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Dataviz ahoy!
January 3, 2011 12:27 AM   Subscribe

While I'm not a fan of the plethora of infographics available online these days (and lame SEO attempts to capitalize on them), I decided to make a tongue-in-cheek infographic for MetaFilter, and as everyone behind the scenes at Team MeFi scrambled in the last week to gather up all the interesting statistics we could, I threw it all into photoshop to produce this: The 2010 Year In MetaFilter Infographic. Enjoy!
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 12:27 AM (148 comments total) 79 users marked this as a favorite

Most interesting things that I found were the traffic pattern differences between members and non-members. Members read MeFi ("the blue") more than Ask MeFi overall (I couldn't fit all the stats on that section but know MeFi was like 44% or so, and Ask MeFi was around 36% of traffic), but non-members are overwhelmingly dropping into old Ask MeFi threads, which skews the final non-member + member traffic total towards Ask MeFi.

Also, I was kind of amazed there were over 400 volumes of Moby Dick written in 2010.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:33 AM on January 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


*swoon*
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 12:35 AM on January 3, 2011


Lots of quantitative food for thought there but a couple more I'd like to see:

Of 110K+ members, how many total made any kind of comment/post/whatever? (Or, how special are we loudmouthed snowflakes?)

And # of favorites and # of bad flag, but how many posts flagged 'fantastic'? (or is that not a useful metric?) Well, I flagged THIS as Fantastic.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:42 AM on January 3, 2011


One other obvious observation (with the whale and all)... we are all a bucket of Moby Dicks.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:45 AM on January 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah, we dropped out the fantastic flag because typically people only use that about 1-8% of the time they favorite (something with 100 favorites might only have 2 flags as fantastic).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:45 AM on January 3, 2011


Jeez. Great work!
posted by honey-barbara at 12:46 AM on January 3, 2011


I love the whale! But I'm curious why Moby Dick was chosen as the word-count measuring stick. Just a random classic novel or some special reason?
posted by amyms at 12:53 AM on January 3, 2011


The pie charts were certainly the most interesting. I'm mildly surprised that even among logged in users visits to the blue make up less than half the page views. I expected it to be in the 60% range.
posted by stoneweaver at 1:01 AM on January 3, 2011


Aw, Matt.. sure a bit of obsession focus and dedication's a good thing, and I love to chase me a whale, but dying 408 times in a single year..

That's just hard work.
posted by Ahab at 1:06 AM on January 3, 2011 [30 favorites]


This is great. I do enjoy a well-done infographic and this is awesome!
Although, why does your infographic hate China?
posted by geekyguy at 1:21 AM on January 3, 2011


Also, I was kind of amazed there were over 400 volumes of Moby Dick written in 2010.

Ah, yes, but how many Treaties of Westphalia were there?
posted by armage at 1:26 AM on January 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is so overwhelmingly cool – I love it, thanks!

(Here's a clickable link to the most favorited COTY for anybody who didn't catch it the first time around (I didn't and it looks to be a long and fascinating read, yay))
posted by iamkimiam at 1:39 AM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter commentariat: more than 400 Dicks.

[More seriously - thanks for this Matt. I love statporn.]
posted by MuffinMan at 1:51 AM on January 3, 2011


I suspect the dominance of AskMe among non-members is at least partly Google-driven. For many people seriously looking for answers, it's one of the very very few non-spammy sites to ever bubble up to the first search page.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:54 AM on January 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


amyms: But I'm curious why Moby Dick was chosen as the word-count measuring stick.
It's famously an unreasonably long and tedious novel; sure there are many that are longer but it's one of a few long novels that everyone knows of. War and Peace would be the standard unit of prolixity here in the UK, but I'll wager Moby Dick is better known in the US, where it is acclaimed for being a good book as well as a long one.
My hatred for Melville's magnum opus may be influenced by the ordeal of slogging my way through the whole thing at age 12, just because it was the longest book in the school library. I would probably appreciate it more if I reread it now but… no, I can't.
posted by nowonmai at 1:55 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Of 110K+ members, how many total made any kind of comment/post/whatever?

