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.

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:


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


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

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 .


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


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


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?



Has LGF Hit Bottom?

And by ‘bottom’, I refer only to the level of comment activity.  By most every other meaning of the word, Charles and his fellow travelers are constantly finding new depths to plumb.   So, who wants to see some charts?

First, the updated Mission Accomplished chart. Here one can revisit the milestones marking the rise and fall of LGF’s fortunes. In 2002, in an environment of continuing outrage from the 9/11 attack, LGF’s focus shifted from navel gazing to radical Islamic terrorism, and with the blogosphere being barely a zygote of what it is today, LGF began to flourish.


In 6 years, 2003-2008, LGF daily comment level grew from 1000 to nearly 6000. It only took 3 years to plummet back below 1000. So far, 2013 has been essentially flat at around 950. Is this the bottom? Probably not.

Towards the end of 2008, Charles started categorizing his posts.  The next chart shows the fraction of posts in seven of these categories during the meltdown years 2009-2012.  See if you can spot where Charles changed LGF’s raison d’être.

wingnutsOpen threads? gone.  World News? gone.   Middle East?  Pfffffft.   It’s all wingnuts, all the time.

What makes me think LGF hasn’t hit bottom yet?   Just take a look at the current  list of major commenters. The table below shows the 20 most active commenters at LGF during 2013.  Values shown are comments/day.
A few things to note:

  • The Smell of Stagnation: 19 of the 20 joined LGF prior to 2010
  • The Signs of Attrition: 12 of the 20 are less active than they were in 2012
  • Her Touch of Obsession: Alouette seems to have more time on her hands this year.
  • His Cries for Attention: Charles is now the 7th most active commenter on his own blog.