Fun with search

My web hosting provider provides web stat summaries using awstats, which is something I’ve been pretty happy with from a “trending” perspective for some time and use at work for system administration purposes. It’s still kind of geeky.

It was looking at the search terms for this site — combined with a pretty big increase for my piddly little site that led to me posting for the google detectives that I wasn’t the same named guy that’s been in in the Raleigh news recently. I mean — here’s the top 25 search terms leading here:

[my name] raleigh [my name] raleigh nc [my name] nc [my name] ncsu the parable of the two programmers raleigh [my name] ants pixar waiting for leopard [my name] nc state rambleon cyradm os x the shawshank redemption institutionalism squirrelmail pam single sign on [my name] and raleigh nc managers pep talk bar icbm/geo.position tags date comparison bash parable of the two programmers kernel arplookup failed [my name] and north carolina syncservices path long symlink [my name] and raleigh parable two programmers use treo as pager

I mean, good grief. But I spent a few minutes looking through the other ones, skipping all that other stuff. And the great thing about looking at those is that it reminds you that search really matters — the stuff you want people to find, they’ll find (they might find the stuff you don’t want them to find too, but that’s another post).

But distilling down the search results to those other non-newsworthy terms — I went looking myself at some of them to see what they’d find.

It’s good stuff (well to me). Searching Google for “the shawshank redemption institutionalism” leads to an essay I wrote last April (2005). It’s still as true today as it was then.

I’m not sure we are ever going to change the culture until enough people have some idea of what kind of place we want to see us be at. Where we want the equivalent of Andy’s Zihuatanejo to be for us? And how do we make a place along the way? What are our arias, our chess pieces, our prison libraries? Even more fundamental — both Zihuatenejo, the arias, the bohemian-style beer, the chess pieces, the library — they were all outward manifestations of an inward passionate belief in something. Enough belief for Andy — and the seemingly-institutionalized Red also.

What do we believe in?

Searching Google for “managers pep talk” leads one to the best pep talk for 2005. That’s good stuff too. And so are the links. It’s those kinds of things that I believe in.

Search matters. Today it just reminded me a little of where I’ve been, and hopefully where I’m going.

(p.s. The funny thing is that the searches for [my name] all seem to land on my April fool’s post from last year. Now that’s the really good stuff 🙂 )