Active members?

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by OutThere, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    I know that vBulletin has a feature for reporting the number of "active members" on the site, e.g. members who have logged in to the forums in a given amount of time (configurable as far as I know).

    Just purely out of curiosity, why is this feature off, and what percent-active in the last, say, 3 months are we running here at MR? 6 months? Year?

    The demographics of this forum fascinate me. :p


    Also, it could help to enable the active-user thing on the birthday list, if anything...even limiting the members who show up there to the last two years. There a people who have never posted and never actually logged in since the day they registered 5 years ago who show up on the birthday list...:rolleyes:
     
  2. Xeem macrumors 6502a

    Xeem

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #2
    I'm also very curious to see how many active regular users the forums have. I might be (and probably am) missing something, but it is hard to tell how many members regularly post here underneath the slew of none/one/few-time posters.
     
  3. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #3
    <best PA system voice> Paging Doctor Q, Doctor Q tho the Site and Forum Feedback area. We have a site stats situation </end PA system voice> :)

    I don't know if there's going to be a lot of call for this to be an active (i.e. constantly updated) feature here. But I know Dr. Q loves this kind of stuff and with his mighty powers can provide the curious with a snapshot of the active members. It would be interesting to see if there's a seasonal trend, and the spikes during the keynotes and other product announcements.

    .... Mind you I think he's done this already... just can't find it anywhere, I must be using the wrong search parameters :eek:
     
  4. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    #4
    I haven't looked into tallying active members for some time. I think I once posted a chart of members who had posted in the last x days for various values of x, but certainly nothing lately.

    I too am interested in stats like these, but I don't expect to have any time to look into it for at least the next few weeks.
     
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #5
    I think it would be nice to do housecleaning once a year. Maybe delete the usernames of everyone who has not logged in for the past year. That would probably clean out half of the "registered" users.
     
  6. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #6
    THis has been brought up before but many active posters might take a year of traveling and might not have time to post, I think if we were gonna have a spring cleaning of sorts it would be non active for 2 years and less then 30 posts.
     
  7. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #8
    To initiate a sudden landgrab for all those cool and funky names that were snaffled up when this world was first created? ;)
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    I can't tell you how many forums I have to register at as Mad Jew 0123534 because Mad Jew is already taken! :mad: :D
     
  10. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #10
    mad ewe... Is that close enough? I agree that we need a cleanout, but I can't see one happening any time soon. There's something impressive about the shear size of our membership directory, but realistically the number is meaningless since so few of them are active.
     
  11. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #11
    I guess it's my inner tidiness coming out. At what point does one say we need to keep old (inactive) names? If there has been no activity in 5 years? - Sure, no brainer - expunge 'em. 4 years? Yeah, that's a long time too. 3 years? 2 years?

    I think knowing the active core group keeps the community a little tighter -- even on a broad scale, like within 2 years of activity. Having hundreds of accounts that were opened for a week or so and never used afterward seems silly. If there were 500,000 inactive members and 4,000 active members -- again, a no-brainer, clean out the half million phantom members. Do you clean up at 100,000 inactive accounts? 1000 inactives? That breaking point is completely up to the Mods/Gods.

    For some reason, I take more pride in being listed among the "real" active members than being one active member in a graveyard of inactive accounts. Freeing up the old names is nice too!
     
  12. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    I gotta admit, when I registered I was slightly bothered that the username I wanted (and "deserved" since it actually is my name) was/IS taken by someone who posted once in 2004. I tried several other variations when choosing a username only for them to also be taken by inactive users. Now though I'd feel strange without my username so I should just say "sod it, that's a newbie's problem, not mine." but it is frustrating when signing up. Big deal? No, but it's just one of those things. :eek:
    </nit pick>

    That said, the stats would be interesting to see. This is indeed a busy forum.
     
  13. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #13
    81,000 usernames?

    81,000 members? :rolleyes:

    For example, in the "A" section of members, if you took just those usernames with 0 posts, older than 2 years since joining, you would get 319 potential ghost members - just for the "A" section! That is many, many thousands of dead names if you bring in the rest of the alphabet and the numbered names.

    Unless I don't know a trick, I'm not sure there is a way for us regular folk to sort the lists by activity date. The possibility exists that someone has been lurking (but not signed in) for over 2 years, has never posted anything, and might get pissy if his/her username were deleted. I'm usually a nice guy, but realistically, I don't really care about that user. No contribution in 2 years?

    If the Mods/Gods can also correlate this to "last activity date" (which by itself is enough for me) -- I say boot em!
     
  14. Xeem macrumors 6502a

    Xeem

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    Minnesota
    #14
    And if he (or she) is lurking, they would realize that the names are getting cleaned out and could quickly reregister :).
     
