Yesterday marked post number 600 on Trail Baboon.
That seems like a big number, but it is just one of a mountain of behind-the-scenes statistics related to this site. We’re closing in on the 2 year anniversary (June 3) and this blog has been in business long enough to begin to have some numbers worth crunching.
At the moment the number of comments that follow all the assembled posts comes to a whopping total of 44,642! That’s a lot of chatter.
As I’ve often said, Trail Baboon is interesting for the daily post and also for the conversation that follows the post. In fact, there are officially more registered followers for the comments than there are for the blog itself.
The back-and-forth between baboons ebbs and flows. Our average number of comments-per-post is 74.4, but our gabbiest day happened around the entry “A Few Lines For the Graduates” with 179 opinions and/or observations offered. Clearly we are a community of people who are aching to be invited to be a graduation commencement speaker somewhere, anywhere.
Our quietest day may have been yesterday. As at any dinner party, the volume and the tone of the talk depends on who is at the table, what is on the plate and how everybody is feeling. Weather may be a factor as well.
It probably won’t surprise you to know that WordPress tracks the number of comments from individual sources. This is how we know that tim is the most talkative baboon, contributing 126 of the last 1000 overall comments. Of course we also can deduce this from reading any recent post. A day without tim is like a trip through the wide open west – glorious scenery but there’s a lot of space between the attractions.
In case you’re curious, I have a list of the top 7 recent commenters. After tim, the list reads:
Steve in St. Paul
Barbara in Robbinsdale
Lisa in Minneapolis
Now that I’ve revealed the recent ranking, let me emphasize that there is no prize here for blogular verbosity. Those who speak up and those who sit down are valued equally. It’s just that the presence of quiet ones is harder to gauge.
Still, way to go, tim.
Personally, I’m grateful for all the baboons and their many clever on-topic and off-topic thoughts. Our crew is funny, literate, unpretentious and kind. The one concern I share with several regulars is that the level of familiarity and the pace and wit of the conversation can be intimidating to newcomers. I’ve felt that very thing – a wallflower instinct – at parties where sharp people are gathered at the bar. If you have “lurked”, know that you are welcome to continue to do so here at Trail Baboon. And you are equally welcome to stick your oar in.
Everybody’s nice, really.
At a place where I once worked, I heard complaints from managers about the audience for certain blogs – how the same people camped there and dominated the conversation. I don’t know what the site administrators expected, but it sometimes happens that media organizations obsess over the audience they imagine having and wind up neglecting the audience they’ve already got. Not naming names here, but it is not an unheard of malady.
My intention for post #601 is simply to salute the uncontrolled collaboration that is Trail Baboon. If you are reading this, you are a member of our tribe.
And if you’re not reading this, please raise your hand so I can see you. After all, if you know I’m talking about you without visiting the site, then surely I can watch you without being able to look. Fair is fair.
What moves you to speak up? What leads you to sit quietly?