4/26/2007

The Things You Find in Your Blog's Logs...

Most of the time, a blogger's logs are a great tool for gauging the traffic for any given topic about which we may write. To this day, I bemoan the fact that the satiric piece I wrote about Anna Nicole Smith's death got far more pageviews than, say, the piece on the Most Popular Event in the World.

In rare instances, logs reveal more than we might expect. For a couple of weeks, I had noticed some strange Google queries that led someone to my page. I only gave it a cursory look, and didn't think much more of it.

Then Nigel Swaby posted the identities of frequent ExUrbanNation posters on his creepy "don't hate casey" blog. I spent most of the day thinking about how disturbing it was that someone with access to personal financial data had done that.

Later in the evening, I recalled those curious Google searches. I pulled up the logs and took a closer look. And sure enough, queries such as "Where does Aspeth live?" originated from Utah terrorities such as Salt Lake City.

While Nigel Swaby says that he only picked the 'low-lying fruit' through simple searches, there were numerous such queries within a three week period. Nigel Swaby spent a lot of time trying to track down the Haterz.

Some days, there were a dozen or more queries, trying to determine my age, address, phone number...any identifying information that would be useful. And these were just the searches I could see.

I emailed Rob Dawg and we had a brief exchange about Nigel Swaby's latest escapade with Casey Serin's critics. I'm sure that blogs like Housing Panic had similar searches.

Since the Google queries showed that *someone* in Utah (since it can't be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that it was Nigel Swaby) was also searching for the profiles of folks who had posted here, I made sure that my logs couldn't be accessed without passwords.

Obviously, the queries on those leaving comments here didn't turn up much. By and large, they weren't people who had a deep involvement in Casey Serin's story, or were people with fairly anonymous user names. Still, the creep factor remained.


Conversely, a blog's logs can also make you laugh. Nearly everyday, someone from a mental health facility in Utah Googles Nigel Swaby. This alone raises a world of possibilities.

It's been said before, but I'll reiterate it. Nigel Swaby will give his "expert" real estate and mortgage opinions at the drop of a hat. Personally, if I were a consumer shopping for a mortgage broker, I'd look for one who doesn't spend so much time playing on the internet.

A poster at ExUrb asked how Integrity First Financial's clients would feel about doing business with someone so willing to proffer personal information when he feels wounded. According to Nigel Swaby, when he told his boss about what he had done, his boss laughed and told him "happy traffic."

I guess that answers the question.

38 comments:

Benoit™ said...

Responding to your previous comment -- give me two words that rhyme with Aspeth and I'll cook something up... ;-)

Remember, the words also have to be accented on the penultimate syllable like "Aspeth" is. Harder than it seems? hehe

"And Moses said, claspeth this bracelet around thine arm!". I got nothing here. :)

Anonymous said...

Holy hell, what a dick we have in Nigel Swaby. Excellent post.

Benoit™ said...

While Aspeth was checking her blog,
A strange thing turned up in the log.
A sickening hobby
Of Nigel E. Swaby
Was finding more Haters to flog!
=======

3 minutes work ;-) Nowhere near my best, I just couldn't fit "Prague" or "Frog" in there. heh.

Aspeth said...

LOL @ Benoit. Really, your limericks are waaay clever. I was crying the other night at EN.

@Anon 6:16. Holy hell! I've come across another person who says "holy hell!" ;-)

Benoit™ said...

hehe, thanks... I've liked the classic limerick for quite a while. A sappy related story:

A couple years ago, I was dating this girl named Marissa (which rhymes with no English word AFAIK), and our 3rd date happened to fall on Valentine's Day... so I wrote a card with the verse:

There once was a girl named Marissa
When we're not with each other I missa'
I hope that I may
(Since it's Valentine's Day)
Discover that she's a good kissa'


It went over very well ;-)

Aspeth said...

Aha, so it's not just the blogosphere that you're charming with witty verse...you've been pulling chicks with this for years!

Akubi said...

