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When Would You Quit Innocent Bystanders? June 10, 2007

Posted by Michael in Websites.
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A rash of blog closings got me thinking about this: RWS, Feisty, HayZeus, All You Need Is Jack, Garfield Ridge.

Along with this comment by Geoff on his blog:

The unfortunate side effect of this proliferation of blogs is that the community at AoSHQ has lost some of its substance. And the same thing appears to be happening at Innocent Bystanders: comments are slowing down as people tend to their own posts and thread discussions.

Traffic hasn’t actually slowed down yet. If you adjust for Google Video hits on the infamous Jessica Alba pic, our “regular” traffic showed strong growth from inception until April.

In May, for the first time, we seemed to plateau, consistent with Geoff’s observation that recently a number of satellite blogs have launched that occupy people’s time.

So, when should we quit? We’re probably about to hit a summer traffic slump. Do we go out on top now? Do we wait until everyone is bored and traffic is rapidly trending down?

Innocent Bystanders started out as a joke by Retired Geezer.   It morphed into a continuation of the BlogWisconsin thread at Letters from Desolation Row, which was really kind of a chat room. Then it actually became a minor presence in the blogosphere, operating on the periphery of AoSHQ.

For me personally, IB was originally sort of a marketing experiment that I was very involved with. That experiment is over. IB started as Geezer and me goofing around. As it currently operates, IB will easily draw 25,ooo+ visits and 50,000+ page views per month, without anybody trying too hard. Now it’s a hobby, and a way to keep in touch with people I feel connected to. I put less effort into it than I used to.

It’s obvious that most small websites like Innocent Bystanders have a limited shelf life. So, Geoff got me thinking. When is the right time to quit?

I’m certainly not saying it’s now. I don’t really think we’re done yet. I’m just wondering — when?

A lot of you are involved in Innocent Bystanders, so I’m curious what you think.

When should we quit Innocent Bystanders?

Comments»

1. geoff - June 10, 2007

Seems like there’s a natural blogging lifetime and a natural commenting lifetime, both on the order of a couple of years. I thought the formation of the IB crowd was very interesting – seemed like a lot of folk were battle-weary (i.e., troll- and moron-weary) over at Ace’s, and just wanted to hang out in a chat room filled with odd things to talk about. After a couple of years, all the crises at Ace’s start to seem the same, and all the odd humorous bits here start to run together.

So what happens when you get tired of chatting about odd things? Some people have started their own blogs, and some have started commenting more frequently at Ace’s. Not that IB isn’t still a great place to hang out and yak: I expect that it’s just reaching middle age.

What I think is missing from the blogging experience in general is a sense of progression. That’s often missing from life, as well, but you can’t really quit that. Two things that can prevent that are: 1) new commenters coming in and joining the fun (at a very modest rate); and 2) a buildup toward something (like elections, or immigration votes).

Another thing that can prevent blogennui (coined for the occasion) is increasing intimacy amongst the regulars, but the Internet is a poor medium for going much farther than people have already gone. Even “hidden” thread-blogs like Blog Wisconsin and KevlarChick can’t adequately protect people from Internet predators.

I think IB has a lot of life left in it, but the life cycle of blogs is poorly charted and pretty dynamic. It’s a good time to hear what people want this place to be.

2. Wickedpinto - June 10, 2007

I think Geoff and I talked about this at AMA,

as long as I’m ALLOWED to blog, I will, simply because I like yapping with the occassional commentator.

It’s interesting to find a new “friend” when they find their way towards finding you, or you find your way towards finding them.

I think this is a society, and I think that it can be a network of interesting and fun people.

random example, I don’t know what LauraW does but she says she’s basicaly a lacky for ups.

I’m unemployed right now so I’m not judging at all, however it is AMAZING that Laura is a somewhat friend of a somewhat prosperous lawyer like Michael, and a somewhat technical guy like Dave, the guy with the pool, and that an unempoyed doof like myself can even take part.

It’s a FASCINATING collection of humanity that occurs on the net, and sometimes it’s addictive, and for some, it’s best that it be an addiction that is best broken.

Who knows where who stands? I SHOULD stop drinking, I should stop smoking, but is my drinking and my smoking exessive? at times? you bet your ass, I don’t lie, but is my net obsession as exessive and addictive as my smoking and drinking?

Maybe some of those others think that blogging, and commenting and the internet in general is their addiction, and if they are better after breaking away, then FRIGGEN GOOD!!! anything good for people, even it if it’s bad for our little addiction is better than us FEADING on their addiction.

I just lost track, and I know I was wordy, sorry.

3. kevlarchick - June 10, 2007

I’ll never quit you Michael. I would miss you.

4. Pupster - June 10, 2007
5. S. Weasel - June 10, 2007

Ha! I just posted a message on a board that was part of a flame war that died a horrible, reastraining-order-and-lawsuit-infested death in 2002. I don’t quit. I have to be kicked out.

Hey, you forgot to mention no_more_commentsless_frequent_updating.html#comment-32912Jackie Mackie Paisley Passey-Hackey Sackey who’s giving up blogging to devote more time to being totally awesome.

