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January 17, 2003 6:43 PM   Subscribe

50% of comments on MetaFilter are by people who first joined in 2002. In my Mefi wanderings, I got the feeling that there were not many low-digit users posting on MetaFilter anymore. Everyone seemed to be a 14xxx! I decided to seek the truth..
posted by wackybrit to MetaFilter-Related at 6:43 PM (77 comments total)

I'd been feeling it for a while, but couldn't prove it. Since I was looking for a diversion from work tonight, I ran up an incredibly messy small Perl script that looked at 20 recent MeFi threads (both busy and quiet), tallied up the user numbers of the participants, and gave me the stats I wanted.

I decided to have it split everyone up into their 'thousand' group. So, user 1234 would be in the 1k group, user 7000 would be in the 7k group, and so on. Here are my findings:

User number ranges versus number of comments
--------------------------------------------

Range - Comments by group - Cumulative total

<1000 - 22  comments        - 22
1??? -- 30  comments        - 52
2??? -- 42  comments	   - 94
3??? -- 18  comments	   - 112
4??? -- 20  comments	   - 132
5??? -- 6   comments        - 138
6??? -- 2   comments        - 140
7??? -- 22  comments	   - 162
8??? -- 6   comments	   - 168
9??? -- 5   comments	   - 173
10??? - 49  comments        - 222
11??? - 24  comments        - 246
12??? - 25  comments        - 271
13??? - 14  comments        - 285
14??? - 109 comments        - 394
15??? - 63  comments        - 457
16??? - 54  comments        - 511
17??? - 20  comments        - 531
                               -------------
                                  531 total


You can see that some thousand groupings have incredibly low participation levels, like 5k and 6k.

Bizarrely, this all seems to fit in with the observations of a 'Web community' bod who spoke about this on MeTa some time ago. I can't find the post to link to, but he said that in most online communities there is a 'turnover' of people, and that while the early adopters tend to hang on, generally people stay for a while and then leave.

This fits in with the above results. You can see a lot of comments made by the <4 000 posters, and then hardly any until you reach user 10000 and above. so the 6000 users in between are, in the main, poor participants (or may not even visit the site anymore).br>
I plotted the cumulative totals onto a REALLY UGLY chart. Sure, it's ugly, but it gets the point across.



Okay, and now I've proven I have way too much time on my hands.. feel free to discuss. Or if you can find the post I referenced earlier, please link to it. I have had no luck.
posted by wackybrit at 6:47 PM on January 17, 2003


Sub-1K only needs 22 to match the rest of you scallywags.
posted by riffola at 6:53 PM on January 17, 2003


Oh and good work wackybrit!
posted by riffola at 7:03 PM on January 17, 2003


Wooo! Go 14k! What's odd is that MeFi went from 14k to 15k from March 2002 to August 2002, 6 months.

But it only took one month (August 10 2002 - Sept 10) for 1000k to join and make up the 15kers.

What happened this month?
posted by Stan Chin at 7:04 PM on January 17, 2003


whoops, I mean, '1000 people' not 1000k
posted by Stan Chin at 7:06 PM on January 17, 2003


Stan: Hmm.. y'know, if it took that long for 14k to grow, could the 14k group contain a lot of the 'back door' members? That is, the members who donated to the site, came in via the5k.org, or who asked Matt? If so.. perhaps we could venture that the people who put that effort into getting a membership are, in turn, the most loyal and the most likely to participate?

