99,000! October 25, 2009 10:00 AM   Subscribe

Welcome user 99000.

I propose we have a user 100000 party in the near future. Just because we can.
posted by pjern to MetaFilter-Related at 10:00 AM (152 comments total)

BLOOD AND SOULS! BLOOD AND SOULS!
posted by The Whelk at 10:06 AM on October 25, 2009


Yay! My user number looks low now. Ah, sweet, sweet validation.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:10 AM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't know, the triple-zero users have been a mixed blessing.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:17 AM on October 25, 2009


I'll be the guy at the party who bums everybody out by repeatedly pointing out that there aren't actually 99,000 users. Sockpuppets, people who never finished the signup process, blahzay blahzay.
posted by box at 10:18 AM on October 25, 2009


Interesting. I registered in April of 2007 and have a user number of 52,138. So in the eight years before I registered, there were 52,000 user numbers, and then we've picked up 46,000 user numbers (not all of which, of course, became users) in two and a half years.

I wonder what that curve looks like.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:19 AM on October 25, 2009


Yay! My user number looks low now.

Sorry, but no it doesn't. (Yes, I know you were kinda partly / mostly kidding). And neither does mine. There are enough regular contributors who joined prior to The Great Unlockening of 2004 that those of us who joined after will never look like oldtimers.
posted by dersins at 10:19 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know, the triple-zero users have been a mixed blessing.

Oh wow, how do I get one of those urls?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:20 AM on October 25, 2009


And there's 99001. After 31 more people register, the majority of users will have joined after me.

Dude.
posted by decagon at 10:22 AM on October 25, 2009


Damned young whippersnappers with their modern ways and boogie-woogie music! Bring back the birch; that's what I say.
posted by Jofus at 10:26 AM on October 25, 2009


The gates! Lock the gates!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:26 AM on October 25, 2009


dersins: "Yay! My user number looks low now.

Sorry, but no it doesn't. (Yes, I know you were kinda partly / mostly kidding). And neither does mine. There are enough regular contributors who joined prior to The Great Unlockening of 2004 that those of us who joined after will never look like oldtimers.
"

There are also enough members who don't give a shit about user numbers, that I feel pretty comfortable not giving a shit about user numbers.
posted by Science! at 10:26 AM on October 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


Oh wow, how do I get one of those urls?

Anyone can have one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:26 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder how much money Matt will make in the race to be 100,000.
posted by Eideteker at 10:27 AM on October 25, 2009


And by Matt, I mean "the site."
posted by Eideteker at 10:27 AM on October 25, 2009


I wonder how much money Matt will make in the race to be 100,000.

Google tells me the answer is $5000, but I don't trust them.

And then of course there's paying me and cortex, server fees, t-shirts, paying off the Time Magazine staff, pb's special Wizard Tonic and a whole bunch of other things. I'm super duper fond of Matt. Anyone thinking that he's just playing the long grift here in an effort to get rich slowly is sort of missing the point of the whole community website thing and I get a little Momma Bear about it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:31 AM on October 25, 2009 [13 favorites]


Wow, no pressure there. *waves at n00b*
posted by Space Kitty at 10:31 AM on October 25, 2009


YAY, I'm in the lower half!
posted by iamkimiam at 10:32 AM on October 25, 2009


IT'S OVER 99000!
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:39 AM on October 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


gacxllr9's not much of a Chatty Cathy.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:48 AM on October 25, 2009


I'm just glad it doesn't look like an obvious spammer. That'd have been awkward.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:49 AM on October 25, 2009


I'd be user number 10, if only we all adopted base 61170 as our number system. Really, base 61170 has many advantages, including making me look cool to those who care about user numbers.
posted by not_on_display at 10:56 AM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


....someone tell the new person to use OFF SHORE accounts.
posted by clavdivs at 11:07 AM on October 25, 2009


Anyone thinking that he's just playing the long grift here in an effort to get rich slowly is sort of missing the point of the whole community website thing and I get a little Momma Bear about it.

FWIW, I think the comment was only saying a lot of people will try to register at exactly the right time in the desire to end up with that user number.
posted by inigo2 at 11:07 AM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


There are also enough members who don't give a shit about user numbers, that I feel pretty comfortable not giving a shit about user numbers.

