Say, About that 9 Millionth Comment at LGF…Posted: April 7, 2011
Of course we’ll stipulate that even one million comments on a blog is a lot, and that it is quite an accomplishment for any site owner anywhere. And, hey, I was there for the 4 millionth, so even if lately it seems like CJ would rather that those old comments disappear, I say…congrats!
It’s just that with so many of the major contributors to that total who are now on this side of the Lizard Kingdom wall, there’s bound to be some “fact check your ass” goin’ on over here. It just happens. Plus, we’d like to think we know a thing or two about these millions of LGF comments. Heck, we’ve been divin’, swimmin’ and splashin’ in the old swamp like kids on Red Bull for months. So I hope nobody minds, but we’re going to objectively examine the selection process for the “winning” comment.
First, we should give a little background, and mention that there’s been a long and well-documented series of these milestones of brief celebration over the years at LGF, and The Boiler Room crew uncovered many threads containing breathless lizard anticipation, as the comments poured in and CJ was busy behind the scenes making the calculations to determine who receives the honor of having posted the x millionth comment.
When the results were in, the winning comment, like all LGF comments, has a url and master comment number. Based on the correlation, we can infer that CJ is including the [deleted] comments, along with those from memory-holed threads. As far as we can tell, he essentially tried to figure out just how many times a human being sat and typed something and clicked “post comment” on his website, and pin down the exact spot on the lizard odometer. For the record, according to CJ…
- The 4 millionth comment was: littlegreenfootballs.com/showc/134/4003030 (Irish Rose)
- 5 millionth comment was: littlegreenfootballs.com/showc/382/5003065 (tarkus289)
- 6 millionth was: littlegreenfootballs.com/showc/453/6003064 (Equable)
- 7 millionth: littlegreenfootballs.com/showc/603/7003068 (Goddessoftheclassroom)
- 8 millionth: littlegreenfootballs.com/showc/304/8003064 (Charles)
(why all these are like 7003068 and not 7000000 even, we think some of it has to do with this). Or, as Johnson sez:
We assume that he’s compensating for a tiny percentage of “gaps” that are scattered in there (we believe engineer No. 4 has spotted most of them). But, oddly, it appears that there are less than a million comments between a couple of those milestones (for example, CJ chose his own comment as the 8 millionth, and it was designated 8003064, but the 7 millionth was 7003068. How does that work?) In any case, to our knowledge, no one has ever disputed these results in the face of such confidence. Besides, who’s brave enough to nitpick it?
The engineers down here (No. 2 I think it was) have discovered something in the archives that lead us to conclude that these now-immortalized comments fall short of their millionth milestones, for one of the “various reasons” that we’re not sure CJ is aware of.
You see, one of the time trials with The World’s Greatest Blog Search Engine™ happened to uncover a rather significant glitch in the LGF comment matrix. Like the “views” counter, we found a large reservoir of comments that appear… more than once. For reasons which we can only speculate, there are (at least) 32,531 duplicated comments sitting in the archives, and they appear to have been included in the grand total for quite some time.
Wanna see them? Go to any thread between Dec. 28, 2005 and Jan. 7, 2006 (articles# 18701–18789 and the first part of thread 18790, specifically). As you read them, you’ll notice that the thread’s comment count is double what it should be. The whole lizard thread repeats itself once (like an encore).
As a blogger, it’s pretty funny to see a “First?” comment at #60 (like from thread 18701_RoP_Strikes_in_India). Oh what the heck, it makes a perfect throbbing memo:
Now, in the aforementioned interest of fact-checking, we made sure that this wasn’t just a visual thing, and that these duplicated comments had unique numbers that were being included in the grand total. Scrolling over them, it looked like they did, and were. Digging a little further, it got kinda interesting. Try this:
Pick a comment url from one of those old threads (for ease, I picked the first one): littlegreenfootballs.com/showc/1/2363284
In the url, delete the thread comment number (1; it’s always optional), and add 32531 to the master comment number (2363284 + 32531 = 2395815): littlegreenfootballs.com/showc/2395815
Ta da! Yep, that’s two #s and urls for one comment. Watch it throb:
The span of master comment #s which are effected by this are 2330836 –> 2363366, and their duplicates immediately follow at 2363367 –>2395897 (which is why the “add 32531” trick works). Or another way to look at it: every comment archived from that point forward was artificially “bumped” by 32,531 in the LGF chronology. And, since the comments doubled for this section of the timeline, we’d expect it to jump right out at us on a graph, right? Well, remember this? The anomaly is pretty clear:
So there, it might sinking in over there at the swamp now…
I suppose the “glitch” itself is a little embarrassing for a self-described perfectionist, but what’s worse is what it does to all those millionth-comment celebrations and awards. After all, we’re talking about the “ultimate majesty” in the Lizardoid Kingdom:
Ummm…OK, if you take the 32,531 duplicates out of the total count, it would put that Irish Rose comment down to 3,970,499, and the “real” 4 millionth comment would have shown up the next week, right about…here:
Oh NO!!! That [deleted] comment belonged to NYC Redneck. ( Although, “[deleted]” would make an appropriate rotating title.)
Anyway, the same goes for the other milestones. And, all this also means that we’ll be waiting a little while longer for the real 9 millionth comment, of course.
As for how the “glitch” came to be, we’ll leave it open to discussion, but I think the error had something to do with all that stuff that happened back in ’07 when CJ switched things over, and the archived comments were assigned those master numbers (and this batch of old threads had their comments copied twice, for some reason). But, who knows? Perhaps Charles can explain with a “tech note”.
Exit question: Are we springing this on CJ?