Sometimes the world of the net can be a really interesting place,
and at other times, it can be mean and vicious and very lonely.
Some of us have taken to putting site trackers or site meters on
our sites so that we can keep an eye out for those who visit. I
watch the one on my web site because I'm curious as to which pages
get visited the most.
Late in the fall last year I popped over to check the site stats
and saw that someone had been looking a lot of images - well over
a hundred and had actually been on the site for a long time.
Frequently the location of the visitor is only given in code but
this time the ISP location was quite clear, for it said umich.edu.
I glanced over at the time of the visit and it appeared that the
"visitor" was still on my site.
Quickly I popped up my aol IM thingie and saw one of the two names
there highlighted. I smiled and typed a quick message.
I got back a "LOL" and my daughter then asked something
to the effect of "how'd you know?"
She was, after all, the first member of the family to find the
site that I had kept hidden for so many years.
We chatted for a bit and then signed off.
That was in the fall, and I blinked, and the semester ended.
And just the other day, I found myself cropping a photo of her
so that I could insert it into her new "international student"
ID. NSR makes ID's. Who would have thought....
Just hours later we watched her walk through the security doors
and into the boarding area where she waited for her flight to London
and then a second one that would take her to summer school in Germany.
While we slept, she flew and in the morning I got up to check the
mail. I found the following
Subject line: London
"Hey guys i am at a little cheap internet station in London.
My flight was great. I sat next to a really nice British guy who is
20. His parents live in Ann Arbor and he visits them often. He got
my luggage out of the overhead compartment for me... haha. So we talked
for half of the flight and I slept for the other half
I thought that was so cool, to have a real time message from a
cheap internet station in London, that let us know that
at least half the initial journey was over.
When it works, it really works well.
So there I was in the stats page of my site meter the other day,
and up pops a visit from someone who had spent an hour there, and
had looked at over a hundred images. I didnt recognize the
number, but a quick search of the European whois brought
out the fact that the visit originated with Deutsche Telekom AG.
I fired off a quick E to said student with the title line that
said Snoop Snoop
Hey, I was hoping that u would notice I had been looking at
ur pictures :). I got really excited when i remembered i could find
ur website and look at ur pictures and stuff. I was showing them
to my friends ...I told my friend Dana that I thought u would notice
who was looking at ur website :)... and i was pleased that u had
done exactly what i thought. I hoped u would like seein all those
germany hits :)..
Well, ok, Yes, that was kind of neat.
But am I really that predictable?
Although it might seem so, you never know whats around the
next bend in the road.
This recent exchange has given me a great deal of encouragement
about my web site project, for it has reminded me of one of the
basic reasons that I built that site, and that was to share with
my children, and who knows, maybe even their children, just what
it was like to be along for the ride.