Sitemeter Strikes Again, and Other News

September 14, 2008, 4:15 pm

In a morning that I could have been doing other things (“Yeah? What, exactly?” you sneer) I have spent a substantial amount of time migrating to the New Sitemeter. And after a prolonged effort, during which I considered options from sending out an SOS to ahistoricality (a generous blogpal who has occasionally offered unsolicited but nonetheless very valuable advice about cyber-issues) or (as I did last time) simply closing down the account and re-registering (which means starting your stats all over again) I succeeded in activating the migration. Which leads me to reveal a small source of pride: becoming a blogger has made me a more skilled computer techie.

But to return to my previous line of thought, I was happy with old Sitemeter, just as I am more or less happy with the eleven year-old Tercel we intend to drive until it dies an honorable death. But I get it, I am not typical, and I’m not selling anything — I just have run of the mill curiosity about my visitors, and I am a run-of-the-mill academic ego-tripper who likes having lots of them. I know all kinds of things now that I have migrated to New Sitemeter, such as the fact that almost 90% of my visitors are of unknown gender (there’s progress!) There is only one thing that seems to be eluding me, which is where my visitors are coming from. And I suspect that information has been moved to the next level — the one that they want me to pay $5.95 a month for.

Well, maybe I will, maybe I won’t. Too bad I can’t bill it to my research account.

In other news, Ambrose Hofstadter Bierce III has Gone West, at least temporarily. Although Tim Lacy seems to have only gotten his dander up, I saw a real sag in his self-confidence (a crucial personality trait for a gossip) after I called his attention to my Letter to An Anonymous Blogger. On the one hand I say, well, the guy is neurasthenic and never really recovered from the Southern Rebellion, and on the other hand, I must admit my dismay. I did not intend to have such a dampening effect. I am hoping that it wasn’t me; and that a kindly Princeton colleague took him aside for some fatherly advice. This is the scenario I prefer, as I intended to be thought-provoking, not discouraging. Come back, old man, when you are feeling up to it — even if you feel you must come back as someone else.

Finally, there has been some snarling here at Tenured Radical about Sarah Palin, which only reflects the snarling in the rest of the world. I have two words for the weeks prior to Election Day, when this will all, mercifully, be over: Facts and Policies. Let me repeat, let’s talk about Facts and Policies, past and future. And let us always do our best to tell the truth, and demonstrate how much we deserve a good President who doesn’t lie just to win elections or deliver oil fields into the hands of corporate giants. Re. Sarah Palin: name calling is out, as are references to her personal appearance (including shoes and tone of voice), comments about the sex lives of her children are also proscribed. “Red” and “neck” are not to be used in the same sentence and all classist modifiers of the word “trash” are temporarily banned, even if some of Palin’s family members have been known to use them.

Intelligent discourse, accompanied by links to campaign documents and fact-checked stories in the electronic or printed media are more than welcome. I shall, of course, do my best to follow my own rules.

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