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)

Demographic info: I'm a Montana-born Jewish lesbian, and am frankly insulted that you are not catering to my specific desires by including more rough riding, guilt-ridden cowgirls in leather chaps into your comic. PANDER TO ME.

Also, I bought my mom your calendar as a Hanukkah present, and she has fallen in love with the comic. So yay!

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGirlyQ

You should ask how many online comics people read, and the amount of money they spend per annum on associated content.

Also, how far someone would be willing to travel to meet you in person.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErath

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, A, B.

Do I win?

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmpeaseases

What century we hail from. You want to know if you have any time travelers.

El Psy Congroo?

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHobosnake

Stick to the basics at first. Age, gender, location, education.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessiEeee!


February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterfilsmyth

My favorite demographic? It would be one of those little charts from USA Today, illustrating the products most often sampled at Costco. A "demo graphic"!

har har har...huuuuuuuuh...har har har har.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSven

Can't think of anything useful, and you likely don't need any more snark on the mountain you already have.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertornadogrrrl

Married Female who loves both YOU and YOUR WIFE; low income demo (but not low enough to qualify for ANY kind of handout, so that really SUX); GEEK!!!

I know, I didn't tell you what kind of demo to take, just what MINE is, in the hopes that you'll take pity on my personal demo and tell me that I WON the signed book! ;)

here's another for good measure, or for you to share with Missy ;)

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBI Fan

I want that book. That is all.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

All demographic information is dangerous in the wrong hands. That's why I try to stay off the Internets.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScott

You can ask "Where were you born"? and then make one of those fancy maps with dots...

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMattia Landoni

Favorite type of ice cream. That actually says a lot about people.

Mine's maple nut!

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

How about "what percentage of us have disposable income and are willing to spend it on your books?"

Or possibly occupational data related to our ability to recruit new readers... for instance, I use your health-related strips as cover slides for my epidemiology lectures. Not quite sure what the students make of it, but at least it keeps them entertained while waiting for class to start.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate

How many of us are Rocket Hat supporters vs. Moon Men sympathizers.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob

Long time reader, first time commenter. I love your work, Scott and you've been an inspiration to me.

As for demographic info, I think the most profitable information would be bank account and credit card information, along with any pertinent data to access it such as PINs or mothers' maiden names.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVascoDaGamer

mmm a nice survey would be a one liner(in my opinion)
as follows "if there were Intellectual requirements for everything (i.e. marriage|parenting|driving|etc.) do you believe you or people close to you would be ALLOWED to do much of anything that they take for granted?"

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJojo

Demographic information: 37 year-old photographer who pays the bills by driving a truck, long hair, all my accounts have the same password which is "Cuddles247"

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob

I tried shutting up, the posting system would not let me.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Silberstein

Wow, I have totally missed the connection between the curse spoken by the masking tape mummy and the title of the book. Every time until now. Kind of like that page in the "Where's Waldo?" book that was completely blank except for Waldo and nobody else. Saw him and flipped the page, but totally didn't notice I had found him.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThom

i think the book should go to someone who bothered to read the nearly 200 comments on this comic. ill admit its not me, but since i read this while working you should cut me some slack. or you could ask us how many pinky fingers we have. obviously i have none since i dont use capitals or punctuation


February 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterirrogical

I think asking us what other kinds of webcomics we read would be a fun demographic question, and one people wouldn't hesitate to answer! Furthermore, once you ask us, we might not shut up about it. I guess it'd give you TOO MUCH information!

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Joel

Likeliness to post comments online.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Aw, man... I was gonna say social security numbers,
favorite password choices, and major credit cards, but I'd hate
to beat a dead horse.

Let's say age, gender, highest level of education, and
favorite hobby. 31, M, DVM, demolitions

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTormodG

I think you should ask us what the greatest show ever is. That seems like a good way to get to know your viewers.
Ps Mine is Doctor Who. lol

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimothy

I just had knee surgery today, so I suppose the demographic you should be looking at is "People who are the most pitiful at the moment."

Yes, I'm totally attempting to tug at your heart strings and play the pity card.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthestashattacked

Number of and locations of body piercings (only applies to ladies). Pictures optional... and encouraged.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShaku

Perhaps what country I'm. If I read via RSS or the actual website. If I +1'd it. Maybe age.

Should I start seeing "How To..." that features Australians (or Austrians!), or the actual comic image no longer appears in the RSS content, or even "How To Plus One and share an insightful comment you saw once", then I'll know you read this. Or maybe I'll shed a tear that the comic no longer appears in the RSS feed.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReuben, Brisbane, Australia

You should ask place/country of origin, age, and gender.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTova

Forget the demographic data, just ask everyone about a topic you haven't covered. No sense not mining your loyal readers for strip ideas. I'll start - "How To Tell A Golf Story." That ought to be an easy one. ;)

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Sandwiches. I don't trust people who go heavy on the mayo. Gotta find them and keep an eye on them.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Republicans seem really interested in bedroom proclivities, so it must be important. Ask us how we like to get funky...

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterzy1125

If you know exactly what you're going to do with it, the needed demographic data should be apparent. Otherwise you just end up with big files on your computer wasting space. Answer the what am I going to do with it first. "Make money" is not specific enough. For the sake of mental gymnastics, assume you already have access to all information about everybody, now what?

Random Demographic: I am wearing a black tee-shirt.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterInner

Beer preference is a useful demographic to have, particularly if we start dropping in at your house. Then you can have beer for us, and we won't have to settle for what you would normally have in your fridge. Sweetwater IPA works for me, sir.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjowbi wan

age and sex, it's the most important thing to know from your fans.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRM

math is hard.
furthermore, i eat glue.


February 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdredpiratebunny

My favorite brand of breakfast cereal, which is Malt-o-Meal's knock off "Cinnamon Toasters." Mmm... bagged, sugared pressed corn/wheat.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJK

Oh, that's easy. The demographic question you ask is: which character do you best resemble? Make it multiple choice for the slow learners. With pictures.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth Lyons

Let's see, age, gender, location? How's that?

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTonia

I'm a 56 year old Pakistani man.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric
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