Just a thought!
posted by wackybrit at 7:13 PM on January 17, 2003


I blame myself.
posted by yhbc at 7:14 PM on January 17, 2003


Many old-timers are gone, and sorely missed.
posted by dhoyt at 7:16 PM on January 17, 2003


Many old-timers are gone, and sorely missed.
*Holds moment of silence*
posted by jmd82 at 7:36 PM on January 17, 2003


if you can find the post I referenced earlier, please link to it. I have had no luck
Courtesy of MeFi's own googlbot tamim, Perigee's number crunching thread.
posted by riffola at 7:50 PM on January 17, 2003


It's also relevant that 10% of the all-time comments are by just 15 posters (which probably holds roughly true for temporal subsets). 20% by 39; 50% by 235; 80% by 880. Of the 17500 registered members, only 6000 have ever posted a comment at all, and just over 1000 have only posted once. (Another 1000+ user IDs were created with blank information fields, a whopping 280 of them in the 16000s.) I would also bet that certain groups, like perhaps those low-participation cadres, are full of the5k.org users.
posted by dhartung at 7:58 PM on January 17, 2003


I suggest the hyperactivity of the users over 14k indicates that the "newbies" haven't had the vitality and exuberance crushed out of them from the daily grind of this place. Furthermore, they are perhaps still under the silly and mistaken impression that what they say matters, and so they spend time replying to yet another israeli/palestinian or SUV thread, so they write and they write, and press the submit button far more often, whereas the vintage user (like myself) would get fed up, and just press the BACK button instead.
posted by crunchland at 8:11 PM on January 17, 2003


*Holds moment of silence*

Or, translated into the forgotten language popular in the old days**:

*Observes moment of silence*

**When grey matter mattered, and splattered itself onto the new blue canvas, and drip-dried into postmodern art.

::End Dreamtime::
posted by Opus Dark at 8:20 PM on January 17, 2003


I guess some of us just can't shut up, and moved here because they used up all the possible interesting comments they could make on another site.

Post #200... Oh yeah.

Anyways, maybe there's been nothing interesting in the past 20 threads for those old-skool users? I know I've gone almost a week without posting on a site when there's been nothing worth talking about.
posted by shepd at 8:21 PM on January 17, 2003


Metafilter: Crushing out vitality and exuberance since 1999
posted by owillis at 8:27 PM on January 17, 2003


shepd: Wow, is your /. karma low enough that you don't post at +2? I can't believe that with the number of posts you've made! Or are you just modest and hit the No +2 box? I aim for a quarter of my /. comments making +5, and I'm currently succeeding. However, I am starting to get the reputation of a troll *g*
posted by wackybrit at 8:45 PM on January 17, 2003


I blame myself.
posted by yhbc


On further review, I also blame hama7, Steve_at_Linnwood, languagehat, XQUZYPHYR, and even the estimable Stan Chin; all 14Ker's with "MeFi Contribution Indices" currently higher even than my own bloviated output. By way of comparison, Shane and oissubke are going to have to get help to hold up the 15k and 16k banners, respectively, if those particular hordes ever want to challenge the 14k throng, because those two posters are the only representatives of their "class" that are in the same (high) position.

Oh yeah, there is a point to all this - it's that there's an easily-identifiable half-dozen (including myself) prolific posters in the 14k group that skew the results. Looking at those names, I doubt that ANY MeFi reader would lump us together in any single category except one: we all comment a lot. Each also does so for their own reasons; I doubt there's more than two threads that each of me, hama7 and languagehat have all commented in, but each of us pop up a lot overall.

So. There's a small group of users who signed up (or snuck in, as has already been noted) between about nine and four months ago who have really been verbose since then. Does this say more about MetaFilter in general or about these users specifically?

No, I'm really asking - I'm not sure.
posted by yhbc at 9:14 PM on January 17, 2003


An even more impressive statistic: 50% of comments on MetaFilter are by people who first joined more than a year ago -- and are still here!
posted by ook at 9:30 PM on January 17, 2003


In conjunction with wackybrit's comment regarding back-door users, I would point out that most of the 14K users joined after a fairly long no-signups period; many of them, like me, had been waiting to join for quite a while, and spent several days hitting 'Reload' over and over until we were able to make it before the x-users-per-day had already joined.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:30 PM on January 17, 2003


By way of comparison, Shane and oissubke are going to have to get help to hold up the 15k and 16k banners, respectively, if those particular hordes ever want to challenge the 14k throng,

Uh-oh, it sounds like we're all going to get into numeric gangs. Go 2Kers!!
posted by wackybrit at 9:47 PM on January 17, 2003


The forty-nine comments by the 10K'ers are all mine.

