It’s becoming less frequent, but every once and a while, a quick glance at CJ’s dying blog provides something that raises one of my eyebrows (usually the left one). When I saw it at the top of the “Recent Pages” in the sidebar, I knew I had an opportunity to stir the pot, so I tweeted it to my 360 followers:
And not surprisingly, it wasn’t long until *poof*…the Page was tossed into the memory hole! Aw shucks.
Anyway, here is the screen cap:
For the time being, teh Google still has it in the cache.
And here is the youtube vid in question:
Yesterday, teh Johnson noticed that The Weekly Standard had what he referred to as a non-argument, and decided to put up a post with the tile heading “Facepalm”:
It is interesting, see, because the BRC noticed that the “idiotic” exercise of word-counting had come up on LGF at least one other time; The World’s Greatest Blog Search Engine™ found this little nugget:
We find it in LGF thread #35729, where Mr. Johnson is apparently trying to prove — prove, I say! — that the Sarah Palin is an uppity malignant narcissist who thinks she’s important for some reason.
The difference, I guess, is that perhaps we should assume that, unlike the folks at The Weekly Standard, he can’t count, as he calls on “somebody” else to handle those duties.
(Hat Tip: ISTE)
It’s been almost 2 years since Johnson introduced the $10/mo. subscription to LGF, a “feature” that frees members from the burden of viewing all those annoying advertisements on the site (and presumably allowing the pages to load faster). We’re not quite sure how successful this has been for him, ’cause the subject doesn’t seem to come up very much. These days, it’s easy to have an ad blocker on your browser (for free), so I’m going to assume that there aren’t many takers on this. Consider that a Netflix or HuluPlus membership runs just $7.99; I think it’s safe to say that CJ has a bit of an over-inflated sense of worth attached to what he’s producing.
Regardless, he’s still pushing it, as seen in the sidebar:
What Johnson might want to try instead is an idea that I stumbled upon on a popular dating site. First, rein in the rate a little bit (or a lot, ’cause let’s face it, the value ain’t there), and embed a clever message for visitors who are using the ad blockers:
That might make it a little easier to profit off the labor of legitimate journalists and unemployed Loozards, I think.
I’ve decided that it’d be handy to have these links and graphs all in one place, so here’s a thread to keep bookmarked for those moments in the TwitterWarrior Theatre, or just In Case You Missed It…
And for the DoD newbies (and I suppose, as a reminder to our regulars), we note again that all these statistics compiled by The Boiler Room Crew aren’t volunteered by Johnson or posted anywhere on LGF, rather they were scraped from his “Blog Engine” (by various methods), right from under his nose.
Anyway, here they are:
Epic decline in Comment Participation:
Epic decline in the number of Unique Commenters:
Epic decline in the number of new account registrations:
Epic decline in the amount of Front Page Content:
I don’t suppose anyone notices a pattern?
Good Lord is it dyin’ over there at the swamp. On Monday, it took nearly a half hour for the first comment on that Bela Fleck thread to appear.
And the thread before that? It snagged two comments total. Yes, that’s TWO. As in… 2. As in, tee to the double-u to the ohh. TWO! (and one of the TWO was Johnson himself)
No wonder Johnson chose to hide the stats drop-down in the sidebar. It’s fuckin’ boring over there.
He’s gonna put us out of business…
Anyway, the last time we reported the actual statistics on this was back in January, and it was sorta good news for CJ and the gang of Loozards, because we’d determined that it looked like the decline was flattening a bit . But alas, with apparent Newtonian certitude, this freefall cannot be stopped, as Engineer #5 puts together a mid-year graph:
Now, we expect the numbers for this week to be slightly better for the LGF gang, because there’s bound to be a SCOTUS/Obamacare bump, but I think it’s safe to say that they’ve entered into a new era over there. But what to call it?
Most of our DoD regulars and Loozard lurkers are familiar with the silly phrases that randomly appear on LGF. Over the years, it was usually the odd things that readers contributed that led to new ones being added to the list every so often. And although the location has changed a few times through Johnson’s various design tweaks, they’ve always been there, and they’ve been one of those signature things that made LGF, well, LGF.
As for the question of just how long they’ve been there along a detailed history of where they appeared, it’s a little difficult to determine, since Charles blocked the internet archive. But the wingularity database pegs the first time he referred to “rotating titles” in the comments section way back during Bush’s first term 5/6/04:
Charles 2004-05-06 14:19:10
I have a feeling if “roger” keeps going, eventually he’ll emit a sequence of words so bizarre and convoluted, it will end up in the rotating titles.
That was back before account registration, and perhaps by the language there we can guess that the titles had been around significantly longer that that. In any case, they’ve been there quite a while.
But like the unexplained disappearances of other long-running LGF staples, those titles can no longer be found at the top of the right sidebar:
Did Johnson forget to put them back in after another design change? Are they still visible for logged-in users? Or, are the purposely scrubbed forever, like the LGF Dictionary, due to Johnson’s political 180° turn (as most of the titles are a throwback to the “old” LGF)?
