I’m not actually sure why, but out of the blue I have been accused twice this week of deliberately trying to increase “traffic” to my blog by touching on “contentious” issues (fluoridation; political self-interest; the ownership of a health drink company by a large fizzy drink company), specifically by Edd and Adam Smith (who doesn’t have a Blogger profile or website to link to, and I assume is not my good friend Adam Smith the film writer). The term “trolling” came up on both occasions. I have looked this word up, as I wasn’t sure what it meant, and Urban Dictionary says:
1. Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.
2. Trolling is the act of purposefully antagonizing other people on the internet, generally on message boards. When done in a moderated internet community, this can result in banning.
3. Act of appearing on internet forums and boards with malicious intent.
OK, well I certainly haven’t done any of that. Also, the implication of “trolling” is to annoy others behind the accepted safety of a forum pseudonym, something I have never done, and can’t very well do on my own website. I’m pretty sure posting a blog entry on your own blog about something that may cause debate is called “posting a blog entry on your own blog about something that may cause debate”, and is allowed – some may say encouraged.
For the record, then (my favourite phrase), I present above the graph monitoring unique visitors for the past couple of days. As ever, it averages out to around 180 visitors a day. You’ll see that the fluoridation entry (Monday 15 June), lively though it turned out to be, had no appreciable effect on visitor numbers, other than the usual moderate spike after the weekend lull when people are either not at their work computers, or they’re out in the fresh air, as I am. Equally, there was a spike on Tuesday 9 June, even though I didn’t post anything between Friday 5 June and Thursday 11 June. So, if I wish to increase traffic, which I don’t, the best thing for me to do is post nothing. I’d better get on to the advertising department and tell them the news.
I know this is boring, but it’s the first time I have been accused of doing something as cynical as trying to increase traffic to my website. Maybe this entry will finally do the trick and take my visitor numbers as high as 221 and I’ll be able to put my rates up.
Anyway, those Iranians, eh, trolling all over the place, trying to encourage a debate.