhi....)wld like to know this 4th place....!

    ps - on other note, yes to read others and so many times u feel as if u hv written those words in yr heart.Get inspired - sometime not agree and voice it...its amazing world.

    ReplyDelete
  14. R, Aare aap google ads ko mere sites ke saath confuse naa karo. Kalkaji zindabaad!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sahi hai bhedoo....thik to mera or nahin thik to Google walon ka....lol....

    ps - do u really respond to all comments or is it something like "having last words"

    ReplyDelete
  16. R, I sort of respond to all comments because they are delivered by email and I like the conversation going on, as long as it stays meaningful.

    ReplyDelete
  17. hmmm ??? nahin samagh aaya...
    or maybe u want to say till boredom sets in...lol...

    ReplyDelete
  18. omg - do u know someone is visiting you from Shahadara - this place is famour for its mental hospital. ( And before u cast your jassosi aankhein towards me...no I am not the one...) :-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. R, well, you sure will make the right candidate I guess :)

    Just joking: I dunno who comes here from Shahadara. Anyway, they come to the right place I guess :D

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts