Zelophehad’s Daughters

‘Nacle Numbers: The Commenters [updated]

Posted by Ziff

Who was the most prolific commenter of 2007?

It was Ray, frequent commenter at both BCC and T&S, by a margin of over 900. He wrote 2803 comments, compared to the 1889 written by Matt W., who was #2.

Update: I have corrected several errors in the numbers that were helpfully pointed out to me in the comments and by email. Thanks for your feedback.

In previous installments of ‘Nacle Numbers, I’ve shown some data on my entire sample of 11 blogs, on differences among blogs, and on differences among bloggers. In this installment, I’ll show some data on commenters.

My best estimate is that 2705-ish people wrote comments on the 11 blogs in the sample. Why “ish”? Well, because there are lots of ways I’m probably off. For instance, I ignored all commenter names that were only used once. Doing this allowed me to avoid little problems like trackbacks getting counted as comments in my data and people using names only once for purposes of silliness (more on that in a moment) or anonymity.

Speaking of anonymity, there were hundreds of comments from “anonymous” and “anon” and all kinds of variations of these, including the following (with original spelling preserved but in all lower case): “‘nonymous”, “a nonie mouse”, “a.nonymous”, “also anon for now”, “aninnymouse”, “ann ominous”, “ann on”, “annon as well”, “annonamous”, “annonnymous”, “annonymous coward” [visiting from Slashdot, I assume], “anonymouspost”, “another anon”, “another anonymous”, “anothernonymous”, “call me anonymous 2″, “can i just be anonymous for this post?”, “can i just be anonymous?”, “don;t want to say”, “fake name”, “for privacy, name withheld”, “hiding my name today”, “i’ll tell you later”, “justanonotheranon”, “justanotheranon”, “more anonymous than usual”, “name witheld”, “name withheld”, “nameless this time”, “no name”, “noname”, “nonymus”, “sister anonymous”, “still anon”, “temporarilyanonymous”, and “understandably annonymous”. Note that this doesn’t include the anonymous-sounding names “a. nonny moose” and “anonon”, both of which I believe are used by regular commenters.

I know comments written using these names weren’t all written by the same person, but I’ve lumped them together by name anyway. After all, I figure if commenters are going to take special care to avoid using their usual names when writing particular comments, who am I to try to figure out who they really are? (And what’s the likelihood that I would have any success if I did try?)

The lumping together of all the anonymouses is an instance of a larger issue that I’m sure led to more errors in my data. That is, if comments are written at two blogs under the same name, is it the same person? In a lot of cases, clearly it is, particularly for prolific commenters and commenters having unique names (and those who link to their websites with the comment form so I can tell it’s the same person). But for some more common names and less prolific commenters, particularly for blogs in the sample that don’t share much of their audience (say Mormon Mommy Wars and Faith Promoting Rumor, for example), it’s entirely likely that I’ve combined comments made by more than one person under the same name.

On the other hand, I likely also failed to combine comments by the same person written under different names. I’ve combined all the ones I knew of, or that seemed obvious based on links from commenter names, similarity of names, uniqueness of names, etc. I tried to err on the side of conservatism, though, combining comments only if I had good reason to believe that the two names really represented one person. So I’ve probably failed to properly combine at least some people’s comments made under more than one name.

Okay, enough with the caveats. Of the 2705 commenters,

  • 1 wrote 2000+ comments
  • 18 wrote 1000 to 1999 comments
  • 34 wrote 500 to 999 comments
  • 88 wrote 200 to 499 comments
  • 104 wrote 100 to 199 comments
  • 159 wrote 50 to 99 comments
  • 311 wrote 20 to 49 comments
  • 337 wrote 10 to 19 comments
  • 491 wrote 5 to 9 comments
  • 1162 wrote 2 to 4 comments

And then of course there were a huge number of names that only showed up once. Many of these were celebrity commenters, including (again, with original spelling preserved) “Bob Dole”, “Brigham Young, Jr.” [Jr.?], “Bruce R. McConkie”, “Emily Dickenson”, “Ernesto Che Guevara”, “Eugene V. Debs”, “Father Abraham”, “Ferris Bueller”, “George Elliot”, “H. Clinton”, “H. D. Thoreau”, “Han Solo”, “Heavenly Father”, “Hercule Poirot”, “Hugh Nibley”, “Jean-Claude van Damme”, “Jesus Christ and Joesph Smith” [I guess they collaborated on the comment], “Johann Wolfgang von Goethe”, “Josephsmithjr”, “Keyser Soze”, “King Benjamin”, “Leonard McCoy”, “Mark Twain”, “Neal A. Maxwell”, “Nephi4″, “Noah”, “Porter Rockwell”, “Prudence McPrude” [making only 9 comments–where are you, Prudence?], “Shoeless Joe” [say it ain’t so!], “Snow White”, “Tim LaHaye”, “Tom Sawyer”, “Yossarian”, and “Zeezrom”. There were also comments from various law enforcement people including “GOP police”, “grammar police”, “grand inquisitor”, “postpolice”, “sheriff”, and “thought police”.

At the end of this post, there’s a big table that lists everyone who made at least 100 comments, as well as how many comments they made at each of the 11 blogs in the sample. But before I get to that, let me show you a few lists. First, let’s look at who wrote the most comments at each blog in the sample. I’ll list the blogs in order of total number of comments received (which you can find in the second table in ‘Nacle Numbers Part 2).

By Common Consent

  1. Steve Evans, 1733
  2. Ray, 1710
  3. Kevin Barney, 959
  4. Ronan, 942
  5. MCQ, 791
  6. Sam MB, 734
  7. J. Stapley, 647
  8. J. Nelson-Seawright, 645
  9. Matt W., 588
  10. Kevinf, 560

Times and Seasons

  1. Adam Greenwood, 1479
  2. Ray, 924
  3. Ardis Parshall, 761
  4. Julie M. Smith, 587
  5. Bob, 496
  6. Kaimi Wenger, 426
  7. Russell Arben Fox, 416
  8. Frank McIntyre, 323
  9. Matt Evans, 315
  10. Nate Oman, 291

Feminist Mormon Housewives

  1. Janet, 1369
  2. Quimby, 1122
  3. mfranti, 603
  4. G, 537
  5. fMhLisa, 503
  6. m&m, 501
  7. SilverRain, 407
  8. Christian, 399
  9. chandelle, 380
  10. ECS, 339

Mormon Mentality

  1. annegb, 692
  2. DKL, 684
  3. a random John, 644
  4. Dan, 633
  5. danithew, 582
  6. Devyn S., 543
  7. Nick Literski, 338
  8. Seth R., 307
  9. Dan Ellsworth, 304
  10. Bookslinger, 238

Mormon Mommy Wars

  1. Heather O., 436
  2. Tracy M, 411
  3. The Wiz, 228
  4. Sarah, 192
  5. Cheryl, 186
  6. moddy, 154
  7. Natalie S., 148
  8. Susan M, 131
  9. makakona, 123
  10. Sue, 120

New Cool Thang

  1. Geoff J, 1060
  2. Matt W. 738
  3. Jacob J, 706
  4. Blake, 397
  5. Clark Goble, 271
  6. Mark D., 193
  7. Howard, 142
  8. Mondo Cool, 111
  9. Adam Greenwood, 108
  10. J. Stapley, 105

Nine Moons

  1. Cheryl, 258
  2. Tom, 220
  3. [tie] Rusty, 191
  4. [tie] Seth R., 191
  5. cj douglass, 177
  6. Susan M, 170
  7. Bret, 159
  8. Lamonte, 152
  9. Don Clifton, 133
  10. Silus Grok, 64

Millennial Star

  1. Geoff B, 666
  2. [tie] Dan, 207
  3. [tie] Seth R., 207
  4. Clark Goble, 180
  5. Brian Duffin, 161
  6. Ivan Wolfe, 142
  7. John Mansfield, 138
  8. Tossman, 137
  9. Mike Parker, 115
  10. jjohnsen, 108