  15. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #15
    or just post once!!

    I think some time after MacWorld has passed, we give 30 days notice for all those who are active to at least post once if they are lurking in the shadows -or start a thread for "I'm here, don't want to post, but don't delete me!" :p

    30 days notice, then delete all the names with no posts who registered more than a year ago. 2 years ago...whatever the arbitrary number deemed best by the Mods.

    (I'd love to see activity data if the mods keep that kind of thing.)
     
  16. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #16
    Not that I know of either, but there are 11,752 members with 0 posts who joined over 2 years ago and 17,134 who have at least 1 post but who haven't posted in 2 years, but I don't know if they've logged in or not.

    Some of those members may be people who registered because they thought they had to, some may have posted somewhere that ended up being deleted or wastelanded, and some may have joined but later decided not to post.

    In any case, the idea of cleaning out the membership every so often based on activity seems to be a fairly useless exercise. Sure, there may be user names you'd want to have that are taken by "ghost" members, but generally a suitable alternative can be found - and it might even be better than your original selection.

    The only potential advantage may be for the active membership to see how many people are really visiting here regularly. To see membership numbers over 93,000 is pretty cool, but if only 20,000 have visited in the past 6 months, then that's something else entirely.

    I guess I'm in favor of seeing the active list, but purging member names wouldn't be on my list of to-dos.
     
  17. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #17
    Why not as a first step do something along these lines, but instead of cleaning these individuals out use the results as a starting point for a discussion for the small group of regulars in here that are interested in this? From there, perhaps address the possibility clearing these names out. Also we could perhaps further distribute the posting number identifies to address a lot of these issues such as to idifferentiate the people who signed up but just read, those who have posted once or twice, five hundred times, etc.
     
  18. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #18
    I agree with everything that has been said, it's definitely not something that ever needs to be done, but I raise the issue that maybe it should be done. 17,000 useraccounts that haven't posted anything in 2 years? That's over 20% of our "registered" membership!

    Do we wait until it's 40% ghosts? 60% ghosts? It's always going to be a judgment call by the Mods, I just think that showing a more accurate representation of our membership number makes sense.
     
  19. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #19
    The problem of reusing member names and the problem of gauging active memberships could be dealt with separately.

    The first problem could be addressed by pruning memberships, but it could just as well be handled by "archiving" member names after a certain amount of inactivity. For example, the user named Sam joined when these forums were new, has never posted, and has prevented anyone else from registering as "Sam" ever since. If Sam's username changed to Sam [Archive] then his profile would remain but the name could be reused. Actually, over time, a series of Sam's could time out, so we'd need an archival username pattern, e.g., Sam [Archive 1], Sam [Archive 2], ....

    The second problem doesn't require pruning of memberships either. If we had an easy way to see the numbers of members with various levels of activity (based on their most recent post or their most recent visit), perhaps on the main forum page, then it would let people know how large the active community is, no matter how many total memberships there have been. Currently, we get two lines of information:
    Currently Active Users: 1478 (192 members and 1286 guests)
    Threads: 256,977, Posts: 3,136,666, Members: 93,458​
    Perhaps we could have a bit more information, e.g.,
    Members: 93,458 total, 9,345 active in last 12 months, 934 active in last 30 days​
    Note that the total number of members who ever registered is still a useful statistic because it is directly comparable to other forum sites. If all forum sites had active member counts based on the same definitions, those stats would be comparable too.

    These issues are not unique to MacRumors; every forum system that stays around long enough and gains enough members faces them.
     
  20. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #20
    For those interested in stats...

    Registered users who have visited in the last...

    30 days: 12,189 (10,487 with at least one post)
    3 months: 20,760 (16,458 with at least one post)
    6 months: 30,426 (22,728 with at least one post)
    12 months: 43,256 (31,277 with at least one post)

    out of a pool of 93,490

    arn
     
  21. OutThere thread starter macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
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    NYC
    #21
    Precisely what I was wondering about in my original post. I don't think that purging old members is really worthwhile, but showing those statistics on the main page, and removing ghost-posters from each day's birthday list would be both cool and very useful information for comparison with other sites.

    edit:

    awesome. Thanks for the info. 43k showing their faces in the last 12 months is a pretty good show!
     
  22. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Jan 4, 2002
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    CT
    #22
    Is it possible to see those same numbers with 25 posts in that same period.
     
  23. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #23
    30 days: 12,189 (4857 with at least 25 posts)
    3 months: 20,760 (5954 with at least 25 posts)
    6 months: 30,426 (6787 with at least 25 posts)
    12 months: 43,256 (7735 with at least 25 posts)
     
  24. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Jan 4, 2002
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    #24
    those numbers really drop off.

    So what is the average active member count in the past year about 15%
     
  25. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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