Public library blogs: Total words

In an act of creative procrastination (I should be working on something else…), I’ll toss in a second installment today: Total words in all posts for the March 1, 2007-May 31, 2007 study period. (Yes, I know, that’s not the order of the metrics in Chapter 3. But it’s the order of the columns in the spreadsheets…)

As noted in the book, the complete set of posts totaled 1,038,237 words–roughly ten full-length novels. The average blog had 4,120 words; the median was 1,920, less than half that number.

Consider the quintiles:

  • Q1: Longest blogs: From 5,196 to 53,520 words.
    Average (mean): 13,453 words
    Median: 9,089 words.
    Total: 672,632 words–64.79% of the whole set.
  • Q2: Longer blogs: From 2,66 to 5,184 words.
    Average: 3,672 words.
    Median: 3,485 words.
    Total: 183,603 words–17.68% of the whole set.
  • Q3: Average length: From 1,454 to 2,663 words.
    Average: 2,013 words.
    Median: 1,968 words.
    Total: 104,651 words (52 blogs), 10.08% of the whole set.
  • Q4: Shorter blogs: From 731 to 1,444 words.
    Average: 1,104 words.
    Median: 1,066 words.
    Total: 55,198 words, 5.32% of the whole set.
  • Q5: Shortest blogs: From 89 to 710 words.
    Average: 443 words.
    Median: 469 words.
    Total: 22,153 words, 2.13% of the whole set.

The longest 91 blogs (36% of the total) contain 80% of all the words in all the blogs. Note that word counts do include most internal overhead (“Permalink” and such) but don’t include sidebars.

If you’re tempted to say “Well, the blogs with the most posts are the longest blogs,” that’s only partly true. While the blog with by far the most posts (almost twice as many as the second place) was also the longest blog, the blog with the second-most posts wasn’t anywhere near second-longest: It’s #63 in total length. And the second-longest blog, with almost 95% of the word count of the longest, had the fourth most posts–less than 40% as many as the blog with the most.

Next time, we’ll look at average post length–maybe because I’d rather postpone the “number of comments” discussion a little longer.


Ah. Mission accomplished. It’s too late to get a really good start on what I should be doing, so I’ll put it off until tomorrow. (Fortunately, I’m ahead of schedule. I’m almost always ahead of schedule, as a basic survival technique.)

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