The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

12:22pm on Saturday, 19th February, 2005:

Most Popular Link


I was looking through my web site stats last night, trying to determine if the files in which these are (automatically) stored had grown so big that they'd reduced the disc space available for my Designing Virtual Worlds forum (which had stopped working). They hadn't, but then the forum started working again anyway. I guess that whatever cosmic rays caused it to stop have passed on to torment some other part of the universe instead.

Among the interminable entries for searches and the attempts to establish a link to fool Google should I ever put my stats online, there were some unusual links from various forum threads. In the pat, I used to see these mainly with reference to my Players who Suit MUDs paper; I still do get a dozen or so of these a month, but once Google started doing image searches I suddenly found my site being referenced from all kinds of obscure places. The reason: my collection of photos of MUD players.

OK, I can see why it might be amusing to look up your name or handle in Google and come up with this or this. I can even understand why complete strangers might add this to pickthehottie (for the record, Rosie, you did really well, but it seems you're an"Inactive Hottie" now). I also get regular links to this and this ("it's my mum"). However, with far and away the most links — 334 in January alone — is this picture:

Now why would there be 334 web sites linking to that one, innocent picture?

Perhaps this gives the answer. Ciara is an up-and-coming R&B/soul singer with a lot of fans. From reading the forum posts that link to my web site, I also gather that there are rumours she's a transsexual. This apparently provides some added mirth when linking to the above picture of MUD player Ciara, although gawd knows why. I guess that means this Ciara is seeing a lot of traffic to her web site, too (indeed, she may well be the source of the rumour concerning her namesake).

If you go to Google image search and type in Ciara, you'll see that the above image is linked to often enough to make it the 7th most popular of all Ciara images. Another picture from my site comes in at 12.

It's tempting to rename my ciara.jpg as something else and put a different image there instead. I'm toying with this one.

Referenced by And I'll Try This Because Why?.

Referenced by Image Buffering.

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).