It’s interesting to know your name is out there and things are going on in the internet that involve you but you don’t know they are happening. I get a daily report that tells me the number of hits, number of unique visitors, and what pages they looked at. For two or three days there were a bunch of hits on a piece of cowboy poetry that I have on line as a sample from a little cowboy poetry book that I did. There were 20-30 hits a day on it for several days, then it tailed off.
Somebody was talking about it somewhere. I did a blog on the new site “Bustles and Spurs” about that time and that might have generated something but I didn’t see any mention of the poem in the comments made. My name came up over on the “Frontier Times” list, and I looked there but didn’t see any discussion of the poem. Very interesting.
I’ll start seeing a lot of foreign traffic at my site. It’ll go on for a while, then it dies down and I’ll notice some other trend. There is a reason behind each of them if I knew what it was.
There are a number of other people named “Terry Burns” and there was a short period where I started getting friend requests that looked like I was sending them to myself, but I wasn’t. I have taken friend requests on several lists from guys with the same name, different ones at different places. Very interesting. I also have a Google alert set up on my name so I get a notice when the name is mentioned somewhere. Many of them are not me, so that is interesting as well.
Occasionally I will do a name search on myself just to see what is out there on me. Very interesting, and shows how well you turn up in search engines. Again, I find a lot of other people with the same name doing things. It surprised me when it first started happening, I wouldn’t think the name would be all that common.
It turns up an old friend I haven’t heard from in a long time periodically. They’ll run across the name and make a contact. I always enjoy these. And I really enjoy it when people write to say they have read one of my books and liked it a lot. A couple of times people have written to complain about something I used in a story that they think isn’t accurate, but I research carefully and have been able to document that the reference was correct. These contacts usually come in through my website.
I got several responses from inmates at some prison facilities after “Mysterious Ways” came out. It seemed they identified strongly to the main character in the book and it caused them to reflect on their own religious beliefs. That made me feel really good. Not sure how the book got into these facilities but after that I made an effort to get it into more of them.
It’s just sort of strange running across these things, knowing your name is coming up in various places, but not knowing where or how.