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Quarter of a million comments soon

Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, March 1st, 2011 - 50 comments
Categories: notices, The Standard - Tags: ,

As of Tuesday morning, we have had about 249,250 comments since The Standard launched three and a half years ago. We’re averaging a 317 comments a day since New Year’s. Although politics has rightly cooled in the past week due to the quake, the quarter of a million mark should still be reached on Thursday. Who will be the lucky commenter?

Since he’s supplying 3% of the comments at the moment, which appears to be the largest share from a single commenter, the smart money is on Colonial Viper.

The exponential growth of the comments and pageviews is something to behold. It took 246 days for the first 20,000 comments, but just 70 for the last 20,000 – and that’s including the Christmas/New Year’s down time.

In 2009, it took until ANZAC Day to reach 500,000 pageviews for the year. This year we did it well before February was over.

Onwards and upwards.

lprent: The winner was Bright Red on Thursday at 10:26

50 comments on “Quarter of a million comments soon ”

  1. just saying 1

    What is the correct term for commenters?

    Yesterday (i think) LPrent said “commentators”, which sounds a bit grandiose for me, but commenter – is that even a word?

    Maybe there isn’t a commonly agreed term.

    • lprent 1.1

      I don’t know. I wanted a word to distinguish between authors and those who wrote comments.

      Commenter doesn’t trigger the spell-check on my browser anymore (chrome on ubuntu 10.10), but it did on the browser back in 2007 when I was still largely lusing on windows. Which is why I used commentator.

      There is a similar issue on the word post, which I tend to use for authored posts, and I use comment rather than post for comments. There have been a few times over the years where people have found a accidental martyrdom because they were scathing about the writer of a ‘post’ and they didn’t make it clear they were referring to a comment.

      But I treat that as evolution in action. It pays to be reasonably accurate in your wording when you have moderators scanning backwards through the sequence of comments in order of when they were added. We have a limited view on context with the number of comments we get per day. Apart from anything else put in a small quote that you’re being scathing about helps us (and everyone else) and will reduce the risk of accidental immolation.

      But with the majority of trolls now dead on this site, this is less of an issue these days because we have more time to check the context.

  2. lprent 2

    Oh hell. Now I’m expecting a pile of rubbish comments on Thursday. So I’ll make a point of consigning obvious rubbish to the trash.

  3. Wyndham 3

    No comment.

    [lprent: Thanks for demonstrating another example. ]

  4. lprent 4

    In 2009, it took until ANZAC Day to reach 500,000 pageviews for the year. This year we did it well before February was over

    BTW: The editors (and probably the authors) should be able to see the Wassup plugin that I have been using to look at the spam and spider bot actions.

    Now that is really freaky because it shows all of the page views on the sites, not just the humans. I provide a lot of assistance to the well behaved bots about what is new and updated. I also limit vast badly behaved swathes of the global IP net who are not allowed to post comments, trackbacks, and pings. There are even some smaller even worse behaving swathes that aren’t allowed to read the site. Both of the latter are mostly in Russia and a lesser quantity in China.

    Even with all of that the amount of bot traffic is now between two and three times all of the human traffic. But that is down from the five to ten times bot to human traffic that I had in early 2009.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      What do you think the purpose of the badly behaved traffic from Russia and China is? What are they actually trying to achieve? Surely they’re trying to make money out of it some way, but how?

      captcha: concerned (well, not really, but figured it was funny)

      • weka 4.1.1

        I’m curious how people manage reading the comments so they keep up with the thread. Do you use the comments window to open each new comment in a thread you are following? Or scroll through the thread anew each time to see who’s added something?

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          I rely on the comments window on the right hand vertical bar. Although that means that I often miss comments that I would see if I actually scrolled through the full thread each time.

          • lprent 4.1.1.1.1

            Also on my infinite task list to to add a button to allow the Comments box to expand into a separate tab and then periodically update itself using javascript. I finished the code months ago but never managed to get time on a weekend to test what it did to the server loadings. It is just a poor mans RSS feed though. But it does get around the limits on visual space on the posts and main page.

