I have a confession to make. Despite the booming growth of Internet and Technology in the industrializing India and China, I am not a billionaire e-celebrity. I know. It is hard to believe. In fact, according to Google Analytics, I get, on average, a single page view a day. What’s even more shocking, is that person viewing my page is me. In fact, most of my viewers over this semester have been people I know. I was initially excited to see all of these individuals visit from places like New Zealand and Morocco, but upon further research, they are most likely bots. Knowing that 3 billion people in the world have access to the internet puts into perspective the obscurity of my site. I am just a speck of dust in the skyscraper that is internet popularity. I just started my site and the lack of red carpets and paparazzi does not surprise me. I did not expect my site to be reaching tremendous public acclaim.
The average session on my site is surprisingly long, hovering around 3 minutes. In this time of instant access to everything, having anybody read my posts for more than 2 minutes is incredible. Again, this data can be skewed; I have left my site open in a tab for hours before. Not many people go to my home page either, so I think that means I need to make my “Nerdy Knowledge” headline pop out more. It is also evident that maybe I should get a suggestion plug-in. Perhaps I could see if there is a way for a post to pop up at the bottom right and say something like “if you enjoy this article, check this one out!” Or perhaps on my posts from now on, I can have a “similar readings” section, so people keep exploring. I want people to stay and become engrossed in my site, and it is evident from Google Analytics that I need to include my readers even more.
What also is not surprising, are the spikes in readership when I link my posts to social media. The very first post I linked garnered 80 people. While that is an insignificant number to nearly anybody, it means a lot to me. What does not mean a lot to me, is the huge drop-off rate after that post. None of my friends on Facebook wanted to explore the rest of my site, and that made me sad. Well, not really, it is understandable, honestly. I go on articles posted on Reddit then immediately close the tab afterward. It isn’t a failure with the site that posted the article, but more so just a psychological thing. When browsing on a site like Facebook, I want to remain on Facebook. A linked article is just a branch of Facebook in my head. Perhaps that is why 1 billion people are using Messenger. People don’t want to (or cannot) be apart from Facebook. Not because it is such a clean, presentable site, but maybe because it has read my search tendencies and aggregated a feed to meet my interests. Facebook is the most generic, safe social media platform, and that is why it has the widest appeal. Nobody gets excited to use messenger; they merely say in their head “I am going to reply to this using Messenger since that is what I believe to be normal.” Well nobody obviously says that that would be weird, but Facebook has implanted this feeling, this, subconscious urge to use messenger to communicate. Messenger is appealing to me because phone plans are expensive and I am incredibly cheap. I can access Messenger, and it is an ad-free, fast, appealing service. Plus, it is what everybody uses, so I can talk to as many friends as I can. Facebook’s broad appeal has an entire continent’s population in their grasp…while my website only has my family. But hey, I usually get a spike of 6 page views when I make a new post! But Facebook gives me, on average, 20 more views, so I guess they got me too.
I used to fall for Facebook’s sleek, happy imagery in their ads. I used to fall for the propaganda, claiming they unite the world together. I used to believe that until 2015 when my Facebook feed became plagued with the most deplorable garbage. But I extra realized it when I saw the malicious intentions of Internet.org. I had heard India had rejected Internet.org, but I never understood the reason. However, when I thought about it, I realized I heard India banned Internet.org via a Facebook article. I believe the control over people’s internet access is akin to what is happening in North Korea. I will never have any visitors on my site from North Korea because they have their own, even more, corrupt version of the internet. I am okay with a lack of Indian visitors because I want them to come to my site of their volition. I do not want them to be forced to view it because Facebook urges them in a particular direction. I would like to be separated from the big bad corporations. I would LIKE to be, but if I actually will be well…time will have to tell for that.
Now I definitely won’t be showing up on the Dark Web. I remember last year, being obsessed with the Dark Web. Knowing that 98% of the internet is hidden? It made me feel like a detective! However, I now know that my information is false and that the Deep and Dark Web are not interchangeable terms. I always knew that nothing disappeared on the internet, and I know that the Deep Web is not some haven for guns and drugs. A majority of it is nonsensical files and deleted images. It is nowhere near as romantic as Buzzfeed articles would make us believe. Google Analytics won’t track who comes from the Deep Web, because, I am just one of the billion cogs in the internet machine. I am just doing my thing like anybody else in this class, and that is perfectly acceptable. I would rather be a star in Morocco rather than a target of deep web FBI dwellings.