Essays: On The Road And A Little Off


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Nashville, TN, March 7, 2003 - - Hello, Browsers. There
is, buried back there in the Admin section of the vast
Panama Red Website Complex, a dusty, not-very-well-lit
place that none who read this stuff ever see.

It is a virtual collection bin where every day the
dozens (yeah right) of Panama workers including Riny
the WebDude and I are able to look and see what trends
are developing throughout the month. And we are able to
compare those trends with other months for as far back
as the previous 11 months. That is, we could, but we
don't because...well, it'd be a lot of trouble.

There's a lot of information, such as number of Hits per
day, Files and Pages visited per day, specific Sites
visited each day, KBytes Hit, Visited or Downloaded per

To make all this stuff interesting would be a lot of
work, believe me, so I'm not even gonna try. Instead
I'm going to cut to the chase...the part that fascinates
me. And that part is you, the Browsers, who for some
reason turn up here day after day by the scores. No
(yeah, right) either.

One of these sections depicts in piegraph and list form
where our readers live by country or by network
affiliation. A certain percentage of our readers log
onto us from the US military and government nets, by
I was initially alarmed until I was assured by our
webhost that these stats only meant that some browsers
come in on military and educational networks (on their
breaks and during lunchtime only, I'm sure).

Here is a small section of the stats for February just

Top 30 of 31 Total Countries

# Hits Country

1 2005 37.81% Network
2 1622 30.59% US Commercial
3 623 11.75% Unresolved/Unknown
4 248 4.68% Netherlands
5 201 3.79% US Educational
6 183 3.45% Sweden
7 62 1.17% United Kingdom
8 53 1.00% Canada
9 39 0.74% United States
10 36 0.68% Switzerland
11 30 0.57% Australia
12 30 0.57% France
13 24 0.45% US Military
14 23 0.43% Belgium
15 23 0.43% Japan
16 17 0.32% Singapore
17 12 0.23% Denmark
18 10 0.19% Mexico
19 8 0.15% Germany
20 8 0.15% Saudi Arabia
21 7 0.13% Non-Profit Org
22 6 0.11% Spain
23 6 0.11% Ireland
24 5 0.09% Estonia
25 4 0.08% Iceland
26 4 0.08% Italy
27 4 0.08% NZ(Aotearoa)
28 3 0.06% Costa Rica
29 3 0.06% Egypt
30 3 0.06% Seychelles

During February, for instance, 248 hits, or 4.68% of the
total monthly hits came from the Netherlands, while only
3, or 0.06%, of them came from Seychelles.

Probably what that means is that there are many more
PanamaBrowsers in the Netherlands and only, like, one in
Seychelles...which used to be Seychelles Islands out
there in the Indian Ocean, I think.

But each of these visits represents a real live but
nameless-to-me person out there and I find myself
looking at these stats every day and wondering, who IS
the person in Seychelles who checks in every so often.
Who ARE the people who come in from the US Educational
network. WHO's in Iceland, Estonia, Sweden? Japan,
Singapore, Denmark, Mexico? Saudi Arabia and Egypt?
Australia, France and the US Military? WHO are the
real, live people who come in here to the website?

So if you're reading this out there in the Seychelles,
in Cairo or Copenhagen, Riyadh or Reykjavik, Sydney or
Singapore, Tokyo or Tulsa, please write me here: , tell me your name, and say Hello.

ANNOUNCER: But wait, there's more!!! Send us your
ground address and we'll send you ABSOLUTELY FREE!! a
Disco Still Sucks Bumper Sticker personally autographed by
Panama Red.
Hurry while supplies last!!