Friday, October 15, 2010

WOW! IS ANYBODY OUT THERE?

In 1977 the Ohio State University picked up what has become known as the "Wow!" signal. The signal was detected by Dr Ehman using the University's "Big Ear" Radio telescope. Dr Ehman had been working on the SETI project at the time. The mission of the project was to search the universe for evidence that we are not alone. The duration of the signal was 72 seconds. Dr Ehman circled the signal on the printout and wrote "Wow!" in the margin, which is how the signal got its name. Dr Ehman searched for it again, but was never able to find it.

Why am I telling you this? Because recently I discovered that this blog has a "stats" feature. This feature allows me to see where my "hits" are coming from; it tells me in which countries I have the largest audience, which sites are directing traffic to my blog, and what search terms are commonly used to find my site. When I first printed and viewed these stats I felt a little like Dr Ehman must have felt when he detected his famous signal. I definitely wanted to scribble "Wow!" in the margin.


The stats indicate, for example, that over the last couple of months my blog has been viewed by people from Australia (my home country), the United States, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, South Korea, South Africa, Ukraine, Philippines, Italy, Latvia, Peru, Russia and the Netherlands. My biggest audience seems to be the United States (cheers folks!) followed by Australia, which comes a close second (come on Aussies -- where the bloody hell are ya?). Interestingly, more Pakistanis and South Koreans have viewed my blog than Brits.

I always knew that readers were visiting my site because the digits on the hits counter were steadily on the rise. But I must confess that the revelation that people from all over the world are reading my work made me quite emotional. And I thank each and every one of you for giving me the motivation to keep churning 'em out. I welcome you all and sincerely hope that you have enjoyed kicking around my literary playground; feel free to return any time.

But there is one thing that perplexes me a little: with all this traffic and activity going on, why are only a few of you leaving comments? Writers are needy people, if you haven't noticed. We write for the same reason that actors get up on stage: to please our audience. If you don't let us know that you're there, we can't tell if we've done our job right. So register as a follower of the blog. Or just leave a comment. Tell me where you're from; what's happening in your neck of the woods; what you think of my stories; the "King of Tides" Series; the blog site in general. Tell me about the things you'd like to read about. Heck, tell me about the weather! Just make some noise!

Commence transmitting the Wow! Signal now ... Big Ear is listening.



2 comments:

  1. Silence

    There is a silence where hath been no sound,
    There is a silence where no sound may be,
    In the cold grave—under the deep, deep sea,
    Or in wide desert where no life is found,
    Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound;
    No voice is hush’d—no life treads silently,
    But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free,
    That never spoke, over the idle ground:
    But in green ruins, in the desolate walls
    Of antique palaces, where Man hath been,
    Though the dun fox or wild hy├Žna calls,
    And owls, that flit continually between,
    Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan—
    There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.

    Thomas Hood

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  2. Just checked my site stats. There were 19 hits from Brazil today. So welcome or "bienvenidos" to all the Brazilian horror fans checking out this site. Don't be afraid to say hello back by leaving a comment. I don't bite (at least not when I've already been fed :)

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