I work at an Internet-based international business news publication called GlobalAtlanta, and we're always talking about how to boost our readership abroad. The problem is that our news is so Atlanta-focused that anyone reading overseas would have to have a keen interest in the Georgia capital to get anything out of our publication.
You'd think a personal blog would be even more localized, thus with less international appeal. But strangely, I have no problem attracting eyes of all shapes, slants and sizes from nations of all political and economic climates.
I know because I keep a ClustrMap in the sidebar on the right, just below the hits counter, which uncaringly shows the cold reality of how few people have visited the site. What's surprising about it, though, is the scope of nations represented on the worldwide ClustrMap and the amount of international hits as a proportion to my overall traffic.
Of course the bigger dots that denote heavier traffic are concentrated in the Southeast United States, but the ClustrMap shows red dots all over China, in Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia, Japan, India, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, all over Europe and in Mexico, Nicaraugua and Panama, and even in Syria and Iran. There's even red interrupting the deep blues of Pacific and Indian oceans, where the dot is bigger than the landmass it's marking. From their geographic locations, I can only assume they represent the Maldives and the Federated States of Micronesia.
The fact that these countries have Internet access is a testament to how quickly globalization is changing things. But even crazier is the fact that these places are home to people who stumble upon the blog of a random guy in Georgia. I'm sure part of it is because I write a lot about international subjects, and some of the ClustrMap readings most likely have to do with IP addresses routed through different IT hubs. I probably get a lot of hits from random searches that by people that have the least interest in what's on my blog once they do reach it.
But my words could impact someone's life, even in the slightest way, so I plan to keep posting. There's no better place to be than the Internet if you want to have a global impact. If you're the guy or girl from the Maldives, I welcome you to this blog, and I hope that through the tangled networks of cables and wireless signal clouds, the magic of language will connect you to me on a human level.