Well, our hard working authors have pumped more than 8000 posts into The Standard since August 2007. A thousand of those have been done in the last 150 days (we passed it on Saturday) since Feb 2nd.
This is a pretty awesome performance considering that the prolific Marty G put down his overworked fingers on April 2nd and my posting got somewhat constrained by becoming a cyborg drug addict :twisted:. The posting slack has largely been taken up with the varied guest posts and some increases in posts from other authors.
We were at 292 thousand comments on Saturday (and rapidly heading to 300k comments). We averaged 52 comments per post over this last thousand posts, compared with 48 comments per post in the previous thousand posts (and 37 per post in the thousand before that). I and the editors don’t think that the quality of the comments has been going down as we head towards an election (others may disagree – but that is usually political). I am a bit irritated* about people using this site for long cut-n-paste comments.
Stats between sites are pretty fraught to manipulation and misinterpretation. But it looks like the site is slowing pulling ahead of Kiwiblog at present at least in terms of page views and probably comments.
Certainly we seem to have some extraordinarily long read times on posts as people scan their way through the comments – probably only exceeded by Public Address with their fewer posts and larger numbers of long comments per post. Some of our posts are starting to get rather too many comments to easily see. I’m starting to think about ways to make it easier to see comments that are new since your last look, and to allows you to collapse comment threads that you’re not interested in continuing to read. But those things aren’t that high a priority right now.
The increase in comments is despite (and probably because of) my current banning practice of commentators with particularly obnoxious long-term non-engaged behaviors. They get banned until after the election. It has improved the level of engagement between commentators considerably IMHO.
We’re pretty consistent at have a high number of new readers and more importantly with a very high proportion of new readers becoming repeat readers. Quite a few of the lurkers eventually wind up writing comments when they see a topic that interests them. I am particularly pleased with the numbers of women who are commenting these days (but we still need more active women authors!).
The systems now have oodles of capacity across two primary servers, one in NZ for the Oceania region and the other in the US for the rest of the world (mostly the bots). Which bearing in mind recent massive increases (and fluctuations) in page views by both people and the bots and the impending election, has been required.
* Irritated = I will probably do something particularly nasty and quite automatic about that sooner rather than later if I don’t see some rapid improvement.