Saturday, 5 June 2010

Under surveillance

Why is Google spying on me?

Well, of course, Google spies on everybody in the known universe, and many outside it. But few people have a watcher as assiduous as the one who looks at Other Men's Flowers. My hit counter tells me that almost every day, and sometimes several times a day, someone in or near Mountain View, California (pop. 70,700), logs on to this blog and has a good read. In some cases he (or she) goes to only one page so it is not possible to tell how long he was logged on or to what pages, but at other times he visits several pages and is there for much longer.

For example, on June 1st he logged on to OMF half a dozen times, mostly short visits but including one of 25 minutes, looking at two pages, and one of 66 minutes, looking at seven pages. From the record of the entry and exit pages it looks as if this person is working his way through all the 1,093 posts currently in the blog, a substantial task.

Just because his domain is and Mountain View is the home of Google does not mean that Larry or Sergey is taking a personal interest. It may be that a number of top Google operatives who are nearing retirement after years of undistinguished service have been formed into a team, the OMF Unit (or Squad), and given this tedious but very easy job as compensation for never having quite made it up the promotion ladder. This will keep them happily and uselessly employed for several years; their final report will, of course, be binned unread as soon as it is submitted.

Or perhaps this has nothing at all to do with dear old Google, but is the cherished project of some elderly resident of the Mountain View Sunset 'n Smiles Rest Home who works at it for hours every day and sometimes far into the night.

But what is his game? What does he want? Why has he never sent me a Christmas card?


clairette said...

Dear Tony,
"Google is staring at you..." "Big Brother is everywhere..." Even in my little house in the Pyrenees from where I'm reading your lines and enjoying them!
I hope you're fine and I'm glad to have some news through your blog.
Everything is fine here.
Lots of love from me.

Tony said...

Little Claire!
So Big Sister is watching me! Lovely to hear from you. All is well chez us and I am happy to know that life is good for you in the Pyrenees.
Love from Anne and me

Sal said...

Google loves you.

But he's shy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tony,

If you do a google search on the phrase "what is a googlebot" you will get, inter alia, a Wikipedia page explaining what may be happening to your site, and a helpful warning about bandwidth.

It doesn't seem to me at some distance to be all that sinister; but that doesn't make it right!

Best wishes,


Tony said...

Well, thank you, Pasmi, I expect you're right, but I still think my explanation is more exciting.