I blame a cushy job and no home life.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:03 PM on January 17, 2003


Every time I talk about the whole back-door/sneak-in thing I get beaten up, so I won't this time.
posted by timeistight at 10:06 PM on January 17, 2003


psst, crash - you're an 11.

* realizes that could be taken the wrong way *

* shuts up quickly *
posted by yhbc at 10:08 PM on January 17, 2003


Seriously, very interesting work, wackybrit; I'm no stats major, but if my analysis of your analysis is accurate, it looks as though the data is telling us that 14k'ers are smarter and more interesting than any other substrata K group.


Also better looking.
posted by jonson at 10:16 PM on January 17, 2003


Wackybrit, yes, I have the karma bonus set to disabled for myself. I guess that's hard to believe without "proof", but hey, you can always watch for that occasional time I actually want someont to listen to me. :-)
posted by shepd at 10:24 PM on January 17, 2003


Oh, yeah, did I type 10K? Clearly what I meant was 11K, and the 24 comments, not 10K and 49.

For this, I blame a steady diet of boxed wine and peanut brittle that's long past its expiration date.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:40 PM on January 17, 2003


There seems to be a lot of people here getting their own user number muddled up! ;-) Wear it with pride!

shepd: Bah! If I was really hardcore, I'd go from 1 too, but I'm just a big karma whoring wimp :-)
posted by wackybrit at 11:28 PM on January 17, 2003


MetaFilter: a steady diet of boxed wine and peanut brittle that's long past its expiration date
posted by Galvatron at 12:44 AM on January 18, 2003


0 - 1000 : 22 comments - 22

dude, I posted more than that in the masturbation thread alone!
posted by jessamyn at 12:50 AM on January 18, 2003


Does this say more about MetaFilter in general or about these users specifically?

Well, it says that we are a bunch of incorrigible 'crazyfingers' at worst, or, are people who have an awful lot of unsupervised access to computers during business hours at best. Except me, of course, I never waste company time, because I *love my job.

*wanking motion
posted by hama7 at 1:37 AM on January 18, 2003


Additionally, this survey neglects to take into account the 10k resident heavyweight posting powerhouse known as MiguelCardoso, who is a small metropolis unto himself, and more conspicuous by his recent absence, if I may say so.
posted by hama7 at 1:49 AM on January 18, 2003


Destroyed... by the Empire.
posted by Witty at 5:34 AM on January 18, 2003


14k, raise our banners high!
posted by The Michael The at 5:37 AM on January 18, 2003


What qualifies as an old timer?
posted by adampsyche at 6:57 AM on January 18, 2003


I ran out of things to say.

*pours out 40 ounce for fallen Miguel*
posted by ColdChef at 7:06 AM on January 18, 2003


Don't worry, we 1Kers are monitoring your progress. When we feel your society has advanced sufficiently we will share with you the secrets of flash fridayeternal life and pancakesthe meaning of life.
posted by fvw at 9:02 AM on January 18, 2003


Shane and oissubke are ... the only representatives of their "class" that are in the same (high) position.

Caffeine, baby. Caffeine, Google, and a warped creative brain stuck in a job so boring it's cruel. You know what it's all about.

How ya doin', Commish?
posted by Shane at 10:10 AM on January 18, 2003


Did I mention caffeine?
posted by Shane at 10:12 AM on January 18, 2003


...the data is telling us that 14k'ers are smarter and more interesting than any other substrata K group. Also better looking.

What jonson said! (and ishmaelgraves too!)
(also, i think we're not over it yet--it's still fun/interesting/worthwhile for us 14k'ers) I would also bet we have the lowest quota of complainers/metanazis/newsfilter-caller-outers, etc.
posted by amberglow at 10:56 AM on January 18, 2003


On behalf of the 14K group, I would like to invite Shane to join us. Perhaps some sort of hostage exchange could be worked out where the 15Kers get hama7? You'd like it up there hama, oissubke is there. Sweet, delicious oissubke...
posted by jonson at 11:10 AM on January 18, 2003


Interesting. He seems to be the most recent user.

