Monday, January 19, 2009

Enraged Scotsmen and Black Swans

I’ve just remembered that I promised to explain about the procession of enraged Scotsmen that visit this blog. I expect you’ve been on tenterhooks.

I don’t concern myself with stats for Think of England. This is just as well, since they are pretty feeble in terms of numbers (especially since the long silence of 2007/08), though I’m confident that I have a better class of reader than any other website on the net. God bless you.

Basically I tick along with old friends checking in, and then the occasional Black Swan ratings hit boosts the figures wildly and distorts the average.

When Bryan Appleyard gave my Haircut post a plug in return for blog-sitting Thought Experiments a few months ago, my stats increased by a factor of ten for one day. And when I was doing Thought Experiments, a wholly unexpected link to this post from Andrew Sullivan’s uber-blog added thousands to Bryan’s stats.

However, two of Think of England’s posts are visited much, much more frequently than any of the others. The first is this scanty cut-and-paste thing about the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice. Somebody at the mighty Internet Movie Database included a link to my post, and a steady stream of costume drama fans from the US continue to click on it. I haven’t even seen the film – so in terms of stat prediction that was a classic Black Swan.

But far and away my number one post is a piece of idle, tongue-in-cheek nonsense I bashed out a few years ago about Why the Scottish Hate the English.

It seems that if you put the terms why the Scottish hate the English or similar variations into Google, dear old Think of England pops up right at the top.

And the funny thing is, an awful lot of Scotsmen do seem to do this; at least two per day. Some of them leave comments. These are invariably rather intemperate and foul-mouthed so every now and again I go in and delete them, though I’ve left some of the more intelligible ones.

Very odd, when you think about it. It leaves us with an interesting question: are there a lot of Scotsmen up there who know they really hate the English, but they need to use Google to discover the precise reasons?


monix said...

I wonder how many of those hilarious anonymous comments were made by your Edinburgh cousins?

Scottishman said...

how dare you diss the scotsish you wil be turnt into hagis and ate with depefryed marz barz inglisch opresor