OffBeat

No, your website is not getting traffic from the International Space Station

It’s the ultimate rush. You post some hot content, get a few links and a rush of traffic, and, when checking your Google Analytics traffic logs, realize you had some otherworldly traffic: visitors from the International Space Station.

At least, so Sergey Lossev thought.

Google seems to have gone all out on April Fools’ Day jokes this year, but this one is subtle, funny, and not a little cruel.

Lossev, who blogs at For Techies Only, noticed a bunch of traffic today from the “International Space Station Control Room.” The geomapped view showed a dot over the Caribbean, and yes, the dot refreshed every minute or so and moved over the face of the world.

Screenshot 4_1_13 2_38 PM

Unbelievably cool?

Precisely, with emphasis on the “unbelievable” part. The gag is pretty clever, but so are geeks. Lossev realized that Google Analytics showed him 41 visitors from the ISS — an impossibly large number for what is still a fairly small space station 370 kilometers above the planet.

As he wrote today:

Then i started thinking, how the hell are there 41 people inside the ISS? And why would they all be checking out my blog after the traffic spike from hackernews mostly tapered off. Then it hit me, this was yet another Google April Fool’s hoax. A subtle and unpublicized one (or at least i didnt read about it anywhere). Google really went all out this year for April 1st, 2013. They had at least 6 hoaxes i saw, and probably a few other ones that will surface before the calendar date changes.

Smart, subtle, and oh-so-cruel when bloggers the world over discover than their blogs have not, after all, gone stellar.

photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center via photopin cc