The matter is raised every now an then over on TMP and apparently put down to ‘bots’, these being automated systems that are designed to pick up on certain keywords. I have a set of home grown WWII rules that I named Tigers at Minsk. The name was purely taken from one of the historically based scenarios that I had created in the rules, with absolutely no other motive attached to that title. Anyway, every time I post about the rules, I get a huge hit of Russian interest and some Ukraine interest as well. At the moment, I have just done a post about the T-34 tank in a game and my third biggest audience this week (outside the U.S. and the U.K.) are the Russians. I have to assume that in that figure there will be a mix of genuine Wargamer interest and Intelligence services interest.
I was initially annoyed, but on reflection it is an understandable part of modern surveillance and one must assume that all governments do it – or at least one hopes so, as it is a tool that one hopes is used to keep us all safe.
It does of course also lead you to wondering how much of your U.S. or U.K. audience figures are genuine gamers and that in turn makes me wonder whether all the effort that goes into a blog (I do long blog articles) is actually worth it, since real audiences might in fact be quite tiny.