How to Tell When It's Time to Shut Up


Again, the prize is a signed copy of my book “Curse of the Masking-Tape Mummy.”  

As with last week, to enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this comic (How to Know When It’s Time to Shut Up). As with last week, the winner will be selected at random on Thursday morning (Feb 16th).  Again, as with last week, I will ask a question that you can, but are not obligated to, answer. I’m told this is a valuable opportunity to gather demographic data about my readers, so my question this week is as follows.

“What demographic data about you should I be trying to gather?”

I look forward to your suggestions.

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Reader Comments (335)

I guess there's lots of demographic information you could use. Well, actually there probably isn't. Furthermore, it seems like a giant investment of time.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAllan

Where we come from? Too easy.

Well, actually, you shouldn't at all. Furthermore, if you do gather demographic data, you should at least do it discreet. But I guess, it would be a ok, if you subtly ask us about our favourite books.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNachti

That post from frame 2 was a painful read. I kind of hate myself right now.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

random comment here, and size 36 and going vegan :)

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdrivinallnight

I think the most important demographic question should be:
What is our favorite superhero/villain?

Although it was tough decision, I would choose Rocket Hat over Omnipresent Man.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNVN

You should ask people how often they check to see if you have posted a new comic.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLarry

For those who would like it easier to copy/paste:

And great job, as always!

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoliath

Political affiliation and religious beliefs. That'll keep it lively

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKram Smith

I would use this opportunity to find out what our demographic is concerned about when collecting demographic data.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStreetwise guy

Well, I could provide some demographic data.

I am a Computer Science student.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDusk Eagle

Would it be useful demographic data to see which character most people identify with?

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShackleford Hurtmore

Well, actually, you should be asking about my education.

Shutting up now.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKC

Demographic data, hmmm?

Besides the character in your.comic each of us most resemble (which I really don't want to get into), I would suggest the length of our big toes, amount of cheese eaten per annum and how far off Google's guess about our ages is on our profile pages (no, seriously, look it up, it took more than 20 years of MY life, which explains the acme ads it keeps showing me).

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCraig L

Age Gender and social security number

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDuncan

Well, actually I'm curious about what made your earlier contest so successful in your view.

Furthermore, what will you be doing with the demographic information that you collect?

I guess, the details are unimportant.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack

The demographic question you should ask:

"How frequently do you buy physical comic books based off of online strips?"

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

Income data is always useful. If it turns out the majority of your audience is a bunch of rich people like Scott Adams, you'd want to be able to tell that to advertisers.

Not that anyone would tell you, or even find it polite if you asked.

On the more realistic side, you could ask for highest level of education attained. It correlates with income, to an extent, and people are much more inclined to provide it when asked.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMason

ooh I know ask how many fingers and toes your readers have!! thats valuable market research right there!!

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterobvioustroll

You should be collecting inseam measurements. I'm a 32".

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSchmoe90

Our favorite breakfast cereal(s) seems like some entirely non-trivial demographic information!

Mine's Frosted Flakes.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShard

the niche market you're tapping into can only be described as "those who read and enjoy basic instructions"

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersteve

How about "how many people are you?"

I want to keep things easy for your staff statistician.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Hmm...I think you could learn a lot about your readers by knowing if the majority prefer Chinese food or Mexican food. A lot can be ascertained about a person by knowing if they prefer covering food in soy sauce or cheese.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTabitha

The most Profitable demographic information you could gather would be name, SS number and sign-in to PayPal account ... but judging from the my spam-load I think that's already being done. Second choice!: maximum acceptable price for your next book.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergobbler

Social security numbers and mothers' maiden names. (Maybe those aren't technically demographics, but if you had those you probably wouldn't need demographic data any longer.)

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter2sheds

As is mostly apparent from the previous comments, your readers, those that could be bothered to comment, are mostly people who say awkwardly non-funny things. Which is a little something you call "material".

Basic instructions gives them hope of eventual approval from their peers and their charming lack of self awareness gives you more ideas to develop and draw.

If you keep providing them with hope and free witty dialogue you will increase advertising revenue and get a chance to flog off a few T-shirts, a mug or a book.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterComic

Income is a good one, as is age. This comic in particular seems like the kind that would be more visited by adults online instead of younger teens and below, but I could be wrong haha.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how proud are you of your heritage?

2. How many generations back can you trace your lineage without encountering an ancestor who was or is:
a. an alcoholic?
b. insane?
c. dishonorably discharged from the military?
d. imprisoned?
e. a murderer?
f. executed for treason?

3. What is your current zip code?

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterplepgeat

Demographic data is informative but only to a point. For example, I love to watch the Price is Right, but I'm not over 60. I don't need supplemental Medicare or life insurance, nor do I have diabetes or need a scooter/power chair. I also like to watch court TV every now and then (maybe just to feel better about myself) but I don't need to sue big pharm, get my GED, or want training in "a number of exciting and growing career fields, working with REAL DOCTORS."

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJukinJay

Eye color!

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

demographic data? maybe what other comics the viewer follows?

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrmv

Random demographic tidbit: I'm a mom with a teenager, and a gamer girl with a weakness for nerds. I also send your comics to a friend in prison. I suspect the demographics of your readers are all over the map. :)

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCalamity Bird

You should be asking about number of bookshelves in the household. Don't you want to know that your book will be lovingly displayed and protected on a proper bookshelf, and not tossed under the bed or behind the couch?

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Demographic info: Percentage of Innies vs Outies. Naval demographics are very important.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBillJ

I dunno... maybe age, gender, Pro- or Anti-Ewok, stuff like that?

Anyway, this is the first time I've ever commented, but I love your comic, man; I literally lol at least once a week over it.

Also, that link... Real eye-opener. I'd say thanks for sharing, but what I'm feeling right now might be a little to shame-painful to be called gratitude.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Ask people about their favourite colours! Mine are webcomic grey and the lifeless of shade Americans' faces when reading british orthography.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterborn in the nineties

1. Do you comment on comics?

2. Are you the type of person who answers questions?

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Martin

You should ask how much more people would pay for a signed book.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike

You should be trying to find out the colour of my belly-button lint. Demographically important!

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRodeoClown

The demographic data you should be trying to gather is whether I fall into the category of wanting a copy of your book.

The answer is yes.

Tabulate that, please.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

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