            • weka 4.1.1.1.1.1

              That would be fantastic. Any chance there would be room for the start of the new comment (so we can see roughly what it’s about/which part of the thread it’s in)?

              I don’t want to use the general RSS comments feed (there’s too much in my RSS reader as it is), and I’d prefer not to sub to each thread RSS individually

              • lprent

                I put that in as something like

                “Quarter of a million comments soon”
                lprent >> Lanthanide >> weka >> Colonial Viper >> lprent >> weka (date/time)

                comment

                with each part being clickable. Putting in the text of the previous comments would be difficult because it’d half defeat the point in screen layout terms. Doing a hover action could be workable.

        • felix 4.1.1.2

          It’s also possible to use the rss feed (near the bottom of the page) for the comments on a thread you’re following.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.1.3

          Scroll through the threads periodically. This is unworkable for large threads that you haven’t been following, but for small threads or ones you’re involved with it works well.

        • lprent 4.1.1.4

          As well as RSS (that felix mentioned), you can also use the e-mail subscription as well. Once you tick that for a post it will send you every new comment as it is entered.

          There are sometimes delays on the e-mail because it is still running through my mail server at home that I was using for monitoring when I set it up months ago. Periodically our cleaner (since Lyn or I are always working we had to get a cleaner) manages to disconnect something.

          It is on my infinite task list to fix that at some point.

  5. todd 5

    I’ve got a total of four comments on my blog site 🙂

    Some organizations to get involved in:

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/03/some-organizations-to-get-involved-in.html

    • lprent 5.1

      If you have a look in the archives back to August 2007 you will see that we weren’t exactly well endowed with comments when the site started either. It was like shouting into a vacuum.

      • swordfish 5.1.1

        But there’s some quite hilarious flame wars from 2 or 3 years ago, involving Whaleoil, a bloke called something like ‘Angry and Violent Dad 4 Justice’ and various other Right-Wing types. One banned Nact bloke started using a female pseudonym and described himself as a “bodacious babe” at one point. Bizarre times.

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          Yeah. They were so so ‘entertaining’ that we started exerting some effort to get them out of our sight. When such people were gone, the comments got a lot more readable. Comments increased in both content and number and our page views went up. Just shows what happens when you eliminate the lowest common denominator as being the factor that you want to cater for.

          It is a delicate balance between over-moderation and under-moderation though.

          • todd 5.1.1.1.1

            Bodacious babe! Now that’s what I should have called my blog. Yeah! I kind of set up the Jackal blog just to keep track of research as it’s difficult finding some of the info I put into posts after a while. I’m getting a few hits from the states and Aussie but it is mainly Kiwis, which suits me fine. You don’t seem to even have a resident troll around here, which is nice. Well done!

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Since he’s supplying 3% of the comments at the moment, which appears to be the largest share from a single commenter, the smart money is on Colonial Viper.

    I should really take up that offer of a weeks holiday on Great Barrier Island and give someone else a look in 🙂

  7. wild.colonial.boy 7

    Is there some kind of prize for the 245,000th comment ?

    • Bright Red 7.1

      If we’re past 249,250 now, then we’re also past 245,000….

    • lprent 7.2

      Nope. It usually means that everyone (who didn’t quite get there) makes sarcastic comments about people who need to get a life. Human nature really.

  8. monty (actually d4j) 8

    Does that count all the comments which are deleted ie pretty much anyone who disagrees with the party line?

    [Want to have it your way monty? Because there is one really obvious course of action to cheap cracks that beg self-fulfilment like that. ..RL]

    [lprent: This isn’t Monty – it is d4j, who has been regularly given the boot from here many times to ecstatic jubilation from both the left and right. In fact not only from here, but also from kiwiblog and many other sites. In fact I sometimes think that d4j is single-handedly responsible for the slow spread of moderation in the local blogosphere. But then I remember robinsod and the whale and clint troll squads.

    I warned Monty that d4j was doing a burns on him the other day. ]

    • Reality calling Monty, reality calling Monty.

