March 23 • 12:35 PM

Spike in Web site hits credited to 'Miracle'

October 17, 2007
Something is out of the ordinary here. This can't be right. The darn computer has to be broken or something.

"Susie!" I yell. "This can't be right!"

"These stupid computers, they're all messed up again!" I continue.

Susie is our production manager and the 'go-to' person when it comes to computers. And when I tell her something is wrong, she knows most likely my fat fingers have pushed a sequence of keys to cause it. Illogically logical in her mind, if you get my drift.

Once a week or so, I'll check the number of visitors we get to our Web site. We average about 200 visitors a day. I've been pleasantly surprised and impressed with those numbers, since our website is only a few months old.

"The management system says there were 1,794 visitors on October 1st," I explain to Susie.

"That can't be, can it?" I ask her.

"It should be correct," replies Susie raising her eyebrows in surprise. Her affable personality seems to be well suited for anything I can throw at her, real or imagined.

"Could we have gotten invaded by spiders, worms or some other critter?" I ask, searching for answers to this tremendous spike in visitors.

"Shouldn't be," states the mild-mannered production guru.

"Well, there's more, on October 2nd it says we had 3,718 visitors come to our site and on the very next day we had 2,100 more!" I explain.

"The numbers should be right," says Susie.

That's over 7,500 visitors in three days.

Could we really get that many visitors to our Web site?

And why on a Monday through Wednesday at the beginning of the month?

Catherine, our editor, who had heard the entire conversation said, "I think I know what happened."

"You remember the story we ran (September) 26th,

'It's a miracle,'" she tells Susie and I.

Catherine was talking about the story she had written after a call from Dawn DeSutter of Goodland Township. She believed it to be a sign from above, it was an unmistakable cross shape that appeared suddenly in their Douglas fir tree. Whether a miracle or not, Dawn's husband Steve was very ill. The cross in the tree assured Dawn her husband would be okay.

"I got an email on Friday saying someone had read my story on a Web site called and it went worldwide," explains Catherine.

"There you go," says Susie.

I am, on the other hand, still trying to grasp this new world of communication and technology. A story in Goodland Township about a fir tree branch which looks like a cross could somehow, don't ask me how, be told to people across the world to anyone who has a computer in a matter of minutes.

Where were these people from?

Again through the wonders of technology I was able to go to our Web site management system and find out. It actually breaks it down by date and country.

What the heck!

The remarkable thing to me is, 241 people from Germany, 87 from New Zealand, 79 people from Australia and 59 people from Norway all logged on to read Catherine's story.

There were people from Singapore, Malaysia, France, Italy, Brazil, Uruguay, Israel, Hong Kong, Croatia, Greece and a couple dozen other countries.

Come on now!

This is a different world we live in today. Who would have ever thought?

Email Randy at

Randy is the President of Page One Inc., which publishes the Tri-City Times, Woods-N-Water News and Page One Printing Company. He has been with the company since 1980. Randy has been writing a local column for 27 years on community events, individuals, sports, hunting and fishing adventures.
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