Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blogging's Dirty Little Secret

Note: If you didn't check the blog yesterday afternoon, you're treated to two posts today. I posted Tuesday's blog around 5 p.m. and then posted today's early this morning.

There have been some vicious rumors floating around the blogosphere (or at least the little circle comprised of me and all but two of the blogs on my blogroll) that I'm the longest winded blogger in these here parts. I knew this was all a matter of perception, the column width of my blog format being rather narrow, and that I am in fact rather long winded. In truth, I had a sneaking suspicion that Meaghan was much more prodigious per post than I, and I decided to set out to prove it. After realizing this project was surprisingly simple, I decided to do the average word count on each of the blogs in my blogroll and rank them here.

The procedure is fairly simple. I click the year 2008 in each blogger's archive listing (then click on January for my blog to include January since I have so many posts), then I copy and paste the contents into Word Count Tool. The result is divided by that blogger's total posts for the year. This puts me at a slight disadvantage because I had a sharp rise in post length starting in November of 2007, but I'm OK with that. It provides a relatively fair sample for everyone else. There are some extraneous words in the copying such as the post's time stamp and the links to the comments for each post, but it's a total of twelve words per post, is consistent throughout all of the blogs tested and I'm too lazy to go through and strip them out. I just make sure I didn't get any extraneous text from the side bars and such.

And on with the rankings.

1. Whatever Happened to Schoolhouse Rock: 753.2
2. Jacob's Land of Bliss and Blisters: 671.34 per post
3.Another Way to Waste Time Online: 591.93
4. Malfeasance: 550.03
5. The Prettiest Denny's Waitress: 438.16
6. Bacon Soup: 221.46

I didn't do this for Sid or Kate simply because I got bored with it before getting to their blogs and I wanted to leave the innocent out of this.

So what did we learn from this exercise (besides the fact that my idea of fun is really freaking bizarre)? We'll start from the bottom of the pack and work our way up.

Severo? He's nearly illiterate. I'd expect more from a man who strings words together in logical patterns for a living, but too much time in the sun out on the tennis courts has fried his brain.

Mickey at least proves he's the recipient of a quality American education, but his slacker tendencies are really showing. His blog is kind of like a plumber in a tuxedo. Sure he looks fancy up close, but take a step back and you realize his crack's still showing.

Courtney and Chris seem to have found the Golden Mean of blogging. They're concise without being terse and they're intellectually filling without leaving a stomachache from gluttony. They are the only two bloggers I will accept guff from about my post length from now on. Luckily, they were the two least likely to mention it.

I type too much, but unlike the rest of you I can't go out to bars or to the movies. This is the way I entertain myself. It's really your fault for being my friends. Until you lured me into this crap I didn't write at all. You could have saved yourselves a lot of pain and suffering by just disliking me, but no. You could not do that and now you're stuck with me droning on about the historical accuracy of an action movie.

Meaghan, you would be much better off writing 81.86 fewer words per post, although that would still leave you 100 words per post from that beautiful moderation of Chris and Courtney's Golden Mean. But I think the truth we learned here is that Meaghan has a sinister plan to drive me into depression and into an institution. I have been crying myself to sleep each night since Meaghan first accused me of being too long winded. I knew in my heart of hearts that she was in fact wordier than me, but she kept denying this fact. I began to doubt my own perceptions, to think I was going mad. Of course then I worked the magic of math and found out that she was a evil liar looking for my emotional self-destruction. The proof is in the word count.

We're on to you Meaghan.


Courtney said...

Hee! That's funny. It seems like you and Meaghan take the same approach to blogging -- just empty out your brain on whatever topic you're writing about, whereas the rest of us purposely leave some things unsaid. Except Severo, but that's because he's functionally illiterate.

Just remember your blog was here first, so Meaghan likely drew inspiration from you. Sincerest form of flattery and all that.

Meaghan said...

I'll give you even more flattery, but with a twist of realism. My blog posts may be longer, but your vocabulary is far superior. What does this say? You write for you, and though what you write about is interesting more than not, you tend to lose your readers because there's just more thought involved. I'm a simple writer, I hate to admit. This is why I could never write a novel. I just don't think my writing is descriptive enough. However, because it's simpler, readers get through it faster - leaving one to think your posts are longer when they aren't. Does that make any sense?

Otherwise, I think you're a little sad for obsessing over this, but I still love ya!

Chris said...

Fascinating, but yes, a little sad.

Since you gave me permission, I will attempt to punch a hole or two in your theory about Meaghan being more long-winded.

First (of course) the mathematical issue: While a strict average depicts Meaghan at a higher word count, I think you have several mini-posts that artificially skew your average lower. (e.g. your ode to chocolate/peanut butter bunnies and your Feb. 28 post informing us there would be no Feb. 29 post)

Secondly, I think Meaghan makes a good point that her writing is simpler and more to the point, which I do not mean as an insult to her. It is easier to read, and for most people that's a good thing. You get a reputation for long-windedness partly because you write longer sentences and use bigger words, meaning it takes the readers more time (and effort) to decode.

Nevertheless, it's good that each blogger has his/her own style (even Severo, who I think has found his niche in scribbling fake thought bubble onto photos). So ramble on, Jacob. Ramble on.

(This comment was 172 words.)

Courtney said...

Who's sad now? Oh, I think it's you, Chris.

Courtney said...

But I was defending you! Ingrate.

(Please notice the conciseness of my comment. Brevity is the soul of wit, you know.)

Jacob said...

I've already complimented you once today, Courtney. Do you really need to go fishing for compliments about your comments? You're so needy.

Chris said...

Mmmm, tobacco companies.

sid said...

You tallied up the amount of words in everyone's blog? Erm, yeah that's normal.
Think you might be suffering from low slef esteem. Your worth is not dependant on what other people think of you. Your worth is dependant on how much money you earn (-:

Meaghan said...

Jacob, I know exactly what you are talking about with the reading level widget. I don't know what all is considered when that site is determining the reading level, but it's off... way off! Don't worry, you're really a genius, no matter what some stupid site says!

Jacob said...

Sid: Yes, I am quite the sad little man. Thanks for noticing. It feels good to finally be understood.

Meaghan: The reading level widget didn't really bother me. What really bothers me are those damned naked mole rats.

Mickey: Great first paragraph. I agree with you on all of it (although admitting it in the post would have killed the shtick), and I even had to stop reading for a little to recompose myself. Hilarious. I'm stealing the bit about the raining fists for my blog description. I need to get rid of that stupid thing about the dog.

As for the rest, you sure do get petty when insulted.