6. S. Weasel - June 10, 2007

Oops. Muffed the link.

7. Dave in Texas - June 10, 2007

When should we quit Innocent Bystanders?

When the indictments are handed down.

Do we go out on top now?

So this is what it’s like at the top? I was expecting, something else.

8. harrison - June 10, 2007

When should we quit Innocent Bystanders?

When they pry the mice out of our cold, dead hands.

9. Russ from Winterset - June 10, 2007

If history is any indication of the demise of IB, it’ll be two weeks after I’m brought into the fold of posters.

10. mesablue - June 10, 2007

The day that WP starts a blog is a sign that the shelf life of the entire medium is near expiration. Oh right, he did — the end is near.

But then, I still religously follow a few old usenet groups. There are probably a few years left in the IB gas tank.

I, as a splitter-splitter, certainly enjoy the fact that there is a little place in the blogosphere where misfits, humpbacks and goobers alike can congregate.

Just six months into the blogging thing, I’m going through a little burnout — just not as inspired to keep throwing up crap. It’s funny, I get an Instalance and then my output drops. Anyway, this is not about me and that’s why I took pity on WP — more crap more of the time.

If the blog does die, there must be a party. The IB retirement party would be a thing of beauty. We could shoot ducks, beat up Batman, play Pin the Tail on the Hump, “antique” Harrison, trash Charlie Wrangler and of course, piss in Dave’s pool. Slublog might be old enough to drink legally and the lighting will be mahvelous. And since there will be a pool and IB babes in bikinis, WP can go out in a blaze of glory as the master of ceromonies in The Battle of the Bystanders Boobies — until he passes out next to Harrison. Oh, and the Cubs will win the World Series.

Is next week too soon?

11. wiserbud - June 10, 2007

Not that I have any say in all y’all’s decision, but I enjoy reading this site, at times more than AoS. Things tend to go to the insta-outrage and while I enjoy politics, it can get to be a bit much at times (see: immigration debate.)

Do what you want, but I think that this, like anything else, is cyclical and will likely evolve even more as time goes on. And while we are hitting the summer lag, just think of the stories that everyone will bring back with them when they return. Face it, you spend all your time at the blog, you’ll eventually run out of things to say.

Plus the ability of this group to turn any thread into a running joke is unique and refreshing (see: recent “Lauraw’s Customers” and “Zombie musicians” jokes). I doubt we could get that kind of free-form, ‘sorta inside but not so much’ humor even at Ace’s. I truly enjoy the idea that, at any time, there is an explosion of 100’s hilarious, brilliant jokes that only a few of us get just waiting to happen.

12. mesablue - June 10, 2007

And yeah, Geoff, I left you out because your wife wouldn’t let you come anyway. Weasel and Enas will be in a corner somewhere covering themselves in frozen faggots and Omelettes and Chips.

13. mesablue - June 10, 2007

Wiser will be chained to the front door keeping out all those who can’t answer three easy IB insider riddles.

14. geoff - June 10, 2007

Those Omelettes and Chips look pretty interesting.

And I think we should have a practice party long before the real party, just to make sure we get it right.

15. kevlarchick - June 10, 2007

Holy shite, look at this kid shreddin.

http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=513360&cache=1

16. Dave in Texas - June 10, 2007

far out.

that thing is a bitch to play. the meter is kinda weird.

17. Russ from Winterset - June 10, 2007

Wiserbud’s three questions:

1. WHAT….is your name?

2. WHAT….is your quest?

3. WHAT….side is Lauraw’s hump on; left or right?

18. daveintexas - June 10, 2007

I thought it moved from left to right and back again.

19. Beelzebub - June 10, 2007

“that thing is a bitch to play. the meter is kinda weird.” – DinT

It’s a lot easier if you play it backward.

Trust me.

20. wiserbud - June 10, 2007

{Grunt} come to party…..{grunt}… bring pretty girls for wiserbud……….. {grunt} frieeeeeeeeeends…………

21. daveintexas - June 10, 2007

I suppose I could be serious for a minute (although it’s not really in my nature) and answer your question.

I am a moron who likes to laugh and to make people laugh. I like each and every one of you, hell like doesn’t really express it properly but I ain’t gonna get mushy on you today (did that with the video already and the paraffin knockers will kick my ass again).

This place is just fun for me. It keeps me from bothering the neighbors and gives me an outlet for goofin around. I talk about you morons to my family like you’re all friends I see often, even though I’ve never met any of you (I hope that changes sometime soon).

Sometimes you need your own place though, you pick topics or things you want to write about, but on the group blog you think “does this belong here”? So sometimes I do it over there out of respect for you guys, sometimes because I don’t think it’s really interesting enough, or whatever.

Stop shaking your head laura. Just because I rarely show restraint doesn’t mean I never show any.

All seriousness aside, I think geoff is on to something about the individual blogging… it’s hard to do if you’re going to try to make it readable, hard in the sense that who’s got time for this? I always wondered what ace did to pay the bills and how can he keep up that pace? I think you have to post at least once a day or you’re just boring people, and once a day is tough.

So I’m open to the idea of a merger or a leveraged buy-out. I think mesa and pinto had a good idea getting together… two or three people can handle the load.

