The readership figures, such as WordPress stats can give me, have been very healthy lately. This ought to be encouraging but actually it isn’t, because a strange thing is happening that I do not understand. A while ago I wrote a post about state-developed ethnicities that you may remember, and loaded it with a picture of Český Krumlov, a city in Bohemia that Phil Paine remembered with joy and I was quite pleased with it, I think it’s one of my better posts. Well, it got the response and then went quiet as these things do and I moved on.
Then, right at the end of January, a series of what seem to be variously-phrased image searches for Český Krumlov, and after a short while, text searches too. January 29th, 24 hits; next day, 34; 41, 26, 41, 53, 37, 34 and it has just gone on, about 40 hits a day coming from what seems to be the same searches over and over again. It’s a noticeable portion of my total page views, and it’s still going. And it turns out that the image I borrowed from somewhere (linked through as is my practice) is making that post first hit for the place on Google Image search. That, while wrong, is explicable. But it keeps on!
Other things that I have written that have taken off go off bang! and then tail off over a few days, as the meme gets circulated, everybody that it finds and their friends, click, go `huh’ and fewer and fewer pass it on. Some things you can tell have answered some particular class’s reading and ten or twenty people will hit it over a few days and then that goes away. Links from the Unlocked Wordhoard and Muhlberger’s Early History, though they are much appreciated because they represent a kind of peer review, net me single figures for a day or two, usually. Not much gets a prolonged period of attention except for the few things that respond to search queries that never get old. But this one appears to be steady income. Why are people still searching for this? I’ve mentioned a lot of towns on here, and many of them have fewer images online than Krumlov which seems quite well-photographed. But these other towns don’t have forty-plus people per day looking for images of them. Is there some kind of civic loyalty test there that involves being able to identify it from the air? What? None of the circa 280 people a month who are seeing this post have commented, even in Czech. Are any of you reading this? I must know! Speak up, won’t you?