Thursday, December 13, 2007

What's your IP address?

Who are you, really.

I've always been a 'full disclosure' kind of guy, although I draw the line at taking my clothes off in public places. (That's as much a public service as modesty, by the way.) So if you're a regular reader, you know that I use Statcounter to keep track of my readership.

This statistical service tells me who reads the articles and such statistical information as where they came from (referrals), what search argument they used to find the website, how long they stayed, what browser they're using, etc.

One important piece of information is the IP address, which gives me the geographic location (usually) of the computer they're using to access this website.

There's nothing new here, almost every blogger and many (probably most) non-blogger websites use some kind of statistics-gathering software. How can you tell? Look around when you're on a blog website for a counter which tells how many people have accessed the website. It'll say something like "1,234,567 readers have visited this website since March 4, 2005". That number is provided by subscription software (such as Statcounter), and they all capture the same information.

In fact, bloggers need to know their own IP address. This allows them to tell their statistical service not to count the blog author when counting visitors. Bloggers read their own stuff all the time; not necessarily because they're egotistical (well ... maybe) but because the links on the sidebar are often provided so they can visit their own favorite websites. If bloggers counted their own visits, it would distort the statistics and they wouldn't be able to tell what kind of content was interesting to the folks who visit the website.

When I look at the detail statistics, the thing I can NOT discover is the actual person represented by the IP address. I know what town/state/country they're in, but that's all.

Here's the pitch: I would like to know who is reading what. The only way I can know that is if you tell me what your IP address is. It doesn't have to be your name, but Statcounter allows me to label an IP address ... give it a name. Given that, I can better tell which articles are attracting my frequent visitors.

If you would send me an email with your IP address, I could label the stats so I know who is a returning visitor. The information will go no further than my personal Statcounter software settings (which are available to nobody else, and will not be used for any other purpose.

How can you find your IP address? This is interesting even if you choose not to share it with me.
Go to the free IP Locator webpage at and it will tell you. It also offers some other information which may be of interest to you.

Type (or more likely, copy&paste) that into an email sent to the email address given at the bottom of this page, and send it. if you want confirmation that it has been received, let me know so I can reply.

Whether you choose to do this or not, this is a good opportunity for me to say THANK YOU for your readership.

And of course, you can always write to suggest subjects for future posts, or to submit Guest Posts. Unless the content is totally off-the-wall, I'll be glad to host them for you (although I'll certainly identify them as "I didn't say this, he/she did!")

Jerry the Geek

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