Cage match!
posted by Vidiot at 11:30 AM on January 18, 2003


He seems to be the most recent user.

Let me get this straight: He created username "timeistightisanidiot" so he could point out that t-is-t is acting immature?

Wowser.
posted by Shane at 11:41 AM on January 18, 2003


I'm honored, jonson! Actually, I started out as a 14K-er, but I goofed (scroll down).
posted by Shane at 12:00 PM on January 18, 2003


That was a fortunate goof - Shane is a much cooler nickname!
posted by jonson at 12:07 PM on January 18, 2003


wow... as an early 13k-er I'm starting to feel a little old...

*shakes cane at monitor*
posted by 10sball at 12:07 PM on January 18, 2003


He created username "timeistightisanidiot" so he could point out that t-is-t is acting immature?

yup.
posted by eddydamascene at 12:15 PM on January 18, 2003


Shout-outs to my 7k posse, we be gettin' our post on since April 19, 2001. All you other crews is whack.
posted by Hildago at 1:18 PM on January 18, 2003


He created username "timeistightisanidiot" so he could point out that t-is-t is acting immature?

Few MetaFiltarians have provoked such vitriol. I guess that makes me infamous.
posted by timeistight at 1:49 PM on January 18, 2003


Eh. The only reason I'm a 1ker is because I felt no reason to get a login until I saw something I wanted to comment on. I went for a while just reading without bothering to get a username. Who knew they'd be viewed in some circles as a prestige item or analyzed for statistical variations in posting content?

Oh yeah, 1k rulez! 17k droolz!
posted by ahughey at 2:34 PM on January 18, 2003


I guess that makes me infamous.

Enjoy your crosshair shirt.
posted by Opus Dark at 2:42 PM on January 18, 2003


Few MetaFiltarians have provoked such vitriol.

Since this morning, maybe. You have some reading of the archives to do if you still consider yourself singled out.
posted by PrinceValium at 2:56 PM on January 18, 2003


could the 14k group contain a lot of the 'back door' members?

I have often conjectured that the 14k group contains many, many back-door members.

I kid.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:10 PM on January 18, 2003


Well, yeah. The men don't know, but the little girls understand.
posted by yhbc at 3:31 PM on January 18, 2003


Well now we're getting down to football chants..

# Fourteens fourteens, drama queens, make the worst posts we've ever seen.
# Twos, twos, that's who you should choose. Twos, twos, we never lose!


GO TWO K-ERS!
posted by wackybrit at 3:39 PM on January 18, 2003


AH! So it was Matt with tongue firmly in cheek, avenging T=T's gross (but hilarious) display of semi-mad haxorskilz. I get it, eddy.

Who knew they'd be viewed in some circles as a prestige item...

"Prestige item"? Heck, you could probably sell a 1K for $dollars$. Or donuts. Prob'ly both.
posted by Shane at 3:57 PM on January 18, 2003


Wasn't a low user id once sold on eBay for charity? I just seem to have a vague memory of it happening.

Single digits are where the money is. A few of them are bizarrely unused.
posted by wackybrit at 4:16 PM on January 18, 2003


Accountingboy bid on coveted user #8 and then became oneballjay, and then disappeared. I think he paid around 75.00 for it.
posted by iconomy at 4:25 PM on January 18, 2003


I should have read the thread - the 8 went for at least 135.00. Cripes.

I have a nifty userpage with a built-in javascript error that I'm willing to let go. Cheap.
posted by iconomy at 4:33 PM on January 18, 2003


jonson: "hama7 - is right wing, but more than that, he's a complete fucking nut."

