Sunday, August 7, 2011

Figures never lie, but liars often figure

Since the summer solstice (an arbitrary date I have chosen off the top of my head), I have published 31 posts (not including this one) that have generated 173 comments in all, or 5.6 comments per post on average. The smallest number of comments on a single post was 1 and the largest number was 11.

The period from June 21 through August 4 covers 6 weeks and 5 days, or 47 days in all. I have therefore posted 0.65957446808510638297872340425532 posts per day (31 divided by 47). Let’s call it two-thirds of a post per day. Close enough for government work. I have gone, on average, 1.5161290322580645161290322580645 days between posts (47 divided by 31). Let’s call it a day and a half. Again, close enough for government work.

Over on the right side of the blog, above all those little photographs, it says I have 73 followers. The post with the least number of comments (1) equates to 1.4% (rounded to the nearest tenth of one percent) of my followers commenting (1/73). The post with the most number of comments (11) equates to 15.1% (rounded to the nearest tenth of one percent) of my followers commenting (11/73). On average, then (5.6/73), 7.7% (rounded to the nearest tenth of one percent) of my follwers chose to comment on a post of mine during the period.

All of the foregoing raw numbers are true, but all of the conclusions drawn are false.

Why?

Because fully forty-four (as in full fathom five my father lies) of the comments were from me when I was responding to the comments of others. So that skews the results.

And also because there were not 129 (that is, 173 minus 44) individual commenters. There were in reality only a few, each of whom commented multiple times. So that skews the results.

Still, sharing these meaningless statistics with all of you faithful readers who inexplicably continue to hang on to my every word provides me with an opportunity to let you see this very interesting graph as well:


The only conclusion that can possibly be drawn is that I am one mean blogger.

30 comments:

Brackers said...

I love maths and stats!!
Im happy to see your getting lots of comments, it keeps people interested.
good luck going forward, i hope this helps the figures a little.

B...

Shooting Parrots said...

Comment numbers can be flattering (or not) but they don't necessarily tell the whole story.

I'm always surprised by the number of commenters on my local newspaper's website. A serious story might have only one or two, but a football match report will have hundreds. And stories concerning parochial petty criminality lots of frothing at the mouth, "bring back the birch" reader contributions.

I haven't done the analysis, but I guess what this tells us is that people are more likely to leave a comment if it is a) something important to them personally or b) what they fear/feel strongly about.

That doesn't mean they haven't read the other stuff, just that they don't feel qualified or compelled to add their two penn'orth.

All of which is a very round about way of saying that people might well be reading your stuff without commenting!

rhymeswithplague said...

Brackers, how nice to hear from a "new" commenter -- you are a new commenter, aren't you? -- and especially one from Waterloo, Canada. Didn't Waterloo used to be in Iowa?

Parrots, so then you're saying that I may have uncommenting readers who are official followers as well as both commenting and uncommenting readers who are not official followers. My head is about to explode.

Shooting Parrots said...

I think that's what I meant!

Jeannelle said...

Ignore statistics, rhymsie. Just steer away from the median and stay in the mode to blog.

rhymeswithplague said...

Jeannelle, we are so backward here we don't even have medians.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Methinks someone has much time on their hands, and a handy-dandy calculator! :)

rhymeswithplague said...

Pat, as usual, you have your finger on the pulse of this blog!

Snowbrush said...

"readers who inexplicably continue to hang on to my every word "

And it's that kind of thinking that makes you an optimist. My own rather dour opinion is that I could write complete gibberish, and people would still visit my blog, but only because I visited theirs. I know that you read everything thoroughly, but I have no such confidence about most of my readers.

rhymeswithplague said...

Snow, in my own twisted way I think of myself as a pessimist rather than an optimist, because pessimists are occasionally surprised, but optimists are usually being disappointed. The key to my statement that you quoted are the words "inexplicably" and "continue"...

Wine in Thyme said...

Ha ha ha! I love meaningless stats and conclusions. This made my day.

Wine in Thyme said...

To further skew your results, I'm going to leave an additional comments. Totally random and unrelated but your "figures never lie and liars never figures" reminded me of the toast: Champaagne for our real friends and real pain for our sham friends.
Cheers!

rhymeswithplague said...

Wine, the only thing more meaningless than my stats would have to be my conclusions. Also, thank you for further skewing my results, LOL!

