CATBLOGGING RESEARCH NOTE….Today I present two propositions for your consideration. Proposition #1: A sufficiently anal-retentive person can make a graph out of just about anything, no matter how ridiculous. My evidence is the graph below, which charts the number of comments left on Friday Catblogging posts here for the past year.

Proposition #2: No matter how ridiculous a graph is, it has the potential to demonstrate something unexpected. In this case, it’s the unexpected finding that interest in catblogging has skyrocketed this year. During 2007 the average number of comments per catblogging post was 34, but since the Christmas break the average number of comments has shot up to 54. On the other hand, the variance in the number of comments has gone way up too, and the raw number appears to have peaked in the first couple of months of the year and is now on a downward trend.

Why? Vote for your explanation of choice in comments:

  1. My new camera produces better pictures, thus spurring renewed interest in feline cuteness.

  2. Catblogging posts spend more time at the top of the page than they did last year.

  3. This is George Bush’s last year in office, and everyone is so happy they’re leaving lots of catblogging comments.

  4. This is the stupidest graph of all time.

  5. Jeez, is this a slow news day? Don’t you have anything important to blog about?

We might also ponder what makes one catblogging post more popular than another. Last year, for example, the most popular post by a mile was this one. Why? Are cats in baskets really that beloved? Or was it the link to the story of Oscar the amazing death cat? Meanwhile, this year’s top post — and the most discussed catblogging post of all time — is this one. As catblogging, it seems pretty unremarkable, so I figure its popularity must be due to the linked news article about the superiority of cats over dogs in the stress relief department. The #4 and #5 most popular posts were my two video catblogs, so the key to popularity seems to be (a) links to cute news stories and (b) cat videos. But what about #3? What’s so special about this one?

On the flip side, the least popular catblogging post of the past year is this one. Seems pretty ordinary to me, so I don’t know why it got so militantly ignored. Any ideas?