Charles is Selling, but Nobody’s Buying

After having spent most of the last 7 years demolishing his once popular (i.e. potentially self-sustaining or even profitable) blog, Charles finds himself reduced to begging. Back on May 6th, he started a fundraiser on gofundme, stating, “Advertising helps, but it doesn’t cover all our costs.” Shocker there.

The public reaction to Charles’ plea was swift and underwhelming. 80% of the contributions to date came in the first 4 days, and after one month, Charles remains well shy of his stated $10,000 goal:

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Presented below are some of Charles’ comments down through the years on the subject of blogs ads, and the costs to run LGF. Next to each comment is a graph illustrating where along the LGF’s growth/decline the comment was made.

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Ah. Good times and promising trends.

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Dis here is a Classy Establishment

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Like I said, Classy

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The Blogger Code of Ethics requires my silence in this matter

busty09

I don’t need no busty babes around here, I’m a Player!

nothurting09

The ads are more than paying LGF’s expenses at this point. Note that “at this point”, LGF had lost about half of its traffic during the previous 6 months.

clickem10

The Code is more like a set of guidelines…

popups14

There were no popups ads coming from LGF before there were popup ads coming from LGF.

Finally, here’s a collage of classy ads screen-captured from LGF today.
I call it “War (on Women) Profiteering“.

collage

Update (ChenZhen): also worth noting, and excerpt from the infamous NYT write-up in early 2010:

Johnson’s desk is flanked by a keyboard and an electric guitar, which he still plays, though not professionally. “The touring thing, when you’re younger — it’s nice and glamorous,” he said. “I’ve been to most of the continents in the world — the only big country I’ve missed is Russia, I think. I would probably still be doing it if the blog hadn’t taken off the way it did. If someone were to come to me and offer me a couple million dollars to go tour for six months, I wouldn’t say no. But at this point, the blog is more than meeting my needs, financially.” (He declines to characterize how much money he makes.)

We assume that 7-figure gig offer hasn’t yet materialized?

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Purity of Essence, Mandrake

This is an update to a post I wrote a couple of years ago about the echo chamber that LGF has become.

echo chamber:

A community in which members find their own opinions constantly echoed back to them, reinforcing their individual belief systems and creating an insular communication space that is of no interest to outsiders and which rejects their input.

Charles’ insipid rating system played a key role in LGF’s ruin, and now it’s the tie that binds the hive-mind. As the chart below shows, 87% of all comments made 2014, no matter how banal, were met with congratulatory twinkles. Of course, when a heretic appears, they still pounce on it with a passive aggressive fury. But the chart also shows, as Purity of Thought has increased, fewer posts are earning downtwinkles (only 0.4% in 2014).

For every 1000 comments at LGF, 869 are praised, 4 are frowned upon.

That is an echo chamber.

2014twinkles2
Bonus Statistic

  • If the contributions of just 3 commenters are removed from the data, the mutual admiration rate climbs to 89%, and the downtwinkle rate falls to 0.2%
  • Who are these misfits?
    • Killgore Trout – 1st place *by far* in downdinged posts, 2nd in 0 karma posts
    • Dark_Falcon – 2nd place in downdinged posts, 1st in 0 karma posts
    • NJDhockeyfan or sattv4u2 – roughly tied for 3rd in both, waaaaay behind KT and Dork

Most Downdinged Post of 2014 – regarding the Wendy Davis wheelchair ad:

2014darkf

Most Updinged Post of 2014 – an incoherent non-response to Dork’s post:

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LGF 2014: The State of The Swamp

This third and probably final entry in the 2014 year end series looks at the overall state of LGF – the weblog covering issues dear to both conservatives and US liberals (current dmoz description).

LGF: Bringing You Thinning Content Since 2007

thin
Way back in 2010, Cato the Elder declared that the content at LGF was becoming “a bit thin”.   His LGF account survived for about 13 minutes.  Of course, he was correct.  At that time, the number of front page posts had already declined more than 50% from the 2007 peak.   His comment is even more apropos* now with the post count having declined 7 years in a row — by another 50% since he left.

*note for Charles who doesn’t read here: apropos is correctly pronounced /a-prə-ˈ/, a·pruh·poe .

2014front2

For the fourth year in a row, LGF again lowered its all-time record for fewest front page posts.

LGF: Bringing You Fewer Commenters Every Year Since 2007

2014uniques

The Swamp is becoming something of a puddle as the number of unique commenters fell for the 7th consecutive year. The breadth of the commenting community at LGF has declined by 94% from its peak in 2007.

LGF: The Conversation No One Wants To Join

1sttime

In 2014, the number of first time commenters dropped to an all-time low of 165, a mere 4% of the 4400 that joined the conversation in 2007.

LGF: Charles at the Bottom?

Thinner content, fewer commenters, fewer new commenters, but comment volume went UP for the first time since 2008. Is this the bottom of the slide?

2014y2y

Doubtful.


Alouette On Top!

This second entry in the 2014 year end statistics series is a look at the most prolific commenters for the year.  As the title of this post has already revealed, and for the first time since 2010, Gus was NOT the top lizard.  Though Gus and Alouette both posted thousands fewer comments in 2014 than 2013,  Gus’s notable Twitter obsession may have cost him the top spot this year.

