Google & The Bunny Bixler Obituary: A Cautionary Tale

Wish I'd had an Auntie Mame.

If a doctor declares a patient dead, and they aren’t, is that malpractice?  What if a blogger does the same thing?

I’ve noticed slightly more people than usual have been reading my blog in the last few days.  Nothing major, but still, an increase. 

WordPress, the magical stage upon which bloggers strut and fret their hour, has a backstage area called the Dashboard.  Only we kings (and queens) get to visit this gritty nerve center of our little fiefdoms. No stage door Johnny’s allowed, folks –sorry.

The Dashboard summarizes all sorts of stuff about our blogs, and tells us how many people are viewing our posts that day, or week.  Here we can access our Site Stats. One interesting feature of this is that you can tell what terms, put into a search engine like Google, led a reader to your post.  None of this reveals a specific reader’s information, however, lest you get paranoid that Big Brother is watching – just the statistics.

This is a magical/scary place that the wise blogger only briefly visits.  The unwary can get sucked down into the numbers vortex and lose large parts of their lives to the pursuit, kind of like World of Warcraft zombies. 

One might assume that my witty writing was finally catching on with the masses.  I did not so assume.  I cautiously entered the Land of Site Stats to try to find out why my numbers were up.  There I discovered that an amusing, yet largely ignored post of mine from last January was generating the buzz.

The post was R.I.P “Bunny” Bixler.  For those not familiar with the 1958 Rosalind Russell film “Auntie Mame”, 2 things:

     1) Bunny Bixler is a fictional character who is mentioned in the film, but whom we never meet
     2) Go rent the movie.  It’s delightful!

For those too lazy or uninterested to check out the actual post, I’ll summarize: I published a fictional obituary for the fictional Bunny Bixler, adding little details faithfully gleaned from the movie. 

Fast-forward 7 months (or 50 years?).  Some people have been searching for Bunny and ended up at my blog.   My post turned out to be 3rd on the list when I Googled Bunny Bixler.  Stalking through the other items on the list I discovered that Bunny Bixler is also the Nom de Chanteuse that has been assumed by a Pittsburgh drag queen.

Imagine that.

I have to wonder at the shock experienced by those searching for news of a favorite performer, or friend, only to come across her obituary.  Then to discover it was merely the meanderings of a straight, middle-aged hausfrau, clueless as to the new person inhabiting the persona…

For those who wandered over to my blog in this way, I say: since you’re here, please feel free to pull up a cyber-tuffet and stay.  Although I don’t specifically deal with LGBT issues, any and all readers are welcome.

If the real/unreal Bunny Bixler herself/himself happens to read this, I apologize for any confusion or angst my posting of your obituary has caused.  If anyone mentions it, just quote Mark Twain: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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34 Responses to Google & The Bunny Bixler Obituary: A Cautionary Tale

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    I love to check my stats page and see the search terms. Lately (sadly) the most popular search term is “Snooki.”

    Like

  2. Tar-Buns says:

    I’ll be re-visiting your blog on Bunny – I remember that one and LOVE the movie.

    Have a safe and not too teary trip returning Gwen to college. I know you will miss her.

    Love ya, T

    Like

  3. misswhiplash says:

    Any unwanted visitors..pass them over to me! I need to get my stats figures up

    A good post and well worth reading..thank you;

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Thank you! I haven’t had any unwanted visitors yet – there’s always room for more! But I still encourage them to check out your blog as well – there’s some good stuff there!

      Like

  4. Jane says:

    Very interesting post! I knew that Bunny Bixler was a familiar name but just could not place it!

    Like

  5. Recently I discovered that five people had visited my blog in one day after searching for “beautiful digital man”. Now, that brings me to ask two questions: 1) What were they actually looking for or expecting to find? and 2) does this mean that my lovely boyfriend (and co-blogger) is now an internet heartthrob?

    The mind boggles. I also got thousands of hits in one day on my work blog because I somehow managed to post a picture of maracas that became number one on Google images if you searched for, you guessed it, maracas. How I achieved this I shall never know, but it made my boss very happy!

    I’ll be off to check that obituary now … but I’ll be back again 🙂

    Carrie (digitalbungalow.co.uk)

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Isn’t it funny what will get you extra hits? The stats page is really interesting. Now if we could just attract readers because they liked how we wrote, we’d be all set!

      Like

  6. Seasweetie says:

    I love that movie! Your post title made me happy before I even opened it. I’m off to visit Miss Whiplash now – everyone needs a little boost once in a while.

    Like

  7. Jackie says:

    Nice shout out to the WoW lowlifes there :P.

    The search terms that lead people to my site frighten me. But i must admit that when someone comes to my site because they searched for “lesbian toon boobs” and I get 4 views out of them, I chalk it up to a real accomplishment.

    Like

  8. Sandy Sue says:

    I’m with Jackie. My most popular post, by a huge margin, is one called “If You See Carrie Fisher on the Road, Kill Her.” Someone Googles that thing every freaking day! It makes me worry about Princess Leia’s safety.

    Like

  9. Tori Nelson says:

    I just looked at search terms used to find my blog. My readers are crazy. The “public pooping” one I totally understand, but “cats on fire” and “funny Jesus”?

    Like

  10. ha! You’re single-handedly responsible for a flurry of fearful rumor-mongering in the greater Pittsburgh area! That’s awesome! You’ll go down in history! The internet never dies… everyone will know it was you! You’re on your way to achieving fame!

    Like

  11. I never thought about search terms with such endearment.

    Great post! And your titles are always so enticing…

    Like

  12. That movie has been in my Netflix queue for a long while. With this new encouragement, maybe I will finally watch it!

    Like

  13. Wait. You mean most people don’t check their stats every 15 minutes? Dang. I need help. Again. Anyway…I love reading your stuff. I’ve never seen the movie you speak of. Now I may have to watch it so that I don’t feel so uncultured.

    Thanks for posting!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I know. I was considering starting a 12-step program for people who can’t get enough of their stats. “Hello, my name is Peg, and I’m a stats-junkie.”

      See if you can get the movie from the library or video store – it really is sweet.

      Like

  14. Amy says:

    You are so right about getting sucked into your site stats. That’s a wormhole you don’t want to get lost in. It is fun to look at the search terms, though. You never know what will all of a sudden get attention. I remember I wrote a 100 word post years ago about the Eagle Nebula. I had a pic of the nebula taken by the Hubble telescope as my header image. Then, a year later, the Hubble was in the news again with new pictures and my blog got a jackpot of new visitors. Didn’t last, but it was kind of fun.
    Bunny Bixler is alive and well on your blog!

    Like

  15. winsomebella says:

    You made me want to look at my stats a little more carefully. While there, I discovered that my post entitled “Naked Women in All Their Glory” has been attracting an odd assortment of traffic. I had best be careful what I say around here………….:)

    Like

  16. egills says:

    I’m obviously still learning the whole Word Press thing and have probably got it set up wrong, but I don’t have any data for the search terms

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Look on your Dashboard page, in Site Stats in the left column, then choose the box labeled Search Engine Terms. It shows today, but you can also choose to look at This Week. It’s pretty interesting. Let me know if you still can’t find it.

      Like

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