As of the most recent infodump from Saturday, there are 50,797 total users, of which 32,148 have made a post or comment in the last 12 months.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:59 AM on January 3, 2011


I can't decide if that 'most favorited comment' depresses or merely confuses me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:02 AM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actually, whoops, bug in the script. Make that 16,546 out of 50,797 were active in the last year.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:04 AM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is there any way to see a threshold or tipping point about the 16,546 of 50,797 posters? For instance, what is the breakdown...were the majority of those 16K drive-by commenters? ObsessiveRegular posters (in volume and/or frequency)? Is there an easy way to find this stuff out? I'd be super interested to know what the curve/plot looks like.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:18 AM on January 3, 2011


Love it.

One question: What percentage of visits are "logged in" versus "not logged in"?
posted by Jagz-Mario at 2:36 AM on January 3, 2011


That's no fail whale! Awesome infographic.

I'd be interested in knowing what were the highest traffic days and highest # of simultaneous users.
posted by arcticseal at 2:43 AM on January 3, 2011


Imagine how many OCD-exacerbating fits we could have avoided just by adding 4 more unique tags.
posted by xqwzts at 2:52 AM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here is a histogram of the data. 2,181 users made only one post or comment in the last year, with the median at 11 and a very (!!) long tail.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:56 AM on January 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


There are 408 Moby Dicks worth of words. But how many Moby Dicks worth of letters? I 'll need to know how much paper to buy when I'm going to print the whole thing for off-line reading on my daily commute.

And another thing: are there any stats on where Mefites are from? I've got the impression it's becoming slightly less US-centric, but I'd like to know whether that's actually true...
posted by Sourisnoire at 3:10 AM on January 3, 2011


Awesome, thanks Rhomboid!
posted by iamkimiam at 3:10 AM on January 3, 2011


Very cool! I'm trying to get my comments up to a 'see jane run' level, so great work to all of the 408 volume contributors!
posted by bquarters at 3:38 AM on January 3, 2011


I'm surprised that Ask is so big. I aways think of it as one of those "other" parts of the site that I don't read that much compared to the Blue.
posted by octothorpe at 4:00 AM on January 3, 2011


This is really fucking cool, thanks modesters!

"But really, Photoshop for mostly a text based graphic ?!" he whined.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:04 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cutest whale evar.
posted by iconomy at 4:04 AM on January 3, 2011


Here is a histogram of the data. 2,181 users made only one post or comment in the last year, with the median at 11 and a very (!!) long tail.

Hey is there any way to break that down further, to see how many made posts vs how many just made comments vs how many comments did those who made posts make? Must rest tongue now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:12 AM on January 3, 2011


Gosh, that seems like an awful lot of NON-spammer bannings (like five or six every month). Those are actual bannings and not quittings?
posted by Gator at 4:13 AM on January 3, 2011


Gee all those are useful facts... Where are the useless facts?!?! Nobody thought to count the ponies or the snowflakes, the hurf durfs, or the /hamburgers?
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:25 AM on January 3, 2011


5208 1 99.99%
7656 1 99.99%
7959 1 100.00%


Thats a hell of a jump, two users with 2k posts separating them from the next closest poster. There's no reason to make the rest of us seem so lazy, this isn't a race mkay?
posted by xqwzts at 4:27 AM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Great job with the graphic design, I love it!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:34 AM on January 3, 2011


I have a feeling that the vast majority of people in the "1 contribution in the last year" bucket got there for a comment and not a post, because it seems awful strange that someone would be familiar enough with the site to post but never comment. Oh, well, AskMe might skew that if there are people that signed up to ask a specific question and then never used the site much after that. I'm going to bed now but I'll see about looking into it more later.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:42 AM on January 3, 2011


I am surprised that almost 1% of all comments wound up deleted (11,348 out of 1,162,836).
posted by exogenous at 4:53 AM on January 3, 2011


Aw. Ask really is eating Meta's lunch, traffic wise.
posted by crunchland at 5:28 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


AskMe has a very low tolerance for off-topic comments. I'm guessing 80% or higher of the deleted comments were from AskMe. The rest? Well, sometimes a Metafilter thread goes way down the fighty rabbit hole and Cortex has to excise a good 20 or so comments to get it back on track:

"This isn't good for MetaFilter."
"Comments like 'this isn't good for MetaFilter' aren't good for MetaFilter."
"Your face isn't good for MetaFilter."