This.
posted by fixedgear at 11:11 AM on October 25, 2009


Interesting. I registered in April of 2007 and have a user number of 52,138. So in the eight years before I registered, there were 52,000 user numbers, and then we've picked up 46,000 user numbers (not all of which, of course, became users) in two and a half years.

I wonder what that curve looks like.


I registered in April of 2000. I found out via the last Toronto meetup that all of three other people had registered the same day and another five the next day. Compared to the tsunami of November 14, 2004, we were barely Brownian motion.
posted by maudlin at 11:13 AM on October 25, 2009


That means that there are 96273* users who are not as cool as I am and only 2725 users who are cooler than me.

High school was the same way, only without the first 96274 people.

*not_on_display, although his user number would indicate otherwise, is cooler than I am. But only by a small margin. I think it's the hat.
posted by bondcliff at 11:21 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


What would be the best way to pronounce 'gacxllr9'?
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 11:24 AM on October 25, 2009


Pope Guilty: I wonder what that curve looks like.

From the wiki, there's Andy Baio's graph of new users per month (up to February) & Burger-Eating Invasion Monkey's mega-graph that has userid vs date in the bottom row, up to July 2007.

Is there a way to annotate a graph online? Bonus points if you can add to the graph points easily. I'm thinking about posting something on Flickr just for its note functionality.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:25 AM on October 25, 2009


Drinks on gacxllr9!
posted by klangklangston at 11:34 AM on October 25, 2009


If you're having user problems I feel bad for you son.
I got 99,000 problems but a bitch ain't one.
posted by GuyZero at 11:34 AM on October 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


There are enough regular contributors who joined prior to The Great Unlockening of 2004 that those of us who joined after will never look like oldtimers.

Even joining before then is no guarantee of a low user number (but it is pretty bizarre to think that I've been a member of this site more than a quarter of my life). I do have to admit similar thoughts to Mrs. Pterodactyl when I saw this post though..
posted by advil at 12:13 PM on October 25, 2009


I've been a member of this site more than a quarter of my life

Well NOW I feel old. Jesus.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:22 PM on October 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'll be the guy at the party who bums everybody out by repeatedly pointing out that there aren't actually 99,000 user

I was trying to find the highest user number the other day, when I noticed a post by #97000 or something. There are A LOT of people who don't finish the signup process. Like way more than you would expect. For instance, between #98000 and #98009, there is only one real user, #98004. And there is no user #98000.

So, I would prepare for the disappointment that there won't be a user #100000.
posted by smackfu at 12:24 PM on October 25, 2009


(Someone who feels like breaking out the perl could probably calculate the density of real users.)
posted by smackfu at 12:26 PM on October 25, 2009


A real easy way to calculate would be to do a row count on the Infodump's usernames file -- that's only complete signups, so the difference between that and the current max userid is your count of never-finished signups.

[easy joke about the density of users elided]
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:29 PM on October 25, 2009


Yeah, I realized that I didn't have to actually scrap the data so it's fairly easy.

Here are the real users by thousand. 86 means #86000-86999.

90 => 334
91 => 324
92 => 338
93 => 341
94 => 387
95 => 310
96 => 305
97 => 304
98 => 229

So only about 1/3 of the userids are used. Back in the olden dates, the density was much higher:

10 => 893
11 => 973
12 => 932
13 => 931
14 => 813

And here are the recent round # people:

81000 2008-09-20 11:48:52.270 turing
83000 2008-10-29 20:20:33.150 mister barnacles
86000 2009-01-05 20:27:22.100 naaaaaaaaatalie
87000 2009-01-29 20:12:58.403 emeiji
88000 2009-02-21 14:07:41.437 WorkingMyWayHome
94000 2009-07-01 16:26:32.507 littleflowers
95000 2009-07-24 12:21:18.993 feistycakes
posted by smackfu at 12:43 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


How many real users are there between the beginning of new signups and now?
posted by bigmusic at 12:45 PM on October 25, 2009


Thousands of perfectly good user numbers wasted. . . . why do I suddenly feel like the tightly-wrapped mom on the cell phone commercial?
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:46 PM on October 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I got 99,000 problems but a bitch ain't one.

