Wow, I thought the spike in traffic might last a little bit longer

Last week I was excited by the prospect of increased traffic here when I discovered that a New York Times blog had linked to a 2-year-old post on this site.

I eagerly watched my hit count go up. The post received over 500 hits in the 5 hours immediately following the appearance of the NYT link. But wow, did the traffic drop off fast. I’m still getting a trickle of hits on that 2-year-old post each day, but my overall site traffic is back down to pre-NYT levels. Here’s a chart of hits on my site over the past month. Can you tell when the NYT link appeared?

For what it’s worth, I think the earlier jump in activity from late October occurred because that was right around the time I worked with my hosting provider to reinstate some third-level domains (such as for links to subsections of my site. I had used these third-level domains several years ago but they had been “turned off” for at least 3 or 4 years. I can only assume from the increase in traffic that there are still sites out there that have been linking to these URLs for all of that time, even though they didn’t work.

John Hodgman in George Plimpton homage

As I flipped to “Talk of the Town” in the latest issue of the New Yorker, I was immediately taken aback by the full-page ad on the facing page.

The first thing I noticed was John Hodgman, (probably) better known as “The PC” in the recent Apple ads. Here he was not playing the straight man to Justin Long‘s cool, laid-back Mac, but rather hawking his own book, The Areas of My Expertise. But what really got me was the ad itself. It was a perfect send-up of the old George Plimpton ads for Intellivision in the early ’80s, wherein he compared Atari’s Home Run against Mattel’s Major League Baseball.

Here, Hodgman’s spoof pits Intellivision against “Complete World Knowledge.”

It’s a fairly obscure ad to parody, but I’m glad to see that I’m not the only person who caught the reference. John Hodgman’s own blog explains a bit more here and here.

And, since I understand the ephemeral nature of the Internet (better than I understand the definition of “ephemeral,” in fact), I’ve grabbed the two images from Flickr just so this post doesn’t become incomprehensible in a month. (Yes, I think my blog entries have more staying power than Flickr.)

George Plimpton in Intellivision ad
John Hodgman in John Hodgman ad

More site updates

You may (or may not) notice that there’s now a calendar on the left side of all of the blog pages. Go ahead… use it! It works like most blog calendars work. (At least I assume so; I admit that I spend more time looking at my own blog than at all other blogs combined.) I’ve also added a few new “34” photos in the top area. Refresh the page 1,000 times and maybe you’ll see a new one.

The Cheat Is off the Hook

I swear it’s not a blog, but I guess really it is. Anyway, I figured the inaugural entry in my blog-not-blog should be true to blog (not blog) form, and feature “the super cool new link I just found that all y’all’s got to check out.”

I have been a loyal Homestar Runner fan for about a year now, but today’s offering, New Boots (“Powered by The Cheat!!” [sic on the exclamation points, BTW]) deserves special attention.

I was laughing to wake the baby… I thought it was over… and then… and then…

“Gimme a chance ta do a hip-hop dance!”

What are you waiting for? Go! Now!