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 Members by the numbers 
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 Post subject: Members by the numbers
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 9:18 am 
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I have been wondering how forum culture works for a while. I think someone (not me, I don’t care enough or have the time) should do a sociology project on it. It seems to me that this forum different type of people here for different reasons. I did some adding of various groups below from out members list.

05/04/2009 @ 09:40
Numbers of posts vs. People
Thousands = 32
500-1000s = 32
400s = 10
300s = 16
200s = 39
100s = 77

90s = 8
80s = 12
70s = 14
60s = 16
50s = 21
40s = 24
30s = 47
20s = 57
10s = 122

below = many

From these numbers it is hard (impossible) to know who is active and who isn't. By looking at the names, I got a decent understanding of who was and wasn't. Everything below is generally speaking and I make many assumptions. These are my thoughts.

In blue are mainly instructors, moderators and the highly politically active people (that we look up to!). These people put a lot of time into keeping this forum alive and running. It appears that this group feels connected and cares a lot about this community.

In green the people seem to be active posters. Most of their names are recognizable to me. They also put in a lot of time here. It appears that this group also feels connected and will stay here for many many years.

This is where it starts to get harder. So, I broke it down into smaller groups.

In orange it seems like people get to the 200ish mark and stop posting. There are names in this range that I recognize, but there are many that appear to be inactive. They just stopped posting after reaching this level. It appears that this group felt at one point that it was good to be involved, but then idleness ensued.

In red are many who post only a few times (probably in a short amount of time) and then quit posting. I am assuming that they learned what they wanted to know and moved on. It appears that this group never was fully connected and probably never intended on it.

The biggest category is the below 10s. These people are more or less lurkers and hardly active.

Again, these are all purely my assumptions. I'm interested in knowing what other's thoughts are about the numbers!

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 9:30 am 
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I think your numbers give a close approximation, although only that. Remember, there are folks who read the Forum regularly and, for various reasons, almost or actually never post anything, and some have gotten accounts just so that they can read the members-only areas.

Or look at another set of numbers: of the three historically most important 2A activists in Minnesota, one (Kimberman) posts here pretty much daily, one very rarely (aofpol), and one just started only recently (David Gross).

Fond as I am of my own contributions, or Andrew's, if one were to (and I'm not suggesting you really are) assuming that activist action = posts on the Forum, and stack either Andrew's or mine next to any of theirs, you'd see that our post counts were much, much higher and our importance to the self-defense movement is much, much lower.

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 9:31 am 
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The other interesting thing to note is how long folks have been members vs. their post count. I fall into that category (almost 900 posts, but I only joined in January of 2008...I lurked and learned the rules for a good while beforehand, mind you).

On the flip side, there are other people with extremely low post counts whom (or who, that's the one grammatical rule I can never recall) we all should look up to. David Gross comes to mind.

But you're right, the numbers do tell an interesting tale!

-Mark

EDIT: As usual, Joel's a step ahead. :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 10:08 am 
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joelr wrote:
I think your numbers give a close approximation, although only that. Remember, there are folks who read the Forum regularly and, for various reasons, almost or actually never post anything, and some have gotten accounts just so that they can read the members-only areas.

Or look at another set of numbers: of the three historically most important 2A activists in Minnesota, one (Kimberman) posts here pretty much daily, one very rarely (aofpol), and one just started only recently (David Gross).

Fond as I am of my own contributions, or Andrew's, if one were to (and I'm not suggesting you really are) assuming that activist action = posts on the Forum, and stack either Andrew's or mine next to any of theirs, you'd see that our post counts were much, much higher and our importance to the self-defense movement is much, much lower.


Oh, I completely agree with you. I was just looking at the numbers. I don't mean to take away from anyone (ie: aofpol and David Gross), my general analysis is just based on what I counted. There are many here with low post counts that are a lot more politically active than me and I really dont want to take away from that.

Doesnt it seem to you, though, that there are many people who leave? I can name a few that were frequent posters when I started, and now never post. That is more of what I was getting at with the "forum culture" idea. People who feel connected, may tend to stay longer than those who dont (ie: note the drop after the 200ish range).

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 10:15 am 
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PocketProtector642 wrote:
joelr wrote:
I think your numbers give a close approximation, although only that. Remember, there are folks who read the Forum regularly and, for various reasons, almost or actually never post anything, and some have gotten accounts just so that they can read the members-only areas.

Or look at another set of numbers: of the three historically most important 2A activists in Minnesota, one (Kimberman) posts here pretty much daily, one very rarely (aofpol), and one just started only recently (David Gross).

Fond as I am of my own contributions, or Andrew's, if one were to (and I'm not suggesting you really are) assuming that activist action = posts on the Forum, and stack either Andrew's or mine next to any of theirs, you'd see that our post counts were much, much higher and our importance to the self-defense movement is much, much lower.


Oh, I completely agree with you. I was just looking at the numbers. I don't mean to take away from anyone (ie: aofpol and David Gross), my general analysis is just based on what I counted. There are many here with low post counts that are a lot more politically active than me and I really dont want to take away from that.

Doesnt it seem to you, though, that there are many people who leave? I can name a few that were frequent posters when I started, and now never post. That is more of what I was getting at with the "forum culture" idea. People who feel connected, may tend to stay longer than those who dont (ie: note the drop after the 200ish range).


I think the drop off happens from time to time. I went away from posting for a couple of months around election time because I just didn't need my blood pressure going through the ceiling (mistruths from either side drive me insane), but came back shortly thereafter. I still read the non-political subforums during that time.

-Mark


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 11:45 am 
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PocketProtector642 wrote:
Doesnt it seem to you, though, that there are many people who leave? I can name a few that were frequent posters when I started, and now never post. That is more of what I was getting at with the "forum culture" idea. People who feel connected, may tend to stay longer than those who dont (ie: note the drop after the 200ish range).


Speaking for myself, it's common for me to find a forum related to one of my interests, be active in it for some time, and then grow tired of it and rarely visit after that. Often what I see is that the same set of questions get brought up over and over. When first getting on the forum, these are new to me and I read and learn. Next time around I'm still learning something but I'm also contributing. Next time around I might be reaching my saturation point and lose interest.

Compounding that scenario, I've been on mailing lists and forums where once everything in the world has been discussed, it turns into a chat room and newbies are chastised by the old-timers when they ask anything and are responded to with "Don't you know how to use the search engine!" That's when I bail out. Thankfully that's not happened here too much.

I don't see myself getting bored with this forum. There's an aspect of current events there that keeps it timely and interesting. Plus it's about guns.


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 12:09 pm 
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Lenny7 wrote:
PocketProtector642 wrote:
Doesnt it seem to you, though, that there are many people who leave? I can name a few that were frequent posters when I started, and now never post. That is more of what I was getting at with the "forum culture" idea. People who feel connected, may tend to stay longer than those who dont (ie: note the drop after the 200ish range).


Speaking for myself, it's common for me to find a forum related to one of my interests, be active in it for some time, and then grow tired of it and rarely visit after that. Often what I see is that the same set of questions get brought up over and over. When first getting on the forum, these are new to me and I read and learn. Next time around I'm still learning something but I'm also contributing. Next time around I might be reaching my saturation point and lose interest.

Compounding that scenario, I've been on mailing lists and forums where once everything in the world has been discussed, it turns into a chat room and newbies are chastised by the old-timers when they ask anything and are responded to with "Don't you know how to use the search engine!" That's when I bail out. Thankfully that's not happened here too much.

I don't see myself getting bored with this forum. There's an aspect of current events there that keeps it timely and interesting. Plus it's about guns.


My feelings mirror Lenny7's almost exactly. I too dislike people who chastise newcomers for asking questions with the " Let me google that for you" rudeness. Not that it isn't warranted sometimes.

If a forum is to grow, stay relevant and have fresh content it must welcome new participants. If not, its going to get stale and wither away. After you've heard the same opinion fifty times, it gets old. Newbies should be nurtured till they find their place. This is one of the few forums where newcomers are welcomed and not instantly drawn and quartered for bad forum ettiquette. Though that has happened here too.


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 12:47 pm 
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You're not far off, but of the top ten posters, at least 33% of us are not instructors.

