August 31st, 2005

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Getting my website working again

I've finally taken a bit of time and gotten all of the Perl scripts on my site fixed, after my ISP went and moved everything around to break them. If you know anyone who has been looking for the Rolls Ethereal or ProWiki, please pass word on that they're functioning again...
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The power of referrals

Having taken a little time to get the Perl code working for our website again, I decided to poke around and see what tools are currently available to me. One is good traffic logging.

For the most part, there weren't big surprises in there -- our site averages about a hit a minute, fairly consistently. But I was quite struck by one strange anomaly: traffic surged enormously a week ago Friday, on the 19th. Which was kind of strange, since so many of the people who would be likely to go to it were still at Pennsic. I initially feared some sort of attack, but then remembered what was pointed out to me last week: my Period Games Homepage got featured as the site of the day on User Friendly. And it looks like I got an extra 6000 hits out of it for the day. (Looks like about 1400 people came to my page from there, and presumably some of them looked around.)

Pretty neat, and slightly disconcerting -- intellectually I knew what a link like that could do, but I don't think it's ever happened on our site before.

It's also fun to go digging around and see the oddities. Why did 125 people download our recipe for Buttercream Frosting? (Which is right off the Domino sugar box.) And where did they get the link from? It looks like all of them entered the site directly to that recipe, which means that somebody is linking to it, but Google is not revealing whom. Moreover, why did 250 people download digest #50 of the Grand Council minutes? And ouch -- almost 800 people tried to get to the Rolls, and I know they all failed because it wasn't working...