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Creek Running North

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January 03, 2005

Useless stats of the day

PZ Myers has a little feature on his blog Pharyngula that displays the number of comments left by registered commenters, including yours truly.

It's a cool and potentially embarrassing tally, and it got me thinking about the wonderful, thoughtful, non-spam comments I've gotten here.

As of this moment, this blog has 961 comments that I haven't tossed out for mentioning casinos or viagra. (Feel free to try to be the thousandth non-spam commenter. Maybe I'll give you a prize, a la iTunes.) (It won't be a laptop.) Of those 961 comments, 705 (or 73 percent) were made by people who made ten or more total comments since this blog started in May 2003. At 321 posts including this one, that 961 works out to just a hair under three comments per post.

The roster of top commenters:
Yours truly (105)
Rana (97)
Beth (74)
Pica (52)
Dave (47)
Siona (42)
Anne (39)
Miguel (38)
The Bone (37)
Dale (34)
Jarrett (21)
Carl (19)
Robert (16)
Paul (14)
Susurra (13)
Fred (11)
Phil (11)

Two comments on the list of commenters.

First off, it's rather gratifying and astonishing how few of the comments listed above are one-word "me-toos" or "cools." This site has been blessed with some of the most astute and thoughtful feedback with which I've been privileged in my decade and a half as a perfessional arthur.

Second, it's probably not worthwhile to read anything into the tally above other than longevity: Rana, Beth and Pica have been reading CRN longer than almost anyone. It's almost certainly not the case that, say, Rana's 97 comments - each one of which is delightful - mean she likes me seven times as much as Berna does. I mean, that could be true, because Berna knows me a lot better. I'm just saying you can't deduce it from these particular numbers.

Other amusing if irrelevant facts:

First comment: Pica (makes sense, as she's my blogmother, after all.)

First post to attract more than one comment: Barn Swallows. (3)

Top comment-attracting posts:

Attack of the zygotes (22)
Dillard's cat (20)
Mandates now illegal in 11 states (20)
(the first installment of the story about) J. (19)
The fluffy bunny stuff will resume again soon, I promise (16)
Ichthus (15)
Homeopathic mass suicide (13)
Comfort food (13)

Posted by Chris Clarke at January 3, 2005 11:58 AM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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First person to meta-comment on Mr. Clarke's meta-comment post: Me.

Posted by: the_bone at January 3, 2005 02:14 PM
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I can't viagra BELIEVE that I made it into the top casino five! If I'd been forced to guess, I would've thought maybe twenty comments TOTAL. And yet, the viagra casino comment form STILL doesn't casino remember my viagra name, e-mail, or casino URL! What the casinoing viagra is up with that?

(I should add that it's been a real pleasure reading. Viagra yeah!)

Posted by: Dave at January 3, 2005 02:41 PM
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I don't know why I found this so fascinating. (And I can't wait to see what the list will look like next year!)

It's funny to put a number on these comments, though I think you already alluded to this. I suppose I'm too used to correlating numbers with values.

And I'm enough of a science geek to appreciate my tally. It wasn't an accident you ran this little program after my 42nd comment.

Posted by: Siona at January 4, 2005 10:08 AM
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Deer Arthur, I dunno about the upcoming millenial comment. Those large, round numbers scare me. Should I buy extra batteries and canned soup, just in case?

Congrats on a successful blogging year, and heck. I knew there was an uncanny resemblence twixt you and Pica. Now I know why. :-]

The best in OughtFive!

Posted by: fred1st at January 4, 2005 12:50 PM
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me too!



Posted by: Robert at January 5, 2005 12:06 AM
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(Don't mind me. Just going for the laptop.)

Posted by: Trey at January 5, 2005 07:26 AM
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Huh. 97 comments (well, 98, now) eh?

I think another factor in how many comments a person has is -- at least in my case -- an inability to shut up. :)

Posted by: Rana at January 5, 2005 10:39 AM
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Here's hoping you never do, Rana!

Posted by: Chris Clarke at January 5, 2005 11:25 AM
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