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 2:22 pm 
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of the top 35, 20 are not instructors to my knowledge and 3 are currently banned (and have been for awhile)

It would be very interesting to see the post counts for say the last 12 months :-) (some of those guys had a LONG head start on me :-))

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Last edited by plblark on Mon May 04, 2009 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 2:47 pm 
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Dee wrote:
Lenny7 wrote:
PocketProtector642 wrote:
Doesnt it seem to you, though, that there are many people who leave? I can name a few that were frequent posters when I started, and now never post. That is more of what I was getting at with the "forum culture" idea. People who feel connected, may tend to stay longer than those who dont (ie: note the drop after the 200ish range).


Speaking for myself, it's common for me to find a forum related to one of my interests, be active in it for some time, and then grow tired of it and rarely visit after that. Often what I see is that the same set of questions get brought up over and over. When first getting on the forum, these are new to me and I read and learn. Next time around I'm still learning something but I'm also contributing. Next time around I might be reaching my saturation point and lose interest.

Compounding that scenario, I've been on mailing lists and forums where once everything in the world has been discussed, it turns into a chat room and newbies are chastised by the old-timers when they ask anything and are responded to with "Don't you know how to use the search engine!" That's when I bail out. Thankfully that's not happened here too much.

I don't see myself getting bored with this forum. There's an aspect of current events there that keeps it timely and interesting. Plus it's about guns.


My feelings mirror Lenny7's almost exactly. I too dislike people who chastise newcomers for asking questions with the " Let me google that for you" rudeness. Not that it isn't warranted sometimes.

If a forum is to grow, stay relevant and have fresh content it must welcome new participants. If not, its going to get stale and wither away. After you've heard the same opinion fifty times, it gets old. Newbies should be nurtured till they find their place. This is one of the few forums where newcomers are welcomed and not instantly drawn and quartered for bad forum ettiquette. Though that has happened here too.


+1

Rude is rude. Not that it isn't called for from time to time, but if you spank for an honest mistake, you're just forming a clique. We don't need that.


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 2:58 pm 
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And let us not forget the other common occurrence of the mailing lists that have matured...

A few regulars, who love to spend the entire day online, fill up the inboxes of everyone with their rapier wit, insightful prose, and thought provoking posts. At least they think so. Then, when someone gets tired of it and suggest that they keep on topic, they are publicly flogged, get their patriotism questioned (that whole censorship issue, you know), and summarily censured. Thus the noisy few commandeer the list and most everyone who actually have something to contributed end up leaving.

That is where this forum format is beautiful. It's much easier to ignore the topics that don't interest me, and there is a specific subforum for off topic banter.

BTW, I'm making no implications regarding this board with the above statements.


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 3:18 pm 
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Lenny7 wrote:
BTW, I'm making no implications regarding this board with the above statements.

I am offended. :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 3:22 pm 
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I keep telling you that's spelled offensive.

Now get back on topic and use the search function :-)

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 3:27 pm 
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plblark wrote:
I keep telling you that's spelled offensive.

Now get back on topic and use the search function :-)

And read the rules!!!

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 3:29 pm 
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mrokern wrote:
Rude is rude. Not that it isn't called for from time to time, but if you spank for an honest mistake, you're just forming a clique. We don't need that.
Surprisingly, I agree.

One ongoing irritation for me -- I'm not sure it's a problem for anybody else, but I purely hate it -- is the inadequate instructors who do a lousy job and then send their students here for support.

I want those instructors to either do their own damn work, give it up, or be repeatedly embarrassed when they do that.

So, J. Random Newbie takes a class and then comes here and asks, "Hey, do I apply for my permit at my sheriff's or at the PD?" or "I read on the intertubes that I can't carry in a bank?" or "I've got the Florida permit; will that let me carry in Florida?" (and no, I'm not making any of those questions up), if his question is answered politely without the usual "And your instructor was whom . . . ?" being answered, we'll probably never hear which instructor, yet again, screwed up. (We just had one of those recently.)

(And, yes, Paul, I know that one such question doesn't mean the guy had a bad instructor -- the student could have missed it or a good instructor could have had a bad day, or whatever -- and it's entirely possible that the answer, at some point, will be that it's me. I got that, honest.)

Which is why I insist on all newbie first questions getting the "Who was your permit instructor?" thing, with as little impoliteness as will get the job done.

If I'm wrong on that, and I may well be -- it could be that I've got wrong priorities, and, let's face it, I'm not easy to persuade when I've thought about something and taken a position -- what can be done to either get the job done and keep me moderately happy, or persuade me that, hey, it's not a big deal?

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