Friday, April 24, 2009

2009 Blog Improvement Project - 8 - Making Your Blog More Comment-able Wrap Up and Third Row Center Seats at the Halifax Comedy Festival

The Blog Improvement Project focused on comments for our last assignment. Upon reading a few articles on the subject, I decided to start responding to everyone's comments here at my blog, as well as continuing to return the visit of everyone who comments here. I also decided to hoist several comments into the body of the post to get the conversation started. And I've tried to incorporate a question towards the end of each post, to encourage readers to answer it by commenting.

Hoisting the comments has been fun. Responding to the comments artificially inflates my comments numbers, so I have to spend some time subtracting my own comments before I can tell how many comments I actually have.

In taking stock of my comments before this assignment and afterwards, there was actually no discernable change in the comments level.

The two weeks of posts prior to the assignment resulted in an average of 11.7 comments.

The two weeks of posts following the assignment resulted in an average of 11.2 comments.

Perhaps two weeks is a little soon to see real changes in the habits of readers who normally lurk. But I'll continue on with my new responding and hoisting.

And I'm just back from a taping of the Halifax Comedy Festival at the Dalhousie Arts Centre. My mom's friends from New Brunswick sent her two tickets - they'd been planning to come to Halifax for the show but couldn't make it. After a week at work where things built up and I nearly blew a gasket, tonight's performance was a godsend.

We had amazing seats. Third row from the front, right in front of the mike. There was a camera on a crane shooting the audience, plus a camera operator onstage shooting past the comedians - so I'm fairly certain we'll be visible at some point once it airs.

Mom and I laughed so hard we were in tears. My favorite performers:

Host Mark Critch

Had us all in hysterics while he ribbed the young stage hand who fixed the mike stand between comedians. Critch pointed out how pubescent the stagehand seemed - then just started calling him Pubes.

John Beuhler

The first comedian of the night to make me cry with laughter. He riffed on taking his cat to be spayed or neutered - how should he know? - and perhaps tattooed.

Sean Cullen

I saw him at a comedy club in Toronto, once upon a time. He was surreal and instigated more tears with his tales of parenting and his song dedicated to his man child.

Steve Patterson

This guy was my favorite, though. His tale of attempting to use Ontario classroom conversational French in his new city of Montreal - and his need for winter tires - was the winner of the evening for me.

Travis says I think you'll find that answering comments is reward on its own.

Apprentice Writer says Scientific research on your blog! Very cool, yet unnerving.

Isabella says I would love to go to a comedy show!!


Travis said...

I think you'll find that answering comments is reward on its own. I enjoy it whether a conversation gets started or not.

As to comedy, it's been ages since I went to a comedy showcase. The last time I think was in Vegas. I may have to look into it. I think a successful comedy night out is when you get home and ask why do my ribs hurt...and realize it's because you laughed so hard all night.

Julia Smith said...

Travis - My mom's elbow hurt from clapping so hard!

M. said...

Hey, I had no idea you were conducting scientific research on your blog! Very cool, yet unnerving.

The best comedy show I ever saw was at The Second City in Toronto. All the performers were fantastic, did some bits down on the floor with the audience (DH and I were drawn in peripherally and couldn't make any intelligent contribution due to laughter) and two of them now have frequent commerical appearances on TV. Which is one way of getting on television, I guess.

Isabella Snow said...

I would love to go to a comedy show!! Lucky you!!

Julia Smith said...

M - I'm really enjoying this year-long challenge. I've met a lot of new blog friends through doing it, and it's definitely pushed me past my comfort zone many times. All good. If that didn't regularly happen, it wouldn't be much of a challenge.

I've only been to a few comedy shows, but every time, I leave exhausted from laughing so hard. The funniest may have been the Komic-Kazes, a 90's comedy troupe featuring one of the people I went to film school with (Adam Reid.) My sister and I nearly expired during two of those shows, mainly from Terry McGurrin's snowplow operator song.

Isabella - Maybe we can go to one together sometime, if all the planets align!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I wish there was a way to disclude your own comments from the numbers -- Wordpress just adds my comments into theirs too. It's a little annoying, but oh well. I hope you keep track of the numbers for longer to see if your comments per post and whatnot improves :)


Kelly Boyce said...

I love the comedy fest - glad you enjoyed it!!

Julia Smith said...

Kelly - I felt bad for my mom's friends - they had to miss the show that they'd bought the super-fab tickets for. But I was SO glad they thought of Mom and sent them to her!