A Popularity Contest Of Sorts

Volume 6, Issue 76; 25 Aug 2003

An inside look at how you got here, what you were looking for, and which browser you were using.

Popularity is glory's small change.

Victor Hugo

One of the nice things about running this site on my own server is that I have complete access and control. I often leave a shell window up with a log filter script running in itActually, with tail -f /var/log/apache/access.log | logfilter running in it., just because it's fun to be able to glance at it occasionally. Right now it reveals:

Log Filtering
Log Filtering

Pretty ordinary stuff.

Sometimes I see an interesting looking referrer go by, like that one from dive into mark on the fourth line of the screen shot. Sometimes I follow referrers from the Webalizer logs too.

I thought it would be neat, at least partly because I saw it done on some other site, to publish the “top 10” referrers. So I hacked up some code to summarize the logs and make HTML pages of the results. This now runs daily at 7:00am or something like that.

The code actually summarizes the top URIs (on this site), referrers (from other sites), browsers (by their user agent strings), and search strings from Google.

What fun!


As I've mentioned metadata before, I'll point out that it's a funny artifact of metadata that this essay and the index page for popular pages both turn up in the RSS feed. That wasn't my original intention, but in order to make the popular page “sticky” (that's why it turns up over there on the right hand side under “See also”), I had to make it a sticky article in the metadata. But making it an article in the metadata also puts it on the RSS feed.