Wow, it's the site's 18 millionth hit. Looking at the apache log line, I see:
220.127.116.11 - - [29/Dec/2010:07:30:11 -0400] "GET /frivolity/photos/200405_rwc/10_earth_mover_cliff_tank.html HTTP/1.1" 301 395 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)"
The user agent string says "Googlebot/2.1" and that IP address is owned by Google, so this is probably the Googlebot, coming along to make sure that my page with a photo of a toxic waste site near my previous employer's office is still there. Sort of. When I say "still there", I actually mean that the Googlebot is looking at www.lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us instead of at lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us. My site then redirects the bot to the proper "www"-less address. (That's why the status code is 301 ("redirect"), not 304 ("not modified").) How long ago did I get rid of the "www"? I forget—maybe a couple of years? But the Googlebot keeps checking back at the old location, just in case. (It also checks at the new location, just in case.) Googlebot works harder than it really needs to. Maybe I should shut down the redirect from www.lahosken -> lahosken. If some robot goes to www.lahosken, maybe I should just serve up an error. Then the hard-working robots would know that they didn't need to keep checking the www.lahosken. Maybe. In theory, they should know from that 301 redirect. It's supposed to be permanent.
Anyhow, these millionth hits are a fun excuse to talk about webmaster-ish stuff. There's a new-ish web search tool called blekko which shows information it gathers about sites. Even if you don't own the site, blekko will tell you about it. You can see what it has to say about my site. It lists sites that link to mine. Interestingly, it lists them in blekko-rank order. And it shows my site on the list. Thus, I can see some sites that are about as blekko-popular as mine. As of Dec 30, 2010, the sites that were in my blekko-rank-neighborhood were:
Then I can look at what blekko has to say about each of these sites; or, at least, who links to them. Maybe I can get some similar link-mojo and climb in the rankings. Let's see...
defectiveyeti.com 67.7 Blog written by a professional technical writer, often funny. Funnier than I am—when he posts, which hasn't been often, lately. Defective Yeti is way out of my league. Blekko shows top-ranking links: twitter, wikipedia, flickr, wired, businessweek, angelfire, msnbc. Wired links for an Iraq war text adventure game in 2006. A favorite humor blog of the Businessweek editors. A 2005 MSNBC article about fun blogs. It's too bad these links are so old; Defective Yeti is still pretty darned good.
www.ericharshbarger.com 62.4 Eric Harshbarger who throws wonderful puzzlehunt parties and used to make cool big lego art. Main links are from tripod.com, thinkquest,org, sin.fi.edu(?), and neatorama.com. Wow, some domain names I haven't heard in a while. Not just for the lego stuff—apparently, he also wrote some java applets. Maybe I should work harder on the coding, write more tutorials.
tugster.wordpress.com 58.9 I never heard of tugster, but it's awesome: a photoblog with scenes from NYC harbor . Is there something like this for Oakland harbor? Top blekko-ranked links are from wikipedia, answers.com (which re-uses a lot of wikipedia material), nytimes.com, gothamist, topix.com. nytimes and gothamist are NYC news; and the topix.com links are NYC-news-y, too. Maybe I should concentrate on photography, hope that a local news site links to my photos for some feature news.
josephhall.org 57.2 A Postdoctoral Research Fellow and blogger. Top links from twitter, flickr, creativecommons.org, last.fm, and eff.org. Creative commons because he cc-licensed his dissertation. Nice. EFF link because he analyzed some election-anomaly data. Maybe I should go research some stuff. And then CC-license my research.
www.graphicnovelreview.com 56 comic book reviews. Linked from wikipedia, the Guardian, USA today, earthlink, and answers.com. Maybe instead of quickly-dashed off comic book "reports", I should take the time to write out careful critiques.
anexquisitecorpse.net 54.1 dada-ish art site active back in 2007. Linked by boingboing, wikipedia, metafilter, 37signals, and perlmonks.org. Maybe I should organize a lot of net artists to work on (and link to) a collaborative art project.
www.technomadia.com 53.8 It's Chris Dunphy of team RadiKS and his sweetie Cherie, who now live nomadically and write about it. Links from twitter, flickr, itunes, slashdot, and boingboing. The slashdot link was when they wrote about working at an Amazon warehouse during the holiday shopping season. The boingboing link is just pointing out that these nomadic folks who keep in touch with the world via newfangled tech are pretty interesting. Maybe I should give my rent-controlled apartment and wander the earth like Ca^W Chris.
mitpress.typepad.com 49.1 It's the blog of MIT Press, fine manufacturers of textbooks, books of Becher photographs, and books about the history of bakelite. Links from wikipedia, The Guardian, sites.google.com, boston.com, and The Economist. Seems kind of strange that it would be linked from so many high-powered sites and not rank higher. Maybe I should start publishing books exquisite books of industrial site photography.
stlmagblogs.typepad.com 49 A blog about food in St Louis. Linked from twitter, flickr, blogger, bizjournals, stltoday. The bizjournals is because—huh, apparently that Pi Pizzeria is from St Louis, stlmagblogs wrote an article when that pizzeria spread to Washington DC and then bizjournals linked to that article. (When I look at their menu, I think the secret of their success is: no provel "cheese". Maybe I should check out their SF location?) I recently attended a Little Star vs Patxi's pizza tasting. Maybe I should write that up. (Except that there were no surprises: fans of cornmeal crust voted for Little Star; fans of tomato voted for Patxi's)
Wow, these sites are all doing these really impressive things. When I started looking them over, it was to figure out how I could make my site rank higher than them. Now I'm just surprised that my site's in the neighborhood.