30,000 Members strong - AAC tidbits

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by WBahn, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    As of right now we have 30,000 registered members. So I got curious about some more-or-less meaningless statistics that might be interesting for what little they are worth.

    Now, it should be noted that the Members List does not include members that have been deleted (such as spammers) and I'm not sure if post totals include deleted posts or not. But, hopefully, that is relatively small noise in the data (though I have one head scratcher on that score that I'll mention later).

    By default, the Members pages are 30 usernames long, meaning that there are now exactly 1000 pages in the members list and that each page represents 0.1% of the registered users.

    There are some interesting, though not unusual or surprising, things that I'm sure many people are not aware of when it comes to forum participation (pretty much any forum website). To underscore some of these (that I'll mention later), consider the following (in round numbers, but really close):

    The user with the most posts has over 21,000 posts. Anyone that has posted (in round numbers). Anyone that has posted even 10% of that (call it 2000 posts) is on the first page, or in the top 0.1%. Anyone that has posted 4000 is in the top half page (0.05%) and anyone that has posted 8000 is in the top quarter page. Going the other way, anyone that has posted, more than 1000 posts is in the first two pages, or the top 0.2%. If you've posted 500, you are very close to the top 0.3%. Notice how the drop off is a very good approximation to an exponential decay. Beyond this, it tapers off into a shallower tail: 300 posts put you in the top 0.5% and 130 put you in the top 1%. If you have just become a Senior Member (100 posts) you have made it to the top 1.3%. If you've made 14 posts you are in the top 10% and if you have just graduated from New to Junior member (10 posts) you are in the top 14%. In fact, if you have just made three posts you are in the top 44%. Fully 37.5% (3 out of 8) people that have joined AAC have never made a second post.

    The point I was referring to is that the membershipf of AAC, like the vast majority of forums, consists of a huge fraction of people that had a passing interest and made only a single or, at most, a few posts. Instead, the forum is dominated by a relatively small number of people that are highly engaged. That list is effectively even smaller than it appears because it includes both people that are no longer active (or have become largely inactive) and people that are relatively new.

    So, at any given time, the backbone of the activity rides largely on the participation of a very small number of people. And having that core of people, despite it shifting and changing over time, is important and valuable. When I was looking for a forum to help me with a problem, I didn't even consider joining and posting in forums that had hardly no activity; I simply didn't want to bother with a forum where, from all appearances, it could take weeks before someone even saw my post.

    So what other tidbits can be thrown out?

    Well, a quick gander shows that we are presently gaining about ten members a day (call it ten to fifteen). The oldest member joined in Sep 2003, so just shy of nine years ago. Call it 3200 days. So, over that time, we have averaged 9.4 new members a day. So it would appear that the rate at which the forum is growing has been pretty consistent. I don't know what, if anything, that says; it's not what I expected, but I can think of some explanations that make it reasonable. I would love to do some data mining and see what the actual patterns look like.

    So what about the head scratching stuff?

    If you go to the forum homepage and look at the bottom, it claims that there are 170,939 members. That's a HUGE different from the 30,000 in the Members List. Now, I can believe that the big number includes people that have been removed (the spammers and such), but I have a hard time believing that nearly 5 out 6 memberships fall into this category (and, if they do, then we REALLY owe the moderators a debt of gratitude!). I have no explanation for it. I'd love to someone (probably have to be an admin, so I doubt that will happen since something like this is a really low priority) check into where that number is coming from and what it means. Perhaps its a bug in the vBulletin code.

    The total threads (63,492) is reasonably close to the total of the thread counts for each forum (61,247). I'm sure there are a few administrative forums that are not publicly viewable and they could easily account for the 3.5% discrepancy, especially if the total includes deleted threads and the individual forum thread counts don't.
     
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  2. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
    5,142
    1,266
    Let me help here with a hint about the missing members: Did you notice that the least active members in the Members List have 1 post? Well, the Members List doesn't display members with 0 posts. And, BAM!, you have another 140,000 members.

    There are indeed some hidden moderator and E-book developer forums that aren't visible to the public.
    Hey, we have to have a place to chat, too!