[Comments deleted; flagging is what's good for MetaFilter.]
posted by explosion at 5:33 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cycling jerseys received: still zero.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:46 AM on January 3, 2011


Only 305 meetups? That's not even one a day. Clearly, we've got more meetupening to do this year.
posted by rtha at 5:48 AM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Huh. Seeing the numbers, and that while there's roughly 16000 users active, but of that number, how small the number of members really participating is(not good with the chart, but I imagine that to mean that, say, only 16% commented more than 100 times in the year, or that less than 5% percent had a comment a day) somehow makes this place seem a lot smaller than I thought it was. I always somehow thought the active member base was much, much higher. Huh.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:54 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love the whale too. I mean, the whole thing, but especially the whale.

Or, as I wrote in the margin of my high school copy of Moby Dick, WHALE = GOD??
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:10 AM on January 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


The non-answer to the one question featured on the graphic sounded familiar, and yep, it was me. How embarrassing.

It's still bugging me, though, that I can't figure out where that scene is from.
posted by dogmom at 6:16 AM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


we dropped out the fantastic flag because typically people only use that about 1-8% of the time they favorite (something with 100 favorites might only have 2 flags as fantastic).

Seems like a good idea. Even though the idea is a great one, I find that I almost never used the "fantastic" flag, and I think that's purely because I associate "flag" with "problem." In other words, I think of flagging something when it's off topic or potentially offensive, because there's no 'unfavorite,' but with favorites in use it's all too easy to forget that there is something positive on the flag list, too.

My hatred for Melville's magnum opus may be influenced by the ordeal of slogging my way through the whole thing at age 12, just because it was the longest book in the school library. I would probably appreciate it more if I reread it now but… no, I can't.


One of my best friends is an English professor who is one of the world's authorities on Melville and Moby Dick. She is passionate about the book, but says the single worst thing that happens with it is that it's assigned to high school students, who are just much too young to understand the plot or the questions explored, let alone to appreciate the humor. She emphatically says that it should not be taught early. There are always exceptions, of course - some people who read it at a young age and love it - but more often than not, all that happens is that young readers are needlessly alienated from Melville.

Finally - the most favorited quote of 2010 is great and I had missed it. Also, nice graphic design/layout.
posted by Miko at 6:17 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


6,301 members sent 61,070 Mefi Mail Messages and all of them were to or from The Whelk.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:19 AM on January 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Congrats, Matt!
Great numbers, interesting nuggets, cool design.
posted by bru at 6:23 AM on January 3, 2011


Or, as I wrote in the margin of my high school copy of Moby Dick, WHALE = GOD??

OMIGOD MIND BLOWN
posted by shakespeherian at 6:29 AM on January 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


66 non-spammers banned?

[gulps. seeks intoxicant.]
posted by Joe Beese at 6:33 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Love. Lovelovelovelove.\

But dogmom ...
The non-answer to the one question featured on the graphic sounded familiar, and yep, it was me. How embarrassing.

It's still bugging me, though, that I can't figure out where that scene is from.


And all this time, I thought your answer was like surgical snark of the highest best order! I thought you were making a brilliant joke on the question!!
posted by thinkpiece at 6:35 AM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gosh, that seems like an awful lot of NON-spammer bannings (like five or six every month). Those are actual bannings and not quittings?

Actual bannings, but that statistic could be worded more clearly (and far less concisely) as "number of bannings. vs. number of bannings that contained the word 'spam' or 'link' (as in "self-link" or "linkfarming") in the admin note about reason for banning". That captures where the second smaller number comes from, and gets close to but a bit under the actual number-of-spammers value since there's a few cases where we didn't use either of those keywords.

The non-spammer bannings are mostly a motley crew of false-starts of some sort or other. Jerks who immediately reverse their paypal charge is a common one; nutso weirdo trolls getting banned after a few weird comments and no response to us when asking what's up; the rare not-allowed-back user trying to come back anyway; someone deciding they misunderstood what they were signing up for and asking for their money back and their account to be closed; a user asking us to close down, or agreeing to have closed down, some ancillary or retiring account.

The remainder of actual banned-after-being-here-for-a-while is much, much smaller.

"But really, Photoshop for mostly a text based graphic ?!" he whined.

We will be sure to render our text-based non-graphics in text.

I am surprised that almost 1% of all comments wound up deleted (11,348 out of 1,162,836).

Bulk of those are from askme, which has a significantly higher comment deletion rate than the blue (and that, in turn, higher than the grey). Aside from actual this-comment-is-a-problem deletions, that also represents deleted "oops, typo above" comments and stuff removed that was a reply to an also-removed derail. If I can come up with an efficient way to automatically sort comment deletions by type I'll see if I can characterize that stuff in more detail some time.

