What are YOU looking for?

June 29, 2007 at 3:00 am Leave a comment

NASA imageI guess like any other person obsessed with blogging (yep, sad I know), occasionally you have a look at the statistics and suss out what people are reading. Recently, two posts attracted good traffic: the Top 10 Endangered Species post had over 3,000 visitors in one day; and my latest rant on privacy issues and the surveillance society attracted over 1,500 readers in one day.

Now, I fully admit that the ThinkingShift blog has yet to settle into a theme and maybe it never will. My interests are diverse, ranging from quantum mechanics to the environment to information and knowledge management. A quick scan of the topics I’ve covered so far since flinging myself into the blogosphere shows the range. But I thought – great, people are interested in endangered species and the surveillance society. That is, until I caught sight of the search terms that people are seeking information on and somehow stumble onto the ThinkingShift blog. I imagined people would search for stuff on KM or information management given that these disciplines are my main areas of expertise; or people might search for stuff on libraries or leadership. In my wildest dreams, I hoped people would start to find me by searching for climate change, endangered species, history or archaeology stuff. But never did I imagine the search terms I encountered when I perused the stats!

I’ll try and cluster the oft bizarre search terms that led people to the ThinkingShift blog in some sort of sensible arrangement. Here’s a run-down of the highlights:

  • There seems to be an awful lot of people out there interested in horses. These are some of the search terms – “parts of the horse”; “horse images”; “horse bits”; “horse in a black hole” and the one term that appears everyday – “horse penis”. I think I’ve only mentioned the word “horse” in one post and I don’t recall referring to “bits” or “penis” – so I’m perplexed!
  • Similarly, lots of people seem to be concerned about getting stuck in black holes. Thankfully, I did a post on what to do in a black hole only recently, so have managed to put information seeker in touch with pertinent information:)- But search terms that led to the ThinkingShift blog are curious – “black hole Siberia”, “black hole in tooth”, “Australia black hole” and the aforementioned horse in the black hole. Now, I sometimes wonder whether culturally Australia is stuck in a black hole, but not sure what to say about Siberia.
  • Then we have the serious searchers, interested in climate change and endangered cultures. Some search terms are – “shining examples of CSR”, “culture and remote tribes”, “science involved with carbon emissions”, “carbon emissions and flight”, “Google and remote tribes”, “smart corporations social responsibility”, how much CO2 does a tree take up”. A bit of a puzzle is “Alexander the Great climate change”.
  • Followed by people clearly interested in animals and endangered species – “how can we help the brolga”, “amur leopard”, “cheetah populations”, “tiger eating gazelle”, “ban on tiger parts”. Since I’ve blogged about most of these animals, I can understand the link to the ThinkingShift blog.
  • A lot of people seem to be worried about the future and some of my posts on future trends and predictions may have calmed them or worried them even more! Here are some of the search terms used: “fear of nuclear war in the future”, “the world in 2050”, “is nuclear war a social problem”, “robots in the future”, “will world survive beyond 2012”.
  • I was pleased to see people share my concern with the surveillance society and they found the blog by searching: “surveillance in Australian society”, “CCTV privacy”, “Kevin Bankston smokes” (well, Bankston is the privacy lawyer for Electronic Frontier Foundation); “Google Big Brother”, “Google privacy concerns”, “generational gap privacy”, ‘live CCTV pictures Hampshire”.
  • Then there are the history buffs out there searching for: “solutions to ancient Rome challenges”; “nefertiti quantum mechanics” (okay not really history and not sure what Nefertiti has to do with quantum mechanics); “ancient roman names for sustainability”, “Keku life”, “Mayans in Peru”, “Mayans and knowledge management” (what the???).
  • The blog also seems to attract people interested in space and space travel with the following popular search terms used: “Neil Armstrong”, “Guss Grissom death”, “Guss Grissom museum”, “original seven”.
  • Then there are the following search terms that led people to finding the ThinkingShift blog and for which I simply have no explanation for!

* Dino the dinosaur sound bytes

* asians that are not naked

* beehive concept map

* camel meat cost and recipes

* natural medicines of civil war

* dangdut belly dancer (alarmed, I tried this search on Google and there was my blog sitting at No 10 on the retrieval list. About to shoot off an angry tirade to Google, I clicked on the result and lo and behold up came my post on Eurovision. The “dangdut” came courtesy of a comment from Matt Moore and the belly dancer was a remark I made about the Turkish entry!).

* David Jones department store vision

* how to buy a house under a trust (okay, I can help you, I’m a lawyer!)

* heaving (sad to think this term led to ThinkingShift)

* sexy historic account (of what I ask??)

* quizz funny personal questions

* “temple university” “library fines”

* Salford University rant

* asian men

* french car sex (do the French know something we don’t??)

* without a donkey (what the?!)

* Sarawak plastic surgeon (okay I admit I’ve thought about botox, but I’m not ready for the slice and dice just yet)

* a list of symbols found on the round zod (que?)

* YUM (in capitals and appears everyday in the stats – does anyone know what on earth this means??)

I’ve read about someone visiting the Google headquarters and being shown a large screen or screens that showed what people were searching for around the world in real time. Looking at how people have found my blog is my own mini-Google experience, but I’m not about to do posts on “horse penis” or “asian men” – so those people, please go elsewhere!

And welcome home Atlantis.

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Entry filed under: Fun stuff, Information seeking, Reflections.

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