But here, it’s different. I have a darn good time. It’s pleasant, amiable, and low in carbohydrates. It gets 23.3 miles to the gallon, and saved me a bunch of money on car insurance.

22. daveintexas - June 10, 2007

oh, I forgot, there’s girls here too, which is always fun

23. S. Weasel - June 10, 2007

I wonder if it’s a seasonal thing. I scan a lot of random blogs — like, I’ll just walk down the Flappy Birds list on TTLB, for example — and I seem to be seeing a lot more “gone fishing” signs being hung out lately. I don’t know. Maybe the attrition rate is steady and it’s my imagination, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Summer didn’t make people step into the sunshine and blink.

Not me. I invested in really good window shades.

24. daveintexas - June 10, 2007

SW, do you live and work in the UK, or just work there?

25. S. Weasel - June 10, 2007

I live and work in the US. I’ve been going to the UK several times a year for some years now and will be moving there eventually, probably in the next year. It’s all contingent on grownup boring stuff like real estate and work and elderly parents. My partner’s a Brit (we’re not gay, but we’re not married, either).

The economics there are terrifying, the politics are hideous…but it’s a really cool and beautiful place, especially in the country.

Legal immigration between our two countries is brutally difficult, by the way. If we’re so all-fired sure we need new blood, how’s about making it easier to move back and forth across the Anglosphere? Hey, there’s an idea…letting more people in who are already like us.

26. daveintexas - June 10, 2007

The taxes and economy are depressing as hell to me. I love the country, and the people.

The food, not so much.

In another life, I’d have looked for a way to live and work there for say, 5 years.

27. geoff - June 10, 2007

(we’re not gay, but we’re not married, either).

Plenty of time for that after you’re married.

28. geoff - June 10, 2007

It would help if WordPress wasn’t being so annoying for the past month. It’s hard to load (that stupid snap feature hangs up my loading all the time), hard to post, and hard to comment. Very frustrating.

29. daveintexas - June 10, 2007

I think you can kill the snap thing in preferences… I did anyway, I hated that damn thing

30. S. Weasel - June 10, 2007

I turned off snap, too, when I was still at WordPress. I forget how, though. Drove me nuts.

31. geoff - June 10, 2007

I killed it at my site shortly after it came out, but there are many sites where it’s still running.

32. daveintexas - June 10, 2007

friggin snap commies

80s band gang hanging out with me tonight at the pool (this band dissolved a year ago).

Lead player Lee said “can I bring my amp”?

I predict pissed off neighbors.

heh

33. Michael - June 10, 2007

I’ll never quit you Michael. I would miss you.

I’ll never quit you either, KC. As long as the miniblinds are open and there’s a bush to hide behind, I’ll be there.

34. Retired Geezer - June 10, 2007

Well…
Exactly what Dave said in #21.

I love you guys (and gals) and I *want* to spend more time here.
Lately I’ve neglected IB and my own moronblogs:
blogidaho
Spudder
sprinkler doc
stainedglass4u
and a few anonymous ones that nobody knows it’s me.

I would like to post more but this summer has just been kicking my ass as far as free time goes.

Heck, I don’t even have time to read any of the other IB commenters blogs or Ace, Wuzzadem, CQ, LGF, Malkin, Mayor of Mitchieville, Powerline or Garfield Ridge… What? Oh.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, it’s just that I can’t find the time.
I gave up trying to keep current on the comments at Ace’s. Now I’m lucky if I can read all the posts.

Someday I’m sure I’ll cross paths with Skinbad and if I ever go back to Vegas, I’d like to buy Sobek, Enas and Lipstick a beer.

I’ve been so busy with my Sprinkler repairs that I took the signs off my truck and I refuse to go out of my hometown.

Well, also I bought a Wii. Mrs. Geezer and I play that about 3 times a week.

It’s not that I don’t have any ideas that I want to blog about. On the contrary, I have a list of posts that I wish I had time to write.

So… Don’t give up on me and I won’t give up on y’all.

Dave, geoff and Weiser said it better.

35. lauraw - June 10, 2007

Don’t know how Ace does it either. Working on my farmer tan takes me away from the computer, and this is good.

On a true group blog like this one, even with a stable full of interested people, some will simply stop posting (like me).

Periodic additions of new blood will be absolutely necessary to keep it going, and changing. More likely, the staple characters will fade out over time and lose interest, and Michael will be all by himself, a hollow shell of a man, posting one post per day consisting of a single word.

“Hello?”

36. Retired Geezer - June 10, 2007

I haven’t even had time to properly answer LauraW’s email inquiring about the Tuber she sent us.

37. BrewFan - June 10, 2007

The genius of this blog is there are enough of us to keep it going while others pretend to have a life every now and again.

Plus, knowing where to go to utter the phrase “Eat me, Michael” saves a lot of time.

38. Michael - June 10, 2007

Michael will be all by himself, a hollow shell of a man, posting one post per day consisting of a single word.

“Hello?”

Nope.

Nobody has actually addressed my question. When do we hit the big DELETE button on the All-Knowing IB Dashboard™?