Zelophehad’s Daughters

  1. Lynnette, 198
  2. Kiskilili, 180
  3. Mark IV, 177
  4. Seraphine, 174
  5. Eve, 163
  6. Ziff, 154
  7. jessawhy, 140
  8. ECS, 133
  9. Geoff J, 126
  10. Matt W., 73

Faith Promoting Rumor

  1. TrailerTrash, 282
  2. SmallAxe, 188
  3. lxxluthor, 146
  4. David J, 137
  5. Mogget, 133
  6. John C. 112
  7. Clark Goble, 111
  8. Matt W., 100
  9. J. Nelson-Seawright, 89
  10. Nitsav, 85

Exponent II

  1. Anonymous, 322
  2. Caroline, 277
  3. Deborah, 215
  4. AmyB, 113
  5. Maria, 80
  6. amelia, 79
  7. Dora, 72
  8. jana, 67
  9. Eve, 63
  10. Ana, 45

Why were there so many anonymous comments at Exponent II (322 of the 457 total comments by “anonymous” as you can see in the table below)? I think it’s because it was really easy for commenters to mark their comments as “anonymous” at ExII. The blog was hosted by Blogger for all of 2007, and Blogger allows you to leave comments as “anonymous” by simply clicking a radio button. The remainder of the blogs in the sample require you to actually write “anonymous” as your name if you want to leave an anonymous comment. This hypothesis is supported by the small number of comments at ExII that were made with the second most popular anonymous label–“anon”–1 of the 288 total (again, you can see the numbers in the table). So I don’t think ExII commenters had a particular desire to be anonymous. I think the comment mechanism just made it really to be anonymous, even by accident. I know I’ve seen comments at ExII by “anonymous” that were then signed by the commenter at the bottom of the comment.

Here are lists of commenters who wrote the longest and shortest comments and whose comments were most and least variable in length. Only commenters who wrote at least 100 comments are considered for these lists, except for the “longest comment” list. Since these data don’t appear in the big table that lists all commenters, I’ll list a top 20 for each instead of just a top 10.

Who wrote the most total words in comments?

  1. Ray, 269,764
  2. Janet, 187,311
  3. m&m, 180,921
  4. Matt W., 152,629
  5. Geoff J, 152,138
  6. Quimby, 146,088
  7. Nick Literski, 141,934
  8. Dan, 138,530
  9. J. Nelson-Seawright, 121,314
  10. Clark Goble, 121,130
  11. DKL, 117,770
  12. Mark IV, 117,163
  13. Jacob J, 116,284
  14. Seth R., 113,089
  15. Kevin Barney, 108,578
  16. Ardis Parshall, 107,787
  17. Adam Greenwood, 107,315
  18. Naismith, 107,118
  19. Blake, 105,367
  20. Eve, 95,849

Who wrote the longest comments on average (words per comment)?

Highest mean Highest median
  1. Mike, 309
  2. Trueheart, 245
  3. amelia, 219
  4. Kiskilili, 196
  5. Phoenix, 193
  6. Lynnette, 184
  7. SmallAxe, 181 (181.46)
  8. Marjorie Conder, 181 (181.44)
  9. Naismith, 180 (180.03)
  10. Christian, 180 (179.67)
  11. Abish, 178 (178.46)
  12. Bookslinger, 178 (177.86)
  13. Eve, 177
  14. Blake, 174
  15. Blain, 172
  16. rbc, 171
  17. Jeff G, 167
  18. Stephanie, 165
  19. Russell Arben Fox, 162
  20. Patricia Karamesines, 160
  1. Trueheart, 207
  2. Mike, 180
  3. amelia, 176
  4. SmallAxe, 166
  5. Marjorie Conder, 152 (152.17)
  6. Lynnette, 152 (151.50)
  7. rbc, 149 (149.33)
  8. Phoenix, 149 (148.75)
  9. Kiskilili, 147
  10. Naismith, 143
  11. Blain, 140
  12. Eve, 137
  13. Lulubelle, 135
  14. Abish, 132
  15. Christian, 128
  16. Glenn, 126
  17. FoxyJ, 124
  18. Margaret Young, 122 (122.17)
  19. Aluwid, 122 (121.58)
  20. Day, 121

Who wrote the shortest comments on average (words per comment)?

Lowest mean Lowest median
  1. gst, 32
  2. Steve Evans, 33 (32.83)
  3. Kim Siever, 33 (33.09)
  4. Costanza, 36
  5. StillConfused, 39
  6. California Condor, 42 (42.005)
  7. Tracy M, 42 (42.008)
  8. Susan M, 44 (44.22)
  9. KyleM, 44 (44.38)
  10. mfranti, 45 (44.82)
  11. Bob, 45 (44.86)
  12. Brian Duffin, 45 (45.12)
  13. Rebecca, 46
  14. Ronan, 48 (47.68)
  15. WillF, 48 (47.98)
  16. Tim J., 49
  17. cj douglass, 51 (51.24)
  18. Jacob M, 51 (51.38)
  19. Eric Nielson, 54
  20. J. Stapley, 55
  1. Steve Evans, 19 (19.00)
  2. gst, 19 (19.17)
  3. California Condor, 23 (22.83)
  4. Kim Siever, 23 (23.00)
  5. [tie] Costanza, 26 (25.50)
  6. [tie] mfranti, 26 (25.50)
  7. Tracy M, 26 (26.42)
  8. KyleM, 27
  9. WillF, 28 (27.50)
  10. StillConfused, 28 (28.17)
  11. Ronan, 29
  12. Brian Duffin, 30
  13. [tie] Rebecca, 31 (30.67)
  14. [tie] Susan M, 31 (30.67)
  15. Guy Murray, 31 (31.17)
  16. mmiles, 32
  17. [tie] Justin, 33 (33.17)
  18. [tie] The Wiz, 33 (33.17)
  19. Silus Grok, 35
  20. cj douglass,36

Who wrote comments that were most and least variable in length (words per comment)?

Highest standard deviation Lowest standard deviation
  1. Mike, 350
  2. Jim Cobabe, 247
  3. Kyle R, 213
  4. greenfrog, 207
  5. Patricia Karamesines, 206
  6. Stephanie, 202
  7. Trueheart, 198 (197.72)
  8. Rich, 198 (197.57)
  9. Bookslinger, 191
  10. Mogget, 183
  11. Blake, 182
  12. manaen, 176
  13. Christian, 174 (173.77)
  14. Kiskilili, 174 (173.69)
  15. kurt, 173
  16. TrailerTrash, 166 (166.03)
  17. Jim F., 166 (165.95)
  18. Abish, 164
  19. m&m, 160 (159.687)
  20. amelia, 160 (159.685)
  1. Costanza, 34 (33.81)
  2. Kim Siever, 34 (34.30)
  3. Bob, 35 (34.81)
  4. StillConfused, 35 (34.90)
  5. Steve Evans, 38
  6. gst, 39
  7. Tim J, 40 (40.26)
  8. Rebecca, 40 (40.31)
  9. Susan M, 41
  10. Jacob M, 44 (44.25)
  11. Brian Duffin, 44 (44.42)
  12. Don Clifton, 46 (46.105)
  13. Tagore, 46 (46.109)
  14. Eric Nielson, 47 (46.78)
  15. Tracy M, 47 (46.96)
  16. G, 47 (47.08)
  17. KyleM, 48
  18. cj douglass, 49
  19. Bret, 51 (50.74)
  20. Peter LLC, 51 (50.99)

Whose longest comments were the longest (in words)?

