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)

You should be attempting to if I'm in that demographic that words out of sentences.

Yes. Yes am.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Cool

you should be collecting credit card numbers. easily the most valuable demographic data you can get. and maybe you should ask how many of us are just robots boosting your site traffic, but mostly for the elucidation of everyone else.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

"Fifty dollars and time served!"
-Judge Harold T. Stone

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Frye

You should ask how many hockey sticks currently reside in my garage

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScott

Hmm, what demographic data would most interest you? Perhaps people's favourite weapons in case of moon man invasion, so our future overlords can be prepared?

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVicky

Least ticklish orifice

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike

My original comment was lost to the ether of space and time. So here's another.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTacoMagic

the perfect piece of demography you should collect is

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermm

You could ask how often people criticize online comics for spelling or grammar. Oh, wait, you already know that about your readers.

If you happen to be "in to" this sort of thing, you could also ask people how willing they would be to join a cult which worships you as a demigod and promises to obey your every instruction as divine guidance.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStrangelet

Shoe size. Definitely shoe size.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Well surely what demographics you gather depends on what you want to do with them. If you're selling advertising then you probably need to know gender, country of origin and age range.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCutty_Darke

Whether I actually read all the comments preceding mine, or if I just add my comment knowing it is so original and so interesting that anything coming before is no longer worth thinking about.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHenry Bear

innie or outie?

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternavarro

innie or outie?

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternavarro

I'd say the comic strips we read and the square of our ages.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLleu

Lots of demographics to ask about your readers: age, income, and all that rot; you could also ask about mental illness, or if we've had any amputations.

You have a great comic, BTW. I enjoy every update immensely.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTJ

The only demographic data that even begins to make sense to collect is (Zip Code)/(Inseam + Shoe Size)

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFuddster

I'm here to shamelessly be sure my name could be drawn for your book. :)

Perhaps you should ask whether people would be more interested in dead-tree versions, e-book versions, or curling up with it at B&N and returning it to the shelf when they're done because they're too cheap to actually buy it.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKozz

What demographic data should you collect from us? I suggest any that is commercially exploitable.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterConnor

Nothing to do with the above, but wanted to say hi (and register for the book giveaway, but I'm going to buy it anyway so throw this away if you pick this one out).

I have owned six automobiles in my life. My greatest current regret about cars I have owned (not counting the whole Dodge Omni thing) is that when I for the first time register a vanity license plate, I will not be honestly able to ask for the plate numerals 'fiftht'.

But I'm gonna ask for it anyway.

Almost forgot - look for shoe sizes. No one ever does this, so your demographic data will at least be unique.

I'm an 11-1/2. Bowling shoes, always 11.


February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Romero

Obviously you will want to make some money off the data you collect. So, you should collect credit card numbers, mother maiden name, social security number, date of birth, and our ATM PIN.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Wilhelm

Probably the average age of your audience. Its just always helpful! Anyways love the comic!

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBen Lewin

You could gather whether we're capable of knowing when to shut up. Since we commented we belong to the group for whom the answer is "no."

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDon

Demographic data... how's about country of origin (I'm a long-time reader from the Philippines). Which leads to my wondering if I am eligible for winning that book. Yeah.

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

How about "what was/is your first motor vehicle?"

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEddyline

Demographic data to collect:
-Have you ever applied for a hunting license?
-Which is your favorite piece of household furniture on which to drum to the rhythm of music you are enjoying?
-If you could create a time-lapse video of any location in the universe, where would it be?
-What was the worst-tasting sandwich you've ever eaten?
-How do you stop a rhino from charging?

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBasicLaugh

Well actually, it's more of an opportunity to gather demographic information about people who leave comments or people who want to win a free book. I'm guessing that they are only a subset of your actual readers and may not be representative of all your readers.

But what should you ask them ... favorite author, Myers-Briggs type indicator, average body temperature, and whether they prefer odd or even numbers.

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdandelioness

Who,What and Where we are.

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFaith Hosford

ALL of it. Always.

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDevon

Shoe size

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

Well, you could gather data about age, gender, income level, etc., but that is not particularly interesting demographic data. I think you should be asking things like, "What is your favorite flavor of popsicle?" or "If you could play the accordion (or if you do), what song would you play at two in the morning to wake the neighbors?"

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz G.

What haircut our bosses have. Like: Pointy haired, mullet etc...

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOedlan

Demographic of how many people are posting just to try win a free book, 230 as I type (231 after I post it) Bwah ha hah. Hello bandwagon "jump"

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Demographic? Hm. That's a tough call, but I see this as the sort of comic one reads alongside Dilbert. Semi-sophisticated, with mature-ish humour. Key difference being setting, but you even have office life in there too. So, consider that. I would think a lot of people who read this do so during their lunch break at the office. But I'm generalizing.

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Rob

You should ask - who here is in the UK?

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJonB

(I don't know if my previous comment went through)

demographic info on how many times they post comments to the same post?

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Grr... my posts won't post.

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDRS

Does "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?" counts as demographic data? Because you totally should be asking that. Regards!

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJochDiaz

Does "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?" counts as demographic data? Because you totally should be asking that. Regards!

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJochDiaz

How many read this in the office? during lunchbreak or first thing in the morning before the staff meeting?
(i do. and latter)

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhaleileen

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