Member Rara Avis
It's been discussed a few times in the past, Richard, usually to mixed reviews. There's a lot of writers who really don't want to know.
The new software, when it's finally ready, will make the information available, but in a non-intrusive way. Instead of displaying the access numbers in the forum listings, as is common with some software packages today, each poem will have a "Statistics" link available from within the thread. It will include the number of reads, as well as the number of times someone has emailed the poem to a friend or created a greeting card. I think a lot of people are going to be VERY surprised.
The numbers from our rainbow counter are a bit inflated right now, and will grow progressively more so over the next two weeks. In December, our non-inflated visitor count was 1,692,204 uniques (a unique visit discounts the many who return multiple times per day), a number that is certainly respectable enough. Indeed, the last time I had access to such statistics, we were among the top 5,000 most visited sites on the Internet through most of the year.
Yesterday, however, marked the beginning of a very non-typical period for us. That respectable visitor count for December will probably be equaled and possibly be doubled in just the WEEK leading up to Valentine's Day, and the numbers you cited for yesterday's visitor count will be matched or exceeded every HOUR during our peaks on Feb. 13 and 14.
I don't usually get a whole lot of sleep in February.