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Management Update 15

Site statistics

With the extended Christmas break, site traffic for the month was 20% down on November's figure, with more than 13,000 unique visitors, and just over 30,000 visits in total. We published 22 new articles in the 22 days of active publishing in December, down from 44 in November, and 734 comments, down from 1075 in November.

We didn’t publish 17 abusive, content-free or incomprehensible comments. Total intended for publication and not published 17/751=2.3%.


Income in December was $130 in donations and $167.57 from Google ads: total $297.57, versus expenditure of $660.74.

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## Bright Idea ##

 A small statistical input to the question of moderation. We currently have just over 900 unpublished comments on approval queue, ignoring the 4 or 5 waiting moderation, and covering the 13 months . Of those that were not and will not be published, just over 100 each were from Geoff Pahoff and [ * ], while coming up behind between 50 and 100 each were (in descending order): Jay White, Angela Ryan, C Parsons and mike lyvers. Given that Jay was banned for a couple of months, he probably has a strike rate in the Pahoff/ * championship podium class.


In that same 13 months, C Parsons had around 1000 comments published, and Geoff P around 700. It was open to anyone else to do the same (though preferably with a lower abuse rejection rate).

- David Roffey 16 January 2007 12.57 pm

*name deleted out of respect for the recently departed

I've just come up with a humdinger of a money-spinning idea for WD.

Publish all of the NFP'ed posts in a separate commercial venture -- either print and/or web. Then sell the publication. You know. Special! The Stuff WD Banned!! That sort of thing.

WD can protect its standards and principles by interposing an independent party in return for a royalty flow. WD and other parties would require an indemnity against defamation suits, which shouldn't be too difficult to organise given that the NFPee's would have been mainly defaming one another. And an agreed  split of the royalties with defamees/NFPee's, proportionate to their contributions to the IP pool under exploitation will grease whatever pistons are still required to get the machine churning out the cash.

And will there be a demand for this material, I hear you ask? You bet. Human nature really. You will have the fattest payroll in the blogoshere by Christmas. 

So there you go. Think about it.

As the undisputed Godfather of the Banned I feel an obligation to come up with these ideas from time to time, you understand. Just looking out for you guys.

Fiona: Geoff, your exquisite proposal is so tempting. I'm sure the team will give it appropriate consideration...

Re: Bright Idea

Geoff, I love it! They could call it "Webdiary Uncut!" Think of the spin-offs - "Webdiary Uncut - The Movie." "Webdiary - Where the Irises Bloom." "Webdiary - The Weakest Link." (Get it? Rense.com and Counterpunch fight it out in the series finale!)

My mind is reeling with the possibilities!


FWIW I reckon Webdiary is driven through the Comments panel. That's the most valuable piece of WD real estate on my screen.

I don't care too much about lengths of comments - don't have voice-to-text, can't type at any speed. Can't be bothered with screeds that go on for more than 400 words, and that's dealt with easily. Can the Comments panel include a word count?

If the Comments panel restricted the amount of text per item, visitors would see more of what's happening. Could each item be squeezed into three lines? That would mean the article titles would have to be succint. At the moment, with every comment on the 'Cease fire ..' article, space is lost that could show comments on other topics.

The main body could be pruned, too, by (as above) keeping titles and intros shorter. Again, visitors would see more of WD than the tic-tac-toe on show the last few months. Newcomers will not risk a comment or opinion if they perceive a risk of being engulfed by a cabal of professional pay-for-view debaters. For instance, I hold Juan Cole ('Informed Comment') in high regard, for good reasons. I may have recommended his website, for somewhere to get news that is fresh and often overlooked by Fox. But, it seems to me that having the audacity to publish a link to Cole is sufficient to get one put on the watch list. Are blogs such a powerful democratic tool that it warrants intensive collusion to hammer out opposing points of view?

Has WD degenerated into the kind of useless mob-vs-mob verbiage seen recently at the tennis? One loon sounds off with an uncouth gesture, and next day the opposition is out in force for loud and lurid revenge. An escalation of attacks based on ancient hatreds - sad.

Marinus van der Lubbe

Cease fire

Hi Trevor - Have taken at least one thing on board, and shortened the presented title of "Cease fire ...". I'm not sufficiently competent in PHP to make that a thing that happens automatically in a block whose parameters are imported from elsewhere. On the titles and excerpts, it's always a balance between putting enough there for people to be able to know what it's about vs page real estate - and on that side there are always 30 posts on the front front page, so length doesn't signify quite so much.

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