Recently we posted a graphic from web ranking site Alexa that shows Charles Johnson’s Little Green Footballs in steady and predictable decline. Today we realized that Alexa’s graph was a bit skewed for unknown reasons.
There is some oddness in that graph that we didn’t spot until today. The rows are not equal. They should be the the same between
<50k – 100k
<100k – 150k
<150k – 200k
<200k – 250k
but they’re not. Maybe it softens the blow to Johnson’s ego, but it’s not accurate. Here’s what we posted:
Here’s the same Alexa graph with the rows adjusted:
Don’t see it yet? How about a throbbing Alexa Graph?
What does this mean? It means that Charles Johnson’s Little Green Footballs is tanking faster than even Alexa is willing to admit.
Rock on, Charles. We love ya, man.
This is an update to a post I wrote a couple of years ago about the echo chamber that LGF has become.
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.
- 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:
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-ˈpō/, 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?
As disgusting people, right wing loons and basketcases, obsessed freaks, weirdos, nutjobs, lunatics, and obsessive obnoxious abusive sick deranged creepy psycho stalkers, it is only natural that we should take a moment to reflect on the year that was and assess the State of the Swamp 2013.
- Gus scores a three-peat, though for the first time he had a serious challenger
- It took only 10 individuals to post 34% of the comments (down from 51 in 2007)
- Charles is now one of the top 10 commenters on his own blog
As 2012 draws to a close and we pause to reflect on the year passed and contemplate the year ahead, it’s only natural that we may find ourselves pondering of some of life’s eternal questions. For instance,
Q1: How many consecutive years can a once prominent blog suffer double-digit declines in comment volume before it finally bottoms out?
Q2: Has the size of the commenting community at this once prominent blog continued to shrink as well?
A: Yes it has. In 2007, it took 118 people to provide 50% of the comments for the year. By contrast, in 2012 it only took 21:
Of the top 21 contributors in 2007, only 2 remain. However, in the face of all this decline and shrinkage, Gus had his most productive year ever, posting more than 31000 times and setting a few records in the process:
- Gus set the record for most posts in one year by a person not named Sharmuta or MandyManners.
- Gus wrote more comments than the next two posters combined. Unprecedented.
- Gus accounted for a record 7.6% of all comments (previous record: Gus, 2011, 4.4%)
- Two years running, Gus flopped 5 rungs up the all time poster list, kind of like a salmon:
Q3: Is this once prominent blog content with the whole echo chamber mil-yo it’s cultivated during the last few years?
A: Apparently yes. 2012 added only about 200 nics to the rolls of LGF commenters, down about 95% from the 4360 added in 2007.
A: Uh, no. Unlike the Class of 2007 which jumped right into the conversation, the Class of 2012 were mostly lurkers, contributing a mere 2% of this year’s comments.
Happy New Year from the BRC!
Although most of the fun is gone, I spent some time and updated my LGF comment stats. As expected, the numbers continue their steady decline into oblivion.
The attached charts are pretty self-explanatory. I’ll explain them anyway.
The average weekly comment chart shows that even the election season couldn’t reverse the downward trend, now entering its 5th year. Without the election, the decline would likely have been steeper. Has LGF hit bottom yet? 2013 may tell.
Maybe Charles will work on getting some new voices in there to liven up the conversation. Only 192 new posters showed up in 2012, down slightly from the 4171 new posters in 2007.
I also have some interesting ‘per character’ stats. Posting rates, karma trends, etc. Gus stories are always fun. I’ll send those later.
BRC Engineer No. 5
Back on March 9, The Diary of Daedalus began our countdown toward LGF’s 9 millionth comment. At the time, we also noted that this milestone has been a long time coming, because the data was showing that the average commenting rate at LGF has been gradually decreasing over the past couple of years, and thus the wait for each of these “millionth comment” celebrations keeps getting extended.
We continue to wait, so….
Boiler Room engineer No. 4 thought that it might be interesting to look at it another way, and emailed the following:
In late 2008, comment 9M seemed about 15 months away…
15 months later, 9M was still about 9 more months out…
After 9 more months, 9M had receded yet another 4 months…
As a visual aid, No. 4 attached a graph (of course):
But perhaps the best and most compelling example of this phenomenon was inadvertently delivered by Johnson himself, when he posted this (note the timestamp):
After all, it has been “about three weeks”, and well, they’ve still got a ways to go:
In fact, by snapshot, and based on yesterday’s LGF comment total, we’re still a little over two weeks away:
(9,000,000-8,974,576)/1,555 = 16.35 days
Engineer No. 4 even threw out the mathematical concept of “convergent infinite summation“. Luckily for the lizards, the comments themselves can only be represented by integers, so they WILL get there. Eventually.