Semi-active participation

Question for all and sundry:

While poking around in the back room here, I determined that approximately 18 percent of the comments since the 9/06 database upheaval were posted by me. Is this too high, too low, or a Goldilockean “just right”?

This is, of course, a blatant effort to shave a couple of thousandths of a percentage point off that ratio.


  1. Mark Alger »

    3 June 2009 · 10:21 pm

    I’d ordinarily tell you to let it be. Things will go as they roll, not where you want to push them.

    But if this kind of OCD leads to a quality blog, maybe I should be taking notes from YOU.


  2. Mark »

    3 June 2009 · 10:31 pm

    I’ll help you out.

  3. Blair »

    3 June 2009 · 11:38 pm

    Perhaps a wordcount breakdown would provide more insight.

    The 18% sounds pretty good to me though. My guess is that I am well over that, but I probably spend too much time replying to comments and definitely too little time actually blogging.

  4. canadienne »

    4 June 2009 · 12:32 am

    Just wondering: how many non-you posts would be required to shave off one percentage point? You could give me the numbers and I’ll do the math.

    But of course if you reply to this comment, then that will mean you need more outside comments…perhaps it would be simpler to declare 18% the perfect proportion.

  5. fillyjonk »

    4 June 2009 · 6:39 am

    Does it matter? It’s your blog. If someone has a problem with the ratio of you-comments vs. other-comments, then that’s their problem.

    (And someone please remind me of the “if someone doesn’t like your style of doing things, that’s their problem” statement when I start nattering about “should I continue to do things the way I’ve always done them and that works for me, or should I change them in the vain hope of becoming more popular/garnering more comments”)

  6. CGHill »

    4 June 2009 · 7:06 am

    As of a few moments ago, I ran the numbers, and if I posted no other comments, it would take 1,111 additional comments to bring the ratio to an even 17 percent.

    Except, of course, that I posted this comment.

    A more pertinent data point might be Comments Per Post, where the average has been pretty consistent for several years: about 2.5 through the Movable Type days, now closer to 2.7, though this is at least partly due to the fact that WordPress includes trackbacks and pingbacks in the comment count, which Movable Type does not.

    I do have a behind-the-scenes gizmo that counts the number of appearances by each commenter, which thus far I have resisted putting out in public.

  7. sya »

    4 June 2009 · 9:55 am

    Well, I suppose if you really wanted to lower the percentage, you could always use a couple of aliases and sockpuppets.

  8. McGehee »

    4 June 2009 · 10:08 am

    It isn’t the quantity, it’s the quality — and our esteemed host’s own contributions to the comment threads contribute to said quality, certainly better than mine do.

  9. McGehee »

    4 June 2009 · 10:11 am

    But I could certainly help with the quantity…

  10. McGehee »

    4 June 2009 · 10:13 am

    …if you insist.

  11. Don Mecoy »

    4 June 2009 · 1:33 pm

    What McGehee said.

    Actually, I think 18 percent reflects well on your restraint.

  12. CGHill »

    4 June 2009 · 2:05 pm

    I quit doing sockpuppetry in the late 1980s, after the young lady I’d conjured up proved to be vastly more interesting than I was.

  13. Old Grouch »

    4 June 2009 · 5:21 pm

    Existing ratio feels fine to me. Actually, I was surprised that it’s as high as 18%.

  14. Old Grouch »

    4 June 2009 · 5:24 pm

    Also note that at 2/13 (whoops, make that 14) and 14.286% you’re not holding up your end on this thread. Slacker!

  15. Jeffro »

    4 June 2009 · 6:19 pm

    It isn’t the quantity, it’s the quality — and our esteemed host’s own contributions to the comment threads contribute to said quality, certainly better than mine do.


  16. unimpressed »

    4 June 2009 · 7:57 pm

    I’d comment more often, but it appears that several others are of the same mind as I on many of the points where I -would- have commented had those others not gotten there first, and generally, stated their (my) opinion better than I could, even had I gotten there first.

    I hope that convoluted mess makes some sense. :)

    In any event, I don’t think you overdo it by any stretch of the imagination.

  17. Kirk »

    5 June 2009 · 9:33 am

    Look on the bright side, Chaz! At least your comments are in response to other comments. I’ve seen blogs where the blogger was about the only one who ever commented. :)

  18. McGehee »

    5 June 2009 · 10:03 am

    Kirk’s obviously been reading my site.

  19. CT »

    5 June 2009 · 11:03 am

    When I first fired up the blogging-thang 7 years ago, I had aspirations of each post spurring a long tail of salon-like reader comment and reaction, like many super-popular URLs out there.

    Not to be. At this point, I’m satisfied that the number of comment on my blog outnumber the number of posts (and they do, by a 1,000 or so margin). I’m conveniently disregarding that probably a quarter of those comments are mine…

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