Friday, November 4, 2011

Blogger Beware

Those who blog -- as well as many who don’t -- will know that the blogger has a feature available to him wherein he may append various “tags” -- non-hierarchical keywords or terms -- to an entry he has written. Once associated with a particular entry, these tags go into the bottomless pit of the Google database where they wait to be nudged by a user of the search engine, at which point they wake up and convey the user back to the blog.

Let us say that you are writing about Hinduism in Bali. Upon finishing your entry you might add tag words such as “Bali,” “Hinduism,” and “religion,” providing each word as a general guide. It’s really a pretty nifty way of facilitating the web surfer/researcher, streamlining and focusing, cutting corners which would otherwise encumber. Tags may even lead you around lengthy introductions such as this one, or at least save you from getting lodged on a sandbar you had not intended to visit in the first place.

In addition, many bloggers utilize a web tracking program. This allows the blogger to see how many “hits” his blog has received, and where these visits came from. (If you thought you were perfectly anonymous, think again).

Looking recently at the data on my web tracker, I discovered that my blog entry on “sex with cows” (which concerned a Balinese man caught in the act of sexual intercourse with a cow) had placed #5 on the record of Google visits for entries so tagged.

I was surprised, to say the least. Who knew that cow sex would be a subject of such keen interest? Moreover, I felt proud. Surely placing #5 put me toward the top of the bottomless pit, and should therefore be a rare achievement and testimony to my gifts as a writer.

However . . . well, clearly a sober man is inclined to wonder, after the initial glow of fame fades away, how many blog entries, worldwide, there can have been on sex with cows. Perhaps five? Which of course would put mine dead last.

Then again, perhaps I had been merely unaware of a lively interest out there in sex with cows. I began to imagine hundreds, maybe thousands of sleepless men, sitting alone in darkened rooms, laptops open, screens ablaze with graphic, unsettling images of unclothed cows in all manner of position and pose.

One visitor from Pakistan hit this entry in my blog thirty-seven times. In a row. I make no personal judgment either of the man or of Pakistan, but merely mention the occurrence.

Another of my blog entries that has done well, as a Google destination anyway, is one entitled “Mean Spirited Women” (and tagged the same). This placed as high at one point as #1 in Google. Honestly, the actual content of this blog entry does not warrant the attention. It was simply something had I dashed off some three years ago when I happened to be angry at my wife. I wrote, therefore, that she was a mean-spirited woman, and philosophized that most women are.

Of course it’s not true. She is in fact a sweetheart, and t’was I who was in the wrong. Okay, honey?

Nonetheless, what shall we conclude from these statistics? How has it happened that so many people have typed in the words “mean spirited women”? Or can there be a fetish at play here as well?

Wanted: Attractive female

Age: Negotiable

Must be mean spirited

In any case, I merely pose the question, and will allow the reader to draw his own conclusions.

Lastly, I’d like to say something about the “comments” I receive. Entries in my blog have often been associated with multiple sclerosis (which is a disease that I have -- or had, at least, until it was flash-baked out of me by the searing, laser-like Balinese sun). Subjects addressed included such topics as brain damage, neural deterioration, profound fatigue, cognitive difficulties, and so on. They have not been wildly popular entries, where the Google database is concerned, but they have attracted an astounding amount of spam. A good deal of this spam has been of a sexual nature, advertising everything from cheap Viagra to hot Russian blondes. What one has to wonder is whether there is something about MS that has aroused the spammer, or has he been somehow inspired to believe that this sort of thing arouses the MS sufferer in particular?

Frankly, I find it discouraging, and an insult to my efforts and good intentions. But what are you going to do? It’s a sick world, folks. If you want to know more on the subject, just start a blog.

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