Turning the Tables

On June 3, 2014 · 2 Comments

Regular 12MC readers learned long ago that I salivate over the geography of website visitors as reported by Google Analytics, the more unusual the better. I activated that feature during the earliest days of Twelve Mile Circle and I’ve created quite a compendium of traffic logs. Savvy readers have toyed with my daily ritual, my mildly obsessive Analytics scan. They’ve traveled to far-flung destinations, opened their browsers and landed on various 12MC pages, and then wondered if I’d paid attention. Often I’ve noticed the anomaly. I’m always thrilled to discover visits from obscure places whether I understood their sources or not. It’s like getting a delightful wordless postcard.

Thus, this article highlights some of the instances when 12MC readers turned the tables on me. Instead of content coming from me, it was they who intentionally delivering a little digital present. The flow of information reversed its normal direction.

Yerevan, Armenia

Charbakh, Yerevan, Armenia by Matt Werner, on Flickr
via Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license

I can always count on "January First-of-May" from Moscow to access Twelve Mile Circle from random locations within Russia or other parts of the former Soviet Union. Once I noticed a spike in traffic from Kaliningrad Oblast. Yup, that was the source. It happened again recently with Yerevan, Armenia (map). I don’t receive too many visitors from Armenia — just 50 visits in 7 years — and 14 hits from Yerevan arrived in a neat cluster a few weeks ago. That definitely grabbed my attention!

Then I received the explanation via a comment on an old article pondering Fictional Geo-Marathons. One fictional route involved Armenia.

As far as I can tell, this is the only article with an actual semi-significant mention of the country, so I’ll say it here: yeah, that’s yet again me, in a hotel in north-eastern Yerevan.

Keep traveling, January First-of-May!

Douala, Cameroon

Douala by Christine Vaufrey, on Flickr
via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license

Cameroon remained one of those stubborn holdouts that hadn’t ever sent a visitor to the 12MC website. I was incredibly happy and surprised when Cameroon registered a string of hits in 2012, centered around Douala (map). I shared that sentiment in "A Plan for Rare Visitors" which prompted a wonderful explanation from "Lyn."

I was your Cameroon reader, glad that it added to an interesting article and response on here. I was visiting Douala recently for work. I’ve been a long time reader/lurker and know how you enjoy weird web hits.

Indeed. Twelve Mile Circle has registered only 10 Cameroonian visits in its entire history. The first five happened during Lyn’s visit.

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Flying in to Fernando de Noronha
Photo By Brian Arbanas © 2010 All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

Of course I have to mention a visit by "jlumsden" to Fernando de Noronha, Brasil in 2010. He’d let me know prior to departing on a month-long trip through the nation and I’d watched map dots light-up as he hit Belo Horizonte, Mariana, Ouro Preto, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahia, and São Paulo. The highlight had to have been his stopover at remote and obscure Fernando de Noronha, located well off of the South American coast in the Atlantic Ocean (map).

This became the basis for an entire 12MC article, Fernando de Noronha, complete with accompanying photographs taken during the trip like the one above.

Missed Opportunities and Wishful Thinking

pitcairn_island by doublecnz, on Flickr
via Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license

I’m pretty sure I had at least one visitor from Vatican City. That led me to speculate that perhaps the Holy See used an Italian service provider and registered Rome as its geographic location for outgoing traffic. Twelve Mile Circle has recorded several hundred Roman visitors with no way to break them down more specifically. I still don’t know.

A relative of a regular reader planned to visit the Pitcairn Islands, population 67, with hopes of jumping onto the 12MC website. This was a place so remote that it didn’t have an airport. Absent a private yacht or a brief cruise ship stop, the only way to get there is on the supply vessel MV Claymore II. The ship makes only 8 trips per year and visitors have to stay on Pitcairn for 4 or 11 days. No other options. A ".pn" top-level country code domain would have been the ultimate capture.

Feel free to play the game from your own Internet-accessible device. Heading to an unusual location? Ping the 12MC website. I probably won’t notice your next trip to Disney World or London although plenty of other sites will pique my interest especially if they generate a sudden burst of activity. A lot of climatologists read Twelve Mile Circle. Can’t one of you winter over in Antarctica?

On June 3, 2014 · 2 Comments

2 Responses to “Turning the Tables”

  1. January First-of-May says:

    On second thought, I should have mentioned it earlier. But when I remembered, I didn’t have time, and when I had time, I didn’t remember. So I’m writing it right now, from Varna airport, as we wait for the planes to take us home:
    For the last two weeks and a bit, I was living in, traveling through and occasionally visiting your site from various places in (mostly eastern) Bulgaria.
    (Not Devnya, though. I have reasons to suspect that this one would’ve came up a lot, but I didn’t actually visit that place awake, so I couldn’t possibly have visited from there, unfortunately.)

    • … AND that would explain Bulgaria being the 10th ranked contributing user location the last few days, as well as Russia disappearing entirely on several days (when Russia doesn’t appear colored-in on the map, it’s very noticeable!)

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