2 June 2012

A Blog Post Returns from the Dead

Filed under: Christianity, Genesis 1, Reflections — ktismatics @ 6:15 am

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.

From Wikipedia:

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).



  1. A Google news search shows recent articles about a gaming mouse outed by the FCC and uproar in Australia over a death metal band receiving an artistic grant.

    I didn’t see any recent uptick in activity for the term in the AdWords tool.


    Comment by Asher Kay — 2 June 2012 @ 10:10 am

  2. There is the famous work which Tolkien liked The Worm Ouruboros by Eddison pub. 1922 but

    you probably know of that already. I haven’t read it myself yet but I downloaded it from Gutenberg

    along with The Lair of the White Worm by Stoker. This use of worm is echoed in the Irish

    where ‘péist’ is a monster (generic) ‘péist mara’ (sea monster) as well as ‘péist’ the garden worm.


    Comment by ombhurbhuva — 2 June 2012 @ 11:13 am

  3. I didn’t know about the Eddison; that’s interesting. And I pity the fools who are showing up here hoping to garner information about gaming mice and death metal.


    Comment by ktismatics — 2 June 2012 @ 6:56 pm

  4. Only 55 hits on Ouroboros yesterday, the lowest since the resurgence. Maybe this post has broken the spell.


    Comment by ktismatics — 3 June 2012 @ 5:34 am

  5. The image of you circling around the castrational threat was rather amusing. Are bull snakes poisonous by the way?

    Dr Sinthome was apparently dubbed an ”alpha male” by his admirers, which despite his consternated response I believe the cat thoroughly enjoyed.


    Comment by parodium — 3 June 2012 @ 10:16 pm

  6. I’ve had the same experience with my one and only blog post on cooking, and its still going strong. The net is a strange place, filled with serendipity!


    Comment by Sam Carr — 4 June 2012 @ 4:09 am

  7. Well I didn’t have my unit sticking out of my pants at the time, which may have alleviated any castration anxiety I might otherwise have experienced. No, not poisonous, though when threatened the bullsnake apparently does a pretty good impression of a rattlesnake, which has similar size and markings.

    So maybe we could really get some traffic if we posted recipes for cooking snake.


    Comment by ktismatics — 4 June 2012 @ 5:59 am

  8. There’s a very interesting discussion ahead about David Lindelof’s script for PROMETHEUS, which I thought was great while most critics and ALIEN fans hated it because it didn’t explain anything. I think it opens June 7 in your area.


    Comment by parodium — 4 June 2012 @ 6:47 am

  9. You’re getting an image hit. Your stats will now break this out for you if you poke at them right. Dead Voles’ two most evergreen posts include images of, respectively, a photoshopped bodybuilder and a trash barge. Unfortunately I’ve never had someone come for the pictures and stay for the discussion….


    Comment by Carl — 11 June 2012 @ 10:39 am

  10. Btw I suspect that particular image of the worm is popular for tattooing.


    Comment by Carl — 11 June 2012 @ 10:40 am

  11. Agreed. I suspect that it’s both the image and the keyword Ouroboros being the title. Most of my long-term big hitters are movies where I’ve put up screengrabs from the film and where the name of the post = the name of the film. Every now and then someone will put up a comment about one of my old movie posts, but only rarely have they engaged in extended discussion about that film.

    Weirdly though, traffic overall has been up over the past few months. Part of it does come from the archive of old image-based posts, but part also comes from increased regular traffic coming in at the home page level. Sometimes I think that the blogs are just about dead, but there must be enough people out there with time on their hands to keep showing up.


    Comment by ktismatics — 11 June 2012 @ 12:06 pm

  12. In support of Carl’s theory, here’s a link that came to the Ouroboros post today:

    “Looking for a tattoo design with a ouroboros to symbolize order found in chaos..any ideas?”

    “I just got this one yesterday https://ktismatics.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/ouroboros/ It’s black on the outside and red on the inside with some darker red highlighted in some of the black. It’s fucking awesome. There are some sweet Ouroboros out there so just keep looking till you find one that suites you.”

    It’s kind of a ripoff since I copied the ouroboros image from some other website. Anyhow, as of now there have been 4,524 hits on the Ouroboros post.


    Comment by ktismatics — 1 July 2012 @ 12:03 pm

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