WordPress had about 200K blogs when we started a little over a year ago. Now they are hosting over a million blogs, and growing exponentially.

The blogosphere is drowning in its own content. You can see this at AOSHQ. There’s too much content; you can’t keep up anymore.

So, put yourself in my shoes. When would you pull the plug on IB?

I don’t think it’s now. I’m just asking — when?

P.S. Spurs are kicking the Cavs ass at the moment, midway through the second quarter.

39. Niblets - June 10, 2007

You all didn’t see Nice Deb anywhere around here, did you?

40. Michael - June 10, 2007

BTW, Laura, Plucky Little Mater has made a full recovery. The main stem has straightened out and he’s got new leaves. He’s a couple of weeks behind his big brother, but looking good. I have to rotate their pots every other day because they lean towards the sun so much.

41. bartwing plover - June 10, 2007

Remeber the spinoffs in the ’80s and ’90s?

No, I’m not talking about television shows.

I’m talking about the baby bells, etc.

All these little individual blogs will die. Nobody wants to read somebod’s stupid online journal. The group blog, the consolidation of bloggers, will be the next trend. Otherwise, the alternative is zero traffic on your repsective stupid blogs.

One big stupid blog will reduce the amount of monotony and thus raise the level of interest in the readership.

Of course in most cases, the only people who will be reading the group blog are the group, itself. That’s cool because it will *feel* like you have an audience. Case in point: IB.NET.

Don’t worry, those who have split from the splitters will be back, and the “blog” will evolve into a forum.

42. Michael - June 10, 2007

Of course in most cases, the only people who will be reading the group blog are the group, itself.

You would be surprised, Bart, at where our traffic actually comes from. Go to the Sitemeter and look at the log of our entry and exit pages. An amazing amount of traffic is hitting stale shit in the archives, like “Beagle Dials 911” or “Name This Blog” or “Cancer Risk of Cell Phones Debunked”. We get over 100 hits per day from people googling for “pigs”. These hits come from all over the world. The regulars are now, I guess, 50% or less of our traffic.

43. geoff - June 10, 2007

How many people would you say are regular commenters at IB? and AoSHQ?

44. Michael - June 10, 2007

How many people would you say are regular commenters at IB? and AoSHQ?

Off the top of my head — 15-20 at IB, and 30-40 at AOSHQ.

Keep in mind that AOSHQ gets about as much traffic in a day as we get in a month.

45. geoff - June 10, 2007

I was just wondering about the respective sizes of the communities, and how many bodies it takes to make a decent-sized community.

My guess is that you’re at least 2X low in the number of AoSHQ regular commenters.

46. geoff - June 10, 2007

I was just wondering about the respective sizes of the communities, and how many bodies it takes to make a decent-sized community.

Which was meant to place Bart’s pessimistic comment into some perspective regarding the size and composition of the community.

47. Michael - June 10, 2007

My guess is that you’re at least 2X low in the number of AoSHQ regular commenters.

I guess that depends on what you mean by regular. Check any long thread there and just count the number of names you recognize that show up repeatedly. I think 30-40 is a generous estimate.

The regular commenters at AOSHQ are also a tiny fraction of his traffic. Look at Ace’s Sitemeter – particularly the average page views per visit and the average visit length. Then check the same numbers at IB. Because IB is small, the average visitor to IB is much more engaged than the average visitor at AOSHQ. That’s not a knock on Ace, it’s just the inevitable consequence of the fact that Ace is running a big blog.

48. bartford - June 10, 2007

Pessimistic?

Nevermind the editorializing, yoooo.

I was striclty reading AoS for about 4 months before I made a comment. And it was another 4 months before I was commenting regularly*.

*I sensed a void that needed to be filled.

49. wiserbud - June 10, 2007

But is this site about traffic or about just having fun with a bunch of people with kinda the same sense of humor?

50. Michael - June 10, 2007

Which was meant to place Bart’s pessimistic comment into some perspective regarding the size and composition of the community.

Most blogs are not a community. The threads are a peripheral attraction that the blog owner largely ignores, like Ace or Dave @ Garfield Ridge. Blogs are generally about (1) a topic, and/or (2) a dominant personality. For example, Allah’s blog was about Allah and politics. The biggest WordPress blogs are about cats or technology.

IB has no topic and no dominant personality. It’s actually mostly a community.

The reason IB exists, to be frank, is that Jack did not get this. Jack kept starting blogs that, he thought, were all about Jack. Somehow, he failed to notice that his blogs were actually all about the people and the relationships in his threads, and he did not know how to cultivate that ambiance. He just kept posting about Jack.

That’s why I decided that IB should be a Commenters Site, and that we should repudiate the idea that IB is a “blog.”

51. Michael - June 10, 2007

But is this site about traffic or about just having fun with a bunch of people with kinda the same sense of humor?

The latter, Wiser, of course. I’ve said this before — too much traffic would kill IB. The atmosphere here is, in my opinion, fragile. IB was designed to be a clique. That’s why, for example, I have a zero-tolerance policy about trolls.

52. geoff - June 10, 2007

The threads are a peripheral attraction that the blog owner largely ignores, like Ace or Dave @ Garfield Ridge.

