One of the characteristics of a political blog in New Zealand is the way that our operations reflect the political cycle. Coming into an election after mid-year, we have a steadily increasing level of traffic, posts, and comments. Moderators, commenters and even authors start showing a more cranky disposition.
This is hardly surprising, in election month we will at least nearly triple our page views by humans compared to the average of a mid term year. As it is this year, a month out from the previous election date, we’d already doubled traffic over two months previously.
The really stupid trolls come out from their sewers with their poor abilities to distinguish between what is their opinion and what is a false assertion of fact.
From my personal view at the system level, the machines that plague our sites will have increased their ceaseless probing of the site by closer to ten fold. Bots attracted by the rapidly rising page views zero in and try to crack into the site. Googlebot and bingbot start reading the site at an increased frequency. And the fans on the CPU coolers and case start whining at a increased rate.
This tends to irritate my partner and I because there are limited ways to moderate the rising whine of the computer fans in our apartment. That is because The Standard runs on the back of one of our home servers. On the other hand it provides a great space heater during the cold weather we have been having. It is almost a pity that the weather is getting lot better by October 17th.
But as you can imagine that I’m not that enthralled by the prospect of an extra month of the election. More cranky commenters. Moderators starting to do the triennial resolutions to drop this voluntary shit after the election and start having a real life. Authors running out of the ideas for their voluntary musing of their opinions and pulling in of links to substantiate them.
Now I’m not so sure that Jacinda was thinking of us or for that matter the same kinds of issues with the mass media (who at least get paid for the task) when the election moved forward a month. But while the election cycle this year hasn’t been too bad on the site. I foresee fatigue problems from the extra month.
But I’d reiterate her advice. Be kind.
It doesn’t get in the way of having a robust debate.
There is an incentive to do so. Please also remember that when I get cranky and irritated, then I am not kind. I release my lurking tendencies to be a bastard operator from hell. This is your warning.