  1. DT, 3404
  2. Kevin Barney, 2769
  3. Jim Cobabe, 2481
  4. PGettings, 2449
  5. dhasterok, 2362
  6. Kevin Christensen, 2187
  7. Lindsay, 2139
  8. Keller, 2090
  9. OneWhoServes, 2089
  10. Louis Midgley, 1973
  11. Hofnarr, 1915
  12. Kyle R, 1882
  13. Blake, 1856
  14. greenfrog, 1780
  15. TOmNossor, 1768
  16. anonymouspost, 1758
  17. Matt W., 1739
  18. DKL, 1680
  19. Mike, 1639
  20. Richard Dutcher, 1636

In the tables below, only the 245 commenters who wrote at least 100 comments are listed. Any alternate names that I’ve combined as belonging to the same commenter are listed in brackets after the most commonly-used name. Other than the last column, the numbers in the table are just counts. So Ray wrote 2803 comments total, including 1710 at BCC, 924 at T&S, etc. The last column has a Gini coefficient, which is an index of how evenly a commenter distributed his or her comments across the blogs in the sample. It ranges from 0, which indicates the person’s comments were perfectly evenly distributed, to 1, which indicates that all his or her comments were written at a single blog1.

Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Ray [Curtis DeGraw, Curtis]
2803 1710 924 6 17 101 8 1 33 2 1 0 0.810
Matt W.
1889 588 198 42 67 9 738 44 30 73 100 0 0.714
Steve Evans
1866 1733 110 11 3 0 3 1 3 1 1 0 0.946
Adam Greenwood
1812 156 1479 4 4 2 108 1 56 0 2 0 0.866
Janet
1609 8 162 1369 2 31 0 0 0 37 0 0 0.907
Geoff J
1493 116 32 18 47 1 1060 40 4 126 48 1 0.871
Dan
1391 325 128 42 633 1 0 50 207 4 1 0 0.786
Seth R.
1342 164 237 170 307 0 35 191 207 16 15 0 0.631
Kevin Barney [KLBarney]
1305 959 195 69 31 2 4 8 4 9 24 0 0.715
Mark IV [Mark Brown]
1244 542 169 156 77 10 6 48 39 177 9 11 0.593


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
m&m [mullingandmusing]
1231 191 227 501 42 21 92 37 14 53 9 44 0.406
Nick Literski
1199 366 102 131 338 9 68 50 96 1 24 14 0.487
Quimby
1122 0 0 1122 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Clark Goble [Clark]
1120 244 120 34 122 1 271 31 180 6 111 0 0.654
Ronan [RonanJH]
1085 942 63 23 20 0 13 14 0 0 10 0 0.810
Julie M. Smith [Julie in Austin]
1080 137 587 202 37 21 1 12 18 24 33 8 0.510
danithew
1066 191 109 28 582 42 13 53 30 3 14 1 0.677
a random John
1024 139 50 19 644 2 52 44 18 0 55 1 0.760
queuno
1003 296 253 185 133 1 0 0 104 31 0 0 0.619
DKL
985 72 209 14 684 1 0 0 0 5 0 0 0.942


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Ardis Parshall [Ardis]
963 120 761 21 44 3 3 4 4 1 0 2 0.838
MCQ
963 791 33 50 48 0 3 37 0 1 0 0 0.839
annegb
962 72 51 48 692 2 11 28 42 6 7 3 0.774
Jacob J
947 79 35 11 12 0 706 33 8 34 29 0 0.877
Sam MB [smb, Sam B]
929 734 98 27 31 0 4 5 8 3 19 0 0.738
J. Nelson-Seawright [JNS, RoastedTomatoes]
915 645 28 28 1 0 53 5 0 66 89 0 0.745
J. Stapley
904 647 74 4 27 0 105 9 13 0 19 6 0.672
mfranti [melaniefranti, mr. pink’s mom]
891 12 26 603 234 0 0 13 1 2 0 0 0.866
Kaimi Wenger [Kaimi, Kaimipono]
843 136 426 138 52 5 0 6 3 64 2 11 0.645
Tracy M
808 264 31 46 8 411 0 30 0 2 0 16 0.843


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
California Condor [John Williams]
800 345 324 1 91 1 21 8 3 0 6 0 0.707
Geoff B
777 9 96 0 4 0 0 2 666 0 0 0 0.991
ECS
711 0 43 339 56 2 98 32 2 133 0 6 0.737
John C. [HP, HP/JDC, J. Daniel Crawford]
697 446 89 20 11 0 2 6 3 8 112 0 0.831
Tom
667 115 30 114 87 1 28 220 1 67 0 4 0.774
Susan M
665 153 37 74 52 131 30 170 10 8 0 0 0.704
bbell
662 344 189 32 2 0 2 47 45 0 0 1 0.686
Kevinf [bizarro Kevin]
647 560 84 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.963
Bob
633 126 496 3 3 0 0 0 3 2 9 0 0.934
Blake
608 156 40 0 1 0 397 0 3 2 9 0 0.941


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
john f.
600 254 102 14 172 0 16 15 7 3 12 5 0.571
Naismith
595 70 60 256 64 7 20 9 31 64 2 12 0.533
fMhLisa
576 26 19 503 5 6 1 3 0 7 0 6 0.840
Kristine [Kristine Haglund Harris]
573 301 132 67 9 10 0 23 1 24 4 2 0.572
SilverRain
570 66 24 407 15 13 15 3 0 25 1 1 0.726
John Mansfield
566 151 129 3 98 0 1 44 138 0 2 0 0.781
G
557 1 2 537 9 0 0 0 1 2 0 5 0.951
Devyn S.
551 1 0 0 543 0 0 6 1 0 0 0 0.992
Heather O. [Heather Oman]
547 5 29 54 0 436 0 0 0 4 0 19 0.939
Eve
543 50 69 168 8 5 11 6 0 163 0 63 0.818


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Cheryl
540 19 6 65 2 186 1 258 0 0 0 3 0.911
Margaret Young
516 170 154 10 179 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.846
Norbert
506 334 118 10 9 0 4 17 1 6 7 0 0.688
Sarah
498 30 144 25 3 192 2 1 89 2 5 5 0.772
Bookslinger
489 15 80 5 238 11 6 27 86 12 2 7 0.678
KyleM
489 227 52 0 169 0 0 39 1 0 1 0 0.808
Christian
469 1 67 399 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0.957
Rusty [Rusty Clifton]
464 65 31 90 32 3 14 191 25 6 3 4 0.744
Chino Blanco
460 75 107 110 105 8 0 48 6 0 1 0 0.669
Anonymous
457 42 12 35 9 4 4 0 0 6 23 322 0.946


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Mark B.
444 168 153 2 4 0 0 49 67 1 0 0 0.779
Russell Arben Fox
444 17 416 1 2 1 0 3 0 0 4 0 0.943
Frank McIntyre
443 114 323 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0.943
MikeinWeHo
441 274 121 25 0 0 0 0 21 0 0 0 0.814
Brad Kramer [Brad]
421 227 150 2 6 0 0 0 15 0 21 0 0.732
jjohnsen
413 93 66 91 39 0 1 14 108 1 0 0 0.766
cj douglass
411 154 6 64 10 0 0 177 0 0 0 0 0.943
Ben There
406 80 61 26 220 0 0 18 1 0 0 0 0.848
Ann
403 143 37 97 55 10 0 4 0 32 10 15 0.506
Mark D.
400 118 36 0 2 0 193 7 3 3 38 0 0.844


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Sue
400 46 40 112 17 120 1 15 2 30 0 17 0.630
Matt Evans
396 57 315 8 4 1 1 0 3 3 0 4 0.831
Dan Ellsworth [Dan E.]
383 39 25 6 304 0 3 0 0 5 1 0 0.921
chandelle
382 0 0 380 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0.993
Jacob M
382 223 129 13 4 0 3 4 2 3 0 1 0.721
Bored in Vernal [BiV, BiV at hieing to Kolob, Behind the Infamous Veil]
365 58 83 83 11 0 66 6 9 8 12 29 0.512
Proud Daughter of Eve
365 52 26 59 136 29 5 16 15 13 5 9 0.411
mami
364 42 16 259 14 20 0 0 0 12 0 1 0.782
Tatiana
361 130 75 79 7 1 0 17 0 18 1 33 0.627
TrailerTrash [TT]
360 23 37 6 4 0 2 0 1 5 282 0 0.974


