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Facts and figures

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:16 pm
by CantSleepClownsWillGetMe
I had a spare hour at lunchtime and, because I was curious how SoTW would stand up against another forum (I chose fRoots) on its poster figures, I did a few calculations relating to number of members and the spread of postings.

fRoots has 1139 members. SoTW 885 members (as of lunchtime today)

Looking at the total postings made on each forum, a couple of things emerged:

Both have 'lurker' members, who have never posted: fRoots 35% of total forum members. SoTW 54% of total.
Both have members who have posted between 1 and 5 times: fRoots 48%. SoTw 30.5%
Both have a small number of high volume posters (posting between 101 times and max): fRoots 1.67%. SoTW 5.5%.

(Interestingly the 0 - 5 postings total percentages are very similar for both sites - fRoots 83% and SoTW 84.5%)

So clearly this forum's not as attractive to new posters as fRoots is. Also, a higher percentage of postings on here are made by a few regular members. That's still a healthy sign but I think it could be healthier. It's also clear that the number of lurkers and the low percentage of people who are willing to dip their toes in for the first time here is something worth mulling over.

What is it that makes members less likely to make their first post here than on fRoots? And why, when fRoots has had a reputation for 'acrimony', is it more inviting for first time posters?

High volume posters are few and far between on fRoots (only Ian A and Diane Easby have posted more than 400 times) and there is a wider spread of posts per head of active members.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing that a few members make the highest contribution. It's great that we have knowledgeable members on here who post regularly and frequently, and, in fact, I'm convinced it's a large part of the site's attraction. Obviously this keeps everybody's level of interest high (mine included) and I'm certain it keeps the lurkers interested, ... yet not interested (or confident) enough to make that first post!

So I think the forum would be a healthier place if it were more newbie-friendly, and I think these figures bear that out. I appreciate that it's a difficult problem to address. Would a sudden influx of newbies drive away some of the regulars? I suspect it might. But possibly a slight concessionary nudge towards making the site just that little bit more accessible to new members wouldn't be a bad thing ...?


PS Okay, I admit it. I'm a nerd.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:27 pm
by Gordon Neill
And there was me thinking it was just blokes who did this sort of thing. But an interesting analysis. It's missing a few graphs, or at least some kind of trend analysis. Are things getting any better in terms of newbies getting damp toes, as opposed to faces bitten off? My impression (I don't have the statistics) is that there's been a few lurking caterpillars who've recently hatched into newbie butterflies, giving our Under-21 squad some real strength in depth. Er... statistically, I think I mixed about four metaphors there.

Re: Facts and figures

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:09 pm
by Alan Balfour
CantSleepClownsWillGetMe wrote:PS Okay, I admit it. I'm a nerd.
No a bit of it. I found it a very well considered analysis which made me reflect on how I came to join. The "grapevine" told me that Charlie was going to have Chris Barber as a guest. I emailed CG to remind him of the time when the hallway of the basement flat in his house was piled floor to ceiling with thousands upon thousands of mint 1940s RCA and Columbia blues 78s along with 1950s Specialty and Savoy gospel 78s which Barber has cleared from their respective warehouses in the States. I scanned a page of one of the many inventory lists I made with view to him showing it to Chris on the show. However, Charlie suggested that I join the SOTW forum and tell the story there. After a few weeks of "lurking" I finally found the courage to stick my head above the parapet. To my surprise nobody shot at it...and that's how SOTW has come to be stuck with me.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:17 pm
by Chris P
A pie chart'd be nice:


PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:52 pm
by Dominic

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:29 pm
by CantSleepClownsWillGetMe
Thank you Gordon and Alan for those kind, and informative responses.

However, to Chris and Dominic I say -



PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:51 pm
by Gordon Neill
Yes June, could you get that lot in the back row to pipe down! They could learn something, you know.

I did a wee analysis, partly just to be the first to produce a SOTW table:

...........SOTW ........ fRoots
1,000+ .....8.............2
500+.......10............ 0

There's quite an odd contrast between SOTW and fRoots. The latter has significantly more members who have posted between 10 and 99 times. But then SOTW streaks ahead in the numbers who have posted more than 100 times. Why does SOTW attract such tenacious obsessives, while fRoots posters tend to show more restraint?

In other words, SOTW is much more 'top-heavy' than fRoots, and less successful in bringing on moderate posters (ie normal people).

The other interesting point I noticed (let's just go on the basis that my first point was actually interesting, OK?) is that there is some evidence of newbies getting damp feet. 6 of the people who signed up as members in March have posted 5 or more times. This is more than in any month for at least 15 months. What we haven't had for a while is one of those supernova who have a fantastic work rate.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:09 pm
by Gordon Neill

just keeping the figures up

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:10 pm
by ritchie
I wish I could add something sensible or of any worth to this thread.

"yes you can"

"no I can't"

"yes you can"


"no I chuffing can't"

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:11 pm
by Chris P
Toucan play at that game (responding to June's "Huff" picture) :


But seriously your point about a newbie area or policy or something might be a good thing .

Over at the fRoots forum a number* of hitherto lurkers have posted for the 1st time in response to a sequence of threads (started by Chris Murkey) where favourite albums for each letter of the alphabet are suggested. One week and one thread for each letter of the alphabet - it'll take about 6 months !

If you read this when you get back from your weekend away MurkeyChris, howzabout it over here ?

* I just checked and the number is actually 2 (ho hum). Still several people who've posted fewer than 10 times are posting. It's filled up 5 pages, and we're not at the end of week 1 : 'A' yet

who ate all the pies?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:17 pm
by ritchie

ha that's the end of that then,,,.

actually on a ukulele forum I 'go on' there is a welcome thread for newbies.

Is this what puts off the newbies?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:22 pm
by Gordon Neill
Organisation chart (with Jack Daw at the top)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:26 pm
by Chris P
Is that Howard on the second rung down far right ?

My partner is a care-worker and she says this is literally true where she works. The further down the organisation chain you are the more shit (literally) you deal with. Their organisation doesn't have cleaners - the staff and 'clients' do it.

I'm right above you

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:30 pm
by Gordon Neill
Yes Chris. And you're on the third rung down, second from the left.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:33 pm
by Chris P
oh I thought I was bottom rung far right. Things are looking up (but I'd better not - SPLAT !)