I always somehow thought the active member base was much, much higher. Huh.

Power laws are everywhere on mefi, as in many places. Look at any sort of organic group behavior and you'll find a lot of people doing a little of something and a few people doing a lot of something and an elbow curve connecting that tail to that head.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:37 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey this is cool.

When I first saw the pie charts regarding Mefi vs Ask Mefi traffic I was like "whaaaa? I'm in the minority by hanging around the blue?!"

...and then I read the member vs non-member breakdown and it all made sense. How did you all find Mefi? I remember typing a forgotten question into Google, ending up on an Ask Mefi page, and making my way to the blue somehow. Haven't left since.
posted by Defenestrator at 6:39 AM on January 3, 2011


Where are the useless facts?!?! Nobody thought to count the ponies or the snowflakes, the hurf durfs, or the /hamburgers?

Oh, but we did. I just couldn't figure out a way to stuff it into the monster graphic. Here are some useless stats:

Instances of MeFi "family words" in MetaTalk:
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:53 AM on January 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


thinkpiece: "
And all this time, I thought your answer was like surgical snark of the highest best order! I thought you were making a brilliant joke on the question!!
"

Oh no. No, no, no. I would never snark in AskMe. Especially now that Jessamyn has those ninja stars.
posted by dogmom at 6:54 AM on January 3, 2011


True that.
posted by thinkpiece at 6:56 AM on January 3, 2011


1,162,836 comments? I thought I was special.

Maybe I need to get myself banned.
posted by squishles at 7:05 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Instances of MeFi "family words" in MetaTalk...

Those numbers are across all sites, not just MetaTalk. The grar cannot be contained within a single subdomain.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:06 AM on January 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


The non-spammer bannings are mostly a motley crew of false-starts of some sort or other. ... a user asking us to close down, or agreeing to have closed down, some ancillary or retiring account.

So the count of bannings includes users closing their accounts via a mod? What about people who self-close?
posted by exogenous at 7:09 AM on January 3, 2011


So the count of bannings includes users closing their accounts via a mod?

Yep. Not a whole lot of that, to be clear, most people hit the button when they want to close an account, but every once in a while it's simpler administratively to just do it for 'em.

What about people who self-close?

Those numbers are not included in the counts shown.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:11 AM on January 3, 2011


"family words"

One academic term for this kind of thing is "coterie speech."
posted by Miko at 7:13 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, purty!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:16 AM on January 3, 2011


One academic term for this kind of thing is "coterie speech."

Recurring jokes about, e.g., the location of Carnegie Hall, are a common feature of what are known as Communities of Practice, Practice, Practice.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:17 AM on January 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Enough of your highbrow jokes!

POOP
posted by shakespeherian at 7:22 AM on January 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Where's Carnegie Hall at, asshole?
posted by Miko at 7:23 AM on January 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


This would be awesome on a t-shirt. Or a codpiece, even.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:25 AM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


But I'm curious why Moby Dick was chosen as the word-count measuring stick.

Obviously, because it leads to a great whale image. Proust would have been a more encompassing choice, being much larger, but then would would have gotten an image of a depressed and jealous French guy, which would have left me, at least, feeling much less chipper.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:29 AM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I feel like metatalk is becoming more surreal every day.
posted by wayland at 7:43 AM on January 3, 2011


One academic term for this kind of thing is "coterie speech."

A coterie is a room where we can take naps to calm down, right?
posted by lukemeister at 7:45 AM on January 3, 2011


Oh no.

Around 3000 messages sent to the mods this year. Of which 10 were mine. That's 0.33% of ALL contact form mails!

If all 6400 MeFi mail-sending members were as contact-form happy as me, they would have gotten something like 64k messages.

New Year's resolution: sit on my typing hands more often.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:47 AM on January 3, 2011


This is some nice work.

But you know why infographics fail? Because there's no way to capture how awesome the teamwork and community were during The Russian Incident.
posted by knile at 7:48 AM on January 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


"But I'm curious why Moby Dick was chosen as the word-count measuring stick."

Oh, this is the setup to so many terrible jokes. Of which I can think of none. But I'm sure somebody out there will do us proud.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:50 AM on January 3, 2011


Remembrance of Things Posted
posted by Babblesort at 7:52 AM on January 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Is that a whale penis or are you just happy to comment here?"
posted by Burhanistan at 7:53 AM on January 3, 2011


"6,301 members sent 61,070 Mefi Mail Messages and all of them were to or from The Whelk."

