Tools for Vigilance

So far February has been a big month for visitors to this blog. At first I attributed the surge in my stats to interest in the unveiling of the Twelve by Twelve chocolate themed quilts and to my list of online tutorials about non-binding quilt finishes.

Then I took a closer look and noticed that I have been receiving an unusually high number of visits at regular intervals from a particular IP address in Texas. For this task, I was especially assisted by the IP tracking and visitor analysis features of the “Blogger” statistics plan that I have with Performancing Metrics. They offer a free plan plus several premium plans. You can sign up for a 21 day fully-featured free trial to see what you think:

Performancing Metrics Blog Statistics

Anyway, I know that the State of Texas has its fair share of enthusiastic quiltmakers and blog readers but the pattern of visits is not that of my typical reader. I’m not sure what’s going on but I have taken the precaution of using the IP Deny Manager feature of my hosting package with Bluehost which allows me to specify a range of IP addresses and prevent them from accessing my site.

With the same package, I have also been able to easily enable hotlink protection measures so that images from my website and blogs cannot be directly linked/displayed on other websites (although this doesn’t stop people from downloading the images and replicating them elsewhere).

Even if you don’t have your own website or self-hosted blog, it’s instructive to monitor where and when your name or your blog is mentioned on the worldwide web. I have set up various alerts with Google Alert and Technocrati. You might like to do the same. You never know what you might find out!