I'm surprised: people are watching

I've never really thought my blah was likely to be read by anyone but a handful of personal friends (or at least acquaintances). But one day I started looking at my logs, and there are at least a half-dozen hosts fetching the RSS file, and in some instances more, regularly.

The first interesting part is that most of them are hosts I can't easily associate with anyone I know, or in most cases even know of. (Not all; for example, some of these fetches come from rate-limited-proxy-*-*-*-*.google.com hosts, and I know at least one of my friends uses Google's aggregator, which would explain those.) I think the one that surprises me most is mail.livejournal.com. (I'm sure at least some of these hosts correspond to people I know, or know of, and I'm just not aware of the correspondence.)

The second interesting part needs a little background, and is likely to sound critical, even though I mean no criticism; the part that's easy to take as critical is important to the interesting aspect.

I feel simultaneously complimented and depressed by this. Tremendously complimented that people think my stuff is worth reading...and depressed that they're pecking away, fetching (typically) hourly, despite that being absolutely ludicrously often for something that gets updated less than monthly in the long-term average[1] and despite[2] my request[3] about fetch frequency. I haven't come up with a non-depressing explanation for that that's even moderately plausible.

This leads into the second interesting part: it makes me wonder why I care. The load, both network and CPU, is quite definitely down in the noise, so what makes the question worth even a moment's consideration to me? I haven't come up with a plausible answer to that question yet. I suspect there is something interesting to learn about myself lurking there somewhere.

And I definitely do not want to ask people to go away. If it gets to that point I'll most likely just take the silly thing down entirely. And it's leading me to some interesting thoughts about myself, which would be worth far more than its (trivial) costs.

So, people, thank you for your interest and the compliment inherent in it, and I most definitely am not requesting anything here, possibly excepting any thoughts you might care to share on the above.


[1] A quick count says 42 posts in 51 months.

[2] This used to say "in defiance of", with a footnote I've preserved[2b] in case anyone's interested. Someone helpfully suggested "despite" in email, which is a much better (albeit still not quite ideal) word; I don't know how I missed it when I used the word earlier that paragraph. It's a minor enough change I'm letting myself make it as an edit rather than a new post.

[2b] Original footnote: I've been unable to come up with a really good word here. `Defiance' seems to me to carry implications of intent-to-oppose which are almost certainly inaccurate, but everything else I've come up with is worse. I really want a word that is to `ignore' what `defiance' is to `defy', but when I try to generate one what I come up with is `ignorance', which already has a rather different meaning.

[3] The request actually is largely out of date; the blah is no longer hosted on a machine behind the sort of thin pipe that request is referring to. But, with only a very few possible exceptions, the people behind the fetches I'm seeing have no way to know that. (Well, `had', now.)