Now on a more personal level, as with most web pages, I have the ability to track certain information. While I have no idea who is actually reading my page, I do know roughly the source or origination for the inquiries. For example, I can tell how many people are searching or reading from Twitter, or Tumblr, or even Facebook. I have no details, but I do have statistics about the sources for their searches. Some weeks ago I began to get hits from a rather unusual source, a Yandex.ru. Being curious, I did a simple search to see what and from where this was coming, and much to my surprise, the source of these various searches was from the Russian Federation.
It seems that Yandex.ru is the Russian version of Google, or their version of an internet search engine. On reflection, I feel pretty confident that such attention is not as a result of the popularity of my book in Russia. After all, in the first book, I’m not particularly kind to the various Russian characters. Oddly enough, when the second book comes out, there will be a slight change to this; however, for now, it is hardly a basis for fans from that part of the world to suddenly embrace my book. More to the point, there simply is little reason for anyone in Russia to be searching my book. Scratching my head, I took a look back over my more recent blog posts. It seems that this sudden “attention” from Russia began shortly after the Ukrainian/Crimean issues began, and I began posting about these events.
Naturally, this begs the question about whether this recent attention is because I’m a critic, and someone in Russia is interested in the opposite view from what they are being told, or whether it is because someone at the FSB has finally figured out that maybe I’m not a fan? We’ll find out shortly, since with these new Kremlin directed internet restrictions, I’ll be watching to see if the traffic from Yandex.ru suddenly stops. If it does, then I’m probably being read by a dissenting voice, if not, then hello FSB! I will be keeping an eye out, and sincerely hope that it is the dissenting voices, but if not, and it is the FSB, then here is my personal message to them. . . . “Hello, Assholes! I’m baaack! It has been a while, hasn’t it!” ~ Michael S. Pauley