Electric Monks and RSS bots

I restarted generating usage statistics for my various websites. Mostly because I wanted some fresh examples for my talks next week. What amuses me a great deal about this particular website is that most of my traffic is from bots. The most frequent visitor to my website is Googlebot, followed by an assortment of other user agents, at least half of which are readily recognizable as automated processes of one kind or another. Many of them are RSS bots, reading my newsfeeds, and that’s very cool.

I was reminded of Dirk Gently (by Douglas Adams) and the Electric Monk:

The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. Dishwashers washed tedious dishes for you, thus saving you the bother of washing them yourself, video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe.

I think Mr. Adams would appreciate the fact that it’s now mostly computer programs which are looking at the content on the web for us.