Not to toot my own horn, but I was nearly triple digits last year and I've gone over previous years. And who am I? I'm nobody. I think a lot of people use MeFiMail a lot more than anyone realizes. Especially around meetups. I mean, I've got four IM protocols listed in my profile, but no one IMs anymore (unless it's facebook chat). Yeah, MeFiMail is easier; I just wish people still used instant messenging.

[typo, but I'm leaving it]
posted by Eideteker at 8:02 AM on January 3, 2011


Proust would have been a more encompassing choice, being much larger, but then would would have gotten an image of a depressed and jealous French guy, which would have left me, at least, feeling much less chipper.

And then we'd have to wait like 80 years for Lydia Davis to make a decent translation of it.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:10 AM on January 3, 2011


I just got lost in The Russian Incident links again. Such an amazing thing that was.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:14 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Weird, the png-8 graphic doesn't work on an iPad for me.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:20 AM on January 3, 2011


But I'm curious why Moby Dick was chosen as the word-count measuring stick.

Kerning!

MOBY
DICK
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:24 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm totally calling my literary circle/rap group: MOBB DIKK

We be subcontextualizin' all you sucka MCs' rhymes. YOUNG MONEY
posted by Eideteker at 8:28 AM on January 3, 2011


But I'm curious why Moby Dick was chosen as the word-count measuring stick. Just a random classic novel or some special reason?

Matt likes big symbols and he can not lie
You other icons can't deny
That when a image is placed in front of your face
And a large motif you can't erase
He'lll get flagged
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:28 AM on January 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I feel like discovering Ask and making the transition over to the blue is more common for newer members. I've been around for just a few years now, but I lurked long before that, mostly on the green. I chucked my fiver at Meta when I saw a question I wanted to answer. Then I posted a few myself. Then I answered more. And then I finally made the jump over to the blue, which I tend to read, but not comment as often.

For some reason, I'm much more at ease answering on the green than commenting on the blue.
posted by SNWidget at 8:29 AM on January 3, 2011


wayland : I feel like metatalk is becoming more surreal every day.

It's about time someone noticed! I've been I've been riding around on this unicycle, juggling cockroaches and reciting German poetry backwards for ages and no one has said a word.
posted by quin at 8:30 AM on January 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Every time you conflate surrealism with absurdism, baby Dali tortures a kitten.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:32 AM on January 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


technically the title is Moby-Dick you know like Spider-Man *pushes glasses up bridge of nose*
posted by shakespeherian at 8:37 AM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I didn't know we could add "stumped" as a tag! I'm doing that right now to one of my questions.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 8:43 AM on January 3, 2011


xqwzts writes "Thats a hell of a jump, two users with 2k posts separating them from the next closest poster. There's no reason to make the rest of us seem so lazy, this isn't a race mkay?"

Well over 20 comments a day, everyday. That's pretty mind blowing.

Deathalicious writes "If all 6400 MeFi mail-sending members were as contact-form happy as me, they would have gotten something like 64k messages."

I think I had four but all but one were of the "Here be spammer" Variety.
posted by Mitheral at 8:55 AM on January 3, 2011


Proust would have been a more encompassing choice, being much larger, but then would would have gotten an image of a depressed and jealous French guy, which would have left me, at least, feeling much less chipper.

Lots of people get the whale reference without having read Moby-Dick. If Proust had been the choice, how many people would see a madeleine and wonder why mathowie put a cake in that spot?
posted by ambrosia at 8:57 AM on January 3, 2011


I feel like discovering Ask and making the transition over to the blue is more common for newer members.

Ask is super easy to find. In the last couple of years, I've been surprised at how often a random topic search on Google will bring up an Ask thread on the first page of results. I'm sure it's a huge gateway.
posted by Miko at 9:09 AM on January 3, 2011


I feel like discovering Ask and making the transition over to the blue is more common for newer members.

Ask isn't just easier to find, it's also a safer space to participate in, which is important to folks who didn't come up through USENET or other relatively rough web spaces. Metafilter may seem very heavily moderated to old-skool users, but I know some younger folks who would never comment on semi-public web spaces as lightly moderated as the blue because it's perceived as unsafe. The green is dedicated to being on topic, which is a much safer way to get to know the community.
posted by immlass at 9:46 AM on January 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


If Proust had been the choice, how many people would see a madeleine and wonder why mathowie put a cake in that spot?

