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)

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

Is Gullibility a demographic?

If not...

How about, "Have you purchased books or other merchandise from webcomics in the past?"

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterC.S.Strowbridge

You could be checking on our willingness to pay extra for the book to be signed.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCortJstr

Not to be picky, but if you really need demographic information you could probably just put a poll on here and get tons of answers. But maybe your question doesn't really fit that format. Either way here's the people who read your comic:

50% people who want to laugh
50% know-it-all's that leave annoying comments

Today, I'm probably a little from column A and a little from column B. Sorry.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteryd39

it doesnt matter, anyone that reads your comic is of the geek/nerd/fanboy demo, which isnt a real one that the census cares about

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjschis78

You should gather when we started reading. That way, we that have been following you a long time could say, "We knew you before all these other readers showed up."

In case I win the book, I'll be glad to also provide my home address as demographic data as well.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Sparks

What are demographics and why should your mostly less educated male audience care? I like sparkly bright graphics, like on Tron, the original one not the sellout sequel which has NO TRON in it to speak of. Still bitter. O also i am bitter over Jurassic Park (any past the first) which had good graphics too. I like to ask my wife why they went back to the island in 2. Answer: for my $8.50. And for 3? Answer: for my $9.50. And for the upcoming 4**IN 3-D**? Answer: U AREN'T GETTING MY $14.00, see I learn eventually. Anyhow nice one today keep em coming.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertrousers

Geographical location.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVedran

The Geneva Convention stipulates you can only ask for name, rank, and serial number.

But I'll volunteer shoe size (11.5 US), Hank (Hill, slightly ahead of Aaron), and cereal preference (Lucky Charms).

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterC1-NRB

My shoe size is 10 and 1/2. I'm sure that will help you somehow.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIron Donkey

You could count the number of MoonMen checking in on a daily basis.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbigjimsmith

Not in the 1%.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermam

Favorite Food: M&Ms

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWQR

Maybe how many of us are TMBG fans? Ah! You could gather what everyone's favorite TMBG song is, along with favorite episode of various sci-fi series you like. It wouldn't be amazingly helpful information, but it would be great for "See, I'm not the only one who likes this stuff" proof when people hassle you about liking obscure things.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterinfinity+1

Bowel Movements per day?

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersburch79

One of the previous posters suggesting asking for political affiliation and religious beliefs to liven things up. OK

I am a political atheist. Not that I am political about being atheist, but that I don't believe that politics exist in reality, or at least has not been shown to exist by meaningful data.

Show me one of those 'candidates'! Produce one in person! I bet you can't, so why should I believe they exist? All those pictures on the internet - just Photoshop. I can tell by the pixels.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDougall

Demographic: # of sexual partners

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKered Retej

I think you should be asking me what is my favorite nut.

Or perhaps that should be who...

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterQHUdspeth

Well anyway; I guess "furthermore" is a word that a know-it-all wouldn't start a rhetorical question with...

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAncient Brit

Long time reader, first time commentator. I will hang up and listen to your answer on the radio. And furthermore . . . I guess that is all I have.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames

You could ask what mental quirks we all have such that we enjoy your humor so much?

P.S. More rick-bashing, please.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCaleb Huitt

You could try to discover how many long-term lurkers post a first-time comment on the off chance of getting some sweet free stuff.... But I'm sure no one would do that.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

Furthermore, in addition to education levels unlocked, you could ask for details about what one majored in in college.

I guess "Computer science/ application programming" folks might have a higher income than "19th century French poetry."

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob

You should inquire to the amount of Semprini someone has.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTundra

demographic smemographic. knowing that we like free stuff should be enough. lol. you could probably offer a jar of toenail clippings and you'd still have a rather large group trying to win them.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterother scott

Well, you could be looking in to whether males over 35 like your comic (I'm thinking about getting a book for my Dad for his birthday, possibly for Father's Day).

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

You should ask us why we read the comic. I do it for the laughs.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

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

Is your name Rick:

[ ] Yes
[ ] No
[ ] Unsure

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Before actually gathering demographic information, it might be useful to ask your readers how many of them are willing to answer questions that you ask them.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmprovision

Captain Crunch cereal hurts my mouth, you?

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Demographics you should be collecting:
Where people live
how much their yearly income is (roughly)
when they expect to be on vacation
how much their burglar alarm costs


February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShachar

Made me laugh out loud @ work, thanks!

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

You should gather IP addresses to map visitors of your comic.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDragon

Graph people's favourite colours.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelsey

What kind of "pants" readers prefer wearing. Using a definition of "pants" that includes any garment worn on the lower half of the body in order to not discriminate against skirts, kilts, pizza boxes or other alternative pantsing lifestyles.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

You should ask about education/career. Then you can try to tailor the jokes to the majority.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDevin

Random demographic data: 19

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScraper

Collect our IP addresses. Then use a geoip tool to know where we all come from. Then you can find the greatest concentration of Basic Instructions readers and you'll know where to . . . um . . . hold a book signing or something that isn't dropping a bomb on the city . . .

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Percentage of readers who identify with the Masking Tape Mummy versus percentage of readers who identify with Duct Tape Dracula

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJonnyB

Can I change my mind? The real most important demographic information is: Are you wearing clean underwear in case you get hit by a bus and knocked unconscious and they have to take you to the emergency room and cut your clothing off and you'd be embarrassed if you were wearing yesterday's underwear wouldn't you?
1) don't know.
2) No
3) yes
4) I have to look and see
5) want to look and see?
6) none of the above
7) all of the above but no Thorazine

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergobbler

I suppose the demographic info should cover the basics: Age, Gender, Marital Status, and Preferred Cheese Method: Spread, Squeeze-can, or Sliced.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLactose Tolerant
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