I kept hoping that if we ignored Nigel he’d go away, but the full extent of his insanity is decidedly creepy now. Business must be _really_ SLOW for him these days (surprise, surprise). I wonder what sort of “award winning” response he will provide to your post in one of his many blogs…
BTW, I’ve noticed a Utah mental health facility commenter in the ExUrb Site Meter logs as well. Generally, I only check them when a “looser” leaves comments.

Aspeth said...

Hi Akubi submarine! I hoped for the same thing, which is why I held off on writing this post. In the same vein, what I know of Nigel comes from other blogs' posts and random Nigelpedia that pops in searches for other things.

Schnapps said...

Heheh. The googler from the mental health facility in Utah amuses me greatly :>

Aspeth said...

Schnapps, me too. Oh god, you have no idea...lol

Benoit™ said...

Re: the Utah Mental Health Facility, if you know its name and phone number, pose as a psychiatrist checking up on Mr. Swaby to see if he's a resident ;-)

He'd be the guy pacing the halls of the facility, holding an empty tray, saying "Pins! Pins! Get your Olympic Pins here!"

Schnapps said...

Oh Benoit! I think you owe me a new keyboard now!


Too funny!

Sprezzatura said...

The more Nigel goes off the deep end, the happier I am that I didn't make any postings on IAFF / EN under my regular online identity.

Aspeth said...

Benoit...I'm not going to falsely present myself as a professional in a field not my own...that's Nigel Swaby's job.

Schnapps...file your claims with Rob Dawg. He's got enough names for a class action.

Sprezzatura, no kidding. Did anyone learn from the early days of Dooce?

Akubi said...

Aspeth,
Oh, the submarine reminds me of another Project SCOBY Doo issue I’ll need to cover when I have a chance.
BTW, certain Ukrainian sources say that Nikolay is going a bit overboard with the Nigel-prevention NO VACANCY signs on all of his pyramids as well as the "The Egg". In fact, Nigel is an

Ophidiophobe.

Overall I think Nikolay's Pyramid #7 is the best move Casey could make. Hard to say whether he can manage a Blackberry-free world though.

Aspeth said...

lol, Akubi. Looking forward to it.

Schnapps said...

Hm. Nigel getting dooced?

I think Casey has engaged in what might be called "proactive self-doocing" - he's gotten himself fired before he was even hired. :>

(Ok, not a limerick, but I never said I was a poet)

Aspeth said...

Schnapps...It's more fun to say "Nigel getting d---ed" Heh.

As for Casey, I think his new supposed job has something to do with this ironic article.

Benoit™ said...

Last comment of the night, sleep time --

Casey is the ultimate Dooce-Bag™ ;-)

Aspeth said...

nicely done, benoit.

Miguel said...

The more Nigel goes off the deep end, the happier I am that I didn't make any postings on IAFF / EN under my regular online identity.

Same here. I only posted pseudonymously on IAFF in the first place because California housing and foreclosures are waaaaaay outside my area of expertise - but given the Swab's subsequent activities I'm very glad I did.

I have absolutely nothing to hide - in fact, if Nigel were to discover my identity his head would probably explode with jealousy before he got round to any outage (let's just say I get a LOT more traffic than the fabled two-seven-five-nine). But I don't need the hassle.

Anonymous said...

i'm a well-known internet personality, and "outing" is not a big risk for me. bigger dicks than nigel swaby have done it already.

Miguel said...

A blogger named Nigel from Utah
Decided to use his computer
To misuse some data
By outing a hater
But we all thought the hater was cuter

Aspeth said...

Hi Miguel, thanks for the poem! Man, you have got to feed that kid some tranq's at bedtime!!!

I'm with you...Nigel would hate himself even more if he took a glimpse at my life. (And I sincerely believe that's true of the vast majority of people he tries to disparage). I'm not too worried about it. I travel so much that even if someone had my IP, it would be pretty useless.

@Anon 12:06, Hmmmmmm...intrigue and scandal...I love it. And may I take a moment and thank a 'well-known internet personality' for gracing these lowly pages. Well, unless you're well-known in the Dateline To Catch A Predator kind of way, in which case, maybe not so much.

