There is a program called Google Analytics. By virtue of the largest internet surveillance system imaginable it keeps track of every link click on the world wide web. It must be a truly massive system of mainframes buried under the Rocky Mountains and probably uses up enough electricity to power the Eastern Seaboard. And by virtue of this horrific gathering of information, I can glean which of my posts and which of my links are most interesting to the general public. It even tells me whether the links were based on search engine inquiry or direct input or referral from a third-party site. And all of this information is somewhat interesting. For instance, some days I get a link on an aggregation site and the majority of my traffic that day will be from this referral link. In fact, on days like that my overall traffic might be ten times the normal site traffic. And this is good because some of this new traffic might become regular viewers and show up every day. So, the Google Analytics (GA) is valuable to more than just the FBI in their never-ending search for Americans who don’t love Big Brother.
But I digress. So anyway, about a year and half ago Google started announcing that GA3 would be superseded by GA4 on July 1st 2023. But a year and a half is such along time. It might as well be never. And so, sure enough, I ignored this warning for … a year and a half. And who knew? Eventually, July 1st 2023 turns out to actually exist. In fact, it’s 15 hours, 27 minutes, 47.33 seconds away!
As is my way last night at around 1 am, I managed to get the new GA4 link set up on my site dashboard. Of course, the link isn’t really producing any data but that could take as much as 48 hours according to the helpful scolding I receive from Google whenever I look at the output. So probably for the next few days (and probably much longer) I won’t have GA4 telling me that anybody is out there. Of course, the website dashboard has an access log of the clicks but it doesn’t provide a trendline and totals so it’s not as useful or convenient. What it means is I will be forced to understand yet another new system because of the unstoppable march of PROGRESS. Ah well.
So, the good news is that you’re all still out there even if Google’s “Eye of Sauron” isn’t hooked up to my local palantir. The bad news is that I wasted and am still wasting precious time messing around with these absurd systems that inevitably become less useful and less convenient every time they roll out a new edition. But the upside is that even if the whole system crashes and burns at midnight tonight, it will still be the first day of July and that is cause for celebration in and of itself. For the last ten days it has been cloudy and raining almost every day. But yesterday it cleared up, and the forecast for today and tomorrow is sun. So, I’ll let Silicon Valley’s minions have their way with my analytics and instead concentrate on more promising phenomena like some macro shots of the mushrooms that all that rain has engendered.