    In case you haven't stumbled upon it, check this thread here: http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=64147
    I have gathered some daily statistics from the administrator panel and posted them. I have stopped some two months (or longer) ago, due to other obligations, but I really, really hope I 'll catch up during the summer vacations.
    Every end of the month I have posted a .pdf with stats and some analyses that might interest you. I think there are only two so far.
     
    DerStrom8 likes this.
  3. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    I'm going to trip Markd77 and clothesline Bernard and claim my spot on the first page.
     
  4. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
    5,142
    1,266
    I was like that before I became a Mod. Now I have abandoned that race since most of my posts are procedural and it would be unfair to count them.
     
  5. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    2,803
    594
    You've only got 13 more posts before you overtake me.
     
  6. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
    15,647
    2,346
  7. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Well then maybe ill refrain from tripping. That would be unsportsmanlike.
     
  8. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Don't forget our time capsule.
     
  9. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2012
    Sparky49 likes this.
  10. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,720
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    That was actually one point I wanted to bring up - that all members have at least one post. I wanted to verify that you couldn't register until youi tried to post and that the post was made as part of completing the registration. So it's good to know that you can register without making a post (just because knowing is good, not because being able to do this is or is not good).

    Any kind an idea what fraction of members are spammers and the like?

    When someone's membership is deleted, do they still show up in the totals (perhaps in the 0 posts group)?
     
  11. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    2,803
    594
    Most of the no posters have probably signed up to download an attachment, non members can't get them.
     
  12. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
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    What makes a person's last activity show up as N/A?
     
  13. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    834
    417
    Perhaps their post got deleted?
     
  14. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
    15,647
    2,346
    Hello,

    The N/A as last user activity is probably caused by a forum software update.
    The last activity was probably before the update.

    As for the spammers: their number of posts is set to 0 and they are added to "the special user group".
    Their posts are deleted, threads are moved to "the spam can", a special administrative forum.
    (the forum software uses the data to scan spam in the future).
    We gave about 3000 in the banned group.

    Bertus
     
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  15. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
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    Actually most new members have 0 posts. You have to be a member to see the attachments, which is why people join. A guest can not see the schematics and pictures. As an added benifet, all advertising stops, and you know how fanatical we are about spammers.

    The explanation for this policy was it prevent harvesters from taking images and claiming them as their own.
     
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  16. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Thanks for the explanation.

    I'm not too sure about the N/A, though. There are several people that post here on a regular basis (as in, today) that always show up as N/A. I've been assuming that this probably means that they have a privacy option set. I know there is one to prevent your name from showing up as a currently logged in user, so I've been speculating that this same one suppresses the last activity entry, too.
     
  17. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,720
    4,788
    Yes, it is the Invisible Mode option. I set mine to Invisible Mode but could still see my last activity date. But as soon as I logged out and viewed the Members List as an unregistered visitor, it showed up as N/A.
     
  18. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I use the option to keep spammers from knowing their safe. It works, I've caught quite a few in the middle of a run. Satisfying, that.

    I think some of them think it is a game, where they get to make money. I've wondered how they get paid sometimes.
     
  19. WBahn

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I looked over the article and it references a 2005 study. I posts a similar set of observations on a forum I was involved in back in 2002. I'm sure others posted similar observations much earlier. I wonder if this is another example of someone getting a government research grant to study the blindingly obvious.

    That's like one of the people that graduated this spring with a doctorate in education. Their dissertation was about looking at the leadership styles (grouped as "transformative", "transactional", and "laissez faire") of regional church officials to determine which style was better suited to growing the church.

    Hello!!! Is it any surprise that he discovered that leaders that set out to transform an organization are much more strongly correlated with changes in that organization than leaders that just want to conduct business as usual or adopt a hands-off approach to leadership? The person readily admitted that this has been studied over and over for decades and that his results "confirm" the expectations based on prior research.

    So what the hell did this guy do to expand, in a meaningful and useful way, the general body of knowledge, which is generally taken as the principal criterion for awarding a PhD.
     
  20. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
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    Wbahn have you just turned on yourself?
     
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