how many people actively participate in MetaTalk? February 19, 2002 4:07 PM   Subscribe

All this recent navel gazing has me wondering--is there any way to see how many people actively participate in MetaTalk? An informal count of the front page posts just now puts it at about a 1/3 who may not even know there's all this discourse going on behind the scenes (based purely on if they have posted any comments or links, they may be lurking). No ponies needed, mathowie! Just curious if any of the MeFi Coder Brigade has come up with anything to generate that sort of info. Thanks!
posted by thc to MetaFilter-Related at 4:07 PM (8 comments total)

Well, without permission, it wouldnt be too hard to cook up a little spider to do this by traversing user pages -- but the effect of a lot of people looking at the stats would be a little like a DOS attack on mefi. Run it once and save it, maybe, but as easily sidetracked into dumb coding projects as I am, this one is a little TOO dumb.

The right way to do it would be to directly query posting data out of the database, which would take a a few minutes to write the SQL query. Up to matt.

Anyway, seems pointless, I suspect you're probably right that 1/3 (maybe 1/4) of mefi posters also check out meta -- probably a much smaller % of mefi _lurkers_ come here.
posted by malphigian at 4:34 PM on February 19, 2002

to me that's strange that more people don't come to metatalk. I find the "histrionics" and general silliness on metatalk far more interesting than the front page. It's like watching the soaps without all the shitty acting, the shitty scripts, visine tears, and... wait a minute. It's not really like the soaps at all. Somebody help. I'm drunk on half a pint of beer.
posted by jojo at 8:45 PM on February 19, 2002

Drunk on just half a pint of beer? You do need help. Try buttermilk.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:57 AM on February 20, 2002

hrm lightweights....

one thing that y'all are forgetting is the people that read MeTa, but don't post (also prolly a large percentage of MeFi)
posted by tj at 1:36 AM on February 20, 2002

Re: navelgazing ... ok, so this doesn't exactly belong in this thread, but I don't want to make a brand new MeTa post just to throw out my opinion/perspective ...

Over the past few years, I've drifted in and out of several online communities. I was a "personality" or "main player" or whatever the hell you want to call it in several, and have since moved on (along with most of the other "central" individuals). I've found that, after awhile, it gets to the point where Nothing Is Good Enough.

This post is not directed to anyone in particular, nor is it meant for the proverbial "group." I just want to suggest to the people who get overly caught up in the community politics (someone else called it a "soap opera") that perhaps your energy is misdirected, and your experience of the good things and people here is undermined by the level of importance you place on establishing/cultivating your presence here. Its not a competition, or a popularity contest. nobody is keeping score, and if they are, they're probably too preoccupied with their calculations to enrich your experience of the site in any meaningful way.

look at the links. post one if you think that someone will be interested. read the discussions, say something if you feel like it. try and make sure that the time/effort you spend here is commensurate with what you're getting out of it. don't worry about 'fitting in' or making certain people happy, living up to a percieved set of standards above and beyond what it takes to be a reasonably interesting and insightful human being. come and go as you please ... don't let things get to a point where you get so wrapped-up that walking away would necessitate announcements and explanations. and most of all, remember that anything that happens here is transient, that any 'successes' or 'failures' here are extremely short lived and very relative.

it seems like a bit of detachment would be a good thing for not only individuals, but for a site that seems to be suffering from too much attention. MetaFilter requires outside imput to survive and prosper ... if too many members get wrapped up in the internal dynamics of the group, the whole thing will stagnate. In other words, take care of yourself, trust that others will do the same, and everything else will take care of itself.

Just my $.02 ...
posted by hipstertrash at 5:16 AM on February 20, 2002

"watching the soaps" is not equal to "establishing/cultivating your presence here." quite the opposite, it's fun harmless drama. the level of introspection (another analogy thats sometimes used is masturbation) has been getting a little out of hand lately. but i enjoy reading the little spats and learn a little about the nuances of the wide world of mefi etiquette at the same time.

i expect that anybody who wants to feel a part of the community is a regular metatalk visitor, but that a majority of the legions of metafilter readers could care less.
posted by danOstuporStar at 6:14 AM on February 20, 2002

i expect that anybody who wants to feel a part of the community is a regular metatalk visitor, but that a majority of the legions of metafilter readers could care less.
I'm thinking differently. Since there are many (more? we can't tell but it looks like a lot) who are not participating in MeTa, but who are having full discourse on the front page, don't realize that they aren't part of the "community." Looks more like there are those who walk both worlds, and those who walk just one; the people who participate in both MeTa & MeFi see a "problem" that needs fixing (ie: in-thread discussion vs. shout-outs, double posts, etc.) whereas the people who don't participate in MeTa don't recognize a problem--or see the anguished posts in MeTa about how to solve these problems.

posted by thc at 2:27 PM on February 20, 2002

hmm, you're right, thc. i went over there and started clicking on user names. i was thinking i'd have a hard time finding folks who have made more than, say, 25 mefi comments that hadn't made at least one MeTa comment. but the place is crawling with 'em. my wrong.
posted by danOstuporStar at 8:08 PM on February 20, 2002

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