Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Yakkity-Yak (or, How Some People) Don’t Talk Back

A Minister for Propaganda Elf writes: An anomaly has come to the attention of the Grand Vizier, and it’s this: according to the very fine statcounter provided by, well, Statcounter, Crime Always Pays averages an admittedly modest 60 returning visitors per day, and yet the comment-to-visitor ratio languishes at a rather miserable 0.26.*
  Clearly, this means one of two things: (a) the posts are so bloody rubbish they’re not worth commenting on, so we might as well strike tent and start blogging about chick lit instead; or, (b) at least some of the posts are interesting enough to encourage repeat visits but the buggers are just too lazy to type a few words.
  On the very dubious supposition that the problem is (b) rather than (a), allow us to provide a list of suggested comments, just to get you started. To wit:
1. This is rubbish.
2. I haven’t seen as much rubbish in public since the ’76 Winter of Discontent.
3. I think John Connolly / Ken Bruen / Tana French is lovelier than warm pyjamas.
4. Where’s the good stuff?
5. Sorry, I was actually looking for Declan Burke-Kennedy’s site.
Honourable mentions for regular comments go to Ann Giles, Peter Rozovsky, Ray Banks, Sinead Gleeson, Gerard Brennan, Colman Keane, Patricia J. Hale, Uriah Robinson and of course the mighty Critical Mick. You’re all excused duties for the next month or so, thanks very much, with a special mention for Ray Banks, who can take the whole year off. As for the rest of you – you know who you are. Do the right thing, people: comment is free.

* Statistic plucked at random from the Grand Vizier’s fevered imagination.


Andrew said...

I've always been surprised at the lack of comments. Considering the fact that a large proportion of your readership must be writers they're not a chatty bunch.

I shall do more.

Declan Burke said...

Andrew, you're a saint and a scholar. Cheers, Dec

Gerard Brennan said...

Ditto Andrew's comment.

Now that's lazy.


bookwitch said...

Yes, I had been feeling somewhat lonely here.

I'm constantly asking my friends why they don't comment (if only to say it's rubbish) when they actually do read my blog. But they don't. I also find that the fluffier and sillier a blog entry, the more comments I get, so maybe you haven't reached the heights of silliness, yet. (Hard to believe.)

And too many people think they need to know something in order to comment. They don't realise how easy it is to just jump in and be rude in general.

Declan Burke said...

Ms Witch - Silliness quotient will be upped immediately, if not sooner. And yes, it's incredibly easy to just jump in and be rude. It doesn't even have to be about the post. Why not, for example, ask why I'm using a black-and-white photo taken in 1987 for my on-blog pic? Cheers, Dec

Ray said...



(swishy cape and exit stage right)

Laura said...

I'm averaging one comment a day since yesterday and I do believe I left a comment on here oh maybe last October. That should round your statistic off to a nice even 0.30.

See you tomorrow.

Sinéad said...

I can only second what's been said above. Am always surprised by the lack of comments, especially as the tone around here is always of a warm fire/old man pub/pull up a pew for a chat.

I meant to reply to your post about Twenty (and I will, I promise). Have stuck something up on my own blog.

Edel said...

I think Bookwitch has a point in saying lots of people feel they need to be an expert on the topic to post a comment, or at least like to sound like they know something. Not me however! Is anything lovelier than warm pyjamas?

Claire Coughlan said...

Why don't I get an honourable mention? I've been known to leave a not very pithy bon mot from time to time. Is it coz I is an elf? Consider my comment quotient upped.

Ian said...

I always get here and am disappointed when I realise that you and Eoin Colfer aren't the same person :-(

Otherwise I guess it's just a case for me of dipping in and out, and feeling that it's wrong to post when you have nothing substantial to say. But in future I shall develop a number of humorous remarks which I shall solely reserve for use in this blog's comments!

Twenty Major said...

Well I'm looking forward to the abuse, if that doesn't sound too perverted.

Damien said...

I saw the lack of comments and had thought that the comments were locked in some way. Odd.

declan burke said...

Ladies 'n' Gennulmen - I thank you all. Twenty? Self-abuse is no abuse, thanks all the same. Ian? Ta for dropping by, sir ... and a little bit of humour might be exactly what this blog needs. Claire? Who let you out of the dungeon, elf? Edel - Warm pyjamas with pictures of bumbley-bees on them with little speech-bubbles saying, "Bee-yootiful." Sinead, ta very much for the plug on Sigla - and yes, people have been very quiet about the Kathy Foley piece. Is everyone still hungover from Saturday night? Laura - it's an electronic date, ma'am ... And who the hell let Banks in again? That blummin' twirly moustache fools everyone ... Cheers folks, Dec

Tony S. said...


For me the problem is quite simple - I don't have enough time in work to respond properly to your (and others') blog items of interest, and I suffer from an abysmal Internet connection at home - in fact, when I moved back to Ireland a couple of years ago I felt (and still feel) that I have gone back at least 15 years in terms of infrastructure, both real and virtual.

Keep up the great work.

Patricia J. Hale said...

Thanks for the acolade. This is the one place on the planet where talking too much is like, a good thing. Not everyone can have my ability to comment even when I don't know what I'm talking (writing) about. It's a gift.

Patricia J. Hale said...

Thanks for the acolade. This is the one place on the planet where talking too much is like, a good thing. Not everyone can have my ability to comment even when I don't know what I'm talking (writing) about. It's a gift.

bookwitch said...

I need to know why you are using an old photo. If, indeed, you are. You might be lying. Is it because you are very ugly these days? You can't have us girls drool over something old. (That didn't sound too good, actually...) Somebody old? Or is it because you are actually Eoin Colfer? The one with two shirts and one jacket.

Declan Burke said...

Ms Witch - The photo is actually 10 months old, so technically I'm cheating with my by-line pic - I've aged about 10 years in the last 10 months. And I only wish I was Eoin Colfer. A fantastic writer and a top bloke to boot. Patricia - You are so gifted at talking about nothing you really should consider a career in politics. I understand there's a White House desk coming free in the near future. Tony - The infrastructure is a disgrace. Kathy Foley, writing on blogging in the Sunday Times, bemoaned the quality and quantity of Irish blogs by comparison with America. Some might say the lack of broadband roll-out here is a deliberate ploy by the Irish government, to forestall unregulated commentary on what is quickly becoming the most farcical government in Irish history. And that's saying something. Cheers, Dec

jothemama said...

I'm commenting for the sake of the post that's in it. I'm both a comment whore, and compulsive commenter. I can't undertand the serial lurking! I should be working though - clearly, most other people just have more self discipline than I do.

Oh, and word verification is very off putting.... think of the wasted hours squinting at intelligible gibberish (I'll leave that open to John Waters to leap on) :)

Eolaí said...

StatCounter has a long memory so maybe it has me as a returning visitor even if I arrive here irregularly by different roads.

I usually stay a while but not being a reader of crime (oh -except Eoin Colfer) I'm left reading, and enjoying so, but with nothing to add.

Also I've long noticed that reader to comment ratio goes right down once the blogger posts more than once a day. On my Irish KC site I've improved this by splitting my site into 2 streams, with the more personal stuff now receiving more comments.

On American Hell though, much as I would love humorous banter, or even frequent cries of "That's tosh", people rarely say anything - and I can't blame them - if I was them I wouldn't know what to say either.

I'll try harder here though. Thanks