I'd hit it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:49 PM on October 25, 2009


Assigning user numbers to people before the finish the signup process has always seemed so senseless to me.
posted by orange swan at 12:54 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


That'd have been awkward.

Would it have been as awkward as that sentence?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:57 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


"...the tsunami of November 14, 2004...
posted by maudlin at 11:13 AM on October 25

It was November 18, 2004. We are coming up to our 5th anniversary and expect fetes and galas on the day.
/17994
posted by Cranberry at 12:58 PM on October 25, 2009


Tracking one's MeFi OG rating by size of user number misses the point. I propose that pb whips up a script that will track how often a given Mefite comments with @replies and places that scarlet numeral on their profile.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:08 PM on October 25, 2009


Or we could just shoot them. I vote for shooting.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:14 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I posted an update of the signups per month chart, because Andy Baio's was month behind & for the Flickr annotation.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:23 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


There are also enough members who don't give a shit about user numbers, that I feel pretty comfortable not giving a shit about user numbers.

This.

And there is always someone that needs to point out how much people don't care. It's like delmoi pointing out how much the thinks twitter is lame.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:25 PM on October 25, 2009


Pronoiac: I posted an update of the signups per month chart, because Andy Baio's was month behind & for the Flickr annotation.

Holy moly has it ever been stable since 2005.

I don't know, the triple-zero users have been a mixed blessing.

Well, some of the horrifying deaths of my unnatural brethren and sistren have been a source of amusement on long, cold winter nights.
posted by Kattullus at 1:32 PM on October 25, 2009


So how much do i have to cough up to put my sockpuppet on 100000?
posted by shoebox at 1:37 PM on October 25, 2009


the tsunami of November 14, 2004

Cannonball!
posted by kuujjuarapik at 1:44 PM on October 25, 2009


It was November 18, 2004.

I know, I know, I know. I saw the typo a moment after I posted.

So just who do I have to enspousen around here to get us an edit fucntion?
posted by maudlin at 1:53 PM on October 25, 2009


(That typo was deliberate. Don't make me crank up the pathos, people.)
posted by maudlin at 1:54 PM on October 25, 2009


I referred to the timeline page for some notes, but there's still some peaks for 2000-2002 I didn't label. I can't find specific dates for the 5k competition.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:57 PM on October 25, 2009


Well, some of the horrifying deaths of my unnatural brethren and sistren have been a source of amusement on long, cold winter nights.

How very Icelandic of you. :)

posted by Pronoiac at 2:03 PM on October 25, 2009


Whoa, I scarcely recall user gacxllr8.
posted by heyho at 2:03 PM on October 25, 2009


I always thought that those "unused" numbers belonged to members of the MeFi Cabal whose usernames just aren't visible to ordinary users like myself.
posted by Jelly at 2:06 PM on October 25, 2009


*yanks Jelly into a black, unmarked van. ignores stoplights en route to undisclosed location of re-education center*
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:20 PM on October 25, 2009


(damn)
posted by Jelly at 2:27 PM on October 25, 2009


I give a shit about user numbers. They matter. They affect how much benefit of the doubt I give people in my head, and how harshly I judge them. Someone flagrantly breaking community rules that is new here gets a lighter in-my-head-judgement. Old farts that break them get a favorite.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:29 PM on October 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Guys? We're getting away from the blood and souls.
posted by The Whelk at 2:31 PM on October 25, 2009


The Whelk, data and graphs are blood and souls.
posted by strixus at 3:07 PM on October 25, 2009


DATA FOR GRAPHLOR AND HIS ENDLESS CLAWS OF EQUATIONS!
posted by The Whelk at 3:09 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I give a shit about user numbers. They matter.

Yeah, I've never seen another forum use user numbers (except Slashdot), but many, many of them have the registration date right next to every single user's post. Like every UBB clone.
posted by smackfu at 3:14 PM on October 25, 2009


I'm a Nov 18, '04 signup too. I've always been curious to know if the folks who started their accounts around that date wound up being more active than average.
posted by zarq at 3:14 PM on October 25, 2009


#100,000 should be auctioned off, either for charity or to support MeFi.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:27 PM on October 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I wonder how much money Matt will make in the race to be 100,000.

