Sunday, July 8, 2007

Blog as Boutin Barometer

When I started this blog, I thought I would be relaying information, not measuring public sentiment. A curious phenomenon has been developing over the past few days, however. I've already reported on the silence of the French political class following the revelation of the Christine Boutin video. I haven't been following reactions outside France. But I do monitor traffic on this blog, and what I see is that there has been a sharp rise in the number of readers who land here because they're doing Google searches for Christine Boutin. This morning, someone using a computer registered to the Halliburton Corporation read the article on Boutin. Now, what could that be about? Not exploration for oil ... And all of the Boutin searches originate in the United States or the Middle East, none in France.

It's almost enough to stir dark imaginings of a vast underground movement of public opinion. In any case, I thought it was worth noting. It wouldn't be the first time that a wave of sentiment developed outside the scrutiny of the general media only to burst forth at some later date, so potent as to demand a governmental response. If so, you read it here first.


Anonymous said...

yikes, that certainly does give us pause, the fact that someone affiliated with halliburton is reading your blog! on the other hand, if someone in the government is reading it, that would be excellent (and would give credence to the possibility qu'ils aient un sens d'humour, que personnellement je ne crois pas --).

odd that someone would search for articles about boutin in english en plus, non?


Unknown said...

I haven't noted in the logs anyone from the French government, but there are several readers from the US government: at least 2 in the State Department, one at the Pentagon, and one at Homeland Security according to StatCounter. Fortunately or unfortunately, that's as far as the ID goes: no information on rank or pay grade.

Anonymous said...

someone at homeland security? really.

i hope no one asks you for IP addresses or other stats. dang.

i personally find your comments incisive, humourous & well-written, which may escape the governmental hacks who are checking for other content?!