Perhaps I am far from the first to point this out, but blogging is a truly revolutionary form of publishing and information dissemination.
First, the barrier to entry is so low. Second, the potential to reach a world-wide audience of hundreds or even thousands of people is so high. If you have unique information or a bizarre video, you might reach millions.
Of course, without compelling or useful material, your mom might be your only reader. But it hardly matters. Many people just enjoy using the written word to express themselves.
That's not to say I don't enjoy having a some readers. I do like to share, whether it be a great meal, information about where to find a great meal, or any other helpful knowledge I might possess.
Information that I consistently find intriguing is who is reading this.
The blog had a record 489 readers one day last week after a popular site called Tastespotting picked up one of my posts. But numbers fluctuate a lot, depending on how often I post and the day of the week. I don't follow them as closely as I used to.
In the beginning, I was most fascinated by what countries people were reading from. As the KlustrMap on the side of this blog shows, blogging is really a global phenomenon. There are Czech Please readers from California to Kuala Lumpur.
More recently, I've been fascinated by seeing where readers work.
Like it or not, just about every website you visit these days sees your IP address. That doesn't mean websites can identify you as an individual. Just companies. If you read from home, it only shows up with the name of your Internet service provider, like a cable company.
You don't have to interact in any way. Just read and your IP address is logged.
This headline-making story about Wikipedia Scanner demonstrated yesterday, connecting an IP to a company is quite a simple thing. And, depending on the context, the information can be valuable and/or revealing.
However, in the context of this space, all it reveals is that people at work like to think about vacations and eating out.
Because I found this information so interesting, myself, I'll share with you here an abbreviated list of the leading companies, organizations, and government bodies where people have read this blog:
Czech Ministry of Culture
Czech Foreign Ministry
Czech Ministry of Environment
Czech Ministry of Finance
Czech Airport Authority
Czech Academy of Sciences
Czech National Bank
Czech National Library
Czech News Agency
The European Commission
The World Bank
The Swiss Federal Government
The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs And International Trade
The Government of Ontario
The Finnish Prime Minister's Office
The Spanish Ministry of Culture
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. State Department
U.S. Federal Court, Washington D.C.
U.S. Institute for Defense Analyses
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Library of Congress
U.S. Security and Exchange Commission
U.S. Department of the Interior
City of New York
Institute of International Relations Prague
Mendel University Of Agriculture And Forestry
Czech Technical University
Brno University Of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
University of Pennsylvania
New York University
University of Southern California
London School of Economics
Culinary Institute of America
The New York Times
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Agence France Presse
Al Jazeera International
The Prague Post
Penguin Putnam Publishing
Fakultni Nemocnice V Motole (Motol Hospital)
Plzensky Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell)
Gordon Ramsay Holdings
Starbucks Coffee Company
Caribou Coffee Company
Burger King Corporation
Twentieth Century Fox
Ernst and Young
Johnson & Johnson
Level 3 Communications
British American Tobacco
Gaz de France
Deloitte & Touche
Chase Manhattan Bank
Royal Bank Of Canada
The World Bank Group
Morgan Stanley Group
Charles Schwab & Company
International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague