BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation, and I accept complete responsibility for the views expressed herein. As indicated by the domain name, I am based in the UK and the blog therefore has a UK bias - I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any ambiguous terms, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

An audience...

I must admit I write this blog mostly for my own benefit. If I write about a goal or an achievement, or even a feeling I have about something, the blogging platform conveniently adds a timestamp, so if I look at a post a year later, say, I avoid any tricks my memory might want to play. I've noticed, for example, that I mentioned a goal in here - when I achieved that goal I thought I might have been attempting it for six weeks or so, but when I looked on here I found that I'd actually been writing about attempting the goal for some six months.

I happened to look at Google/Blogger 's stats page today and was quite surprised. I kind of realise that most of the stats are down to me, where I proof-read recently-published posts to check grammar  and just to check that the post makes sense. But whenever someone visits the blog, Google captures things like the user's operating system and browser type. I know that each browser presents itself slightly differently when it requests a web page, and by storing and analysing the differences, you can deduce what that browser is. This approach also tells the platform (Windows or Macintosh, for example). And by capturing the user's IP address, the platform can do a partial reverse lookup and tell (at a high level) a user's location. For example, if someone looked at my own computer's IP address, they could find out that I come from the UK, and my ISP. But they couldn't know my name or address, say. Of course, the ISP is able to link my name and physical address to my computer's IP address, or at least they know whose account they leased that IP address to, which is how law enforcement agencies can track down people who, say, threaten other people online. If the law enforcement agency can be bothered to get a court order to make the ISP tell them who is involved, that is.

Anyway, I look at the stats, and although most of the hits are down to me, I can see signs that tell me that not every hit is down to me. I'm seeing non-UK hits, from the US, Ireland and Australia. And I use the Firefox browser on pretty much all my devices, yet I see hits from things like Internet Explorer and Safari etc.

So, if you're one of the people who has fallen into my blog......a big hello to you!

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