Putz said...

bob bob bob>><<>i have been dropped by one of my most faithful bloggers<><>,.i did know some peplole didn't like my miss spellings, but oh my<><>><><>what could i possible do????i logged in with the goggle mail id e mail address and it said you are no longer authorized on this blog, sorry<><><>this has cut me to the core>><>i offend so easy

Putz said...

and i think snowbrush is never going to drop me go figure

Putz said...

wow 15 comments, a possible new high for this blog

Snowbrush said...

"and i think snowbrush is never going to drop me go figure"

You're right there, Putz. By dropped, I suppose you mean that you're banned from someone's blog? That's hard. That would hurt me too, especially if it was someone who I valued as you valued the person who blocked you. I really don't understand why anyone would do that to you because I've never known you to have a mean bone in your body. You're a little weird, what with all the misspellings and odd punctuations, but those are the kinds of things that people who care about you are able to live with. It's when a person is abusive, threatening, condescending, or dismissive, that they need to be dealt with, and I have never gotten any of these things from you.

rhymeswithplague said...

Putz, I misunderstood your comment originally and thought you were saying that you had been denied access to my blog. Then I realized that could not be true if you were leaving a comment. Then I thought you were saying that I was no longer authorized on your blog, but I went there and left a comment successfully. Then my brain finally kicked into gear and I realized you were saying that you had been denied access to someone else's blog altogether. One way this can happen is when a person decides to change his or her blog from lic to private. I'm so sorry this happened to you. My feelings would be hurt if it happened to me. I'm also thinking that a person can block comments with "adult content" but I can't imagine that you have done such a thing.

Of course, knowing the Osmonds personally borders on the obscene....

rhymeswithplague said...

lic? I meant to type public, of course.

Snowbrush said...

"Putz, I misunderstood your comment originally"

Me too, Rhymes. Putz, sometimes you're a hard man to understand.

Putz said...

where did the rest of my comment go?????? i swear google is stupido<><><>you guys snow and bob have both screwed up my expalnation of a very CLEAR explanation [COMMENT}<><><>i got barred from sissy's musings by the creekside blog or is it seaside????AFTER I PUT IN MY PASSWORD AND E MAIL ADDRESS ON GOGGLE SIGN IN IT SWITCHED ME TO a notice that said not authorized at this time to be admitted to this blog musings by the creekside<><>and i felt bad because i had been blogging to her for six years and now i have said something to offend her<><><>cabesheeee????

Wine in Thyme said...

Putz - you may not have been kicked off by your blogger friend. I've had issues commenting on various blogs for the past couple of weeks. I've been kicked off too. Blogger might be acting up. Try again in a day or so.

Snowbrush said...

"you guys snow and bob have both screwed up my expalnation of a very CLEAR explanation"

Ain't that just like us?

rhymeswithplague said...

One and all, 15 comments was not a possibe new high for my blog as a certain reader in Utah theorized at 2:41 p.m. this afternoon, but this comment of mine -- this very one you are reading right now -- is number 24on this post, which *is* a "new high" unless my memory is faulty. This historic moment has been brought to you courtesy of (a) all the people who have left comments that have absolutely nothing to do with my original post and (b) my own tendency to reply to anyone who happens to leave a comment.

Rosezilla said...

Yup...

Snowbrush said...

"This historic moment has been brought to you courtesy of (a) all the people who have left comments that have absolutely nothing to do with my original post..."


That's just what happens when you run a clean blog.

Snowbrush said...

"pessimists are occasionally surprised"

Not the best of us are surprised because we know that however good things might look in the moment that the fly in the ointment will be along later.

Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Snowbrush said...

I've never been blocked, but I did know a Christian blogger whom I liked and trusted, and whose comments turned mean. There's no other way to put it because they were THAT direct. For example, telling me that I was a miserable human being who she felt sorry for, and so forth. That hurt, and it hurt more because she was a Christian with whom I had dared to think I might always be friends (we had also emailed one another occasionally). It's hard to do that, and I treasure it when it happens. What I did was to simply stop following her blog, and I suppose she left mine too. At least, I haven't heard from her in months. I suppose that when people block one another, it's more often done to hurt them rather than because they need to be blocked.

Putz said...

so how do u mend those feelings><>><30th comment