As at right now (08:30 NZST 2nd November 2015 1), we passed having more than a million approved and published comments.
Many years ago when we had just 500,000 comments when Eddie made this graphed prediction based on the steady growth of the site.
As I said at 900,000 comments back in March..
Looking against Eddie’s graph, I am pretty sure that we aren’t going to quite hit the million comments at the 3rd of August. That is just 137 days away.
And we didn’t. It happened 3 months later. It took 228 days compared to the 188 days it took between 800k and 900k. But rather than having an election and its aftermath, in the last 228 days we have been running through the slower winter months. Still it was a respectable prediction for about three and half years later.
Especially when you consider the turnover in authors, site moving, changes in how we pay for the site, and all of the usual things you get in any organisation that is run on volunteers and a shoe string. See our about, which a number of the more stupid commenters seem to prefer to either not to read or don’t want to believe.
We have done it without bothering to descend to the arsehole political and commercial tactics documented in Dirty Politics. We offer the honest, usually blunt, opinions of our authors and commenters. Unlike some other sites, we don’t favour people who would like us to pay with coin or influence to colour our opinions. Of course to achieve this, we have had moderators who will chop off people who abuse what the site offers with some intensely personal and honest opinions about their behaviour. The mixture of freedom to express both from commenters and moderators tends to work.
The result is, in my opinion, an extraordinary level of robust debate. Provided you don’t start abusing the freedom to comment that the site offers or personally attack it’s authors we will let commenters speak their honest opinions about public and political policies (see the policy). We think that this is healthy for both the political debate in NZ and especially for the left and the labour movement. It means that the commentary not only comes from the broad labour movement from unions to parliament that this site is set up to provide a voice for, but also for those who oppose it and who can express themselves clearly.
The site is in extraordinary health at present. Just to give you an idea of how well it is going, look at the numbers of unique users reported for June since 2008 by google analytics 2
Despite the growth in the site over the last few years, I’m pleased that we have managed to maintain the interest of our female readers consistently between 28 and 31% 3. It’d be great if we could push it higher, but I suspect that the preponderance of active male authors and the particular style of robust debate that we try to foster will always limit that. But we will keep trying to raise that.
Now I’m sure that someone will want to know who made the millionth comment and what it was. Unfortunately, I’m on the other side of the world and my own security systems are preventing me to from looking at it. It is late and I don’t have time to bypass them right now. I will try again tomorrow night my time and add it to the post then. Besides, I haven’t done my moderation sweep yet and I might reduce the number of comments a bit 😈