Thursday, June 28, 2012

What's Up, Russia?

I'm confused.

When I first started blogging, my intention was to keep my family and friends informed about the comings and goings of the Brownfoots. The bulk of my family and friends live in Canada and the United States, but at the time I also knew people in the U.K., Nigeria, South Korea, Ireland, and Germany who were reading my early blog posts.

When I began posting rough drafts of my now-completed novel, Songsaengnim: A Korea Diary, on its own blog site, I attracted more readers from these countries, but also from Australia, Poland, Denmark, the Philippines, Brazil, and Russia.

While most of my audience grew at a slow but steady pace (the greatest audience for Songsaengnim is, surprisingly, the U.S.), one country started hitting my posts in great numbers. And it makes me scratch my head. Makes me wonder why. Makes me go hmmm...


I always wonder why a non-English-speaking country shows interest in my blog. Perhaps, the readers are English speaking? Perhaps, they're ex-pats? Perhaps, they don't speak English and are having Google translate the page into their native language so that they can read it?

But why is Russia so interested that they are now the fifth-largest audience for Songsaengnim and The Brown Knowser, the fourth-largest audience for Gyeosunim, and the number-one largest audience for the past month for the Brownfoot Journal, which is now defunct (Lori threatens to take it over and revive it, but don't you believe a word of it!)?

What is the draw for my blogs?

So, I'm appealing to my fellow bloggers: are you having the same experience with your audience? Which country follows you a lot and is not a country that shares your native language? Does Russia make up a significant percentage of your audience? Please share your experiences with your audiences.

And hey, Russia, what's up with you? Why are you drawn to my blogs? I would love to hear from you. I absolutely love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. If you leave it in Russian, I'll have it translated.

And to everyone who reads my blog: thanks. It means a lot, and I would love to hear from you too.

And one more thing: you all know that my stuff is copyrighted, right? My words and my photos.

I know you do. I know you do.


  1. Ross, I believe that I may have the answer to your question, but I can't help feeling like I'm about to bust your balloon.

    I assume that you are getting your site-views from "blogger stats". One of the things that Blogger doesn't do (yet) is block referrer spam. Referrer spam

    The largest source of Referrer spam in the world is Russia. One of the dangers of google analytics and the links to Referrer's addresses is that they are can be virus laden or could set cookies used by botnets and other malicious software networks. It doesn't mean your blog has been compromised or the security of your blogger account has been exploited (for sure it has been attempted/attacked but this isn't an indicator).

    Don't click on the links to any of these referrers or "visitors".

    You can employ other tools like SiteCounter, SiteMeter and other 3rd party tools to track more accurate visitor traffic. I hope this helps.

    1. Thanks, Tom, that's good to know.

      I'm pretty paranoid when it comes to links, so unless I know someone well enough, I don't click them. And I never click links that aren't explained very well or not at all.