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Weeknotes 012 - Nostalgia and what to ask ghosts

As a continuation of last week's site upgrade; adding a custom 502 page, this week I added page counters to most of the pages. Page counters were a thing a long time ago when you had your own actual website and were proud of displaying how many visitors you'd had.

page view counter

If you were really fancy-pants, you'd also have a guest book, so people passing by your "homepage" could leave a sweet message.

Of course, this all died off when the messages became either not-so-nice or just spam from other sites trying to get their own page views up. Then people stopped visiting other people's homepages as much, so you had the option of artificially inflating the view counts by starting the counter at something higher, a fine tradition that still continues today (ahem Facebook). And this whole idea of having a cosy "home" on the internet pretty much went away anyhow.

But you know, fuck it, I'll enjoy my new optimistically seven-digit counters.

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To tell the truth, the counters are just a side effect from me starting to log hits and referral links because that seemed like a fun thing to do.

Which is how I saw that the lovely "Evil Mad Scientist" had linked to my first Pen Plotter post in their January Link Dump, thanks for the traffic 😄

That same link dump had a link to Ariel's project Life Under the Ice, which was built with help from Matt Biddulph, who asked me to make a better video of this weeks Pen Plotter plot. A somewhat circular connection that I would have otherwised missed without the logs, and one that reminded me a bit of the good-ol'-days of t'internet.

Obviously, it's not old and hasn't really gone anywhere and is still around. It was just nice that when I started paying attention again, it was still there, and had been all along waiting for me to come back and notice it.

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Four other observations.

  1. Scanning URLs for compromised Wordpress plugins and Admin pages is still a thing.
  2. Bots and spiders are making up a reasonable amount of those page views, so I'm not going to get too excited about them. At the same time, I'm not going to discount them because I, ahem, still like the view count going up.
  3. RSS readers, and the like, I see you The Old Reader, Inoreader, NewsBlue, Feedly and Netvibes
  4. Someone got to my site asking the question "What to ask ghosts", very wise to be prepared!

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I made a big-assed blog post about making the most recent pen plot: Plotting Perlin Landscapes. Which I enjoyed doing because although it took a few evenings, I liked writing all the HTML and adding a few new CSS styles. In a way it once more made me feel in control of what and how I get to add stuff to my internet home.

Only this time around I get to use emoji. Perhaps if we had emoji years ago, Geocities would still be here.

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