Google tells me the answer is $5000, but I don't trust them.


But MeFi is a gateway drug. I bet He gets much higher margins on the hookers and blow.
posted by biffa at 3:29 PM on October 25, 2009


pb's special Wizard Tonic


Shit'll fuck you up. I took a shot and by the end of the night I somehow built a working Supercomputer using only thumbtacks and old paperbacks.
posted by The Whelk at 3:36 PM on October 25, 2009


If people want to wave user-number penises around, my Slashdot uid is 404.
posted by dmd at 4:21 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not sure that link goes where you thought it would. (But that's a pretty cool link nonetheless.)
posted by smackfu at 4:26 PM on October 25, 2009


Mmmm, Lifehacker.
posted by fixedgear at 4:32 PM on October 25, 2009


Serves me right for not looking when pasting. I meant this.
posted by dmd at 4:35 PM on October 25, 2009


Wow, that slashdot site it kinda cool. Too bad you're a member, dmd. That would make a great metafilter post. But, you linked to some lifehacker site instead. Maybe you can get a mod to fix the link. FWIW I managed to find that slashdot site by using the google. It was the first result!
posted by cjorgensen at 4:37 PM on October 25, 2009


>I've been a member of this site more than a quarter of my life

>Well NOW I feel old. Jesus.

No need. I've been a member almost a quarter of my life, and I'm in my mid-goddamn-40's. I don't feel old so much as slightly bewildered.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:38 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


99,000 times five.... oh, fuck!
(when did that start? around 30,000 perhaps? anyway. serious business.)
posted by krautland at 4:42 PM on October 25, 2009


Heh. You n00bs, $5 and otherwise, crack me up.
posted by Lynsey at 4:48 PM on October 25, 2009


Matt's on the record as saying the $5 is more of a gateway that anything else. I count about 25 new members a day (but fully admit counting is not something I do well). That's not much to keep several mods fed, the servers running, etc.

It's the advertising that allows him to crash million dollar cars.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:52 PM on October 25, 2009


Given the number of failed sign-ups, members gone inactive, and whatnot, how many members are there? I mean, members who visit the site often? Is there any way to figure that out on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?

And is there any way to discover who took my preferred username, but who I've never seen hide nor hair of? Because Torgo should have been mine! I'll just have to cry my three giant heads to sleep, curled up in my space-faring wings.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:20 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Many signups between here and 100,000 will not get populated. 98004 signed up 10-1-09, fwiw; welcome, cjovalle. Yes, I agree that user# 100,000 should be auctioned, or something.

Matt, you could encourage the Metafilter community to buy the accounts between 99,000 and 100,000, with the cash going to something charitable. I'd buy me a 99K sockpuppet to fund something good; doesn't Fiona want a pony or something? Last chance for a 5 digit account number, kids.

User number is not terribly important, but the upcoming user 100K is like watching the numbers on the odometer roll over; it's fun to watch.
posted by theora55 at 5:43 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


What I'd like to see (and I guess I should download the infodump), is a stream graphic (like these), but by "joined during quarter". (every one who joined during the spring of 2009 would be in the same stream, for instance).
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:48 PM on October 25, 2009


A real easy way to calculate would be to do a row count on the Infodump's usernames file

As of last Sunday, there are 44,579 registered usernames.

960 users joined on the date that signups were turned on for good for $5. The first one seems to be #17579, matt123test, which was the 15,984th user.

So subtract those two numbers, that's 28,595 paid users, or $142,975.

If I did the math right.
posted by smackfu at 5:50 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Theora55, I'm not entirely sure the mods would consider encouraging people to make sockpuppets such a great idea.
posted by zarq at 6:08 PM on October 25, 2009


Yeah, I see your point.
posted by theora55 at 6:46 PM on October 25, 2009


The Singularity approaches.
posted by bardic at 6:46 PM on October 25, 2009


but the upcoming user 100K is like watching the numbers on the odometer roll over; it's fun to watch.

Sure, you have that *ding* moment, then you realize that the whole thing is falling apart because you never really took very good care of it and you have to gut everything and replace it all with expensive parts that aren't necessarily as good as the originals.

