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No Geofftech… No Comment…

CommentsSo it’s eventually my turn to do what (I gather) all bloggers do at somepoint or other, and that’s to comment about their comments.

I can’t find the exact post but the rather popular Diamond Geezer once made a classic observation, that a thoroughly researched post/effort with informative facts and opinions and lots of photos generated about five comments, but putting something banal like “What’s your favourite colour fruit pastille?” got over 100 or something silly.

Well I appear to have got my most comments ever since the inception of my commenting abilities was added up here to the iBlog. 82 and counting on this post from a couple of days ago, which basically has turned into a poetical pornorama-fest. And now I’m just wondering if there’s any way of configuring WordPress to stop accepting comments on a certain post after a while …

So in the spirit of ‘Doing a Top 5 just for the sake of it‘, the next five most commented posts since this all started are …

X-Marks the spot (A spirited discussion on the virtues of reality-TV produced popstars) got 42.

Tears, Beers and Buses (All about buying a new Dyson in my local Sainsbury’s) got 40.

Don’t Travel from the 7th July – London Bombings day, got 40, (with the Normality (Of sorts) follow up two days after getting 39.)

The great ‘Brown or Orange?’ coloured shoe-laces debate got 36.

And the infamous Beardwatch debate only got 33.

Someone in the radio world once told me, that as a rough guide to the number of listeners you had – if you had a phone in/competition, that only 1 in 1000 people bothered to try and call in, so you could work out rough audience figures from the number of phonecalls made. I wonder if there’s a similar statistical ratio of blog-commenters to readers?

After seeing my first iPod Nano in the flesh yesterday (one of the developers in the graphics team here at the Beeb had one when I went to fix his Mac at 06.40 in the morning!) and getting all excited about it, it would now seem that they might have a problem with the screen. But they’re still smaller, lighter, and much sexier than I ever imagined they might be, and thus a bit of me still really wants to get one!

BBC Daily EmailTalking of work, if you ever subscribe to the BBC eMail services – where you get daily eMails sent to your inbox on a variety of news subjects that you can choose to subscribe too, then this is something which when on the nightshifts we have to do the admin work for.

If there are any issues with duff email addresses, or people who are too stupid to ‘unsubscribe’ to the service themselvs – we have to manually sort it out for them.

One such brilliant eMail came through when checking it tonight, which read:

“I am trying to UN sub-scribe from the Email newspaper, and although it says I am not getting it, I am getting it almost every day. I want to get rid of the BBC in my life.

I am English and used to think that the BBC was the best coverage in the world, but I never thought I would see so much hatred for the Americans as you now support.”

I unsubscribed them.

17 responses to “No Geofftech… No Comment…”

  1. Annie Mole says:

    There is simply NO rhyme or reason as to why people comment on blog entries

    I told you about the Diamond Geezer post and itís here
    http://diamondgeezer.blogspot.com/2005_07_01_diamondgeezer_archive.html#112183841532863616
    Basically he asked if people liked doughnuts (donuts for Kris) with or without holes and a gazillion people commented. On the same day he made a really interesting and well researched post with lots of pictures and had clearly spent a lot of time on it and hardly anyone commented.

    People comment about what they know and have an opinion on or if something has a special interest to them. Therefore doughnuts, sex, pornography, shoelaces are going to have a lot more comments than BBC roadshows, iPODS and Foxes biscuits. This doesnít mean that no one is interested in your posts in the latter category Ė it just means they might read it and think, ďYes thatís interesting, but I havenít really got anything to addĒ Whereas everyone can make some sort of comment about the items in the former category.

    Fooking ell this sounds pompous for almost 8am in the morning, you can tell Iíve still got interview head on Ė but I think you can see my point. I donít stress about comments any more and am more interested in the number of people who actually visit my blog each day. If they want to comment, fair enough, if they donít also fair enough, but if they never visit in the first place, thatís when I start moaning.

  2. Ian says:

    Are you sure you should be publishing that correspondence?