We also couldn't stand the efficiency hit when 50,000 people slipped into a reverie about their respective childhoods.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:46 AM on January 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


In the last couple of years, I've been surprised at how often a random topic search on Google will bring up an Ask thread on the first page of results. I'm sure it's a huge gateway.

I've actually had a couple moments where I though to myself "Self, in retrospect, I was kind of talking out of my ass when I made that comment about 'thing x' a while back. I think I'll google 'thing x' and actually see if I can learn something more," only to have my own comment on MetaFilter be the first or second search result. I'm such an expert!
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:20 AM on January 3, 2011


From Rhomboid's histogram data.

Graphs 1, 2.
posted by zennie at 10:29 AM on January 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Every time you conflate surrealism with absurdism, baby Dali tortures a kitten. --- he roasts an umbrella, doesn't he?
posted by crunchland at 10:32 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fonts... so pretty...
posted by cavalier at 11:06 AM on January 3, 2011


Huh. Seeing the numbers, and that while there's roughly 16000 users active, but of that number, how small the number of members really participating is(not good with the chart, but I imagine that to mean that, say, only 16% commented more than 100 times in the year, or that less than 5% percent had a comment a day) somehow makes this place seem a lot smaller than I thought it was. I always somehow thought the active member base was much, much higher. Huh.

Yeah. I thought I was part of the vast ocean of near-anonymous low-volume commenters, when I'm really hovering around the top 5% mark. Definitely not how I had perceived things.

Note to self: LURK MOAR
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:32 AM on January 3, 2011


Is there anybody else who feels like just, you know, sharing this with someone, Isn't this so fascinating, so interesting, and then really, upon consideration, uh, not so much? I mean, once again, it's so Inside Baseball. So inexplicably MetaFilter. I'd get the glazed eye thing ... yet again.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:14 PM on January 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Cat Pie Hurts: This would be awesome on a t-shirt. Or a codpiece, even.

Have you seen the format of the image on it's own? It's a long image, 1,000px × 3,311px, which would work better as your former idea than the latter, unless you were trying to subtly hint at how well endowed you were. If that was the case, my apologies for the overt attention.

Metafilter: overthinking the casual remark, since 2000 (and we won't be stopping in 2011!)
posted by filthy light thief at 1:19 PM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


7656 and 7959 comments = more than 20 per day, which is... something.
posted by ambient2 at 1:45 PM on January 3, 2011


URL shorteners are not welcome here on metafil... OH HI MATT
posted by odinsdream at 2:02 PM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there some significance to the background color being not quite right?
posted by smackfu at 2:08 PM on January 3, 2011


I love us for making that insightful and moving comment by Salishea the most favorited of the year.
posted by ottereroticist at 2:12 PM on January 3, 2011


Is there some significance to the background color being not quite right?

I wanted to put something with texture instead of a flat background. I found a random dark wood "tile" graphic, then colorized it in photoshop from memory towards what I thought was close to mefi blue. Then I did the whole poster thing and it wasn't until I uploaded it shortly after midnight last night that I saw it on a real mefi blue background for the first time and noticed the difference. I decided to keep it since it makes the thing pop out of the page a bit more.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:24 PM on January 3, 2011


It does look a lot different from this nice professional white background.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:26 PM on January 3, 2011


It almost looks closer to Projects' color.
posted by Gator at 2:28 PM on January 3, 2011


Oh, and percentages graph.

Compared to numbers seen in many other successful communities, MeFi's activity is not very high. Deceptive because of unusual internal selection pressures.
posted by zennie at 2:42 PM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I feel like metatalk is becoming more surreal every day.
That's a feature, not a bug.

Awesome work - some of those numbers are truly staggering.
posted by dg at 2:57 PM on January 3, 2011


I feel like metatalk is becoming more surreal every day.
That's a feature, not a bug
crawling out of your eye socket and chanting your mother's name.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:00 PM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, something inside me wants to see these exact same variables described for all previous years. I like seeing growth and comparing shit.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:11 PM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cat Pie Hurts: "This would be awesome on a t-shirt. Or a codpiece, even."

Well, hello there sailor!
posted by deborah at 4:11 PM on January 3, 2011


"But I'm curious why Moby Dick was chosen as the word-count measuring stick."