That's funny jonson. The answer is out there.
posted by hama7 at 5:01 PM on January 18, 2003


I can't BELIEVE how quickly that was found, hama7. Just put that up there this morning. Heh.... no offense?
posted by jonson at 5:13 PM on January 18, 2003


I think this is analagous to those conversations amongst Yale students you run into at parties, a conversation that is defined by the way in which all party attendees are broken into two distinct groups of interest, for those moving within the conversation: those who went to Yale, and those who did not.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 5:31 PM on January 18, 2003


I blame me too!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:40 PM on January 18, 2003


I put the blame in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 5:48 PM on January 18, 2003


I'm a 7k, so does that mean I'm twice as kickass as the fourteen-k'ers, or is it logarithmic?
posted by vraxoin at 6:33 PM on January 18, 2003


Heh.... no offense?

Offense? We 14ks have little time for trivialities like offense.

"A fit man, forsooth, to govern a realm!" --Hayward
posted by hama7 at 6:59 PM on January 18, 2003


the mighty 14k army !
initially i was a little put off by genghis khan up here being one.
but we were the ones who sat praying for metafilter to re-enable sign ups thru those long , lonely years.......
sitting outside in the cold , huddling together in our damp blanlets round the blazing oildrums singing 'we shall overcome' .....having pretend conversations with coldchef and evanizer....scratching wearily at the screen..................*sniff*
we are worthy of the utmost respect....we liked you guys and waited and waited and waited...so really the 14k gang is a reflection of how well you were all posting etc

yeah mike we do read yer profile page!
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:22 PM on January 18, 2003


we liked you guys and waited and waited and waited...so really the 14k gang is a reflection of how well you were all posting etc

There is something to that as well.

Well researched, wackybrit!
posted by hama7 at 8:39 PM on January 18, 2003


I'm almost sorry I brought this up now. We're not going to be able to escape the crowing of 14k-ers in every thread. You're going to gang up on us and dominate the site.

Note, I said almost. ;-)
posted by wackybrit at 8:41 PM on January 18, 2003


The only reason I'm a 1ker is because I felt no reason to get a login. . .posted by ahughey

okay, who wants to play Username Anagrams?
posted by Vidiot at 9:31 PM on January 18, 2003


AH! So it was Matt with tongue firmly in cheek, avenging T=T's gross (but hilarious) display of semi-mad haxorskilz.

You're saying that dave = mathowie? I can't accept that.
posted by timeistight at 10:14 PM on January 18, 2003


scratching wearily at the screen..................*sniff*

That's what my cats do when I move the mouse around fast. They don't sniff much though. They're smart enough to realize that MeFi is not Scratch-N-Sniff material. But if it were, what would it smell like?
posted by Shane at 8:55 AM on January 19, 2003


im trying to eat my dinner here pal.
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:34 AM on January 19, 2003


...it looks as though the data is telling us that 14k'ers are smarter and more interesting than any other substrata K group.

Who needs data to know that? It is just one of the immutable laws of nature (on planet MeFi at least). Seriously though, I think the data most likely reflects the fact that a significant number of the 14k brigade either bought their way in, snuck their way in or spent countless hours giving themselves RSI by pushing the refresh button over and over to try and be one of the lucky ones to get a user ID that particular day. Either way, they have invested in one way or another a great deal more than most users.

What would MeFi smell like? You know that smell that comes from an old car that has been closed up for a long time? Sort of dank, with an undertone of very old motor oil long past it's change-by date? That's what MeFi would smell like. What MeTa would smell like, I don't even want to imagine.
posted by dg at 2:51 PM on January 19, 2003


ps - of course, we all know that 47% of statistics are made up on the spot, don't we?
posted by dg at 2:54 PM on January 19, 2003


MeFi would smell of smug righteousness.
posted by wackybrit at 6:59 PM on January 19, 2003


I'd think that it'd smell more of mens' locker room. (Says the only woman in the Top #25 Poster Index.)
posted by Dreama at 2:14 AM on January 20, 2003


1k = THE GREATEST GENERATION
7k = soccer moms
14k = gen-x(36B0) (do you remember where you were when mathowie said this?)
17k = t3h gR3473$7 g3n3r4710N
posted by eddydamascene at 4:55 PM on January 20, 2003


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