Yesterday I was carrying two bags of groceries in from the car when I stopped dead in my tracks. There, lounging across the top two steps of the front porch, was a bull snake. He was a robust specimen, at least five feet long and nearly as thick as my wrist. I showed him respect, going around to the back door. About ten minutes later he slithered off through the undergrowth. This morning I found myself thinking about the other time I posted about a snake encounter.
Most of my blog posts have a short halflife. People give each new post a look, then maybe they participate in or follow the discussion for a few days. After that the post sinks rapidly in popularity.
Then there’s the Ouroboros post.
I put it up mid-afternoon on 17 April, and it got 15 page views that day. The hits jumped to 105 the second day, then down to 68 the third and 46 the fourth. After that the post followed the usual pattern, with the hit rate dropping to 0-3 per day. Then the post rose from the dead. Traffic abruptly picked up again: 20 hits on the 18th day, 60 on the 19th, 38 on the 20th, 49 on the 21st. Since then the hit rate on this post has never dropped below 57. Yesterday, six weeks after I first put it up, the Ouroboros post was viewed 62 times; two days earlier there had been 104 hits.
While I think the post is a good one, I doubt that people are showing up because they heard about its merits through the grapevine. More likely people are googling the word “Ouroboros” and my post pops up. Is there some sudden interest in this fairly obscure term — has, for example, a movie or an album with that title recently been released? Not that I can see. Maybe there are lots of Gnostics and alchemists and Jungians out there looking for content. But that doesn’t explain why the post went dormant for two weeks before experiencing a renewal. Surely it didn’t take that long for the search engines to find it.
The Ouroboros often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end (compare with phoenix).