  3. Paul Webb says:

    OK – rant time for me. As you know, I work in museums. One very good museum I have work in brings in upwards of 500,000 visitors per annum. The great majority of them do not really know why they are there, what a museum is or what they can get out of it. The simply want a free day out, a doughnut and a few buttons to press – and also want to complain about the toilets and about the cost being too much (It’s FREE!!). But occasionally, very occasionally, you get somebody in and you can make a real difference to their life. These are not always the enthusiast, but often the last type of person you would expect.

    An example: The museum often has groups of ‘disenfranchised’ people (the museum is located near one of the most deprived areas in the country). Whilst walking around one of the buildings I came across a group of such youths who were, as expected, loud, rauchous and a bit of a nusance. They had the ususal hoodies etc and looked not too dissimilar to the two loveable smokers we met on the Carlisle/Lancaster train. One of the group saw me heading towards them and I expected a confrontation but, to my surprise, he pointed to one of the steam engines in the building and said “What’s that?”. My immediate reaction was nearly “It’s a steam engine – get out”, but I decided to answer his question. I explained about high pressure/low pressure pistons, corlis valves, flywheels and regulators. I went on to explain about power to weight ratios and showed him a few other engines to compare it with. Finally, I rounded off with a comparison with internal combusion engines and talked about how it would compare with a Ferrari engine.

    Patiently, the chap took in all of the information, listened, made the occasional comment, thanked me at the end and walked of to join his group. He looked happy that somebody had actually treated him like an adult and i like to think that he learned something not only about the objects he had looked at but also something about museums and, maybe, about himself.

    The point I am trying to make is that sometimes it is really worth putting the effort in to try to make a real difference to a small number of people than try to get a responce from the lowest common denominator, who, quite simply, probably do not care.

    ps – I reckon the Pussycat Dolls are really wank – what do you think?

  4. It’s very geeky to be running a tally of which of your blog posts got the most comments. And by the way it is now up to 93.

  5. geofftech says:

    Geeky? Moi? You don’t say …

  6. My blog gets such a pathetically low number of comments that I add answers to every comment so it looks better, and perhaps worthy of commenting on. If people see a conversation going on, they might add to it. How pitiful is that? At least I never have stooped to the lowest low and added an “anonymous” comment that I wrote myself, even though Ian has accused me of it. That would be truly miserable.

    And I notice Geoff hardly ever comments on my blog. You must be too busy doing geeky things like adding up your own comments.

    Also, I think Annie’s theory is spot on. However notice that you didn’t post a simple yes or no question such as the donut one. With your “oh C***” post, we originally commented on C-Word book topic and then digressed until the subject got pornographic. And we all know sex sells.

  7. It also appears to be true that blogposts about ‘not getting a lot of comments’ tend to get a lot of comments. I guess that’s because bloggers will often make an extra-special effort to comment on something they know lots about – i.e. themselves.

  8. Fimb says:

    This is why I still have no blog.. I’m terrified it would live with no comments for ever

  9. Let’s step back for a minute. We need to address the psychological “need” for comments in the first place. Is it because we crave readers to validate ourselves and what we are doing? Did we not get enough attention in childhood? Not get enough positive reinforcement in our teen years from our peers? Indeed, let’s question the whole need for blogs in the first place. If I charged myself my professional hourly rate ($75/hr)for all the time I have spent working on my blog, I think the invoice might be six figures by now. Why don’t I spend my time on real work, something that makes me money? It’s not like I don’t have stacks of it on my desk here, waiting for me to get to it. Yet there I sit, writing my own blog or commenting on others. It all goes back to the excellent points raised on the brilliant leaflet “Blog Depression.”

    Just what are we all trying to accomplish anyway? Why do we care? Why does anyone care? Why don’t we all go get a flippin’ life?

  10. Annie Mole says:

    Read DG’s blog Kris – he asks the same questions. And his blog was where I first saw the blogging depression thingie too.

    I spose the only time I think people might comment is when I’ve spent a lot of time on the post but to be honest most of my posts which get the most comments are the ones that I spend two minutes on.

    Take today’s for instance, one minute to write the post and 16 comments. Admittedly a lot of from be being deliberately argumentative – I like James Blunt – but I don’t like him THAT much.
    Yesterday’s Oyster post again about two minutes to make it – 24 comments. But as a proportion of people who view my blog each day that is tiny.

