I have a love/hate relationship with my relentless need to count. For example, I enjoy seeing visitors from so many different nations stopping by the Twelve Mile Circle. I understand I should count my blessings yet it frustrates me to know that a handful of places have never appeared in my logs. One would think this could be accomplished after nearly five years of writing and literally hundreds of thousands of unique visitors. I tell myself that I’ll stop checking, that visitors may never arrive from these spots, that the world will go and everything will be fine fine. A few months will pass and I can’t resist peeking again.
I’m happy with my ClustrMap. It resets to zero each year and I get to watch it fill-up all over again. That’s fun. Google Analytics is what conspires against me. It lets me look back to the dawn of time and confronts me with my failure to completely fill 100% of the map.
I lasted almost seven months this time, a new record for patience. There aren’t many places left to capture anymore. Only the toughest of the tough remain, with only two new domains observed since I last checked: Samoa (formerly Western Samoa so it carries the *.ws top-level domain name) and Cameroon.
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Cameroon provided a mini-explosion of hits from two locations, Douala and Yaoundé. One Douala visitor found 12MC with a search engine and even returned later more directly. That signifies it wasn’t simply some random search hit. I had a real-live repeat reader from Cameroon, which is awesome.
I didn’t know much about Douala and Yaoundé. This provided an excuse to look them up. Douala is Cameroon’s largest city, its principal port and the site of its international airport. Yaoundé is further inland and serves as the nation’s capital. Both have more than two million residents. French and English are official languages.
I tend to have better luck attracting visitors from nations where English is at least one of the common languages. I know, no surprise there. Maybe it was just a matter of time before someone from Cameroon stumbled upon 12MC and returned for more.
That got me thinking. Perhaps I can chip-away at my missing visitors by focusing intensely on a few residual English-speaking areas. That’s my plan, and that’s where I need your help. If you know anyone who lives in or will be visiting any of the areas described below, please as them to stop by twelvemilecircle.com. They don’t have to leave a comment although it would be completely amazing if they did. I’ll have to think of a prize for anyone who captures one of these areas. Maybe I’ll write an article about your hometown or some other topic of your choice. 12MC has a pretty broad audience so hopefully this plan will work.
I’ll start by appealing to several specific groups.
British readers. There are numerous places where you could help. All sorts of tiny corners of the United Kingdom have been assigned their own top-level domains, and several of them remain on my wish list. Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha may be governed as a single British overseas territory with six thousand residents but it is target-rich with multiple domains. Ascension Island has considerably fewer people although the Air Force operates from there. A reader surly must know someone with contacts in the RAF? The Falkland Islands has a decent population of a few thousand as does Saint Helena. Those might be decent possibilities. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands,
Norfolk Island; Pitcairn Islands will be much harder to capture so I’ll throw those out there anyway and hope for the best.
New Zealand readers. The Cook Islands is a megalopolis compared to some of the other places on my list, with around twenty-thousand inhabitants. This one should be easy. Any takers?
Science Geeks. I’m still waiting for Antarctica. Winter just started. They’re bound to be bored with nothing much to do. Let your favorite wintering-over scientists on Antarctica know about 12MC and I’m sure they’ll enjoy the site.
Going on a European road trip this summer? Check 12MC from San Marino. Yes, I realize it’s not an English-speaking nation. I figured one or more regular readers might stop there specifically because of its odd geography. I have all the other European micro-nations. This one is still available. Here’s your chance to be a star.
I found email addresses for government points of contact in some of these locations. I’m not averse to trying that route although I figured people have been trained to be suspicious of unsolicited email with requests to "click this link." I’ll see if the friend-of-a-friend approach might work first.
The sooner I color in those blank spaces on the map, the sooner I can stop fixating on them. I’ll have to find something else to count.