      Come back from that strange dimension you are currently in.

      BTW in this strange dimension is Key competent and compassionate and willing to look after the poor and plan for the future?

    • The Voice of Reason 8.2

      Well, I note that your comment is no. 303323, Monty, 50 k more than the quarter million, so perhaps there is something to your theory.

      Of course that would mean that one in six comments are deleted, which sounds like a lot of work for the mods, and one hell of a lot of stupidity from the contributers,eh? There’s absolutely no way Bruv, Dad, Timmeh Ellis, and the other assorted horses’ arses could have come up with that many moronic comments.

      Oh, wait …

      [Busted. …RL]

      • mickysavage 8.2.1

        If they took out every Gosman comment on the Hobbit this would explain the discrepancy. But the debates would fall over and seem far too one sided …

      • lprent 8.2.2

        You are right.

        Most of the extra comments are tagged automatically by the spam engine. These days it works correctly (and counts correctly). And the captcha keeps most of the bots at bay. However we do get some entering through pingback & trackbacks which get held in pending if they aren’t immediately recognized as spam. There are typically between 10 and 20 of those per day.

        The second most common are people throwing their own comments into trash. This typically amounts to a 80 or so every three weeks or so. I get around to dumping them when I remember.

        The third are the ones we throw into spam. Maybe 10-20 per week usually because we told them to auto-moderate people on bans. There are similar numbers from the trolls who are dead to us and are listed in the auto-spam explicitly.

        They mount up over time. Of course all of these numbers were higher in the past before we got the systems set up and people accustomed to what would happen.

    • Monty 8.3

      Piss off Dad 4 Justice – Monty is my name and i dont want anyone using it – especially someone who has a chip off their shoulder.

      Lynn – I did not get the email – maybe you need to update your email address to me?

  9. todd 9

    I wonder who will win the chocolate fish?

  10. prism 10

    What about having a little aphorism round-up? Those short pithy sayings expressing a general truth. I am sure that there would be apt, wise and funny items from the bright sparks who visit here, though not enough to start a flame war! That would be an amusing way to keep in the ring for the lucky spot choc fish.

  11. prism 11

    Some comments by Ogden Nash –
    Bankers are just like anybody else, except Richer.
    and – how they operate
    But suppose people come in and they have a million and they want another million to pile on top of it,
    Why, you brim with the milk of human kindness and you urge them to accept every drop of it,
    And you lend them the million so then they have two million and this gives them the idea that they would be better off with four,
    So they already have two million as security so you have no hesitation in lending them two more…….

    antispam authors!

  12. prism 12

    Another Ogden Nash musing –
    Thar She Blows
    Indoors or out, no one relaxes
    In March, that month of wind and taxes,
    The wind will presently disappear,
    The taxes last us all the year.
    (And that’s a moot point.)

  13. lprent 13

    And the winner is…. (roll of drums)

    Bright Red with the typically detailed comment…

    English on Working for Families

    An increased abatement slope means a higher effective marginal tax rate.

    A 3 child family on $80K is getting $100 a week from WFF, $5,000 a year.

    To eliminate that by $90K you need a 50% abatement rate, on top of the 17.5% or 30% income tax these families are laready paying.

    …. so that’s 67.5% to 80% effective marginal tax for a family that is only on just above the median income for a couple with two or dependent kids, and workers on just a little over the median wage.

    We’d hit 250025 by the time I noticed so I had to count backwards

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Hehehehehe congrats B.R. 🙂

    • Bright Red 13.2

      blush

    • felix 13.3

      Nice one BR, good to see you were schooling timmysmithellisfield at the time too!

      • Lanthanide 13.3.1

        Is ts actually Tim Ellis? They seem to have a different commenting style to me. Then again Tim Ellis hasn’t been around for a while.

        captcha: parallel

        [lprent: Speculation about using multiple handles is frowned apon and is really a concern of the moderators. We keep an eye on them for reasons of people violating bans or doing identity hijacking or providing their own mutual admiration society. But there are no rules otherwise except that such discussions often drop into flames… ]

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