    Geoff’s an attention seeking hound as we all know so he loves getting comments.

    To be honest I think I’ve slightly forgotten why I blog – I just do it now cos I enjoy it, cos it’s become a habit, cos I can make a bit of money out of it when people click on me amazon links and the like, cos it looks good on my CV, cos it’ll be fun to look back on when I’m old and cos it’s the fastest way of updating my main site (I used to have a news page which took forever to update).

  11. Annie, the http://thenonist.com/ is the guy, I believe, who originally wrote Blog Depression, and questions himself endlessly about the merits of blogging. He’s a pretty good read too.

    I started mine so family and friends could follow my trip to England/Italy in May. I didn’t expect to get any sort of audience. So that is why it is fun to have a few regular readers now (besides the expected family and friends). I’ve always kept a journal, but never a public one. I suppose the blogger also needs to decide early on whether to be public or not. And those who wish to remain anonymous (I believe) must work almost a bit harder at their blogs to not only kept them interesting but to keep their identities hidden.

    I do try hard to make sure I don’t spend more than 15 minutes on a post. It’s just a blog and not a paying job for heaven’s sake.

    Right. Geoff should consider treatment for media-whore addiction. It’s really gotten out of hand lately.

    I have wondered about the google sense ads and wonder if you make enough cash to make them worthwhile?

  12. geofftech says:

    This is sooo funny. After officially having a crap day yesterday, but then waking up (after a delightful FOURTEEN hours sleep), today’s comments have officially made my day.

    The Pussycat Dolls are truly terrible. Instead, i’ve been dancing round my lounge this morning to Kanye W instead. It still makes me laugh that both the radio & TV version dub out the word ‘nigger’ when it so blatantly rhymes with ‘golddigger’

    (The line incidentally, for those of you not in the know is – “I ain’t saying she’s a golddigger, but she ain’t messin with no broke nigger”)

    Copious amount of media-whorage is always good. I’ll whore with the best of them if I have to, but it’s not why I blog. Honest.

    I just had another thought though too: The 93 comments from two-posts-ago-entry were all actually quite short. Today has generated a smaller number of comments, but all of them quite lengthy. So what I need to do is painstakingly count the numbers of words instead, divide that by the number of comments, and come up with some stats based on that instead. Right?

    One .. two .. three .. (come back later when I’ve finished counting… ok?)

  13. geofftech says:

    … seve hundred and nine … seven hundred and ten .. seven hundred and eleven .. (I said come back when I’ve finished counting – i’m not done yet! ok?)

  14. You have, of course, thought that you could just copy and paste the words into Word, and let it count them for you?!

    Sarcasm is hard to detect on the Internet…

  15. Of course, it’s obvious that you haven’t been counting them since 2pm.. oh, of course you bloody put them into Word. Please ignore my last pointless, stupid comment.

    but here’s a non-pointless one…

    If the iPod nano has a design fault that is present in almost every one… such as the £30 Sony ear-canal earphones (No, I WON’T call them “earbuds”!) that stop working after a few weeks, why buy one at all?!

    It’s like buying the finest apple in the world, despite it being rotten, and not eating it, or like buying a box of expensive lightbulbs that you need to replace because the light will, at some point within the hour, randomly fail.

    It’s hardly as though you have no alternative products to buy anyway!

    I’m not saying that you haven’t considered this already, and I’m not saying that all the iPod nanos will break, but I am questioning why people in general buy expensive things if they know they are going to break.

  16. Anthony. No. In general all the iPods are very well built. I have had my 30GB since fall 2003. When it did have a problem, Apple had a new one in my hands in less than three days. Not sure if you have the option there in the UK, but you must also spend $50 bucks and get the three-year coverage. Covers anything at all, even new battery.

    You cannot expect Apple to provide top-of-the-line earbuds. Most people buy their own anyway. My earbuds are still in the package un-opened. I have three different headphones: Bose for the premium quality, Sennheiser for listening to iTunes on my computer and Sony wraparounds for outdoors/traveling so I don’t look geeky.

    Geoff shouldn’t feel too happy counting words in comments because many of those comments are mine and he knows how long-winded I can get.

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