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Lamonte
354 123 74 1 0 0 0 152 4 0 0 0 0.939
Hellmut
353 180 30 99 34 0 0 4 0 1 2 3 0.660
paula
331 57 80 122 36 0 0 1 0 7 0 28 0.697
jessawhy
321 27 19 65 7 38 11 1 0 140 2 11 0.831
Caroline
320 2 1 24 0 13 0 0 1 2 0 277 0.987
Nate Oman
320 11 291 13 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.934
Eric Russell
314 162 42 10 22 0 27 19 10 18 1 3 0.476
meems
311 79 45 65 4 80 13 23 0 0 0 2 0.672
Deborah
307 16 30 17 0 22 0 0 0 7 0 215 0.962
Justin
306 212 28 10 17 0 9 6 4 4 14 2 0.529


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
DavidH
305 134 109 1 15 0 0 0 46 0 0 0 0.836
Lupita
300 2 75 209 12 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0.893
Veritas
298 60 37 129 21 20 8 10 1 2 0 10 0.471
Brian Duffin [Brian D.]
297 33 36 5 56 0 2 3 161 0 1 0 0.918
Peter LLC
297 159 57 40 9 0 6 23 1 0 2 0 0.667
greenfrog
291 99 130 0 36 0 0 0 25 0 0 1 0.749
Jack
289 83 97 13 15 0 24 7 30 19 1 0 0.568
Anon
288 69 25 120 40 4 2 4 2 15 6 1 0.521
Costanza
286 155 122 0 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.878
Ivan Wolfe [Ivan A. Wolfe]
286 19 114 0 0 1 0 1 142 0 9 0 0.932


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
makakona
284 24 28 60 23 123 0 26 0 0 0 0 0.821
madhousewife
280 12 1 209 0 14 0 3 0 15 0 26 0.783
cchrissyy
278 31 28 122 16 32 1 7 2 15 0 24 0.588
Seraphine
274 14 15 42 1 1 15 1 0 174 0 11 0.928
Starfoxy
274 44 32 101 0 36 0 0 0 45 0 16 0.737
gst
273 119 79 20 37 2 0 10 5 0 0 1 0.608
amri
271 259 1 6 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0.958
Guy Murray
267 109 48 31 54 0 6 4 13 2 0 0 0.581
Patricia Karamesines
265 0 264 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.994
The Wiz
262 0 6 27 1 228 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.988


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Lynnette
261 11 5 17 7 0 11 0 0 198 4 8 0.940
Jonathan Green
259 31 219 0 1 0 0 0 7 0 1 0 0.921
SmallAxe
256 13 26 0 7 0 16 0 5 1 188 0 0.958
Dave [Dave Banack, DMI Dave]
255 60 121 12 8 1 4 8 5 16 19 1 0.564
MAC
255 29 18 74 125 4 1 2 0 1 0 1 0.802
Mike Parker
253 57 70 0 9 0 0 0 115 0 2 0 0.930
CS Eric
247 84 50 41 30 32 1 1 3 4 0 1 0.532
Todd Wood
244 67 16 4 2 1 84 11 9 3 45 2 0.729
Howard
240 22 6 19 5 0 142 1 0 5 39 1 0.854
Aaron Brown [Aaron B]
239 188 38 0 9 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 0.855


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Kathryn Lynard Soper
237 1 232 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.990
ronito
237 163 71 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.920
kristine N [krizarro]
233 150 9 39 24 1 0 0 6 0 0 4 0.691
Lessie
228 0 0 224 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0.971
Ugly Mahana
228 109 84 25 0 0 1 0 2 5 2 0 0.712
EmilyS
224 2 1 204 0 2 0 5 0 3 0 7 0.870
Rosalynde Welch [Rosalynde]
224 17 180 0 3 5 0 3 0 15 0 1 0.817
Blue
219 0 0 219 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Thomas Parkin
219 170 21 1 0 1 21 2 0 2 0 1 0.788
Ben
216 95 45 22 28 0 6 4 6 2 5 3 0.359


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Jacob
216 65 117 9 4 0 13 3 0 0 5 0 0.706
Kiskilili
214 1 9 6 0 0 6 8 0 180 2 2 0.958
Sam B.
214 121 11 6 14 0 5 18 18 8 12 1 0.513
z
213 14 45 98 7 4 0 0 0 45 0 0 0.865
Rebecca
211 49 0 148 5 1 0 2 1 4 0 1 0.796
Stephen M (Ethesis)
211 44 27 48 16 2 32 6 2 25 9 0 0.559
Ziff
208 6 2 44 1 0 0 0 0 154 0 1 0.983
claire
205 40 20 54 22 46 0 7 3 8 0 5 0.503
Artemis [fMhArtemis]
204 1 2 196 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 0.956
Ana
202 5 25 113 3 8 0 1 0 2 0 45 0.869


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Mondo Cool
201 47 6 0 0 0 111 30 6 0 1 0 0.882
Melinda
198 52 32 12 0 91 2 5 3 0 0 1 0.804
Last Lemming
197 63 32 7 23 0 27 19 18 4 3 1 0.496
Robert C.
193 17 52 1 2 0 45 0 3 3 70 0 0.879
Doc
187 51 32 11 20 1 20 9 16 13 12 2 0.400
Kyle R
187 0 158 0 0 0 11 0 18 0 0 0 0.878
manaen
180 32 124 7 0 1 1 0 6 2 6 1 0.714
Vada
175 8 16 38 0 62 0 2 0 36 0 13 0.780
mmiles
174 68 81 11 0 1 0 0 12 0 1 0 0.775
Matt Bowman [Matt B]
173 32 8 2 114 0 0 0 1 12 4 0 0.851


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
lxxluthor
172 18 3 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 146 0 0.988
Eric Nielson
171 39 10 0 4 0 93 6 7 5 7 0 0.776
amelia
170 0 0 89 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 79 0.970
Steve M
170 59 20 36 17 0 0 9 1 19 8 1 0.574
Amy
168 2 20 52 11 63 0 11 6 2 0 1 0.701
kurt
167 25 6 3 22 0 17 14 3 2 75 0 0.843
moddy
166 1 0 11 0 154 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.994
Extreme Dorito [Extreme Doritos]
164 164 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
TMD
164 41 81 38 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0.785
Keri Brooks [Keri]
161 41 31 45 10 4 2 7 9 6 0 6 0.354


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Left Field
161 79 37 17 19 0 0 0 6 3 0 0 0.625
Melissa
161 25 25 29 0 78 0 1 1 0 0 2 0.847
Bret
160 1 0 0 0 0 0 159 0 0 0 0 1.000
JA Benson
155 43 19 39 35 0 0 19 0 0 0 0 0.757
Maria
155 19 18 33 3 0 0 2 0 0 0 80 0.952
Mark N.
155 39 40 2 50 1 4 2 14 2 0 1 0.639
a spectator
154 43 27 21 12 2 2 17 0 13 1 16 0.599
Bill
154 43 31 6 12 1 3 15 38 1 1 3 0.665
David J
152 12 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 137 0 0.994
Don Clifton [Don]
152 4 0 2 0 1 9 133 0 0 3 0 0.972


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
FoxyJ
151 22 15 42 1 35 1 4 0 11 0 20 0.700
Blain
150 57 46 47 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.812
Not Ophelia
150 6 7 136 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.968
jimbob
149 68 37 6 2 1 1 2 32 0 0 0 0.829
Natalie S.
149 0 1 0 0 148 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Tanya Sue
147 16 8 77 0 0 0 3 0 23 0 20 0.798
Wilfried
147 1 145 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.995
AmyB
146 0 0 7 0 0 0 3 0 23 0 113 0.963
Matt Thurston
146 56 21 12 48 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0.782
sare
145 0 0 144 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.996


