As the number of spam comments on this blog rapidly careens towards 5 million (yes, 5,000,000) since late December 2008, I reflect on the stats for this blog (putting aside AZBlogX, which is a livejournal site; Language Log; and the mailing list ADS-L). As of 1 p.m. PDT today, the figures were:
6,031 postings (~6k)
9,820 comments (~10k)
4,993,281 spam comments
Fortunately, an efficient piece of software automatically deletes most of the spam, so I don’t have to see it at all. Spambots learn ways to avoid this software, but then the software finds new patterns in the spam and gets really efficient again. We’re in a period where the software is triumphant, but that will inevitably change again.
Rather more puzzling are the daily stats on views of this blog. For a long time, this figure stood at about 1000 views per day, with occasional rises to 1500 or more, but in the last few weeks the figure has dropped to about 800, with an occasional rise to 1000. I don’t know how the view count is determined, but it’s not a count of how many times someone reads the blog, because some readers get to the blog by means other than clicking on one of its addresses (arnoldzwicky.wordpress.com or arnoldzwicky.org).
The drop in the view count coincided with a huge swell in people who “follow” this blog, so maybe the drop has to do with the consequences of “following” me, however that works. Or maybe people just don’t like the topics I’ve been posting on recently, sigh.