Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Mysterious World of Blogging …

I know there are other bloggers out there who, like me, check their stats periodically. I’m not obsessed with how much traffic I’ve had – I’m happy to have any readers at all - but I am curious. The thing that interests me is who is reading, where they come from, what country, continent … I’m often amazed to find that readers have visited the blog from Africa or Asia or the deep middle of North America. And although the site meter I use doesn’t tell me the actual identity of the reader – so don’t worry your anonymity is safe - it does show which pages a viewer reads and how long they spend on the blog. My average visitor spends about 3 minutes and reads a few pages during a normal visit. There are also a great many folks who pop in and spend a second and then pop right out again. Every now and then however there is something that catches my eye, like a visit that last for hours and takes in hundreds of pages. Has that ever happened to you? The peculiar thing is, these long views seldom include comments. I find that a bit strange. Why would someone spend all that time reading and not at least leave a note saying – well – something? Dear Readers: Feedback, at least for this blogger, is great fun. So the next time you stop in, leave a comment if you like what you’ve read, even if you didn’t, it’s a big part of what makes blogging interesting for me

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Blogger Pippa said...

Hi Richard. I think blog-reading for some, like me, is a very quiet art. You absorb, you ponder, you nod your head in recognition ... you are inspired. If it is a returning visitor, then the blog owner knows that somehow, somewhere, you managed to resonate in that person's being. Even if they don't leave a comment.

That said, I also enjoy finding comments and not just stats. The whole phenomenon of why people blog and why people read blogs seems a mysterious thing to me. I can't even quite explain myself why I blog and why I read blogs, except to say both fill a hunger ...

And just for interest's sake: I visit from (South) Africa, yes, and I keep visiting because (1) I like the way you observe the little things and the big things, (2) I would have moved to Koeln by the end of this year, before my relationship exploded, so finding a glimpse of life there comforts a tiny bit, as much as it hurts, (3) so far I haven't been able to find a feed for you, so of course I keep popping in. :)

There, some info from one of the visitors who love what you do.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

You stole the thoughts right outta my head! I look at my stats every day -- not out of a business or competitive sense, but more out of curiosity. And, like you, I wonder why some people obviously read my blog daily but (as far as I know) have never commented! Who are these readers? What do they find interesting about my blog? Why do they come back? (Or not.) I've posted a few "hey, come out of the woordwork and say HELLO!" posts, but you know who comments? Yup -- my faithful, beloved, familiar readers -- who I SO appreciate... but I'm so curious about the others as well!


8:19 AM  
Anonymous ZaZa said...

I was probably one (or more) of those four-hour visits. When I find a blog that interests me, I usually go aaaaallll the way back to the beginning and read the whole thing. I seldom comment because the posts are so old, I doubt the owner will see the comments. Then again, they might, and return comment, which I would not see because I've moved on.

So, consider it flattering that people spend long times on your blog, even if they don't comment.

I'm in the Northern California wine region, BTW, and my blog is here, if you'd like to return the visit.

8:51 AM  
Blogger C N Heidelberg said...

Strangely I find that my commenting habits tend to mirror those of the blogger I'm reading. The more comments they leave at my blog and others I read, the more I leave at theirs. This isn't really done on purpose; I think I just find people who comment a lot to be less intimidating - like I would be a lame groupie if I tried to comment on someone who is too cool for that. Or something. Yeah, it's irrational.
Also, it's easier to comment on less serious subjects - again with the indimidation. Yeah I'm a big wuss. :)
Anyway, I'm hitting your blog from Germany. See you again next time you post.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

I would love to know how to check stats because when I go home to california, sometimes people will say oh yeah, I read your blog all the time and I think, why the hell don't you ever leave a comment??

How can I check those stats?

11:44 AM  
Blogger Ralph said...

I'm most likely the one to whom your post refers. A few days ago, I happened upon your blog, as well as a few others, like the well-written "Deceptively Unreal," and spent several hours reading them.

I'm recovering from extensive dental work performed last Tuesday and, following doctor's orders, have to remain still and sedentary, which in my case has meant reading, listening to music, and roaming cyberspace--and so owing to this enforced regime of healing I had the time to read through your blog.

Your blog interested me because many of your themes--raising a child with a German spouse, coming to terms with the world's brutality, securing one's own cultural identity in a foreign culture, finding solace in music and literature, and many others--are my concerns also.

Reading it was like conversing--admittedly somewhat one-sidedly--with a good friend about shared experiences.

Ralph Noble

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy your posts, am often inspired, but rarely comment. I check in often, so I'm a "just for a minute" looker. Unfortunatley, you don't post regularly....

3:34 PM  
Blogger Rositta said...

I have you on Bloglines so when you post I check in. Sometimes I comment and sometimes not depending on whether I have something interesting to add. I love reading Expat blogs to see how you are managing in my home country. I would so love to live there again but it is not possible for me and sometimes I am quite envious. Stat counters are sometimes deceptive though, I know for certain certain bloggers are in one country yet sometimes their ISp comes from another? I don't know how that works but it doesn't matter. Have a lovely weekend, go to some Christmas markets and have fun...ciao

4:54 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I used to watch my site meter and think the same thing. I rarely check it now.
I never come by your site without leaving a comment. Or most anyone's, for that matter. Because I would hope that most people who come by my site would leave at least a "hello".
I hope you are well and enjoying Christmas preparations with HH.

3:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for quiet sometime , Enjoying every word .
The tender love you have for HH makes me smile.
I live in the western part of the USA. Winter is setting in and it gets very lonesome out here.
My best wishes go out to you and HH. Enjoy the beautiful Christmas Season and make lots of memories .

5:12 AM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

Dear Folks ...

Many thanks for the comments.

I've stopped in to visit all of you who have blogs to leave a thought - so to Ralph and the two anon readers, I want to say thanks as well, for reading the blog and for your thoughtful comments yesterday.

Sitting here in the very early morning tapping away at the keyboard is a less solitary pursuit when you know there are people - real people with lives and stories and reasons all their own for reading what you have to say - who think it's worthwhile spending a minute or an hour with you.

So thanks again ...


7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your blog a few months ago and was one of those who sat and read through all the archives. I am also an expat in Germany and am interested in how others deal with the highs and lows of living in a new country and culture. Of all the ones I've read, yours is the best and the only one I visit now. Your posts are always thoughtful and well written. Why have I never commented before? Just shy I guess. Thanks for the invitation.


9:37 AM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

I'm happy you found your way here Bridget and I hope you will come by often ...


11:18 AM  
Anonymous Click Clack Gorilla said...


Recently I had a reader stumble upon my site after searching "old man with can picture." It was a great moment for me, tell you what. :)

5:02 PM  
Blogger d. chedwick bryant said...


the weirdest thing about the stats is when i check who's on , and two or three people are there with me--- one from Staten Island, one from Dubai, and one from San Remo, Italy.

spoooky. you can almost feel their presence!

that doesn't happen often tho--the last time it did everyone was reading away for 5 or 7 or 15 minutes, yet no comments.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

Click Clack ... That's a hoot!

DCB ...Always nice to see you in my neck of the woods. And speaking of the woods, I hear we are having one heck of an ice storm back home. Be warm.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Pippa said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog, Richard, and your thoughtful and gracious comment.

In the meantime I have discovered how to subscribe to your feed, so it is a happy Monday for me as I streamline my surfing habits.

Have a nice day and week! :)

9:51 AM  
Blogger Chloe said...

i know what you mean exactly. i want to hear from all the people who read my blog, but i know that some feel intimidated for some reason. I've never felt intimidated by any blog, I can leave a comment in your blog, Cathy's, Martha Stewart's or Dooce's and it is the same to me.
Some people feel closer to you when they remain silent, others need to speak. I am one of the latter!

3:55 PM  
Blogger d. chedwick bryant said...

I'm a bit tired, so I'm inviting you to write a brief post! The 12/12 Manhattan Post.

5:50 AM  
Blogger christina said...

I've often found a blog I liked and then started at the beginning and read all the way through to get a better picture of the person.

There's also another reason for big chunks of time and many different page views showing up in the stats: some people will use your personal blog roll as a platform to visit many other blogs, clicking back and forth between yours and others. I can see this happening in my stats regularly. Sometimes it's people I know who keep coming back regularly, other times it's "strangers".

10:01 AM  
Blogger lillian said...

I have your blog RSS feed.. YOu write very well and obviously adore your son :-)

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Cordula said...

Hi Richard. I came across your blog quite some time ago in a state of utter homesickness. I am a German expatriate living in Toronto, Canada. It is very comforting to read your thoughts on all the little details you observe of day to day life in Germany and it makes me smile how you describe people, situations and circumstances. You are blessed with captivating writing skills and that is why I return on a fairly regular basis. I wish you and HH eine frohe Weihnachtszeit and only the best for the new year.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

Cordula ... What a nice comment - I'm happy to know you find the observations about life here worth reading. It is all quite an experience let me tell you.

Chloe ... As always, I'm glad to have your attention whenever you have a moment of it to spare.

Thanks Lillian ...

10:21 PM  
Blogger Cavu said...

Hello from Minneapolis, Minnesota!

3:49 PM  
Blogger sandy said...

I'm a daily reader of your wonderful postings (via feeds; probably not in the stats?) since your "keep writing..." comment years ago when being 'bound to Berlin' was still an issue. I'm lazy when it comes to commenting, though...

11:00 PM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

Cavu ... Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment - I hope you'll stop by again. I know your city - was there once on a cold, cold day. Hope the winter isn't too bad this year.

Sandy ... Always happy to know you're here.

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Des said...

Found you through Expatica, read lots of 'history' then so probably was one of your long hours visitor at the time, now your are in my favourites and I keep checking back from time to time.
Why I read your blog?
Love your style and HH stories. Personal situation ticks some boxes: Am German, have been living in different countries (currently UK), together with 'foreign' partner with new baby , planning to raise kiddo bi-lingual....
Right now my little man is asleep attached to me in a (German) Didymos-sling so I can browse & comment.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

Welcome Des ... and good luck with the little boy - you're in for the ride of your life.

5:41 AM  
Blogger lou said...

hello Richard! Typed a long comment last night about commenting or not on blogs but it never appeared... sometimes I'm such a dinosaur...
I enjoy your writing and I often get lost in thoughts over a line. Much later, it's sort of overwhelming to comment :)
It's cool to stay in touch this way. Cheers from lou.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

lou ... Is this (VT lou?) ... Happy to see you here and even more so that you like the blog. Keep in touch - the medium matter not!

9:40 AM  

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