I don’t quite agree – Ace, at least, has acknowledged the value-added of his commenters, as have many lurkers. I think that they’re about 30 – 40% of the attraction. My guess is that few people there read a post without checking out the comments as well.

I guess that depends on what you mean by regular.

You know – the opposite of “irregular” or “infrequent” or “occasional.” Actually, I mean people who comment at least a few times a week, every week.

Nevermind the editorializing, yoooo.

It’s all your fault You started it with, “the alternative is zero traffic on your repsective stupid blogs.”

53. Pupster - June 10, 2007

Wiser,
This site is a “marketing experiment” and you are a rat in a maze.

The cheese is long gone. Who took the cheese?

Mice Deb, that’s who.

54. geoff - June 10, 2007

Philip Greenspun wrote an online book about creating successful web sites back around 2000. In that book he says that the best thing a web author can do is to create a community that adds value via its members, so that the author can kick back and reap revenue (or at least hits) off their contributions.

I figured everybody knew that, so I assumed that it was part of everybody’s master plan. Now that you mention it, not that many blogs do a good job of nurturing a commenter base.

55. wiserbud - June 10, 2007

IB was designed to be a clique.

And yet, I haven’t been banned yet?

I’m……honored. 🙂

56. Bartpinto - June 11, 2007

Let me try this again.

NRO is a fun place to visit because it has a lot of variety. Call it a one-stop-shop for conservatives, if you will. So is townhall and powerline.

Lileks is the exception to the rule, but an individual blog does not have what it takes to last on the internet, both on the side of the writer and the side of the reader.

Guess what?

This place is already like a forum. So it will probably last longer than 99% of other blogs. When Geezer, and the rest, drop their other blogs and return here, it will only strengthen the place’s appeal to others (and to the existing regulars).

57. Michael - June 11, 2007

In case you have not heard:

The Spurs rested their starters in the fourth quarter. In the NBA, this phenomena in the fourth quarter is called “junk time,” when the winning team decides that it’s over and pulls the starters. It does not usually happen in the playoffs. The Cavs closed their 25-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but our bench held on to beat them 103-92.

58. Bartw - June 11, 2007

[i]IB was designed to be a clique.[/i]

Finally, after over a year you admit it!

geoff, “stupid” is a euphemism for “off da hook.”

59. wiserbud - June 11, 2007

I started my blogging experience at Moorewatch. I probably spent about a year or so there, and still check in now and again, but it got tiresome to have the same arguments about basically the same subjects (guns, healthcare, Iraq) over and over and over again.

I moved on to Ace’s and found it to be much more interesting because of the mix of “Super-serious important discussions” and “completely ridiculous, moron humor.” It is still the first place I stop every morning.

Mike, I really enjoy your concept here and execution of that concept. Can it get serious here? Sure. But you’re absolutely right about this site being about more than just the topics. As DiT said earlier, I really do consider you all friends.

I sincerely doubt there is another place on the ‘net quite like IB. You should be very proud of what you have created here, even if it did just start out as a joke.

60. geoff - June 11, 2007

geoff, “stupid” is a euphemism for “off da hook.”

Umm, pardon my ignorance of the patois, but for what is “off da hook” a euphemism?

61. Bart - June 11, 2007

I forgot how to do italics. Can you believe that?

I can’t recall how to do italics. I’m beside myself right now.

I’m becoming so forgetful in the past few years it’s becoming alarming.

62. wiserbud - June 11, 2007

not [ ]

63. geoff - June 11, 2007

Use an “i” and a “/i”

64. Michael - June 11, 2007

The Cavs closed their 25-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but our bench held on to beat them 103-92.

See, I’m trying to be sort of objective about reporting the game results, but what I really am trying to say is this: Cleveland is our bitch. These Eastern Conference pussies don’t even belong on the same floor with San Antonio. They should have cried and stayed home, eating that shitty Cleveland-style chili that has cinnamon in it. Seriously, in Cleveland they put a lot cinnamon in chili. I’m not making this up. They are proud of this. Anyone from Texas would gag on that stuff. It it any wonder that the Cavs are getting their asses whupped after eating that shit? I think not.

65. Bart - June 11, 2007

I thought I did that.

Anyway, how many url’s do you guys have in your Favorites folder?

I have about 150+.

66. wiserbud - June 11, 2007

Bart, you used square brackets. Use “”

67. wiserbud - June 11, 2007

dammit I don;t know what they’re called and I can’t get them to show.

Shift-comma and shift-period.

68. Bart - June 11, 2007

Oh, the sideways carrots!

I wouldn’t have guessed that in a milllion years. The New Comments system must have erased my memory. Weird.

69. Michael - June 11, 2007

My guess is that few people there read a post without checking out the comments as well.

Ace’s stats will prove you wrong, and Ace knows this. Very few of his readers get past the main page. The commenters at AOSHQ are a small cult relative to his traffic. They don’t really matter, and Ace spends almost no time working his threads. By his own admission, he does not read most of them.

I’m not criticizing Ace for this. I’d do the same thing in his shoes. AOSHQ is his livelihood, and he needs to focus on the main page content that brings in ad revenue and donations.