Oh, this is the setup to so many terrible jokes. Of which I can think of none. But I'm sure somebody out there will do us proud.


Well, Metafilter is populated by a bunch of dorks.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:33 PM on January 3, 2011


Joe Beese: "66 non-spammers banned?

[gulps. seeks intoxicant.]
"

Here, drink this.
posted by gman at 4:49 PM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, despite the oversize graphics and big numbers Rhomboid's histogram made Metafilter feel like a smaller place than it ever has. I count my comments and posts from last year at roughly 50, which means I'm in the top quartile? Whaa? I've always felt part of the community, but more so as the guy who hangs around the edges. Go figure it's the edges of a pool of about 4,000.

Okay, so that's still a lot of people....
posted by Defenestrator at 6:00 PM on January 3, 2011


Okay, so that's still a lot of people....

Yeah, I've had the same sort of reaction before: really, is that it? It feels so much bigger.

But, yes, it's still a lot of people. There's no sense of physical space being taken up here, we someone manage to pull of the trick of jamming thousands of people into a single virtual apartment building here and there's no supply chain to worry about, no toilet paper to have run out, no question of who showers when and what the cafeteria hours are, and so the numbers don't feel big the way a corporeal crowd does. But it's still a lot of people.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:03 PM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, ya'll shower?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:08 PM on January 3, 2011


I have no idea how many posts or comments I've made in the last year. I'm going to guess... twelve?
posted by shakespeherian at 6:10 PM on January 3, 2011


I have no idea how many posts or comments I've made in the last year. I'm going to guess... twelve?

Thirteen.
posted by odinsdream at 6:23 PM on January 3, 2011


There's no way I could ever come up with thirteen insightful, interesting, or well-crafted comments.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:27 PM on January 3, 2011


You know, you could put that infographic on a poster and sell it.
posted by orange swan at 6:36 PM on January 3, 2011


Yeah, but according to Rhomboid's calculations, only like three people would buy it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:40 PM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Somebody could write a great dissertation on all this!
posted by mareli at 6:48 PM on January 3, 2011


Wow, at ~150 comments over 2010, I'm in the highest 15% of contributors*? That doesn't make sense. Like some others, I perceive myself as someone hanging around the outside of a crowd, not really participating much.

* by volume anyway - definitely not by quality
posted by dg at 6:49 PM on January 3, 2011


Technically Rhomboid's supplied a frequency table, not a histogram - a histogram is the graphical representation of the data distribution, with relative or absolute frequency (proportion or counts) on the vertical axis and bins (categories) on the horizontal axis. Zennie's given us a coupla those. HOYVIN-GLAVIN! [/nerdlebaum]
posted by gingerest at 7:25 PM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that's what I was getting at. I've got no idea how many comments I've made in the past year, but I know it's been quite a lot, but it's shocking to think that I'm in the upper 5-10% of participating members. In a way, it kind of makes me want to take a step back, and comment less.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:39 PM on January 3, 2011


Yes, I find myself vaguely uncomfortable about being part of the 10% most active members on the site. My perception was definitely that I was on the fringes, just sort of hanging around. Although, since I recently had a Meta (semi)call out and a sidebarred comment at the same time, maybe I should reevaluate my perception of where I fit in.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:54 PM on January 3, 2011


AskMe is the only one of the metafilter sites I can access through the internet filter at my work. Maybe my constant checking of Ask is the causing that dramatic difference in traffic.

(but srsly, killer graphic!)
posted by ghostbikes at 9:01 PM on January 3, 2011


Technically Rhomboid's supplied a frequency table, not a histogram

He may as well have supplied a histogram though.

Because. Histogram.

posted by zennie at 9:15 PM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Look at any sort of organic group behavior and you'll find […] an elbow curve connecting that tail to that head.

Wait, is that surreal or absurdist?
posted by hattifattener at 9:24 PM on January 3, 2011


I thought I was always blab blah blahbing but now I see that I am in the large unshowered mass.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:47 PM on January 3, 2011


wayland: "I feel like metatalk is becoming more surreal every day"

A fish.
posted by Splunge at 6:04 AM on January 4, 2011


Although it would have looked better in Comic Sans.

