10 August 2010

Access to Referrers

A few days after shelling out my hard earned eurobucks for Access 2010, as recounted in the post Database for Chess History, the software arrived. During transit, the DVD's plastic container broke into several pieces and I was concerned that there might be some damage to the product, but everything installed smoothly. I didn't even have to reboot.

Now that I had new software, what to do with it? I decided to look at my World Chess Championship (see the right sidebar) log files for the months of June and July. Since writing the post on Favorite Icons and MSPaint Adventures, I've been reviewing the files regularly to find out what interests the site's visitors, where they come from, and so on. In recent months the logs were the basis for posts like Log Wallowing and Searching for Amand - Topalon. The logs are the largest text files I keep, which makes them useful for judging the performance of the software.

After watching the instructional videos on Microsoft's Getting started with Access 2010 -- MS: 'Used an earlier version of Access?' MW: Yes, Access 2002; thanks for asking! -- I was ready to roll. I launched the MS software, opened my database with its queries designed to parse & quantify individual log records, pointed it at the two months of data, and started clicking things. Everything opened without a single hitch and I was soon involved in looking at referring pages to my site. Here are a few of the most interesting pages I discovered.

  • Next world championship cycle (rybkaforum.net) • The last link on the page is to my account of the 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi match, 'In 1978 it was about flags, chairs, hypnosis, mirror glasses, yogurt flavours, etc.' Further up on the referring page are some nice images giving a graphical overview of the candidate matches starting in 1965. I hadn't seen them before and suppose they are from Wikipedia or similar. Finding those made the whole exercise worthwhile; one of these days I might try to locate the original source.

  • What chess book are you reading now? (chessforums.org) and April Fools' Day: Fact or Fiction - Answer 1 (chessstuff.blogspot.com, an early blog by Dennis Monokroussos) • That 1978 match was one of the most eccentric in chess history and these two pages touched on the same subject.

  • It's King Vishy Again (epradeep98.blogspot.com) • Many of the referring pages use one of my pages to document a detail in a longer narrative. This blog post from an Anand admirer mentioned the 1995 Kasparov - Anand PCA match in New York.

  • Links & Bookmarks (history.chess.free.fr) and ajedrez [links] (ajedrez.deeuropa.net) • Many of the referrers, like these two, which I had never seen before, are pages of chess links. I could easily do a post on this kind of resource and might come back to that in the future.

  • Greatest chess tale (ever?) (chess.com) and Does the Soviet School of Chess still rule? (thechessdrum.net) • Not all referrers are to World Championship material. These two are to pages I recreated from my days at About.com.

  • Site Reviews - The World Chess Championship (chessville.com) • This page is a site review from 2002 that I had never seen before.

  • AltaVista Search: world chess championship (altavista.com) • Like many early webheads, I used Alta Vista for searches before Google took over that space. I was surprised to find that it still exists.

  • Free PageRank Button for your website (3w1.eu) and Social Search Engine (find1friend.com) • Some references lead to a dead end. For example, I have no idea why these two appear in the log.

That's not a bad catch for an hour's work. Next time I'll point Access 2010 at one of my more complicated databases.

No comments: