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Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 01:31 pm
Click Opera hits and misses of 2008

When a blog entry racks up a hundred comments, it doesn't necessarily mean that people love what they're reading -- they might be shouting in exasperation, correcting mistakes, or just chatting with each other. And when a blog entry only gets one comment, it doesn't mean it's a hundred times less noteworthy. It may simply leave you with the feeling that there's nothing more to be said.

That said, I'm always fascinated by the things that set people off, and the things that send them to sleep. Think of this as our annual year-end editorial meeting. This is where we look at reactions. There's no pressure to cut the kind of stories people don't respond to -- they're some of the ones we, the editors, find most useful (art and design stories, for the most part). But we do like to get a feel for what's popular and what's not. Let's see what made you vociferous -- and what made you mum -- in 2008. Here are the most, and least, commented stories, month by month.

January

Suppin was January's big story, with 123 comments. In this entry I suggest we strike a blow against the cosmetics industry by finding a positively-charged word for bare-facedness. The Japanese word "suppin" fits.



Real plants and virtual water stirred the fewest comments, a subtle, water-filled item about Planted magazine, Kaneto Shindo's film The Island, Virtual Water and Tomoko Miyata's water bowl music.

February

In a cold month, a hot topic from China stirs the most comments (112): Edison electrifies China looks at Edison Chen's sex photos and the scandal surrounding them. It's sociologically interesting because normally this kind of tabloidy scandal wouldn't concern someone from China.



February's coldest topic is me reading the third installment from my Book of Jokes -- or rather miming along to a computer reading from the book.

March

The year's biggest hit (206 comments) is Show me you, in a human information photograph!, a request to see the readers of Click Opera.

But there's a big miss for Mesmerism, an account of the performance art of Yurie Ido. Juxtapose the hit and the miss and the message seems to be that the internet wants to be phatic and meta, whereas with live theatre the maxim "you really had to be there" still applies.

April

April's biggie is about YouTube idol Magibon and self-mediation: Anne Other gets 88 comments, some of them berating me for remarks about Magibon's lantern chin and tombstone teeth.



A video of me performing The Book of Jokes live in an art gallery in Prague is the month's most poorly-performing item.

May

May sees you Fixated on the fixie, with 82 comments on the trendy bikes.



The month's comments snub goes to two talented designers, Tobias Putrih and Zak Kyes. I notice that the kind of things Click Opera readers are indifferent to are increasingly the kind of things that define my professional life; I write about Putrih for The Moment and am involved in various projects with Kyes. But for most of you this seems to be "elite designer stuff".

June

Discussions of American ugliness or arrogance are always guaranteed to raise a dust-storm of comment: The official architecture of paranoia, about the ugly new American Embassy building in Berlin, is no exception.



Meanwhile, I tell everyone there's probably no wifi on Orkney and Shetland, which means that when I get there and discover there's plenty, very few people are tuning in to follow my travels (with my mother, through the frosty lands of our ancestors). The Orcadian -- about Orkney poet George Mackay Brown -- gets just five comments.

July

One of the year's big themes is just how rotten and rubbish Anglosphere capitalism is. We'll see that with horrific clarity in the autumn, as the whole thing melts down, but in July it's still necessary to make people see the connections between a certain view of the world and certain negative consequences: Anglo philosophy leads to Anglo statistics gets almost a hundred comments. Stale fish at auction, an item about how I'm putting together a revue of my old songs, only gets nine.

August

The month's biggest story is my refutation of Adbusters' attack on "the hipster", The camera is mightier than the rock, which gets 90 supportive comments.



I want to see my mountains is the comments pipsqueak of August, an announcement that I'm off on holiday with Hisae, Joe and Emma to northern Italy to see the Manifesta art biennial. (What an expensive holiday that turns out to be: a truck rams me outside Innsbruck and I have to pay €800 of the cost, despite taking insurance and being blameless.)

September

There's a moment in September when it looks like Obama might lose the election. We therefore go Minting memes for Obama, garnering 93 "votes" during this intensely political season. Luckily, none of these arguments are needed: the collapsing banking system knocks McCain out of the ring.



Progressive music from the Osaka underground is the bane of your Click Opera life in September, as Ove-Naxx has left the Misono Building scrapes a pathetic 8 responses.

October

Tea and me -- a personal appreciation of the leafy drink -- gets a healthy 68 comments. Paris as Lazarus -- coverage of a new arts centre in Paris for the New York Times -- gets just 8.

November

As you'd expect, the American election is hogging the world's attention to the almost complete exclusion of anything else in November. So Elect this candidate with thunderous certitude and righteous rectitude! is the month's landslide post, with 90 comments.



I thought it would be quite a coup releasing the Joemus font through Click Opera, and carefully held it back until after the album came out, just so that we wouldn't see it on hundreds of album sleeves before it came out on ours. In the event, not only have I not seen Joemus used anywhere except on my Momus album, but the blog entry about it got just eight comments.

I get it: art and design topics alienate most of you. I promise to keep running them, though. We're that kind of publication -- we believe in certain things, no matter what the circulation figures or the advertising people tell us about their reception. (Wait, what advertising people?)

December

December is dominated by old Momus albums; Creation Advent Calendar 1: The Poison Boyfriend gets the most attention, with lots of syndication and 100 comments onsite.

The Pompidou Centre has 75 floors underground, a piece about a fascinating work of speculative fiction about a shadowy, anarchist Beaubourg subterranea, is the month's low-scorer, though by no means, as I see it, the least interesting thing published this month. But sometimes you just have to think of blogging as a form of prayer.

22CommentReplyFlag

rurritable.wordpress.com
rurritable.wordpress.com
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)

Well, at least while the weather sucks, I'll be helping drive your comment numbers up. With mistakes!


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(no subject) - (Anonymous)

(Anonymous)
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
Alienating posts

There is probably some algorithm that you could employ to drive up comment traffic, if that was your aim. I basically have a tea party of about six people who comment while they're at work. There aren't enough of them for them to feel comfortable venting.
But for some damned reason, if you put a picture of a mule up, the traffic spikes. Since I've noticed this I've been obsessively larding all my posts with photographs of mules. I don't know if this will work outside of North America.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)

Of what interest could it be to anyone but yourself which of your entries got the most and least comments?


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rurritable.wordpress.com
rurritable.wordpress.com
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
Collywobbles

Ooo does someone ever have them badly. You can almost hear the tummy rumbling.


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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)

Really?


ReplyThread Parent
thegooseking
thegooseking
Barnyard Royalty
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC)

There are many, many times I've been interested enough to leave a comment then, halfway through typing it, realised I didn't have a clue what I was talking about and given up.

That or the comments on things I find interesting end up being too long to be comments and end up being proper posts on my own livejournal.

I haven't bothered to look at what was most and least commented on this year on my livejournal, but last year the general trend was that the less personal, more well-thought-out posts received zero comments and the most commented-on was an embedded video — delivered without remark — from Sesame Street. I don't know, though, whether that says anything about the validity of the comment count as a metric of interestingness, or just something about my friends.


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)

I read all the art and design posts with the greatest of interest (its what brought me to Click Opera), but i rarely find i have much to add immediately after reading them, (except perhaps 'great post' but that seems embarrassingly empty and fan-followerish).

I thought the Pompidou post was great. But it took me a long time to digest and follow up leads by which time i had to leave the computer before ever commenting.

Few of the 'big' posts were more than moderately interesting to me, -cultural analysis is where it's at on Click Opera-.

Meanwhile some of the least 'popular' posts have also been some of the shortest- perhaps a lesson in what might motivate people to comment, or dissuade them. I also notice that you tend to reply more to the longer comments here (as opposed to short anonymous ones).

Shall i add 'great post' each time i enjoy reading something?

:)


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)

what a peculiar list, and a nice refreshing spin on the typical end of year list, which always manage to cut the last six weeks of the year off
my fave from this year was about the Tlicho and Facebook
btw, Nick, have you seen this event happening at HdKdW in February?
http://audiopoverty.de/
best, DC


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never_the_less
never_the_less
critical sass
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)

Just wanted to chime in and say that I was very happy to read the Pompidou piece. As someone too far on the inside of architecture for my own good, I always appreciate the things that a curious and intelligent outsider (you) brings to it which would never come in through the academy.

And while we're being retrospective and I'm having Momus appreciation day, I also really loved your Ashes to Ashes cover! Thanks.


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electricwitch
electricwitch
For anything, oh! she´ll bust her elastic
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)

Ooooooohhhhh these are my favourite posts of yours. If only you'd been a HP fanfic author, you'd have gotten over this ages ago.


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electricwitch
electricwitch
For anything, oh! she´ll bust her elastic
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)

Plus, of course wank stirring posts get the most comments, but they just make me want to stab myself/s> kumianjikeiauou.


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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
electricwitch
electricwitch
For anything, oh! she´ll bust her elastic
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)

lololololololol

oh, bb.


ReplyThread Parent
polocrunch
polocrunch
Polocrunch
Tue, Dec. 30th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)

Even though I never feel I have anything useful to add to your art-related posts, mainly because they fall outside my areas of expertise and interest, I do pass an eye over them. Your frontline experiences of the art world occasionally ripple through to ordinary life on the home front, so it's worth keeping up. For example, I have noticed that the style of font used on your Ocky Milk album (chunky, abstracted, often using pie shapes) has begun to appear on other music covers and adverts. What sexy trendsetting!


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shadowshark
shadowshark
ShadowShark
Tue, Dec. 30th, 2008 09:08 am (UTC)

You should read this:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123033369595836301.html


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Dec. 30th, 2008 11:57 am (UTC)

(What an expensive holiday that turns out to be: a truck rams me outside Innsbruck and I have to pay €800 of the cost, despite taking insurance and being blameless.)

Ouch - still you knew the risks, following your 'autogeddon' entry of a few years ago


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crowjake
crowjake
crowjake
Tue, Dec. 30th, 2008 12:10 pm (UTC)

"I promise to keep running them, though."

Thank fuck! I found most of those super interesting, more than (most of) your "hits"! Especially the water bowl music one and the breakcore guy. B-Sides are usually better anyway!

Oh and i currently use your font as the capital letters in my title bar.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
because I like it.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Dec. 30th, 2008 12:19 pm (UTC)

Oh, it looks quirky (in a good way)!


ReplyThread Parent
hindlip
Hindlip
Tue, Dec. 30th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)

Graarh!

Nephew Rampage!!

I heard You have the Flu...



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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Dec. 30th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC)

Hello Hindlip!

Hisae and I both had the flu, but have both recovered, thanks to chewing 30 metric tonnes of licorice. Unfortunately our mouths are now totally useless -- blackened like two charred tree-stumps hit by lightning. We are playing Animal Crossing and Wii Sports to pass the time.

Edited at 2008-12-30 01:21 pm (UTC)


ReplyThread Parent
hindlip
Hindlip
Fri, Jan. 2nd, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)

That Must Mean then That you Got a Wii.
If so, Huzzah!
Gimmie Your Friend Code for Animal Crossing (It is the Wii Version, Right?) (Provided You have an internet connection.)
and then we can connect, even tho we are so far away!


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Jan. 2nd, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)

We did get a Wii, yes, huzzah!

But Animal Crossing is on the DS, not the Wii.

We haven't managed to get either the DS or the Wii online yet -- the password keeps getting rejected when they try to join the wifi.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Dec. 31st, 2008 05:55 am (UTC)

More comments does not equate with more contented readers. I love the posts on arts & culture, but like most people, have no reason to comment on such straightforward, enlightening information.

It's when you've got things completely backwards on the global financial crisis that I feel the need to chim in.


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