The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Decline and Fall of Lizardopolis

Posted on | January 22, 2011 | 41 Comments

During yesterday’s Little Green Footballs dust-up, I recalled that a couple weeks ago, Diary of Daedalus posted these interesting charts illustrating the declining participation of commenters at Little Green Footballs:

What you see is that, at its peak in 2007-08, LGF routinely had 1,500-2,000 different people — identified in the chart as “unique nics” (nicknames) — commenting each week. That was essential to the functionality of LGF, which was always more of a comment-driven “community” blog, where the commenters provided more content than did the brief headline-type posts.

The number of LGF commenters appears to have peaked in late summer 2007, when 2,000-plus commenters were regularly participating, but by mid-2008 noticeably sagged toward 1,500. Interestingly enough, there was a period in 2008 when the number of comments increased even as the number of commenters declined. 

The real freefall began in 2009 and, by late that year, the average number of “unique nics” commenting in a week fell below 500 for the first time. By early 2011, the core commenting community at LGF was down to about 250 people — which is to say, about one-eighth of what it had been in 2007.

That a site could lose more than 80% of its regular commenters in less than four years is remarkable. But it seems there is limited interest in railing against creationists, global warming “deniers” and, of course, those dangerous Belgians.


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