Good evening. Gentlemen, please, be seated.
My name is Sergeant-Major Professor Sir Elbert Louche OBE, and I am delighted to have been invited back for the fifth consecutive year to deliver the annual State of the Beans Address, this year held for the first time here in the glorious humidity of the glass dome at the Center Parcs in Hebden Bridge. Please could I ask delegates not to use the water slides during the speeches.
My colleagues and I at the University of the Internet have been doing science at Pouring Beans all year long, and have taken cell samples from the inner membrane of the website which, by bombardment with gamma radiation, we successfully mutated into a genetically modified single-cell website that looked exactly like Pouring Beans but which generated its own blog posts several times a day. All the blog posts featured pictures of tabby cats. This promising line of inquiry will be pursued further in 2019.
In the meantime, we have collated some statistics on the Beans and I am pleased to announce that, for the first time since 2015, we are able to report an increase in activity. 2018 saw a total of 91 new posts, up seven on the previous year, and 1,870 comments – very nearly double the number posted in 2017. This is very pleasing, even if it is all just inane chatter between Chris and Ian.
There follows a breakdown of activity per member.
Ian wrote 42 posts, earning him a full 12 beans. This was a year-on-year increase by five posts, and he equalled his perfect bean score from 2017. My research team have nominated Ian for a special Commendation Award, which they printed off in colour and which features some snazzy WordArt.
A total of 48 posts in 2018 puts Chris seven up on his previous total, and he too earns a full 12 beans, beating his 2017 total of eight beans. He last had a perfect run in 2015 and he is feeling pretty damn smug.
As an “associate member” of the Beans, Kev is a second-tier user of the website and not seriously expected to match the post totals of his more committed counterparts. However, he did make seven posts, one more than in 2017, and my research team and I agree that this should be recognised as a Good Effort.
In summary, then, 2018 shows every sign of being a turning point in the fortunes of the Beans, arresting the decline in post and comment counts that had been accumulating since 2016. It is with delight that I can announce that all members are having full biscuit privileges restored in the communal kitchen areas. Chris, as the Winner of the Beans 2018, also takes home this stylish Blankety Blank chequebook and pen. Congratulations to him.