Unlike MetaFilter.

I'm also projecting a little bit.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:48 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


smackfu: "...As of last Sunday, there are 44,579 registered usernames..."

I guesstimate about 35K AskMe users, 2K MeFi users, 200 MeTa users and the rest are sockpuppets.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:51 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of course, I have no data to back my assertion but who needs that? This is the Internet!
posted by double block and bleed at 6:52 PM on October 25, 2009


This is usually about the time that I mention that I am the lowest-numbered 14K user who ever actually participated in the site, but why bother? Nobody even remembers the 14K bunch anymore either. I feel like the WWII generation, about the time the WWI folks started to die off.
posted by yhbc at 7:15 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also I made the "99 Problems" joke before kottke did on twitter. IN YOUR FACE KOTTKE!
posted by GuyZero at 8:27 PM on October 25, 2009


We could just have a pool on when #100000 signs up: My prediction is 11:25 AM EST Christmas Day.
posted by pjern at 8:47 PM on October 25, 2009


I'd guess November 8, noon Pacific.

I added the notes for user numbers that were multiples of 10k to the Flickr page. (Not for this.) I'd give it two weeks.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:56 PM on October 25, 2009


Yes, I agree that user# 100,000 should be auctioned, or something.
I'd pay $4 for #100,000.
posted by krautland at 9:00 PM on October 25, 2009


$4.02.
posted by Kattullus at 9:08 PM on October 25, 2009



What would be the best way to pronounce 'gacxllr9'?


My guess is 'Gack-Sexler-Nine'. I'm most likely wrong.

In other news, Pope Guilty's profile picture looks JUST LIKE ME when I was 15. Since then, I've lost all my hair. What a handsome devil I was.
posted by Bageena at 9:11 PM on October 25, 2009


You guys should cull the unused numbers and defragment occasionally.
posted by floam at 9:15 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I would like to take this moment to say that the prevalence of the UBB clone is THE WORST GODDAMN FUCKING THING ABOUT THE INTERNET, IT IS A PILE OF OVERPAGINATED NIGH-UNSEARCHABLE ROCOCO SHIT THAT DESTROYS RATHER THAN FOSTERS INTELLIGENT CONVERSATION.

Okay I am going away now.
posted by fleacircus at 9:15 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


So forgive me if this is already a known thing for some, but just discovered that you can look at the usernames for all those non-existent accounts if you look at metafliter.com/favorites/NNNNN
in lieu of user/NNNNN .

I am now saddened at my own excitement at this deeply, deeply trivial discovery.
and now somewhat disgusted.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:16 PM on October 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh, wow! No, Cold Lurkey, I didn't know that.

My first impulse: gacxllr9 = "gac-ZILL-er NINE." Like Godzilla. It's probably gack-acceler-nine, one better than gack-accelerate.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:42 PM on October 25, 2009


Nobody even remembers the 14K bunch anymore

The world's true heroes are all anonymous. Real bravery always goes unrewarded. Nostalgia is often a kind of boast. Self-importance is almost always a pretext to cliche.

Anyway, I was totally planning to post the obligatory riff about how the Class of 14K remains the only thing standing between the Blue and the abyss, between civilization and chaos, between dogs and cats living together and all that . . . but fuck it. These kids today - they'll never thank us, because they'll never know.

But those of us were there, in the days of the 14K? We carry that fine line with us in our memories, we feel it in our bones, we live it in our (posting) histories. We know the true price of freedom, and that's what we paid in place of five measly dollars. We may be forgotten but we will nevar forget . . .

*collapses face-first onto bar as rye-and-ginger tumbles over and spills onto floor*
posted by gompa at 9:57 PM on October 25, 2009


Check that. November 16th, 2:42 pm, Pacific. Assuming average speed of signups.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:04 PM on October 25, 2009


the prevalence of the UBB clone is THE WORST GODDAMN FUCKING THING ABOUT THE INTERNET

At least it uses a database backend now.
posted by smackfu at 10:07 PM on October 25, 2009


Speaking as a user with a lower number than jessamyn (and the lowest numbered regularly participating member next to #1 during those periods whenever jonmc leaves in a huff), I find the celebration of big round numbers to be highly unseemly. And with less than a third of issued numbers turning into actual users, more than a little overinflated. That said, I think it'd be cooler to be user #99999 than #100000. Are we even sure the site won't have a "Y2K" kind of problem when the user count hits six digits?
posted by wendell at 11:55 PM on October 25, 2009


how about that... I just made comment #100 on this thread. yay for me.
posted by wendell at 11:56 PM on October 25, 2009


I actually want my sock puppet to be #99999, not 100000.
posted by Eideteker at 12:16 AM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cold Lurkey: I am now saddened at my own excitement at this deeply, deeply trivial discovery.

