My web provider’s server statistics page lists search queries from referrer data in both full and individual word versions, and I check them out every now and again to see how people are getting to my site. Back in the early days of my moshplant.com site, it was kind of scary to look at, because I’d written an article about my search to find out what happened to the royalties for Mein Kampf, and adolf hitler usually topped the list. Close behind was a page containing a Quicktime movie from the 1996 Macromedia User Conference showing a number of the top Director developers sitting in close proximity which I’d titled “Hand Grenade,” on the basis of a remark that a single hand grenade could have taken most of the well-known names in the field out. Often, it seemed as if the people looking for the first term were close behind with a search for grenade.
So I was looking through just todays’s top search terms, and I see things like flash 8 video alpha flame movie, actionscript code geometric shapes drawing, and actionscript code geometric shapes drawing, all of which I can understand, because the first is something I wrote about for MAX and I have mentioned ActionScript and game development in a number of posts. director rss lingo, otoy, hunter s thompson and pictures? All easily understandable. The top search was for nate sassaman, and since I’ve mentioned the Lt. Col. from Aloha a couple of times, that’s completely comprehensible.
But when I saw the second most common search term on the list was the british army in their treatment of our unfortunate brethren I really had to step back and think for a moment. That didn’t work, so I tried Google, and ended up in a post I’d written back in June of last year, not too many weeks after the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, which quoted George Washington on the treatment of prisoners (quoted in The New York Review of Books from Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer).
“…treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to Complain of our Copying the brutal example of the British army in their Treatment of our unfortunate brethren.”