70. geoff - June 11, 2007

His stats show 1.5 views per visit. Assuming hardcore types click on, say 4 pages per visit, and the others click on nothing, you’ve got an eighth of his traffic as “heavy user.” If they click on 1 page per visit, then half of his traffic dives in. So it looks like I’m wrong about the ratio of comment-readers to post-readers, but I don’t think it’s a “small cult” either.

71. Bart - June 11, 2007

It’s been several months since Ace did a “Come out, Lurkers” post.

He should do another one.

72. Michael - June 11, 2007

This site is a “marketing experiment” and you are a rat in a maze.

Nah. You have an unduly cynical attitude about marketing. My concept of IB was that it would be a “high touch” experience, at exactly the same time that AOSHQ was getting increasingly impersonal. That does not make us a “rat in a maze.”

Laura says that we’re “imaginary friends.”

There’s some truth to that. Intertubes relationships are not the same as real life.

Still, in my yard, I have two heirloom tomato plants and three species of mint that were sent to me from Connecticut. I’m not imagining this; I can walk outside and look at them.

73. geoff - June 11, 2007

I have two heirloom tomato plants and three species of mint that were sent to me from Connecticut. I’m not imagining this; I can walk outside and look at them.

…and I have several DVDs full of classic cartoons from Bart, a math book from Enas Yorl, and an “Audios Mo’fo” hat from Dave. Mrs. Peel has a box of sci-fi from me, and Enas and lauraw both got a book apiece. The internet is more real than my college buddies that I haven’t seen in 3 years.

74. bartwing plover - June 11, 2007

I like to think of you as THE PEEPLE LIVING IN MY COMPUTER.

75. geoff - June 11, 2007

Make that “Adios,” not “Audios.”

76. geoff - June 11, 2007

Question for Bart: Why do you think Spurwing stopped coming by AoSHQ?

77. wiserbud - June 11, 2007

GROUP HUG!!!

78. Bart - June 11, 2007

New Comments, geoff.

I’m 100% convinced it was the new comments.

His comments stopped as soon as the old comments were shut off due to spamming.

79. wiserbud - June 11, 2007

Agreed. Spurwing never struck me as the type who handled change well.

80. geoff - June 11, 2007

Not to mention the facts that you can’t tell which threads are hot, or what’s going on in the Recent Comments.

81. Michael - June 11, 2007

I forgot how to do italics. Can you believe that?

I was shocked. You’re the guy with 6,000 YouTube videos on instant recall. How could you forget anything?

That’s just not possible, Bart. You’re just fucking with us.

82. New Comments Thingy - June 11, 2007

I’m 100% convinced it was the new comments.

Yes, that was my evil handiwork. Ha ha ha ha!

Your tears are all the pay I’ll ever need.

83. Wickedpinto - June 11, 2007

Wisers commenting and posting has slowed because of “other stuff” my commenting and posting has slowed because of “other stuff” I think that most of the time, the lags in commenting and posting is usually because of other stuff, and as long as there isn’t an outriht quitting on someone’s part the commenting and posting will return exactly as it was.

We all go through “stuff” and eventually we go back to the things that we did before, but in a different way. I don’t think IB will fall, cuz IB is less about “stuff” and more about the random things that bring joy humor and interest to people.

This is a very lo pressure site, thats why it rocks.

84. geoff - June 11, 2007

Wisers commenting and posting has slowed because of “other stuff” my commenting and posting has slowed because of “other stuff”

…where “other stuff” means alley-catting around at TheWickedPinto…

85. Bart - June 11, 2007

That’s just not possible, Bart.

I shit you not. My short-term memory is toast.

I forget the strangest things. Things I have done a million times, like how to set my alarm clock.

86. Retired Geezer - June 11, 2007

Laura says that we’re “imaginary friends.”

Yeah, but if you put us all together in a room and add alcohol there probably wouldn’t be any bloodshed.

Probably.

87. Retired Geezer - June 11, 2007

I like the fact that I learn something here. Sometimes serious stuff like Bible and religion and Lutherans and Casseroles. Tubers and Maters.

In answer to your question as to when to pull the plug…

When “I can give you what you want” stays at the top of the Top Post list for a month.

88. Bart - June 11, 2007

Spurwing never struck me as the type who handled change well.

That’s putting it nicely.

I don’t think spurwing can negotiate a comment on the new comments.

89. Retired Geezer - June 11, 2007

I forget the strangest things. Things I have done a million times, like how to set my alarm clock.

Yeah, me too.

Just for the record; I heard that Alzheimers is NOT forgetting where your keys are…
It’s forgetting what keys are for.

90. Bart - June 11, 2007

Interesting. I did not know that.

91. Michael - June 11, 2007

I forget the strangest things. Things I have done a million times, like how to set my alarm clock.

Oh. OK, I understand.

We’re talking about a chemical issue.

Is there a Betty Ford clinic in your home town?

92. Michael - June 11, 2007

This is a very lo pressure site, thats why it rocks.:

It does not really surprise me, WP, that you figured out the program.

93. Bartpinto - June 11, 2007

Random story?