Do I get to play 20 Questions? For my first guess, I would like "Tammy NYP" ;-)

Anonymous said...

well-known in the sense that many people know me, most like me, some dislike me, and a lot is written down somewhere, including the sort of outrageous negative things typical in a blogwar. you can watch the arc of nigel learning the ways of the internet drama... picking up the conventions and techniques, becoming what he claims to hate. i fear he's coming around. and then what will we do? i fear the worst. (FEAR THE MURSE!)

Aspeth said...

Hi Anon, Sorry about the Tammy joke. Say no more...

As for Nigel Swaby "becoming", I wholeheartedly disagree. He's always been a hater; we just stand on opposite sides of what we hate. Nigel Swaby's opportunism drove him to getting in bed with Casey Serin (no pun intended) and he hates us for fucking with his ill-conceived plan.

Anonymous said...

Aspeth,

What do you mean? Does Nigel have a way to access your logs and ask them questions? How would you know what Nigel is typing into Google? Is there a place where questions are shown to the public?

Aspeth said...

@Anon 11:29...logs can be set to be viewed by anyone. Mine are password protected so that no one can see your IP address when you visit.

The logs show how people get to your webpage--from a link in another blog, from a search engine query, etc. If from a search engine, it says what the search was.

In the vast majority of cases, these are questions relevant to the topics posted, say, "most dangerous places." The queries originating from SLC and Sandy said things like, "Where does Aspeth live?" An unusual query. Particularly when it shows repeatedly.

The caveat I have to make is that I'm not going to spend assloads of time proving that it was NS specifically. I don't have the time or energy to trace the fingerprint. But I do know the locations of the searches, and that they occurred for about three weeks before Nigel Swaby's outings. Crazy coincidence!

Did that answer your question?

Akubi said...

Gee, I guess I’m the only one around here who isn’t a well-known internet personality;). To pass our time in Casey's absence I thought we might play 6 Degrees of Casey Serin™. Today's challenge is The Egg Lady.

Aspeth said...

Shit, Akubi, I really suck at that game, but am in a holding pattern until I hear back from a client, so I'm game. Are you talking about the Egg Lady from "Female Trouble" (or some other John Waters movie)?

BTW, we had a parlay-vous fransays tribute to you at EN. You got the crowd stirred this morning :)

Anonymous said...

Makes total sense Aspeth. It's a shame Nigel has nothing better to do.

I understand this now. I could type in any combination of words featuring Aspeth and your site will come up. I click the link and you would see where I came from. I've noticed the same kinds of weird link ins on Rob's blog.

Thanks for being patient with me and answering that "query." You are the best.

Aspeth said...

Anon...you got it. No worries.

Miguel said...

Just so you know, for some reason my browser won't remember your URL (too long, probably), so I get to it by typing 'Aspeth' into Google and clicking the second link.

So there's nothing sinister behind that at all.

Aspeth said...

No worries, Miguel....you're not alone there. It can be a bitch to remember the name of the blog (the length amuses me, sorry) and is an enormous pain in the arse to type, so that never really concerned me.

The queries that searched for my address, age, phone number, using various tags, words, etc. from the blog...that raised an eyebrow. Two, when I looked closely enough to see they were originating from the same sources.

I mostly look at the logs to see what people read. Like any blog, there are posts here that I think are better written, or have a more interesting topic, than others. Sometimes people agree, sometimes they don't.

flailing forward said...

Yeah, I get the same kinds of things except I get stuff like "why is flailing forward so damned sexy?" or "how does flailing forward maintain that lustrous full head of hair" or even sometimes "can flailing forward kill a man with his mind?" I think it's either Nigel or Chloe Sevigny, but either way it's annoying.

* answer key: divine favoritism, black magic, sometimes (5% success rate)

Aspeth said...

FF...now you've gone and ruined it. I thought the sheer magnitude of your sex appeal drove the masses mad. Now I learn there are tricks.

It's like the curtain has been pulled back to reveal the real Oz, as I'm told there's no Santa Claus.

Akubi said...

As far as funny things one finds in your blog logs, today I discovered that someone was doing a blog search for "Big Bubble Butt Cheerleaders 7". They must have been pretty disappointed when instead they saw the Egg Lady;).

Aspeth said...

um...hmmm...uh...

I'm at a loss...