Ghosts in the Machine

I don’t profess to be particularly technically minded; I still don’t understand how to get more than a hollow sneer out of my Adsense account, for example (or Absense, as I’ve lately thought of it). And I also haven’t got my head around the finer points of improving the rating on this blog and my fledgling website.

Marketing does interest me though and I regularly re-read It’s Not How Good You Are… by Paul Arden, which provides encouragement and inspiration in the wee small hours. It also helps that it’s a wee, small book.

No, there are other things I think about when I wake up in the middle of the night. Ghosts, for one – not the spirits of the departed or that theory about locations retaining recordings of images and emotion, under certain circumstances.
The ghosts I’m talking about are the blog visitors who stay for 00:00 and whose presence only registers on my sitemeter as an IP address. Someone once said that the past is an unknown country. That may be true, but these IP addresses are also from an unknown continent and given that there are only seven to choose from, I find that adds to the mystery. Who are they? What do they want? Why don’t they stay very long – are they looking for somewhere else to haunt? Even googlebot leaves a calling calling card.
Technical answers on an e-postcard or comment please.
And my thanks to the friend who suggested I leave out a mince pie and a glass of sherry – I’m fairly sure that’s only for Christmas visitors.


  1. Bonjour mon ami, :]

    They sound like 'spiders' Del(bits of software script). Lots of dodgy companies get spiders to trawl web sites and blogs looking for email addresses with which they compile marketing lists to flog to sales orientated companies.

    Some of it will also be Big Brother should you happen to use a word they're monitoring at the time.

    Au revoir

  2. Freya Morris says:

    Ooo Wolf man! That's fascinating. So glad to have read this post – I had also been plagued and haunted by these ghosts.
    Now if only we could set a trap for these spiders – and Big Brother of course!

  3. Freya Morris says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Derek says:

    So not even friendly spiders. And I'd better start saying Channel 4 rather than C4 in future if Big Brother is watching!

  5. Don't forget that there are many good spiders too Freya. Google runs one that watches out for changes to your site which in turn affects your Google page rankings etc for their search engine … and more!

    As for Big Brother, what would happen if we typed a whole sentence with words like terrorist, SCUD, Osama, bomb and smelly armpits? See if that generates any stats Del? ;]

    PS … I haven't sussed out how to use brackets on a french keyboard yet!

  6. Chloe says:

    Ugh, I get spiders all the time on my blog – I have a slow drip of visitors to my blog, mostly from the UK, and then suddenly 40 "people" from Russia arrive and leave in an instant according to the stats. It's really annoying!

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