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Sherpa
141 35 0 5 100 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.954
Idahospud
139 13 22 77 1 5 0 0 0 16 0 5 0.751
Lulubelle
139 18 4 97 5 0 0 14 0 1 0 0 0.830
Mogget
139 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 133 0 0.999
Joanne
138 89 1 46 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0.865
R. Gary
137 51 29 2 33 0 1 2 2 0 17 0 0.751
Tossman
137 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 137 0 0 0 1.000
MLU
136 10 124 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0.964
Army_wives_don’t_whine
133 0 0 133 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Mike
133 11 90 2 2 0 18 4 0 0 3 3 0.707


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Nitsav
133 18 12 0 2 0 3 7 0 6 85 0 0.926
rbc
133 55 3 7 55 0 3 5 1 0 4 0 0.731
Mathew
132 44 45 34 7 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0.710
Stephanie
132 58 8 51 0 10 3 0 0 0 2 0 0.708
Kim Siever
131 19 39 27 0 0 5 36 5 0 0 0 0.801
Nutty
131 0 0 74 0 57 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.939
Tagore
131 1 0 0 130 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.999
Trueheart
131 5 0 125 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.980
Phoenix [Marie]
130 0 1 97 0 28 2 0 0 0 0 2 0.862
David Grua
129 40 60 0 11 0 1 2 1 0 14 0 0.768


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Jared
129 61 16 0 30 1 14 4 2 0 1 0 0.639
David T.
128 112 2 2 5 0 1 4 2 0 0 0 0.831
jana [JanaR, pilgrimgirl]
128 6 5 47 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 67 0.962
Carlos
127 0 14 0 112 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0.980
Silus Grok
127 14 39 1 7 0 0 64 0 0 2 0 0.926
StillConfused
127 127 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Tim J.
127 64 7 3 13 1 6 29 1 0 3 0 0.746
Peter
126 42 26 39 3 0 2 7 0 7 0 0 0.609
endlessnegotiation
125 13 27 3 41 1 5 33 1 0 1 0 0.793
Aluwid
124 49 22 3 1 0 0 0 49 0 0 0 0.941


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Alison Moore Smith
122 7 78 23 1 2 0 1 2 7 0 1 0.704
dangermom
121 0 33 35 0 40 0 0 0 0 0 13 0.814
just call me Cassandra
121 0 3 114 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.973
Katie P.
121 9 9 54 49 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.890
Glenn
119 39 16 0 12 1 23 4 0 23 1 0 0.741
tosh
119 119 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Jo in Utah [Jo]
117 3 0 94 0 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.918
AHLDuke
116 57 19 13 10 0 1 0 3 0 13 0 0.725
Christopher
115 37 29 1 21 0 2 0 2 4 19 0 0.728
Jeff G
115 6 0 0 3 0 101 1 4 0 0 0 0.968


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Jim F.
115 0 114 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.998
Liz
115 6 5 30 0 55 0 1 0 6 0 12 0.805
adcama
114 47 67 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.933
BTD Greg
113 60 3 0 44 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0.861
abish
111 107 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.990
William Morris
111 16 72 2 2 0 4 5 5 0 5 0 0.664
Ben Huff [Ben H.]
110 8 102 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.989
Patti
110 0 2 108 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.997
Katie
109 26 14 27 14 3 11 4 1 2 2 5 0.331
Michelle
109 2 13 19 2 47 0 2 2 3 0 19 0.766


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
Jim
107 77 12 14 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 0.796
Jordan F.
107 28 49 2 17 0 3 0 7 0 1 0 0.675
LAGirrrl
107 3 0 99 0 2 0 0 0 3 0 0 0.940
Rich
107 16 26 65 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.907
Day
103 1 16 69 1 11 0 0 0 0 0 5 0.797
JohnR [John Remy]
103 1 3 79 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 14 0.858
Melanie
103 34 19 22 5 4 1 1 1 3 1 12 0.565
RE
103 7 2 86 0 1 0 0 0 5 0 2 0.859
Clair
102 46 53 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.901
Jim Cobabe
102 16 59 9 2 0 2 9 3 0 2 0 0.657


Total BCC T&S FMH Mment MMW NCT 9Mn M* ZD FPR ExII Gini
WillF
102 0 92 0 5 0 1 0 4 0 0 0 0.916
Jamie Trwth
101 8 1 6 83 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0.907
Marjorie Conder
101 27 50 10 0 0 0 0 5 9 0 0 0.759
Mary Ann
101 2 0 99 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.997
Latter-day Guy
100 95 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.973

________________________
1I’m actually not terribly familiar with the Gini coefficient. This just seemed like a fun application for it, so I thought I’d try it out. If I understand right, its most familiar application is by economists, who use it to measure inequality of income in a country. One more point to note if you’re trying to reproduce my numbers is that the Gini coefficients in the tables are based not on the counts themselves, but on proportions calculated from the counts. For each commenter at each blog, I found the proportion of all comments at that blog made by that commenter. For example, BCC received 33,880 comments in 2007, so Ray’s 1710 comments at BCC constituted .050 (5%) of all comments made there. So to get a Gini coefficient of 0 (a completely even distribution across the blogs), a commenter would have to make the same proportion of all comments made at each blog rather than the same number of comments at each blog.

96 Responses to “‘Nacle Numbers: The Commenters [updated]”

  1. 1.

    HA! At least I’m not the MOST verbose person in the ‘nacle.

    This was a hoot. Thanks again for your fun and interesting stats work.

  2. 2.

    I think I’ll post as Brigham Young, Jr. from now on.

    Is it young Brigham, son of Brigham, or an amaIgam of Brigham and Joseph Jr., or all these and more?! I can’t describe how happy this makes me.

    ~

  3. 3.

    I should add that I could be in worse company re: verbosity. :)

    If you are taking votes for more stats, mine would be to do monthly averages for commenters. I think it would be interesting to see if and when people go through spurts.

  4. 4.

    Heh, my wife (who is in the other room drying her hair and doing her morning blogging) called me over to share her incredulous surprise at my commenting. Guess I should comment less frequently and all. :P

  5. 5.

    All hail to Ray, King Komment!

    Since commenters are so important to all the blogs, there ought to be some sort of Niblet category based on the community-building of all this — commenting on most blogs, or most comments on blog not one’s own, or something.

  6. 6.

    Wow, Ziff, this is amazing. Where would be be without computers and the Internet?

    FYI, I’ll claim at least one of the comments attrributed to BRM (I originally commented as GBH, but one of the spoilsports who police comments at BCC changed it), as well as the comments by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Shoeless Joe.

    The other thing this reinforces for me is that what we call the bloggernacle really is pretty small. Most of the interaction takes place among

  7. 7.

    Y’know, Ziff, I am utterly mystified that your neural pathways stimulate enough endorphins to apparently enjoy such statistical endeavors, not to mention the stamina to perform them (I’m waayyyy too ADD).

    Amazing. Great job!

  8. 8.

    Looks like the editor understood my use of the less than sign as an HTML tag and dumped the rest of my comment.

    I meant to say the 98% of the interaction in the bloggernacle takes place among a few hundred people. Small potatoes, really.

  9. 9.

    Ziff, that’s awesome!

    Sigh… I need to get out more…

  10. 10.

    Small potatoes, really.

    I prefer to think of us as members of the vanguard, Mark.

    I wonder how many “lurkers” there are. I’ve heard they are the silent majority of the bloggernacle.

  11. 11.

    Wow! Just wow. It’s funny to see everyone listed like that.

  12. 12.

    They *must* be, ECS, given how many thousand visitors we have every day and how few comments are left. Even if they all signed themselves “anonymous” I wish they would drop a word to let us know they have been there.

  13. 13.

    Right on.

  14. 14.

    Makes you wonder if the idea of a vocal minority having disproportionate leverage applies doubly here.

  15. 15.

    Oh good grief, I’m embarrassed that my name appears on any of these lists. It’s a clear indication that I should be studying more and blogging less. (What else is new….)

