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Dear Lurker: A love letter

“Lurker” has such a negative connotation to it. I prefer the term “Friends without Comments”, or FWOCs. As is often the case, yesterday I started out at a blog that I read on a regular basis, found a comment that peaked my curiosity, which lead me to numerous other sites. One of the blogs I went to was called Blog Around the World. It’s a really cool site where fellow bloggers can get tips and share ideas. There’s even a little button widget that you can paste on your sidebar. I considered putting it on here, but it seems that the target audience is female. And while I am a female and most certainly write from that perspective, I don’t consider this a “women’s blog”. I hope it’s not, anyway. Okay, that last post was not something many men could relate to, but I don’t write too many of those. That post has, however, inspired me to re-write the lyrics to Kelly Clarkson’s song “Beautiful Disaster” and devote my version to my new friend Beth. I’m calling it “Muffintop Disaster”. (That STILL cracks me up!) But once again, I digress…
Anyhoo, here’s where I was going with this: In researching this post, I found some blog articles that were centered around why people should comment on other people’s blogs, how to get people to comment on your blog, yadda, yadda, yadda. If I’m being honest, I WOULD like more people to comment. Partly because it is a boost to my ego (a bad thing), and partly because I’m really curious who is reading and why. (Well, maybe not so much why. I’m not even sure why I WRITE some of the things here.) If you scroll waaaaay down to the bottom of HLAC, you will find a site hit counter and a cluster map. Now, the counter updates each time someone views my blog – even me – every time they check my blog. But, according to the FAQs on the cluster map feature, it only counts the hits from any particular html (or whatever it’s called) in one 24 hour period. And while I think cluster map has some kinks in it (for instance, I know Mare checks in on a regular basis, but there’s no dot in Nigeria), using my daft math skills, I figure even with my chatty girl blogger pals going back and forth on each other’s blogs, there’s still quite a few others reading and not commenting. Besides, with the exception of Mare, we’re all here in the states. I have friends that have told me they read this blog, and I can see their dots on the map, but that doesn’t explain all the dots in states where I don’t know anyone or the dots in South America, Africa, Western Europe, Indonesia, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, et. al. Incidentally, Australia and New Zealand are the two places I most want to visit before I go to heaven. Although I’m sure Aussies probably want to kill us when we go over there sporting horrible Crocodile Dundee accents and saying things like, “Gooday mate!” Just as I’m sure Kiwis probably roll their eyes when a bunch of silly Americans come over there looking for Hobbits. I promise if I have the privilege of visiting “down under” I won’t do that…..much. Yet again, I digress.
The point I was trying to make about 100 words ago is this: Whether you comment or not, I’m incredibly humbled and grateful that you would take the time to check in on me and my ramblings and rantings. I hope that I have provided a giggle or two; maybe even challenged you in one way or another. So, again — thank you so very much. If you have any suggestions or ideas about the content of this blog, feel free to leave me a comment…(Hey, it was worth a shot.)

And speaking of being grateful, I am incredibly grateful to my blogger pal Angela, without whose help I would not be able insert hyperlink codes with such annoying frequency.

Digging the Cluster Map feature

I am technologically challenged. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I read other blogs and am just amazed at how you guys and gals trick out your spaces. I love Jamie’s blog in particular. She’s got all this cool stuff on there. I really like the slide show with the pictures. Some day, I’ll sit down and figure out how to do that so I can put some of my painting work on there. Many of you have music on your blogs. Which is awesome, unless my son has been on my computer and has turned the volume all the way up — not so awesome. Helen (Random Musings) has an entry on her blog where you can type in your URL and it will tell you the reading level of your blog. For the record, mine is Junior High level: I rock at grammar! (As an amusing side note, when I spell-checked this entry, I had actually spelled “grammar” wrong. I crack myself up!)

My buddy Jeff (Convergence) has had this cluster map feature on his blog for a long time. It tells you where your blog is being read. Up until recently, I was the only person reading my blog, so I deemed this feature unnecessary. I know where I live. But, for whatever reason, more people have started reading my blog, so I thought it might be cool to see where they are. I was pretty stoked to see a dot in Australia, one in Scotland (?), and (knock me over with a feather) one in Malaysia! I think I know who’s reading in Australia and Scotland(?), but if you are the person reading from Malaysia, would you please comment and let me know who you are? I would love to hear from you! Also, if you click on the cluster map on the sidebar of this blog, you too can have this feature!

Update: Here’s the link to test your blog’s readability: random musings