Fun with statistics 1: Mythical average liblog

[Non-series heading: Yet another in the series of posts related to But Still They Blog: Liblogs 2007-2009.]

Here’s a proper picture of The Average Moderately-Visible Still-Available Liblog (that is, the “average liblog” in my 521-blog study, where “moderately visible” means a Google Page Rank of 4 or higher in recent times and the blog had at least three posts in either March-May 2007, 2008, or 2009…)

General characteristics

The blog began in late 2005. It has a Google Page Rank of 4.6–but, of course, GPR is always a whole number. When checked on September 30, 2009, the most recent post was 17 weeks old.

2007

In March-May 2007, this blog had 40 posts totaling 9,220 words, with 47 comments. Posts averaged 231 words each and there were 1.2 comments per post.

2008

In March-May 2008, this blog had 36 posts totaling 8,574 words, with 41 comments. Posts averaged 277 words each and there were 1.4 comments per post.

2009

In March-May 2009, this blog had 29 posts totaling 6,662 words, with 27 comments. Posts averaged 259 words each and there were 1.3 comments per post.

Changes

This blog had 148% more posts in 2008 than in 2007, 72% more in 2009 than in 2008, and 102% more in 2009 than in 2007.

It was 159% longer in 2008 than in 2007, 31% longer in 2009 than in 2008, and 116% longer in 2009 than in 2008. Posts, however, were 133% longer in 2008 than in 2007, 27% longer in 2009 than in 2008 and 119% longer in 2009 than in 2007.

There were 53% more comments in 2009 than in 2008 and 127% more comments in 2009 than in 2007–but there were also 72% more comments per post in 2009 than in 2008 and 152% more in 2009 than in 2007.

Impossible, you say?

Well, yes. It is, in fact, impossible for a blog to have these characteristics–there’s a bunch of internal contradictions. (In fact, not only is it impossible, it’s also atypical in almost every respect.)

But it is, in fact, what Excel will report as averages for each of those figures–and the problem isn’t an Excel problem.

Soon: The Mythical Median Liblog, which is just a little less implausible than the Mythical Average Liblog.

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