    But thanks, as always, for all the wonderfully detailed analysis, Ziff!

  16. 16.

    I’m with ECS. There are tons of lurkers, all silently reading.

    If I remember correctly, Slashdot, a geek discussion site, said at one point that about 5% of readers leave comments.

    Commenters are the tip of the iceberg.

  17. 17.

    Wow, Ziff, thanks for doing all these statistics. I’ve really enjoyed these posts. I had no idea that I made so many comments. I guess I’m not really a lurker anymore.

  18. 18.

    GST: Word.

  19. 19.

    Next study: number of comments/posts by occupation.

  20. 20.

    Lawyers – hands-down.

  21. 21.

    The Gini thing is really interesting. It confirms to me that I’ve become a bit of a slacker when it comes to commenting on other blogs, even though I read them regularly. (Actually, I have the same problem with writing comments as with writing posts–I start a lot that I never finish! But looking at these numbers, I’m thinking that maybe I just need to aim for shorter comments. :) )

    Like Mark, I’m struck by how much of the conversation in the bloggernacle is between a group of people about the size of a ward. Though it’s quite the ward, what with Father Abraham, King Benjamin, and Bruce R. McConkie all dropping by.

  22. 22.

    Impressive as hell, as usual, Ziff. And just as fun. Thanks so much for this series.

  23. 23.

    I’ve really loved this series of posts. Can we expect yearly updates?

  24. 24.

    Thanks for all your kind comments. Idahospud, you’ll be happy to know that most everyone I know–especially my wife–shares your opinion. I must have something oddly wired in my head, though, because I love looking at data. I love to generate a frequency table and guess who’s going to be the biggest commenter at FMH, or whose comments are going to be the longest on average, and then check it against the results.

    jjohnson, I would love to do yearly updates. I would particularly like to increase my blog sample from 11 to something like ten times that many, given how many interesting Mormon blogs there are out there. I just don’t know if I’ll have the time, though.

    Lynnette, I agree that the Gini coefficients are fascinating. As you can see, you’re certainly not alone in mostly commenting at your own blog. Isn’t that an issue that was raised at the Niblets in the past few years–lamented as one of the worst things in the ‘nacle is that everyone just comments at their own blog?

    m&m, speaking of Gini coefficients, I think that’s what really distinguishes you from most of the other top commenters. Most write at a blog or two or three, but you really comment quite regularly at a whole bunch of blogs (including I’m sure more than were even in my sample.)

    Ronan, great idea! Now I just need to get everyone to tell me their occupation. Seth, I’m sure you’re right, that y’all lawyers have the most to say.

    ECS, Ardis, and a random John, I assume you must be right about the ratio of lurkers to commenters. It would be interesting to know what it is. As I’m sure I’ve said before, and as you can see from my sorry comment numbers in the table, I pretty much only comment here at ZD although I read quite a few other blogs quite regularly. So it’s not just dedicated lurkers who bump the traffic numbers up, it’s we lazy bloggers who comment elsewhere but don’t have the energy to comment everywhere we go.

    Mark, thanks for revealing the secret of some of the funny commenter names. For my part, I’ll admit to being Leonard McCoy and the GOP police. It is interesting to see how few people, really, make most of the comments. I wonder how much this would change if I could increase my sample size to look at a bunch more blogs. Certainly there are lots of blogs that largely share commenters, but each blog probably has at least some commenters who are unique to that blog, that is, who pretty much only comment at that one blog.

    Dan, not at all. I think this is just a signal that you need to comment more! After all, in the neverending war of words between you and DKL, you have the lead, but only just barely. ;) He could overtake you with just a few well-placed wordy comments.

  25. 25.

    So where is Ray? I can hardly believe he hasn’t shown up to take his bow!

  26. 26.

    I don’t think he reads ZD much. He’s always around at T&S though, isn’t he? Perhaps you all could point it out to him.

  27. 27.

    m&m, speaking of Gini coefficients, I think that’s what really distinguishes you from most of the other top commenters. Most write at a blog or two or three, but you really comment quite regularly at a whole bunch of blogs (including I’m sure more than were even in my sample.)

    Is that statistical evidence that I need to get a life more than anyone else? :)

  28. 28.

    Or maybe it’s just evidence of the breadth in my life? Ha.

    Or that I’m really good as using aggregators.

  29. 29.

    Not at all, m&m. After all, if people who write lots of comments need to get a life, then people who gather data and make big charts about how many comments those people write are the ones who really need to get a life. :)

  30. 30.

    m&m, I think it means that you are a good citizen of the bloggernacle.

    One of the disheartening things that these tables point out is that I comment more than I should. So many other people say so much more, with a lot fewer comments.

  31. 31.

    Okay, I put a message addressed to Ray on our “Notes from All Over” — having him find this that way would be more fun than writing to him directly.

  32. 32.

    This is wicked cool, even if just to see the smart-assed comments and armchair theology quanitified. And did I really comment 10 times at FMH? Weird.

    And isn’t Curtis DeGraw at 123 actually Ray as well?

  33. 33.

    I’m only leaving this comment because I’m trying to make next years list. I’ve got like 7 comments already in 2008!

  34. 34.

    Ziff, if you do decide to do this again, let us know if there is any way we could package the T&S data for you to make it easier for you to do the numbers.

    I thought it was really interesting to see how small a number of regular commenters there are. At T&S we get somewhere over 2000 “visits” on a given day. Some of those are repeats etc etc., but the 5% number arJ cites from slashdot is probably not a bad guess, for T&S anyway.

  35. 35.

    My sins shouted from the rooftops.

  36. 36.

    Also, why did you choose to normalize the numbers for the gini coefficient? Not that its wrong, as it is still a meaningful number, I’m just curious why.

  37. 37.

    Norbert, thanks. You’re right. I was afraid that I would fail to combine names for people who comment under different names, but clearly that fear didn’t move me to actually get on the stick and get it right. I’m planning to update the post in a couple of days once (I hope) any other of my errors have been pointed out.

    Frank, thanks so much for the offer. I will definitely take you up on it if I’m able to do ‘Nacle Numbers for 2008.

    Adam, sins? Why not “hobbies”?

    Thanks, Ardis, good idea. Ray, when you get to reading this, congratulations on being the most talkative commenter of the year!

  38. 38.

    I tried to comment before as “Anonymous” but I guess my comment went into moderation. I’m going to have to ask my question as myself. Well, as one of myselves.

    Here’s the question for you professional bloggers; something that’s been bugging me for awhile…

    I’ve only been commenting on the blogs for about six months. I read them for awhile before ever blogging and still read a lot without commenting. That won’t change, even to make a name for myself in the blogging world. :-) ) (I’ve only just learned how to use the blog aggregators, after all.)

    I started out with a name, rather arbitrary, (“East Coast”). Then my husband “outed” me to my in-laws. I never get snippy on Times & Seasons but to reserve the right to be snippity or talk about my in-laws elsewhere and to protect my intellectual privacy, I chose another name to comment on the other blogs. (That was also an arbitrary name and chosen because I had just been looking up how fast aspirin decomposes in a liquid.) Now it’s getting a little ridiculous to use the two names.

    So: how do I aggregate my pseudonyms?

    Thanks all and congrats to Ray (or condolences to your wife or something like that).

  39. 39.

    Good question, Frank. I thought it would be more meaningful in proportions because the total number of comments across the different blogs varies so dramatically. So writing a particular number of comments at a high traffic blog can mean something quite different from writing the same number at a low traffic blog. Take your 323 comments at T&S, for example. You’re clearly a frequent participant, but you’re nowhere near being the most talkative, not with Adam’s 1479 sins shouted from the rooftops. But if you had written 323 comments here at ZD, you would have been by far the most prolific commenter, clearly dominating the discussion.

    So I normalized the comment numbers to try to handle that difference in meaning. I figured that contributing the same percentage of a blog’s comments across blogs would constitute a better standard for spreading one’s comments equally than contributing the same number across blogs.

  40. 40.

