Siberian Light, one of the top Russia blogs out there (for good reason), recently posted a link to a new set of rankings of the English-language Russia blogosphere which has promted a debate over whether it's appropriate to make a blog's site traffic data publicly available. (In case you're wondering, yours truly ranks 31st. I like to think that's respectable, but there are lots of things I like to think that aren't entirely true).
I choose not to make my site data public because I think it infringes on the privacy of my readers. But what I do like to do is look at my stats privately which is quite amusing. One of my favorite past-times is looking at the Google searches that brought people to my blog.
It helps that my blog shares a title with a work of far greater literary genius, Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon. In fact, putting in that reference right there probably just bought me another 10 hits a day. And so, high school and college students trying to find "symbolic meaning of darkness at noon" often have the misfortune of stumbling onto my blog where they're more likely to find the symbolism of a well-cured pickle.
The other one that has come up recently with surprising frequency is a search for "Lenins n Things." I can only imagine they're really looking for the store, "Linens n Things," and that it's a typo or they can't spell. But why would you click on a link that's clearly not advertising sheets, towels, or kitchenware if that's what you're looking for? Maybe they really are looking for Lenins n things. Goodness knows I've got a lot of Lenins. And things.
Finally, my favorite which just popped up tonight (and prompted this post) was a search for "picture of the fall of the Soviet Union." I had to chuckle at this, as it implies that there was a precise moment when the Soviet Union "fell," much like the Berlin Wall fell, and that maybe there was a lucky photographer who captured that split-second moment with his camera. I suspect the searcher might be a 10th grader writing a history report who needs to do a bit more reading to realize that the fall of the Soviet Union is better measured in weeks, months, even years.
Nonetheless, it brings up an intriguing question for you Russianists reading this: if you could pick a single photo (or maybe a couple) that somehow capture "the fall of the Soviet Union," which would it be? Yeltsin on the tank? Yeltsin confronting Gorby at the podium? The final lowering of the hammer & sickle over the Kremlin?
If anyone has any nominations, send them to me (an actual photo is best, but if all you've got is a description of a photo you once saw, that's OK) and I'll put them all up.
Email: rubashov17 [at] gmail [dot] com