Yesterday, I woke up not feeling hungry and my stomach had a feeling of fullness. Not bloated, just full. Didn’t get hungry all day yesterday and today. But I forced myself to eat.

94. lauraw - June 11, 2007

Nobody has actually addressed my question. When do we hit the big DELETE button on the All-Knowing IB Dashboard™?

So, put yourself in my shoes. When would you pull the plug on IB?

Because of the nature of this site, that’s a very qualitative judgement.

Site Admin. will know when this is no longer worth his time.

95. lauraw - June 11, 2007

oops on the second set of italics

96. Mrs. Peel - June 11, 2007

Don’t forget The Most Horrifying Commercial Ever, Michael. That one’s been popping in and out of the top posts list for months now. (Which amuses me greatly.)

When should you kill IB? When it stops being fun, I guess.

97. harrison - June 11, 2007

Hey, Lauraw! I just heard the news that a play or musical named “Spring Awakening” won 8 Tonys last night.
Congrats!

98. lauraw - June 11, 2007

sigh

99. compos mentis - June 11, 2007

I feel like I’m watching the final episode of M*A*S*H or Friends. This is always the first place I visit when I hit the net. Matter of fact, it’s really the only “blog” I visit. I’ll check in at Ace’s once in a great while and I’ll visit some of the regular IB commentors’ sites on occasion. For the most part, I don’t give a crap about any place but here and you all.

I normally play around in here while I’m at work. Since I’m going to be changing jobs, I probably won’t be around much, at least for a while. But I sure don’t like the idea that you guys might not be here when I log on.

The internet is a strange place. Netfriends can come and go in the blink of a monitor shutting off, because in the end, most never really know each other.

Why am I now running a loop of the ending of The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy is saying goodbye to everyone before clicking her heals together? Either I’ve had too much coffee, not enough, or I have a latent desire to put on a dress and heels, do the weiner tuck, and sing Over the Rainbow after blowing the owner of this dive so I can go on last and be the headliner.

100. BrewFan - June 11, 2007

lol!

101. geoff - June 11, 2007

I just heard the news that a play or musical named “Spring Awakening” won 8 Tonys last night.

You can see my thoughts on lauraw’s possible grounds for legal action here.

102. lauraw - June 11, 2007

Five bucks on ‘Too Much Coffee’ to show and ten on ‘Latent Desire’ to win, please.

103. harrison - June 11, 2007

…I have a latent desire to put on a dress and heels, do the weiner tuck, and sing Over the Rainbow after blowing the owner of this dive so I can go on last and be the headliner.

And the show starts at what time?

104. Ru Paul - June 11, 2007

I have a latent desire to put on a dress and heels, do the weiner tuck,

I taught him that.

105. S. Weasel - June 11, 2007

I also see a recent trend of blogs to morphing into regular, self-sustaining communities. One blog I read (Gulf Coast Pundit) developed such a hard core of chummy commenters that the owner basically threw it over in favor of a forum format. Both Powerline and Sweetness & Light have recently added forums on the backend, too (with what success remains to be seen).

It would be interesting to look at the numbers and see what size ‘community’ is optimally sustainable. And under what conditions people clump into these communities (a surprising number of the big, high-traffic blogs never develop much in the way of a regular commentariat).

Ooo! I smell a master’s thesis.

106. Dave in Texas - June 11, 2007

Soooome-where! ov-er the rain-bowwww
chil-dren dieeeeee!

What? Why are you looking at me like that?

107. compos mentis - June 11, 2007

lw, part of the art and beauty of poetry is that it allows the reader to make his/her own interpretations as to what the artist is alluding.

I think your lovely poem is about how growing older, about how it looks like someone injected Miracle Grow ™ into my eyebrows while I was sleeping, and how I will soon go deaf due to this luxurious shag carpeting growing out of my ears.

When the day comes that I’m too f’n tired to stand to take a piss and my nuts touch the water when I sit down, I’d like for one of you guys to please shoot me. The way I feel, I’m guessing it will be sometime this evening.

108. compos mentis - June 11, 2007

You’re a sick man Mr. in Texas.

109. Dave in Texas - June 11, 2007

hee hee

110. harrison - June 11, 2007

…and my nuts touch the water when I sit down…

That tuck’s gonna take more duct tape than you thought.

111. nicedeb - June 11, 2007

” Wiser,
This site is a “marketing experiment” and you are a rat in a maze.

The cheese is long gone. Who took the cheese?

Mice Deb, that’s who.”

Now what exactly does that mean?
Do people resent me because I started a blog? (by accident, really). I’m getting that vibe. My blog is puny, and insignificant. It’s just a place where I can spout off about stuff that interests me.

I think this blog still has a long life left in it, but even if traffic does dwindle a bit, what does that matter it you still enjoy doing it?

112. Dave in Texas - June 11, 2007

Most of the goofballs here have blogs, including pups. He just makes with the joke.. no resentment.

Well, he resents it that I live in Texas, but I can’t do anything about that.

113. Retired Geezer - June 11, 2007

Mice Deb

I don’t think Wiser meant anything other than making a funny out of your name.

I need some backup against the anti-gunners swarming my YouTube video of my Granddaughter.