I'll get my coat.
posted by arcticseal at 6:31 AM on January 4, 2011


I would never have guessed I'm in the top 8% of commenters, but I guess it's AskMe. I have this driving need to "help," I suppose.
posted by JMOZ at 8:58 AM on January 4, 2011


Coincidentally (?), "Finale" from the TRON: Legacy soundtrack came up on shuffle as I was reading the infographic. It was so epic I wanted to stand up and salute. Woo, MeFi!
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 9:24 AM on January 4, 2011


As a possible side effect of realizing that I was in the top quintile of posters and no longer feeling the trepidation of a lurker, this is now marks my fifth post of the day -- thanks for making me feel embiggened MeTa!
posted by cgk at 2:36 PM on January 4, 2011


I can't believe nobody has asked, who made those 7959 comments + posts in Rhomboid's histogram? I mean, stand up and take a bow, somebody.
posted by beagle at 3:52 PM on January 4, 2011


It should be a guessing game. I'm thinking Astro Zombie or The Whelk. Maybe they are 1 and 2.
posted by Mitheral at 5:31 PM on January 4, 2011


I'm not sure who it is either, but I'm pretty sure this is what they look like.
posted by crunchland at 5:47 PM on January 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, I find myself vaguely uncomfortable about being part of the 10% most active members on the site. My perception was definitely that I was on the fringes, just sort of hanging around. Although, since I recently had a Meta (semi)call out and a sidebarred comment at the same time, maybe I should reevaluate my perception of where I fit in.

Granted, it's probably a good thing this place is smaller than many of us imagined. Looking at the numbers, if those in the upper percentages were actually were actually where they thought they were this place would be an absolute mess of comments and posts and doubles.

I already only have time to read maybe 5% of what comes through the blue, and only venture to the green when it's really time to procrastinate.
posted by Defenestrator at 6:17 PM on January 4, 2011


So there were about 86M words of comment text posted last year. That's a bit more than 235K words a day. Assuming you decided to waste eight hours of your day on things like sleeping or showering or looking out the window, you'd have about 15K words to read each hour, every hour, for sixteen hours a day. That's about 250 words a minute, no breaks, all day, every day, to keep up with the site exhaustively.

So, yeah, as engines of output go it's not small.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:34 PM on January 4, 2011


I thought I was one of the fringe MeFites, but now find myself in the top 6% of contributors. Ook!

Not an indication of quality, but I've definitely been hanging out more in 2010.
posted by arcticseal at 7:06 PM on January 4, 2011


How would I know how many comments I've made in a given year? I don't see how to glean that from the infodumpster.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:31 PM on January 4, 2011


Well, I figured mine out from the 'contributions' part of my profile, but there's probably a much quicker and more nerdly way of doing ti.
posted by dg at 9:05 PM on January 4, 2011


Wow, I find myself shocked to learn that I am in the upper 15%* of posters as I considered myself way on the fringe of this community, this is even my first post off of the green! *unless I am having a stats fail, which is a real possibility.
posted by saradarlin at 9:58 PM on January 4, 2011


People have no idea what they're doing, have we? I thought I was semi-lurking and I'm in the top 5%.

More constructiveness, less snark for 2011.
posted by ersatz at 1:31 PM on January 5, 2011


We should have an awards show. "Best comment" "Wisest advice" "Most offensive post" "Most offensive poster" "Most popular poster" "Most interesting comment for reasons not entirely evident" "Shortest membership" "Worst idea" "Question that weirded out most members"
posted by anniecat at 6:14 PM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Matt congratulations on all your success. Long Live MeFi!
posted by cell divide at 7:50 PM on January 6, 2011


Oh, and an award for "longest comment ever!"
posted by anniecat at 7:46 AM on January 7, 2011


"Most offensive post" "Most offensive poster"

My only concern is that having these awards would give a certain contingent something to shoot for.
posted by Miko at 9:50 AM on January 7, 2011


Wait, wait wait. You can flag comments as fantastic? I need to throwing away all of my instruction booklets.


As others have said, the green/blue ratio didn't make sense until I remembered how I got here, but I think that makes the blue even more valuable as a community. It's small, it's got strict standards, and that most of the members starting out asking and answering real, difficult questions before they went on to share awesome things they found with each other makes them think a lot harder about what they do here. I'm not really engaged with the community side of mefi but I can tell we're a much tighter group than reddit or any of the other major aggregaters. Keep up the good work into the next year, everyone.
posted by sandswipe at 1:12 AM on January 8, 2011


That was fun and interesting. Thanks for making it and sharing it. Congrats to all 'Fites.
posted by fake at 2:05 PM on January 8, 2011


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