    One of the disheartening things that these tables point out is that I comment more than I should. So many other people say so much more, with a lot fewer comments.

    I don’t believe that for a second. :P

  41. 41.

    Researcher, unfortunately, I don’t know that it’s possible to link up your pseudonyms.

    The problem is this: Each blog has a database that has all the information about all its posts and comments, including who wrote them. For posts and any comments written by bloggers at that blog while they were logged in, the database doesn’t actually have their name, but instead a pointer to their account. This means that it’s easy to go back and change the name associated with all those posts and comments, simply by changing the name on the account. The pointers in the database would all still point to the same account; they would just retrieve a different name from it. So for example if I changed my name to “Biff”, all my posts would automatically be changed to say they were written by Biff.

    Unfortunately, for comments written by people who aren’t logged in at the blog (basically everyone who’s not a blogger there), the blog’s database doesn’t save a pointer to anything. It just saves the literal text string (“Researcher” or “East Coast”) that you entered in the comment form. Since those text strings aren’t linked to anything, there’s not an easy way to go back and change them. The only way I can think of would be to ask bloggers at the individual blogs to go back and change your comment names manually in their databases, which would be a pain because they would have to find and change every instance, every comment, separately.

    This issue is further complicated by the fact that most blogs will set a cookie on your computer so that if you go and comment once under the name “East Coast”, if you go back again, the comment form will already be prefilled with your name. But this connection between your comments is illusory; it doesn’t represent anything in the blog’s database that can be changed easily.

    But I could be wrong. Anyone who knows more about this stuff please feel free to correct me.

  42. 42.

    One of the disheartening things that these tables point out is that I comment more than I should. So many other people say so much more, with a lot fewer comments.

    I don’t believe that for a second. :P

    Me either, Mark. Don’t change a thing. We like your comments just the way they are.

  43. 43.

    Don’t listen to the girls, Mark. (They’re just girls, after all.) And besides, man, you really do need to put a sock in it. 1300 comments? Sheesh. Some people have no life.

    Remember, “having a life” is defined as making 843 or fewer comments per year.

  44. 44.

    Researcher: “how do I aggregate my pseudonyms?”

    You just did. Everybody knows Researcher!

  45. 45.

    Well, thanks, Steve, that makes me feel better. Just a few minutes ago I was bemoaning the fact that after having lived in our current location for almost four years I could go to a middle school concert last night and not know a single soul (besides my kids). Someone… somewhere… knows who I am. Or at least my pseudonym.

    And thanks, Ziff, I don’t need my comments linked up or counted or anything, I just wanted to ensure that I was acting in an intellectually honest way and this was the first chance to ask anyone.

    Still waiting with baited breath for Ray to show up…

  46. 46.

    Wow, Zifff. Way to go!
    I think I remember asking about this stuff, but I had no idea that you had access to this info.
    I’m surprised that my name is on the lists, too. Mostly that I have one really long comment out there. (no idea on what blog or thread, though). We should verify for the longest thread people (myself included) that the comments were original words, and not huge blocks of copied/pasted text.
    As I recall, I tried to take a break from blogging last year (Q1) so my numbers will artificially deflated. And, this year I’ve started up at Exponent, so I’m sure I’ll have way more next year. (but, like Eve said, maybe that’s an indication that I should be doing more things, elsewhere. Like reading a book or playing with my children)
    sigh.
    Good work, Ziff.

  47. 47.

    Fine, Ardis, but if you add my comments under my T&S author name (Curtis DeGraw – yep, that’s me) . . . then add the comments on Mormon Momma and Mormon Matters . . .

    I’ve never been accused of being shy or concise.

  48. 48.

    Didn’t read #32 – and it gave me an excuse to add another comment. Thanks, Norbert!

  49. 49.

    Ziff, you’re welcome. *tongue in cheek* I think this is three in a row. Cool! :)

  50. 50.

    I’m done now. Just thought 4 would be appropriate.

  51. 51.

    Well, it’s about darned time, Ray! You should read a lot of these comments as our lifting you up on our shoulders and carrying you around the ‘nacle amidst cheers.

    It’s painful to put hours and hours into researching and writing a post, and have it collect five or six comments (I should know). We need Ray, and a hundred more variations of him.

  52. 52.

    Ardis, it’s been instructive to me to read your perspective on T&S posts and comments. Like most of us (I suspect) I read a lot more than I comment on. But I confess I’m often hesitant to comment at T&S in particular. It seems like such a big blog with so many people already commenting and so many lawyers (!) that I feel more self-conscious (if I’m going to say anything I’d better think it through and through and THROUGH!) whereas here at ZD my siblings already know I’m basically a goofball and put up with me anyway, so I feel more comfortable just dashing off whatever comes out of my smart mouth.

  53. 53.

    After all, if people who write lots of comments need to get a life, then people who gather data and make big charts about how many comments those people write are the ones who really need to get a life.

    Touché. :)

  54. 54.

    The pathology that draws lawyers to blog is truly fascinating. Didn’t someone write a post about that once?

    Eve, one of the reasons I love Z’s Daughters is that it’s completely lawyer-free. (except for the pesky commenters). That, and you’re all fabulously brilliant and excellent writers to boot.

  55. 55.

    Wow, I’m #13 in standard deviation — not the first time I’ve been listed as a standard deviate.

  56. 56.

    Awesome as usual Ziff. I was worried that the commenter edition of the series would be boring compared to the previous editions, but it wasn’t at all. Very fascinating results, especially the gini coefficient.

  57. 57.

    ECS, we LOVE our pesky lawyer commenters :)–especially when you make comments like that one!

    Given the number of lawyers who do amateur theology on the side, Lynnette our theologian once facetiously entertained the idea of starting an amateur law blog. I think it’s a fabulous idea.

  58. 58.

    Yup, I think there’s a lot of us lurkers out there. What great fun it is to read and think and then….almost get up the courage to add something!

  59. 59.

    Ima, 1 down, just 2680 to go! (If you want to beat Ray for 2008, that is, which I assume is all of our cherished goal….)

  60. 60.

    Eve, I think it’s a great goal for the year.

  61. 61.

    I’m going to study Ray’s techniques.

  62. 62.

    Over time I might be able to emulate the master of comments.

  63. 63.

    I’m sort of amazed I’m up there as high as I am — I think that’s me; there’s a few people posting with “Sarah” but no URL that are not me.

    I’m also extremely pleased to see that I posted at least once on every blog in your sample. I was looking, and didn’t see many others with something in every column (myself, Rusty, Naismith… now I’ll be late to work, so I’ll stop here.)

  64. 64.

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure that not all of the Mormon Mommy Wars ones are me — I think I’ve posted maybe 25-30 comments there… unless I’m just forgetting a REALLY large number of comments. I mean, yeah, I’ve posted more at Times & Seasons than at M* (I contributed something like twenty comments on the “clean up the sidebar” thread alone) but I don’t think I’ve posted more at MMW than anyplace else.

  65. 65.

    Kiskilili (40) Eve (42),

    Thank you. That’s awfully nice of you to say.

    But aren’t you impressed by many of the people who apparently only comment 100-200 times per year? As I looked down that list of names, I saw many who are consistently enlightening and insightful, and who I have come to think of as friends. The realization that I say so much less in ten times as many words makes me think that I need to start being the traditionally masculine strong, silent type. After all, I do not want to open myself to a charge of gender confusion.

    Kaimi (43),

    I’m thinking of a word that starts with “d” and ends with “ammit!!!” That’s what I feel like saying when I realize that at least half of those comments were made in haste and are poorly thought through, or which express views which I may no longer hold. The good thing about blogging is that it feels like a conversation among friends, where you can backtrack, correct yourself, or restate something in a better way. The downside is that our idiocy is now digitally preserved forever, I guess, for the entire world to see. Honestly, when I think back on some of the exchanges I’ve had with people in blogland, it is so mortifyingly embarrassing that I feel like crawling into a hole somewhere. Maybe the only option for me is to continue to post under the blogonym of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Then they might let me do a guest post here about the wonderful specialness of the ewig-weibliche.

