I promise a more interesting post later tonight; I have some on commercial real estate vacancies, new eateries, and maybe some humor. But just to pass the time here in the afternoon, I wanted to see if other bloggers are as bemused by Google as I am.
In case you don't know, Google is fast becoming to the Internet what Microsoft is (was?) to the personal computer world. They are buying up companies like crazy and incorporating them into the Google empire. One such site is "Feedburner", which they scarfed up last year. Feedburner tracks the number of people who subscribe to your blog via RSS or Atom or Email, and also measures whether they click anything on your delivered blog. Their data quality seems quirky at best. Last week, on differing days, I had 13 subscribers, then 20, then 23, then 36, then 28, then 20, and today, 21. Either my readers are very fickle, or Feedburner is on serious drugs.
Google Analytics reports how many visitors come to your site, and from what states and countries. They don't tell you whether visiting your own site counts as a visitor, and one has to sort between "visits", which is how many times your blog was visited, versus "unique visitors", which means if the same person visits a site twice in one day, I get two visits but only one visitor. And somehow, I lost a country. Last week I had been visited by folks from 13 countries; today its down to 12. Did someone take their visit back? Or, did one of the world's sovereign nations get invaded, lose their U.N. certification, merge with a neighboring state, or get taken over by the FDIC or the Federal Reserve? So far, I haven't lost any states here in the U.S.
And of course, Blogger itself is owned by Google, so all three of these things are supposed to work seamlessly, and presumably, correct. After all, if geeks can't get this stuff right, what use are they? For fans of the private sector, I wouldn't be casting too many aspersions at the public sector for their screw ups. My US Mail delivery is far more reliable than the inner workings of Google!