Well, it's all gone now, before I could sate my puerile curiosity by finding out who user number 696969 was.
posted by Kattullus at 12:54 AM on October 26, 2009


Kattaullus: No, it's not gone. You just tried too big a number.
posted by floam at 1:33 AM on October 26, 2009


Oh hey, so I did. I blame this on staring at text on a computer screen for the last 12 hours, wondering which letters should be capitalized and which shouldn't.
posted by Kattullus at 2:02 AM on October 26, 2009


Is it possible to change your username once you've registered? I wonder if it'd be a worthwhile investment to nab 100000 for resale.
posted by floam at 3:08 AM on October 26, 2009


I've been a member of this site more than a quarter of my life

Well NOW I feel old. Jesus.

No need. I've been a member almost a quarter of my life, and I'm in my mid-goddamn-40's. I don't feel old so much as slightly bewildered.


Only about 15% of my life, but I'm in my late 40s. My brain has deteriorated too much to work out if that's better or worse.

This is usually about the time that I mention that I am the lowest-numbered 14K user who ever actually participated in the site, but why bother? Nobody even remembers the 14K bunch anymore either.

Damnit, the plan was to fade into the background until the signal went up! Now we have to wait another seven years to implement the plan!
posted by dg at 3:46 AM on October 26, 2009


Soon we'll be able to be all elitist with the 6-digiters.

Soon...
posted by qvantamon at 5:02 AM on October 26, 2009


My user number begins with a 1 and has a 9 in it! I now proclaim me awesome!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:06 AM on October 26, 2009


On Preview:

...and I get a little Momma Bear about it.

Your porridge is too cold.
...............................................................

Oh, and I can has last word ?

Welcome user 99000.


Get off meh lawn.
posted by y2karl at 6:18 AM on October 26, 2009


Heh, I still got the coolest number of the bunch...
posted by Eirixon at 8:03 AM on October 26, 2009


and comment number 111 in this thread. Singularity in T minus 10 9 8 7...
posted by Eirixon at 8:05 AM on October 26, 2009


Are we even sure the site won't have a "Y2K" kind of problem when the user count hits six digits?

Well, less y2k and more of a I-wired-the-counter-to-something-fucking-crazy thing. When we hit 100,000 keep your eyes peeled, you'll notice weird shit all over the place.

I'm talking world wide... I've been setting this up for months.
posted by quin at 8:40 AM on October 26, 2009


[confirmation bias, don't fail me now...]
posted by quin at 8:41 AM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


We should celebrate with a 100,000-comment thread. Anything to immanentize the eschaton.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:52 AM on October 26, 2009


Also see "Numeristerical"
posted by zarq at 8:56 AM on October 26, 2009


Ghidorah: "And is there any way to discover who took my preferred username, but who I've never seen hide nor hair of? Because Torgo should have been mine! I'll just have to cry my three giant heads to sleep, curled up in my space-faring wings."

I've noticed this too -- not only does every aborted signup take up another user number, but it also permanently reserves the chosen username, even though the account is never paid for.

Could we change this? (The username part, not the user number one.) Considering that two out of every three signups are never completed, that's a whole lot of potential usernames being blocked from use for no reason. I know most people are pretty creative with their usernames, but it must be annoying to those who want to go with something more common, like a first name or a dictionary word or something from pop culture. Or even something more unique that someone happened to think of first -- one of the big reasons I never got on Twitter was that my standard username (Jordan117) was already taken by somebody who had sent two tweets and then disappeared. With ~55,000 reserved (but unactivated) usernames and counting, this will only happen on Mefi more and more.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:38 AM on October 26, 2009


Obviously what we need now is the username Melancholy Elephant.
posted by lysdexic at 11:37 AM on October 26, 2009


I keep checking, as near as I can tell, we're at 99045 now. At this rate, we'll cross over to 100k in like, what 18 more days?
posted by quin at 12:38 PM on October 26, 2009


> Nobody even remembers the 14K bunch anymore either. I feel like the WWII generation, about the time the WWI folks started to die off.

