Every mad scientist should have a big world map on the rear wall or their Secret Lair, with pins or lights on it. It's traditional, and I always had a nagging feeling that I was somehow letting the side down by not doing it.
Google to the rescue! They have a thing called Google Analytics, that generates code that you then embed in all of the web-pages that you want tracked. Google get to sneakily snoop on your site's traffic, and in return, you get to call up breakdowns of traffic sources and search terms and so on for your site(s). And one of the features is the Big World Map, automatically coloured in according to the number of visitors. Bwa ha ha!
Unfortunately, like most online real-time statistics, it gets a bit addictive. Why has nobody from "Serbia and Montenegro" visited my website in the last three months? Everywhere else in mainland Europe has visited, so why not them? It's a little white void in an otherwise green chunk of map. Noth Dakota was another holdout that was bugging me a few months ago, but someone's finally visited, so this quarter's stats have the US totally coloured in (yaay!). Greenland not visiting I can forgive (almost nobody lives there), but what about Iceland? I seem to be missing six Central and South American states this quarter, including Bolivia, Paraguay and Venezuela - the Dominican Republic visited, but not Cuba. Are Cuba's visits logged? African coverage is a bit patchy, but improving around the edges. Iran's dropped off the map this quarter, but Iraq's still hanging on in there.
In the Far East, the last quarter's stats are missing Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, North Korea and Myanmar, and slightly to the West, I have a gap comprising Turkmenistan and the surrounding countries (including Iran). Nobody's visited from Madagascar this year. And Antarctica doesn't appear on the map. Other than that, just about everyone's visited in the last quarter, apart from Mongolia.
Mongolia in particular is beginning to bug me. It's a big white splodge on the map between Russia and China, and it sticks out something rotten. Clearly not enough people in Mongolia feel that my site is worth visiting. I am trying to not feel the wound too deeply ... perhaps I have not paid enough attention to the needs of the Mongolian theoretical physics community. Mongolia, I shall endeavour to do better. Thou shalt be mine!
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