2014rank3

Of particular note:

  • Charles continues in his quest to dominate the comment section of his own blog, climbing 4 spots up to 5th this year.  The two newcomers (both joined in 2013) more than doubled their post count in 2014, but the rest of last year’s leaders seem to be losing interest.
  • Dark_Falcon might be tiring of getting slapped around and forced to recant whenever he offends the hivemind.
  • Obdicut, a Top 6 commenter for 3 years (2010-2012), dropped to 46th.
  • ProLifeLiberal seems less interested, dropping 39 spots to 70th.
  • HoosierHoops, since moving to Northern Wisconsin last December, has had much less to say about his love life.

Gus On Top!

This is the first of a series of at least 1 year end statistics post to be published during the next several days.  This one focuses on changes to the LGF all-time commenter rankings.   For the first time since January 2009, when MandyManners passed the already banned babbazee to assume the top spot, there is a new record holder.  Around December 19th, Gus 802 surpassed MM and now squats alone atop the commenter pile, littered such as it is with the bodies of 16000 blocked accounts.  The current top 20 all-time posters are:

all time lgf commenters 2014

A couple of things of note:

  • Charles is rocketing up the list, 16th (2012) to 13th (2013) to 9th.
  • Alouette is headed for the top 10 having come up from 59th (2012) to 22nd (2013) to 14th.
  • Leaving the top 20 this year was Walter L. Newton, slipping off the list from 19th last year.

 


Obsession is an Ugly Thing

During the past few years, Charles has gone through numerous periods during which the posts at LGF have reflected his obsession with one perceived enemy or another. Past targets of this attention include, in roughly decreasing order of posts devoted: Andrew Breitbart, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Pam Geller, and Glen Greenwald.

In recent months, 3 major events have dominated the US news cycles: the Michael Brown shooting, the presence of Ebola in the US, and the midterm elections. What makes the LGF coverage of these events unique is how Charles effortlessly cuts straight to the heart of these complex issues, namely, how someone else is covering them.  Lately he has singled out two individuals for his special attention, Jim Hoft of thegatewaypundit.com, and Charles C. Johnson of gotnews.com .

Between August 12th and November 29th,

  • LGF had 105 posts about Ferguson, 28 (27%) of these focused on Hoft or CC Johnson.
  • LGF had 46 posts concerning Ebola, 12 (26%) of these focused on Hoft or CC Johnson.
  • LGF had 64 posts (out of 376, 17%) focused on either Hoft or CC Johnson.
  • LGF had 12 posts (3%) focused on the midterm elections.

It wouldn’t be a statistics post without a chart, so here’s what may possibly be the first Venn diagram in the history of DoD.

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You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes

During Johnson’s recent Twitter tantrum over Glen Greenwald’s link to the Diary of Daedalus, he got agitated enough to respond to some unflattering facts being presented concerning banishment of dissenting opinion from LGF. In these tweets, Charles makes a number of claims on which he was called by some rapscallion named @RocIngersoll, and which warrant deeper scrutiny by the BRC.

 

 

15000+ ACTIVE LGF ACCOUNTS?
coms

Let’s give Charles the benefit of the doubt and round his “more than 15,000” all the way up to 16,000.

  • We know that there are more than 36000 registered LGF user accounts, and
  • Charles claims that LGF has 16000 _active_ accounts, therefore
  • Charles has apparently blocked at least 20000 accounts.

Now let’s look at what Charles means by “_active_”.

  • Around 23000 accounts have left 1 or more comments at LGF, and
  • Around 13000 registered accounts have never posted, and
  • Of the accounts that have posted, about 7000 remain unblocked, therefore
  • Charles must count 9000 unhatched accounts as _active_

We’ll return to this issue of active LGF accounts a bit later…

 

NOBODY IS BANNED FOR “DISAGREEING”?

purge2

The chart above depicts the number of accounts that permanently ceased posting to LGF within the previous 6 month period indicated on the bottom axis, grouped by current blocked status. For instance,

  • 964 LGF accounts posted their last during the period Jul-Dec 2006
  • Of these 320 (33%) are now blocked, while 644 are not
  • 2028 LGF accounts posted for the final time between Jul-Dec 2007
  • Of these, 2013 (99.2%) are now blocked, while 15 are not.

Charles claims “we [we, Charles?] automatically suspend accounts if they’re inactive for a certain amount of time”. What period of time is that? 10 years? Oh wait, Charles is on record stating that the inactivity limit is 6 months.
 



There is obvious evidence of a massive purge of the accounts which last posted during Charles’ Great Awakening between mid-2007 and early 2011. Thousands walked away from their accounts, and thousands of others were blocked as they individually incurred Charles’ wrath along the way.

But the BRC previously established that over 10000 of these accounts were blocked en masse at a later date, in a one-time event, sometime between March 2011 and March 2012. No inactivity timer played a role in the suspension of these accounts.

In addition, there is no evidence that any sort of automatic inactive account suspension has been in effect since that time. Quite to the contrary, the 6500 as yet unblocked accounts whose last posts were made between 6 months and 10 years ago prove otherwise.

Which takes us back to Charles’ _active_ account claim.

  • If LGF has 15000+ _active_ accounts (generously rounded to 16000, above), and
  • 9000 of them have never posted anything, and
  • 5500 haven’t posted for over 7 years, and
  • another 1000 have been silent for at least 6 months, then
  • LGF has less than 500 accounts that can reasonably be considered _active_

 

UPDATE!
In an unprecedented series of admissions, Charles publicly set the record straight regarding the specious claims deconstructed above:

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Who’d’ve ever believed it?