Baby Got Stats

It blows my mind that Weird Al Yankovic’s “White and Nerdy” video on YouTube has over 45,000 comments.

I’ve said this before, but I just don’t understand what motivates commenter No. 45,093.

There’s no video — only audio — but if you like “White and Nerdy,” you will love “Baby Got Stats” — courtesy of the Johns Hopkins Department of Biostatistics. They also do poetry.

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  1. mgroves says:

    I don’t understand what motivates 90% of the comments on YouTube.

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  2. Fred T. says:

    “I don’t understand what motivates 90% of the comments on YouTube.”

    Every time a user comments, the comment displays their username. Their username is linked to their “Channel,” which shows their own videos. I imagine that most people are simply self-serving in their comments and want to generate traffic to their own videos. Posting a comment that will be on the “front page” of a popular video (comments are listed in reverse order of posting) would seem to be a good way to approach that.

    So, my best guess is that commenter No. 45,093 is likely in need of some attention.

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  3. Ben G. says:

    I understood most of the stuff in this song. It was great for a guy just starting out in the market research field, where we too use stats.

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  4. Jim says:

    Though it pains the non-nerd in me to say, those songs are great. I’ll take a listen next time my eyes go blurry from staring at the STATA screen.

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  5. Josh Millard says:

    Youtube makes no effort (whether by intentional design or some more neutral kind of apathy) to foster any sense of permanence or cohesiveness in the comments on videos. The default view is constrained to a rolling window of the ten most recent comments; comment 45,093 is basically functionally indistinct from comment number 11.

    Dedicated readers can go out of their way to read more comments, but the balance of folks willing to comment to folks willing to read back through a comment thread is very, very lopsided. That proportional imbalance leaves it the comments area as (as someone put it recently in a conversation over at Metafilter) a “write-only” environment.

    There are very limited, localized exchanges (generally squabbles, really) in smallish youtube threads, but I’ve never seen anything like an expansive conversation; the place wasn’t designed for it, nor do they encourage it in any active way. Comments are almost an afterthought, a feature they decided to include because That’s What You Do. Because it’s sticky.

    So the question can be arguably reduced to “what motivates commenter No. 11?”

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  6. Clint says:

    I post on this blog fairly frequently, but I don’t think anyone has ever commented on anything I’ve said. I suppose my sole motivation is hoping that someone reads what I’ve said and thinks the same thing.

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  7. Clark Woolstenhulme says:

    Poster 45,093 is usually motivated by poster 45,092.

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  8. Amir B. says:

    Isn’t it extremely ironic to comment on a post like this?

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