By Godfrey, I hear ya. Remember the Plastic.com War? These young pissants have no idea what I'm talking about. But we remember, we few, we 14K.

*buys yhbc, gompa, and dg a drink, ties onion more firmly to belt*
posted by languagehat at 12:40 PM on October 26, 2009


I just went onto plastic.com for the first time in years. I was half-expecting to find it gone. It's still there. Incidentally, there are 50665 plastic.com members, but there signups are free.
posted by Kattullus at 1:16 PM on October 26, 2009


From Plastic.com's FAQ:

q. Tater? Tomater? (added 2 november 2002)
a. Instigator.

[broken link btw]

2002? Is the whole tater kerkuffle a ruse to infiltrate MeFi with Plastic in-jokes? WAAAAAAAAAAAAH TOMATER!!!
posted by qvantamon at 1:30 PM on October 26, 2009


HOLY SHIT! The Wayback Machine has that page. It's really from 2002-2003! The proof is in the design!

WAAAAAAH! We've been converted to the Plastic Tater Cult!
posted by qvantamon at 1:33 PM on October 26, 2009


November 11th. 1:37pm EST.
posted by lunit at 1:57 PM on October 26, 2009


Looks like they moved here.
posted by team lowkey at 2:27 PM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


theora55 writes "User number is not terribly important, but the upcoming user 100K is like watching the numbers on the odometer roll over; it's fun to watch."

It would be great if they actually rolled over. Matt could start re-issuing numbers that haven't completed the sign up process.
posted by Mitheral at 2:38 PM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was going to go for the easy STFU n00b joke after Science!'s comment about no one caring about user numbers and then I realized that I have also spent a quarter of my life as a regularly contributing MeFite and should be a little less rash and a lot more sagely in my twilight MeFite years.

Then I came back to my senses.

STFU Science! you n00b!
posted by eyeballkid at 7:31 PM on October 26, 2009


But we remember, we few, we 14K.

From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of 14K

I, too, have fought with you in the bloody trenches of MetaTalk.
Arm and arm together, so,
we have met the foe
and slain him with our snark.
Let not one troll breech our defences, nor yet one self-linker roam free.
While we draw breath
yet stand erect
true Meefs we all still be.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:22 PM on October 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


It would be great if they actually rolled over. Matt could start re-issuing numbers that haven't completed the sign up process.
posted by Mitheral


Yeah, then it would be like the end of the Dr. Seuss Sneetches book where the stars became meaningless and there was no way of telling who the cool kids were supposed to be.

Not that a low user number means you are cool, this whole high/low user number thing always made me think of the Sneetches and I wanted to take this opportunity to mention that.
posted by marxchivist at 7:52 AM on October 27, 2009


Based on the favorites trick from Cold Lurkey, we are at user number 99110. This shouldn't take long.

Also, dammit. I was secretly hoping that no one would be paying attention to this, so I could snag some really cool numbers.
posted by Night_owl at 9:49 AM on October 27, 2009


Do user numbers actually serve any actual function? Why do they exist?
posted by Sys Rq at 11:55 AM on October 27, 2009


They're unique identifiers with a constrained character set—really easy to work with programmatically. I'm not sure there's a whole lot more to it than that, but that they exist at all doesn't seem like a controversial notion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:03 PM on October 27, 2009


They're unique identifiers with a constrained character set

So are usernames. It seems to me that the only unique purpose of the numbers is promote elitism and inflate the apparent size of the userbase. Otherwise, they're a bit redundant, aren't they?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:21 PM on October 27, 2009


...is *to* promote...
posted by Sys Rq at 12:22 PM on October 27, 2009


(Which isn't to suggest that user numbers were intended to do those things, of course.)
posted by Sys Rq at 12:23 PM on October 27, 2009


Usernames aren't constrained in any meaningful way. And because we can easily access the first comment/post for any user plus their joined date, even automagically via greasemonkey, a lack of numbers wouldn't significantly curb the elitism aspects of the numbers.

