Missing Commenters Redux

A mystery within a mystery . . .

My posting from early yesterday morning, “Where Have All the Commenters Gone?” has drawn a long and interesting discussion.

As noted at the bottom of the original posting, I added a considerable number of names as the day went on and I’ve added a few more since. Long-timers may want to scan it again and look at the boldface names to see if they remember those guys.

As I was working through it, I noticed a coincidence perhaps too strong to be just a coincidence:

We lost four long-timers in a short span in 2017:

  • Stonetools” posted at least 6,725 times between 2011/05/22 and 2017/01/01.
  • legion” posted at least 2,629 times between 2009/01/01 and 2017/06/23.
  • PD Shaw” posted 6,358 times between 2006/08/01 and 2017/06/27.
  • anjin-san” commented 5,415 times under one email, 1,090 under another, and a handful more under others starting 2004/08/09 and made his most recent appearance on 2017/06/29.

I’m baffled as to what happened that one week in June!

Scanning the June 2017 archives, which are in reverse chronological order, nothing jumps out at me. Unless there’s a glitch in the way they’re aggregated, it looks like an incredibly light posting period. I personally was away on vacation with the girls during the latter part of June.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, OTB History
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mister Bluster says:

    You have listed Stonetools’ most recent post as January 1, 2017 (2017/01/01).

  2. al Ameda says:

    “anjin-san” commented 5,415 times under one email, 1,090 under another, and a handful more under others starting 2004/08/09 and made his most recent appearance on 2017/06/29.

    Interesting. I do remember ‘anjin-san’ because ‘he’ was apparently from the same general locale that I am from, and where ‘Michael Reynolds’ was commenting from for a while. Sometimes life happens and you’re called away so to speak.

    One of my daughters periodically takes a sabbatical, she goes off the grid for a few months, minimizes her social media involvement. She feels that the immediacy of these platforms, and the often hypercritical content of comments, creates some stress and anxiety.

    by the way … I do appreciate your commentary here James, as well of the efforts of Doug and Steven.

  3. James Joyner says:

    @Mister Bluster: No, that’s the most recent one I found. But four long-timers in the span of a few months—three of them in one week!—seemed odd.

  4. Mister Bluster says:

    I get it.
    Pardon my confusion.
    Maybe this fellow could help us out.

  5. Teve says:

    Maybe they all John Galted and we are the poor dumb parasite saps doomed to die in an imminent economic collapse.

  6. CSK says:

    Janis Gore disappeared, too.

  7. mattbernius says:

    I know PD Shaw comments over at The Ordinary Times (there is no mistaking that “Amazing Screw On Head” Lincoln avatar). I keep hoping he will pop into one of these two threads to share his decision to stop commenting here (though I suspect I already know the answer to that).

    Still it would be interesting to know if any of those folks are still reading OTB.

  8. An Interested Party says:

    @mattbernius: If I recall correctly, for a period before he disappeared, he seemed to be frustrated with many of the responses directed towards his comments…

  9. James Joyner says:

    @CSK: Yup. Janis Gore commented at least 1,649 times between 2003/05/01 and 2017/07/21. She had stopped blogging in 2012 but there were two blank posts at her site in September 2014.