  66. 66.

    LOL, Eve. But you shouldn’t take for granted that because someone passed the bar exam and practices law for a living, they aren’t amateurs. :)

  67. 67.

    Eve, T&S bloggers have two or three degrees each, and sometimes when I look at Nate’s posts I amuse myself by counting the number of words I don’t recognize; when I read Jonathan’s, I marvel that I do know all the words yet still can’t understand the sentences. How do you think I feel writing for T&S as a dropout without any degree to my credit? I’m so incredibly grateful for even a two-word comment that proves somebody reads a post, even if there isn’t anything more to say than that!

  68. 68.

    This may be the geekiest thing I’ve ever read on the Internet.

    Good job!

  69. 69.

    #65 – (blush) Why, Thank You!

  70. 70.

    Susan M, why thank you! As an avowed geek, I take that to be high praise.

    Ardis, I’m glad to hear that you feel intimidated by your co-bloggers too, just because it means I’m not alone. But I have to count you among the intimidating crowd too. I love that with the flick of a wrist (well, I’m sure it takes more effort than that) you can place any current discussion of some church practice in its full historical context.

    Mark, I love that you write so many comments, particularly since, along with Kaimi, I think you are one of the most consistently funny commenters in the bloggernacle. And I also agree with Ardis–it’s nice that you write lots of comments just so that fewer posts languish commentless.

    ECS, I’m glad that we’re still able to attract you all wonderful lawyer commenters even if we aren’t members of the cult, er, club.

    Sarah, sorry I mixed your comments up with another Sarah (or more than one?) Thanks for pointing it out. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to disentangle you in my data since I don’t have the URL link data behind the names in my data. Perhaps I’ll have to figure out a way to include that next time.

    Ima, thanks for de-lurking to say hi!

    Jacob, I’m glad you enjoyed this. Frankly, I thought this would probably be the most boring post of the lot too, so I’m glad you found the Gini coefficients interesting. You can see, though, that I didn’t have the energy to really delve very deeply into the data. I just fell back on my favorite habit of making a big chart.

    Ray, I’m glad you stopped by to take your bow. Sorry I got your data merged incompletely.

    Researcher, sorry I over-answered your question with an answer that wasn’t even getting at what you were asking. I’m glad Steve was able to allay your concern.

    Jessawhy, I went looking for your really long comment and found that my program erred in processing data for that post and I ended up assigning each comment’s length to the commenter before. Oops! I spot-checked a few other threads and it looks like this was an isolated problem. Sorry if I led you to overestimate your own long-windedness. :) You may now feel free to doubt my data for yet another reason (in addition to all those listed in the post). I’ll try to get that thread’s processing corrected and straighten out the “longest comment” list.

    Norbert, sorry if I’ve mixed up your comments with someone else’s like I did with Sarah’s. Here are a couple of the comments from FMH that I thought were yours: this one on Rebecca’s “Observations in Vienna”, this one on fMhLisa’s “Paper or Plastic? Neither please” and this one on ECS’s “No Children are Illegitimate”. Of course I guess if they’re not, I don’t really have the energy to go back and check them all, but still it would be nice to know.

  71. 71.

    Honestly, when I think back on some of the exchanges I’ve had with people in blogland, it is so mortifyingly embarrassing that I feel like crawling into a hole somewhere.

    Mark, now you’ve made my day. And all this time I’ve thought I was the only one who felt this way! There are several exchanges I’ve been in that I now find so humiliating that I’m occasionally gripped by a strange, horrifying but irresistible compulsion to read them over in all their gory detail, just to ascertain that yes, my blithering idiocy is still there, preserved in amber for time and all technological eternity.

    Maybe the only option for me is to continue to post under the blogonym of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Then they might let me do a guest post here about the wonderful specialness of the ewig-weibliche.

    Oh, but you should submit that one to FMH. They tend to attract a much larger, more eccentric, and more combative readership. ;) I predict you’ll go to 300 comments at least.

  72. 72.

    Ziff,
    It’s not a big deal, because the number of comments I’ve written is negligible, but Sam B. is a different person than Sam MB/smb.

    But overall, that probably wouldn’t throw your numbers off by more than 20 or 30.

  73. 73.

    Here’s something funny. The first two entries google returns for ewig-weibliche resolve to byu dot edu.

  74. 74.

    Adris, I agree with Ziff–degree or no degree, I think you’re definitely playing in your league over there at T&S. And I think I might be actually able to comment more intelligently on Nate’s law posts than on your history ones, which invariably remind me that I know almost nothing about Mormon history. (Yes, the Mormons. Founded by Joseph Smith in 1830, right?) So when you get deep into a dissection of Fawn Brodie or the Mormon Meadows Massacre, I’m always like, whoa, baby! How does she KNOW all that stuff?

    But you make a very good point that it’s nice to know someone’s reading, and you’ve inspired me to try to do that more often.

  75. 75.

    Sam B., thanks. I think I have you two separated properly–Sam MB/smb/Sam B (no period after “B”) has 929 comments– and you, with a period after “B” have 214. I appreciate you linking to your website with the comment forms to make the two of you easier to separate.

    Of course, if you sometimes comment under Sam B (without a period), then I’ve probably got the numbers wrong. I thought I had seen Sam MB use this name sometimes to comment on other blogs, and then link back to BCC.

    Anyway, if I’ve got this wrong, I’ll add this to my list of errors to try to correct.

  76. 76.

    No Eve, you aren’t the only one who embarrasses themselves on the internet.

    I did it at least three times in the last month.

    I can never run for major political office. Too much of a target-rich environment considering how much I’ve written online.

  77. 77.

    “I can never run for major political office. Too much of a target-rich environment considering how much I’ve written online.”

    See; there is a benefit to blogging.

  78. 78.

    add another short comment to the 2008 list.

    this was fun.

  79. 79.

    I’m so surprised that I had less than 100 comments last year. Though I’m much less likely to comment on the five biggest blogs, once the tally goes over 80 it is unlikely I have anything to say that wasn’t already said, and probably said better.

  80. 80.

    Johnna, sorry if I’ve made an error, which I guess has been established is entirely possible :). I show you with 34 comments as Johnna, plus 22 more if you also post as “Johnna Cornett.”

    I know what you feel about not having anything to add. I only begin to read lots of threads after they’re quite long, and I typically find several comments that I read and nod and think happily, “That’s what I would have said if I were more articulate!”

    mfranti, thanks. Good to see you here!

  81. 81.

    i stop by on occasion to lurk but i never have anything of value to add to the brilliant discussion.

    so i stick to what i know and hang out on fMh or MM.

    i feel safe there.

  82. 82.

    Must

  83. 83.

    keep

  84. 84.

    my

  85. 85.

    words

  86. 86.

    per

  87. 87.

    comment

  88. 88.

    count

  89. 89.

    down.

  90. 90.

    Someone’s gunning for a Niblet.

  91. 91.

    That’s too much information.

  92. 92.

    I think there’s only one person posting as Snow White. Apparently, she is surrounded by little people.

  93. 93.

    Fun post — thanks for doing all that work.

  94. 94.

    Ziff, I didn’t think you made an error. But thanks for revealing what my lower-than-100 number was, that is fun to know.

    And hey, maybe I will feel more free to comment in the future, knowing I’m less than half the comment monster I could be. Frex, today I wouldn’t normally post since the conversation wrapped up 18 days ago.

    Heck, today I wouldn’t be checking up on my favorite blogs, except for needing some more-fun-than-usual break from routine, since today’s routine is rerouted into being home with a sick kid.

  95. 95.

    […] previous installments, Part 1 describes the sample, Part 2 discusses blogs, Part 3, bloggers, and Part 4, […]

  96. 96.

    […] previously identified Ray as the most prolific commenter (in 2007). Now he’s also the Niblet winner as the best […]

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