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Things That Amuse Me

Over on his blog Whatever John Scalzi offers a review copy of his upcoming Fuzzy Nation to whoever correctly guesses the number he is thinking of, between 1 and 1,000.

As of when I just checked, there are 1,154 responses.

Besides insuring that *someone* has just won that ARC, it really highlights the difference between the number of people who read a blog, and might be moved to comment if it's fast, easy and fun, and the number of people who routinely comment on posts (around 30 to 100 for most Scalzi posts).

Blogs like the well-loved Fleen post every weekday, yet often get no comments at all. If I was Gary, I might feel like I was posting into the emptiness. It takes events like Scalzi's contest to remind me that it's worthwhile to write up what interests you even if there aren't many responses.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
johnridley
Mar. 30th, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
That doesn't ensure that someone has picked the number. It makes it very likely, but there are undoubtedly duplicates. Even if the numbers are chosen completely at random, there will be many duplicates.

Since my stats aren't up to snuff, I just ran a quick simulation and it turns out that with 1154 randomly choosen numbers between 1 and 1000, fully 1/3 of the numbers are still unpicked.

Edited at 2011-03-30 11:30 pm (UTC)
alicebentley
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
Ah, but they're not randomly chosen numbers. They are numbers individually chosen by the poster, with knowledge of which other numbers have already been chosen, and that first-in-queue wins in case of matches.

The only reason all 1,000 numbers were not "taken" by post 1,000 is that a bunch of people were too lazy to read through the other comments first, or too taken with the cleverness of their choice. (Both pi and 42 had a lot of takers.)
gerisullivan
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
Yes, I thought the same as John at first, but then looked at the entries and the number of people who mentioned how many searches they had to do before coming up with a number that wasn't taken.

To be overly persnickety about what isn't even the main point of your post, entry #1 ensured that *someone* will win the IRC given John's contest rules.

I quite agree with your observations about the differences in response rates, and how many more people regularly read blogs than respond to them.
johnridley
Mar. 31st, 2011 12:25 am (UTC)
Ah, that makes a difference for sure.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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