Matt has even to a limited extent addressed the userbase numbers inflation concerns by removing the user count from the front page. Can any one find the meta announcing this change?
posted by Mitheral at 12:38 PM on October 27, 2009


So are usernames.

Less constrained, even after we've (after any number of weird exploits over the years) locked them down pretty tightly to, I think, just ascii at this point. At that, free-form alphanumeric+puncutation+spaces fifty character strings are annoying to work with in a lot of ways that 5-ish digit numeric strings aren't.

Which isn't even meant as a defense, because I'm not sure what there is to defend—using incrementing numeric ids for stuff is such basic straightforward stuff that I don't think there's a discussion to be had about why you'd do it.

It's dumb that people occasionally (and at this point, compared to maybe four or five years ago, I'd rate it down from "occasionally" to "very rarely") make earnest obnoxious noises about a given person's userid, but if that came close to being the most problematic behavior we see on the site I would throw a party.

Folks shouldn't be dicks about user numbers. Almost no one is. Those who are generally get chastized for acting like dicks about it.

Inflating the apparent size of the userbase isn't something we're really worried about one way or the other; it's not something we're marketing, and the people most likely to actually care are the same people most likely to familiarize themselves with the practical details of how many registered vs. active vs. highly active users there are anyway.

Which, you know, this is top-of-mind stuff. I don't know if you're just chatting about it or trying to seriously challenge the ten-plus-years-old decision to have userids be visible in byline links.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:42 PM on October 27, 2009


Inflating the apparent size of the userbase isn't something we're really worried about one way or the other; it's not something we're marketing

Since logged-in members explicitly don't see ads, I'd imagine you'd want to downplay the size of the userbase in marketing, rather than inflate it...
posted by dersins at 12:51 PM on October 27, 2009


Can any one find the meta announcing this change?

This was harder to find than I thought it would be. There was no announcement, just a comment in a thread where it came up, which I tracked down via a hop and a skip and a jump via a google search.

Matt, April 14, 2008: Yeah, you're right, it's wrong when it's accurate, wrong when it's vague, so I removed it.

And here's some random metatalk threads I found while looking:

- 60,000!
- Connection Timeout Members, part IV
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:15 PM on October 27, 2009


Isn't it a lot easier when coding to work with user numbers- and restrict the allowable data format to a number- than to allow for a range of ASCII codes?
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:19 PM on October 27, 2009


cortex: Matt, April 14, 2008: Yeah, you're right, it's wrong when it's accurate, wrong when it's vague, so I removed it.

Holy shit! That was a year and a half ago?! If you'd asked me when it was taken down I'd've said a few months, at most.
posted by Kattullus at 1:30 PM on October 27, 2009


I thought it was longer, so I guess it's a wash.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:37 PM on October 27, 2009


cortex writes "This was harder to find than I thought it would be. "

Ya, I couldn't find it and I knew it was just a comment in a thread about the differences between the two available numbers. I would have thought I would have remembered Matt obfuscating my beautiful metric.
posted by Mitheral at 1:39 PM on October 27, 2009


Where the hell are my teeth?
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:33 PM on October 27, 2009


I don't believe in user id numbers!

Oh, wait, there's one now. Never mind!
posted by Pronoiac at 3:21 PM on October 27, 2009


posted by Kafkaesque

Holy shit!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:57 PM on October 27, 2009


Anyone know how I can finish my sign up process so I can quit using this cjorgensen sock puppet?
posted by cjorgensen at 7:14 PM on October 27, 2009


Nah. Number 2 is just Matt stuffing the user count to appear more important, a la GeoCities view counters.
posted by qvantamon at 7:30 PM on October 27, 2009


GeoWhat?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:34 PM on October 27, 2009


GeoGhostTown
posted by lysdexic at 1:25 PM on October 28, 2009


Is it GeoGhostTownBusters 2?
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:40 PM on October 28, 2009


This town is coming like a ghost town
posted by The Whelk at 2:22 PM on October 28, 2009


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