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Which of you are robots?

Every so often someone giving advice about writing will tell you to “know your audience,” and I use that excuse to justify regular looks at the traffic reports for this site. Sometimes it can be a brief thrill (162 distinct hosts served!) but on closer inspection, it’s beginning to get a bit creepy.

See, I don’t know how this reads, but I try to write like I’m actually talking to someone, telling a story. You know, a real person.

And, on a daily basis, the second-most-requested file on this domain is /robots.txt. In addition, search-engine hosts frequently occupy a large fraction of the traffic requests (by “search-engine hosts,” I mean things like msnbot8062.search.msn.com or crawler14.googlebot.com. There’s also crawler01.bloglines.com, but at least I can guess that’s because someone’s reading the site via RSS on Bloglines.) Today, for instance, of the top 20 hosts, six are clearly robots, and another six are just IP numbers which might be robots if I checked back on them. Two more are just me (work and home.)

The conclusion: the majority of my audience is software. I am writing for the amusement of a number of very, very large databases.

I actually know one article about writing for software (as distinct from just writing software) but do any of the two of you who are wetware have ideas?

Now playing: My Friends from End Of The Summer by Dar Williams


FWIW, Bloglines says that your RSS feed has 6 subscribers (I’m one of them).

I read your blog because—that’s the question you’re sort of asking, right?—I miss hanging out with hacker-types. (I’m not a hacker, but I am a hacker-type.) So I just enjoy you being you. I’m a zero-pressure audience :-).

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