114. wiserbud - June 11, 2007

Hey, Geez, you trying to get me in trouble with Mice…uh, I mean Nice Deb? I didn’t make that joke, (although I wish I had.) My humor tends more towards having fun at the expense of Deb’s missing Niblets.

Although, I think I found the little bugger. Guess he was hungry.

115. wiserbud - June 11, 2007

Good Lord, Geezer, what a bunch of classless idiots.

116. Dave in Texas - June 11, 2007

You seem to be handling them just fine RG.

117. nicedeb - June 11, 2007

Okay, dammit….don’t make a maniac outta me.

118. Michael - June 11, 2007

Okay, dammit

Watch your language, missy!

119. Pupster - June 11, 2007

Nice Deb,
I have nothing but love in my heart for you.

I was just trying to bust Michael’s balls on his ‘marketing experiment’ comment, and Mice fit teh funnah (or not, apparently.)

120. BrewFan - June 11, 2007

I was just trying to bust Michael’s balls

The glue that binds us together in virtual, pretend, intertube friendship…

121. daveintexas - June 11, 2007

When your goals are completely aligned, you can accomplish anything.

122. Mr Minority - June 11, 2007

As a relativey new commentor on IB, I say that you shouldn’t pull the plug anytime soon. Michael’s experiment is a success, as it is the commenting that makes this site, not the posts. Hell someone could post a picture of a road-kill rodent, no text, and the post would still have 20-50 comments ranging from road-kill strew to how to grow the tomatoes to go in that stew. And that is what makes this site so wonderful and unique.

I have seen a big drop in traffic on my site lately, but then I believe that it is the just “summer” thing. But in the back of my mind, I think that maybe people are just bored with what I am posting on and I may change things up a little, to generate new interest.

What ever you do, keep doing it because you are taking us away from having to watch “Friends” reruns or Lifetime movies.

123. eddiebear - June 11, 2007

“The glue that binds us together in virtual, pretend, intertube friendship”

I thought that was Cream of Mushroom Soup.

Oh, I did attend the picnic hosted by the Lutheran Church in my neighborhood. They had free hot dogs and brats, free pony and donkey rides for the little ones and bingot for the elders. The only problem was that as soon as my family set foot on the grounds, it started to rain. And soon after we left, the rain subsided.

124. daveintexas - June 11, 2007

hmmm…

I must test this theory

125. eddiebear - June 11, 2007

I wonder if it was a sign to me or to the Lutherans. Either way, I still snagged my free food.

126. Mr Minority - June 11, 2007

They had free hot dogs and brats

Those Lutherans are always trying to get rid of their brats, pawning them off on good upstanding Protestants, trying to corrupt our moral standards, that’s why nobody wants them.

I think you meant brauts.

127. eddiebear - June 11, 2007

Bratwursts. I apologize for the mix up.

128. Mr Minority - June 11, 2007

I apologize for the mix up.

Don’t apologize, just take a couple of Lutheran brats and put them to work on your garden/lawn or make them clean out your garage. They are good at doing jobs that Americans don’t want.

129. eddiebear - June 11, 2007

Well, they are usually of fine Scandi or German Stock, so they will work hard, not complain and then overtake you when they feel you are weak.

130. compos mentis - June 11, 2007

eb, on this blog it’s customary to take someone’s criticism and tell them to shove it up their ass. Besides, you were right.

131. Mr Minority - June 11, 2007

Thanks for pointing that out compos, I stand corrected.

Oh, and by the way, shove it up your ass.

132. compos mentis - June 11, 2007

lol

133. Michael - June 11, 2007

I blame you guys for the foul mouth that Nice Deb has acquired.

134. Dave in Texas - June 11, 2007

Acquired?

Cultivated perhaps.

135. compos mentis - June 11, 2007

Actually, I think Deb’s mouth is purty.

136. eddiebear - June 11, 2007

compos:

I’m posting at work, ifyouknowwhatimean, so my normal dialogue is muted.

137. Mr Minority - June 11, 2007

Actually, I think Deb’s mouth is purty.

Ya know, she does have a purdy mouth on her.

138. Wickedpinto - June 12, 2007

Something I learned over at the hostages? And I’m sure the other participants might have noticed.

Maintaining a sense of borderline insane chaos is FRIGGEN HARD!

139. skinbad - June 12, 2007

Sort of on topic: When Sobek visited, I introduced him to my six year old daughter as “my pretend internet friend.” She took a lengthy look at him and said softly, “He’s not pretend, he’s real.”

140. Dave in Texas - June 12, 2007

bet she gave you a sideways look or two!

141. lauraw - June 12, 2007

HA!

142. Mr Minority - June 12, 2007

When Sobek visited, I introduced him to my six year old daughter as “my pretend internet friend.”

Whaaaaaaaa, Daddy’s Gay!! (NTTAWWT)

143. Michael - June 12, 2007

Of course Sobek is real, skinny.

You’re just imagining that you have a daughter.

144. Still Limping Along After All These Years | Innocent Bystanders - February 19, 2018

[…] is a repost of a June 10, 2007 post by Michael. I thought it was interesting that there was talk of closing IB over 10 years ago, but […]


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