Axver (axver) wrote,

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The results to the lj-cut test.

Today, the results of my test! As the last two entries explained, I was testing the impact using an lj-cut has upon your readership. The first thing I must note is how incredibly unscientific the test was, with so many gaping holes and uncontrolled variables that the data below is probably meaningless. The results surprised me. Both entries were up for a day before the next entry, so they had an equal number of time to gather comments, and I very much expected the entry without a cut to have more readers. In fact, the opposite occurred.

Total unique, individual commenters: 42 (including 3 anonymous - 2 on the first entry, 1 registering a different IP address on the second, and thus I assumed there were three separate individuals.)
Total unique, individual commenters who commented on both entries: 18
Total who solely commented on the cut entry: 13
Total who solely commented on the un-cut entry: 10
Total who commented on the cut entry: 31
Total who commented on the un-cut entry: 28

Now, if we are going to make conclusions from that data, I think we could conclude that a cut doesn't seriously impact readership - and in fact, an enticing cut or a large number of comment responses can entice people to read. Indeed, even if the data above has no value whatsoever, I think we can make such a statement anyway. I'm tempted to make a post with a cut saying "click for teh nekkid!" just to see how many unique commenters there are.

Now, after running that test, I'm pretty convinced the uncontrolled variables have severely reduced the validity of the data, and furthermore, that the variables are too difficult to control. You never know who's going to be online and when. People who would have otherwise replied to the first entry didn't show up until the second entry had been made, while others who replied to the first entry may not have been online yet to see the second. And of course, I'm wholly relying on the honesty of readers to actually reply. And those are just a couple of a number of variables. I don't know just how you could accurately test an audience. I'm open to suggestions on how to cut down the variables, though I don't know if I will ever do this test again.

In summary, my data is probably severely lacking in validity, but if we are able to draw conclusions from it, it is that cuts do not dramatically impact readership and that the theory that people are less likely to read a cut entry may not be true, as a cut may entice some to read. Ultimately, I think if someone has the time available and enough interest in the topic presented, they will read an entry, cut or not, and if they are short on time or don't care for the topic, no amount of enticing cuts or waffling filling their screens will cause them to read.

So, thank you to all who participated. Any thoughts? Or are all of you just going to say 'I read' again?
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