If someone has the answer, go ahead in fill us in, but based on what we’ve seen, we should probably assume the latter.
So, assuming that these titles have quietly drifted off in the sunset and will never be seen again, we should probably make an effort to preserve them. See, one of the added bonus nuggets the BRC got from stealing so many strawberries from under Johnson’s nose was the fact that we grabbed all those titles along the way. Now, he might have added a few since we compiled this list, but here’s the alphabetical list of what we got, below the fold:
In the past, the talented Engineers here in the Boiler Room have used the LGF archive files to compile statistics for the site’s nose-diving commenting and registration rates, and just recently the steadily decreasing amount of front page content. Today, we’re going to track another compelling sign of the LGF decline: The reduction in unique commenters.
Now, by “unique commenters” we’re referring to the number of individual user accounts that are leaving at least one comment over a certain time period. This is probably the most efficient way to determine the overall size of the site’s active community. When we have Engineer No. 5 track these statistics through the last few years, we’ll have to say that what we see isn’t exactly surprising, but nevertheless a bit shocking:
The graph basically begins around the time of the election of Barack Obama, and from there the rate descends rapidly until around the time that Johnson officially declared his “parting ways” (Nov. 30, ’09). This was the period of what most ex-LGFers refer to as the “Great Purge”, as evidenced by the high rate of public bannings and (presumably) departures of many of the long-time Lizards.
Again, this isn’t that surprising, as our previous work supports this, but what’s really worth noting is the portion of the graph that begins after Johnson’s Great Switcheroo to the left was complete. We presume that Charles was hoping that the exodus of the “righty” lizards would be followed by an influx of “lefty” newcomers, and eventually bring the size of the community back (or at least closer) to where it once was. But what we see here is quite the opposite; the active community steadily continues to shrink.
We had Engineer No. 5 take a closer look and give us a breakdown, using a month when LGF was closer to it’s “peak” (Feb. ’09), compared to last month (May, ’12):
Now that puts the shrinkage into some serious perspective. As you can see on the Feb ’09 side, you have to scroll down to #9 to find a top contributor that hasn’t been banned, and at a glance, only Gus has stepped up his contributions from those days. And although the average posts per active commenter has increased a bit, the size of the active community is a mere ~12% of what it was just a few years ago, and the total comment count shrunk to ~19%.
I don’t know if anyone noticed, but our DoD visitors and Loozard lurkers should check out a couple of new additions to our sidebar. The Boiler Room Crew is pleased to announce the arrival of these features.
First, right above “Boiler Room Hits”, you’ll see a Cheeto underneath the heading of “World’s Greatest Blog Search Engine”.
Click on it, and you’ll go to the Wingularity search page, allowing you to search the Boiler Room archives of every comment Johnson ever left on LGF (save the [deleted] ones, and those appearing in seekrit threads). You can enter keywords (and even phrases), and specify the “era” to narrow down your search. Results are displayed with options for embed code (handy for copy/paste to here or other blogs), along with source url, tweet options, and a myriad of other neat nuggets and eggs.
This feature is pretty handy and convenient, given that the majority of the Johnson comments over the 11+ year history are only visible to (and searchable by) registered and logged-in users. Source urls will work for any comment made 11/1/08 or later (comment #6147884 or later, to be precise), which means that Wingularity holds the only universally visible archive of all these old comments.
Second, and further down the sidebar, you’ll see the “World’s Greatest Tweet Search Engine” link (next to another Cheeto), positioned under the “@Lizardoid Twitterwarrior Theatre” feed.
Click on it, and you’re taken to the Necrobully page, which displays a rolling 30 day archive of every tweet containing “@lizardoid” (and we’re sure much to Johnson’s chagrin, the deleted ones too). The list is searchable by keyword or username, and features other neat stuff like all the tweet, retweet, and follow buttons, along with permalinks and even stats.
These have been privately available to the Engineers of the BRC for some time now, and have been useful for a variety of different things we’ve posted. There was some significant collaboration behind the scenes to make this possible, but by far most of the credit goes to our very own “Zappa”. Nice work!
I’m sure most of our DoD regulars and Loozard lurkers will remember this classic exchange:
I’m bringing this up again because the Engineers here in the Boiler Room have been working on a project for an upcoming thread, and while we were pokin’ around in the tanks we stumbled upon some pretty interesting stuff. We can finally say that it turns out that ol’ Cato was pretty spot-on in his assessment…
It was pretty simple: I had Engineer No. 5 tabulate the number of front page LGF threads of recent vintage, break the totals down by month, and then put them into a graph. Like I said, we were going to save this as part of a larger upcoming project, but I decided to post it up separately since it tells a story all by itself:
Yep, you’re reading that right: The amount of front page content steadily decreased to about half of what it was just a few years ago. Consider then the aforementioned (and nearly mirror-image) decline in comment participation and new account registrations, and what you’re seeing is a picture of a dying blog.
But what’s killing it? Well, we might have a theory on that. Stay tuned…
Update: I updated the graph to reflect when that $10/mo. subscription went into effect (about 10 days prior to Cato’s comment above), for extra perspective.