I’ve seen those little world maps on other blogs that show where people are visiting from.

Pffff, I may have said, what sidebar clutter fluff. Extra bandwidth ego churning.

But recently, I was sharing some of my favorite ed-tech blog links with a colleague, one of them Josie Fraser’s EdTechUK, and my colleague was rather impressed with her blog’s ClustrMap. Holy smokes! The small map on your site is not even visible due to the red dots, and the bigger map has her readers’ located almost everywhere (well, Josie, to be honest, you are a bit thin up there in Siberia ;-)

So being the curious type, and ignoring the curiosity and cat warnings, I checked out Clustr Maps — which says “beta” but heck, flickr was like 80 years old with a beta stamp and still wearing that after being munched up by Yahoo. It’s pretty easy to set up a Clustr Map, enter a blog URL, and email, it generates a login for you, then you get some cut and paste code for your site, and off to the races.

Hmmm, in the first few days, a smattering of dots:

Clustr-Sm

I can almost put some names on those dots. I know who you are! Well heck, keep on coming back! Please?

They are pretty tiny and spread out on my big map

So yes, its not perfect, since it ties geo-locations to IP addresses, but heck, it seems good enough. There is a real boost to see this information visually. And now I am hooked in heading back and seeing the dots grow. I need a whole lotta dots to catch up to Josie (I hope my fans in Siberia are reading this). So c’mon, get of of reading the RSS feed, click on a story, and register me a bigger dot.

Please?

Gotta give it time.

Clustr-Big

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

Comments

  1. Alan,

    And this is in no way meant to burst your newly excited bubble, but how does ClustrMaps know the difference between a reader or bot? I have one of these maps as well and have often wondered if I am really as popular as the map seems to show.

  2. Extra bandwidth ego churning, but if you blog with children/students, they really love ClusterMaps, give them a great sense of audience, even if they are not getting a lot of comments. I am part of your regular audience, (but have never commentated).
    I’d guess I am a part of your wee Scotland blob.
    My class of 10 year olds like http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/geovisitors/ too which gives the position of visitors over the last day.

  3. And comments count 100 times a red dot ;-)

    Heather- I have no idea how/if Clustrmaps weeds out bots- that should be easy for well behaved bots. If I saw a large blot coming from certain IPs that send me spam attempts by the truckload, then I’d be concerned. On the other hand, who cares? I’ll take attention from a lonely bot ;-)

    Dean- Moose Jaw rocks! Thanks

    John- Bingo- and that proves my theory… I am just a kid. And yes, Scotland rocks!

  4. Very interesting stuff, I’ve never heard of this before. This is definitely something I am going to check out. I’d assume bots would be visitors from extremely isolated areas, if I see a user from Northern Canada I’m pretty sure its a bot!

  5. Here’s another one from sunny Perth in Western Australia.
    Great to see the dots either way.
    Tried to add a dot from Korea when I was there in the last two weeks but I guess some things work better than others and that was not one of them.

  6. Thanks for trying Phil! The dots depend on what the IP address reveals from the network where you connect.

    But I’ll take a sunny Perth dot! I regret I never got to that side of the country when I was there… still hoping!

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