Longtime user making first FPP prompts query on posting demographics September 13, 2002 10:00 AM   Subscribe

This one got me to thinking…
I was surprised that someone who had been a member for over 2 years had just now posted their first story. I’m curious about other demographic oddities and averages like that.
Who holds the record for the most threads?
Many more questions inside....
posted by Blake to Bugs at 10:00 AM (189 comments total)

Who holds the record for the most comments?
Who holds the record for the most threads and fewest comments?
Who holds the record for the most comments and fewest threads?
Who holds the record for the most threads deleted?
Who holds the record for the longest times between posts (threads and/or comments)?
Who holds the record for the oldest first thread posted, and yet had also posted this week?
Who holds the record for the fewest number of posts since day one, the lowest number, and yet has posted this week?
Who holds the record for the highest average number of comments per thread?
Who holds the record for the most read threads?
Who holds the record for the most talkbacks?
Who holds the record for the most annoying questions that will never be answered?
How many threads and/or comments has the average mefite posted?
How long on average till a mefite stops posting?
How many times a day does an average mefite visit metafilter?
How many people have signed up and never posted anything?
How many people have signed up and posted once, or twice?

I’m not sure how much of this could even be answered, or maybe it has been and I missed it? I know we have This, but it’s the people that I’m more interested in.

Just in case Matt's bored someday and wants to practice some SQL!

posted by Blake at 10:01 AM on September 13, 2002


oh, damn, sorry about the ’'s
posted by Blake at 10:02 AM on September 13, 2002


oh, double damn, sorry, that should've been in metafilter related, not bugs. arg.
posted by Blake at 10:03 AM on September 13, 2002


Blake, our own waxpancake can answer at least some of your statistical questions re: all things Mefi.
posted by Skot at 10:07 AM on September 13, 2002


Who holds the record for the most annoying questions that will never be answered?

Wow, you slipped that one in there nice and tight.

I'm curious about many of these myself. Without access to the database, I could conceivably write some script to hit all 16000 of the user pages and search_posts.cfm results and then analyze them offline, but it would be kind of messy, and I don't think Matt would appreciate 32,000 hits coming from the same IP all in a row. I'd be interested in geeky facts and figures though.

There are some high level stats here.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:11 AM on September 13, 2002


I'm guessing the answer to at least one third of those is Miguel.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:18 AM on September 13, 2002


Well, you'd be wrong.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:21 AM on September 13, 2002


mmm ... statistics. I suspect this user would hold the record in a lot of those categories.
posted by whatnot at 10:36 AM on September 13, 2002


sorry, ufez. miguel has 500 comments to go before he surpasses aaron on the all-time list. however, miguel has defeated aaron's metatalk record quite handily. sdb is very close, i think, as is matt himself. another 400 comments and miguel could surpass matt's metatalk comment count!
posted by moz at 10:38 AM on September 13, 2002


I'm guessing the answer to at least one third of those is Miguel.

[This is a joke]
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:45 AM on September 13, 2002


Well it's not funny. It may be funny over on that silly monkey site you favour with your custom, but it's not funny here. And quit copying Matt! ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:52 AM on September 13, 2002


favour with your custom

Where's that from?
posted by timeistight at 10:58 AM on September 13, 2002


sorry, ufez. miguel has 500 comments to go before he surpasses aaron on the all-time list.

Geez, I talk too much.
posted by rushmc at 11:02 AM on September 13, 2002


favour with your custom

Where's that from?


Timeistight: surely you're joshing. You could just as well say, classically, patronise, as in "favouring with your patronage". Have you never seen an English pub's parking lot with a sign saying "Patrons Only"?

Those who favour with their custom are customers; those who favour with their patronage (fatherly habit) are patrons.

[For us Latins, of course, "patrons" (or "patrões") are owners, so I grant thee it gets a bit confusing- ;)]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:07 AM on September 13, 2002


And of course, that would be padrones in Spanish.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:13 AM on September 13, 2002


Thanks, Miguel. You are always an education.
posted by timeistight at 11:20 AM on September 13, 2002


Yes it would, Ufez, thank you. And perhaps cabrones would not tarry far behind either, as an appropriate designation.

Me, I'm just glad ::::rushmc:::: saw fit to confess, in this respect, his consistent abuse of the faculty to comment (we're approaching three thou here, people!), far beyond the wildest indulgence on our part. :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:20 AM on September 13, 2002


favour or favor ??? it's ok Mig, your sides must be aching from the finger jabbing, unless this is how you favour in England, then jab away, ouch stop it, it tickles.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:21 AM on September 13, 2002


Who put the bomp in the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp?
Who put the ram in the ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong?
Who put the bop in the bop sh-bop sh-bop?
Who put the dip in the dip da dip da dip?
posted by webmutant at 11:36 AM on September 13, 2002


Dr Seuss?
posted by ginz at 11:46 AM on September 13, 2002


Well, at least I think that I'm not the answer to any of those questions. Hope that helps!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 12:02 PM on September 13, 2002


moz: aaron joined mefi almost 1½ years before Miguel, so I'm not sure how that works out as far as general verbosity. Perhaps a rough division of comments by months? Using that, you've got:

Miguel: ~175/month
Aaron: ~93/month

Matthowie lags behind with a mere 58 comments per month.

(Yes, I mean this all in the nicest possible way.)

posted by frykitty at 12:28 PM on September 13, 2002


Oh, and I didn't count metatalk. I leave that for braver folk.
posted by frykitty at 12:30 PM on September 13, 2002


I've always humbly suspected that I held the record for having my name mispelled the most in comments. I searched it once a long time ago and saw that it was spelled Hidalgo or Hildalgo more often than Hildago, but the search is mostly down right now, so I can't verify that. I would like to hold some sort of MeFi record, damnit.
posted by Hildago at 1:23 PM on September 13, 2002


I would like to hold some sort of MeFi record, damnit.

I 'll bestow any I have to you, Wildago, Hiptogo, WheredidIgo, Whoopsago, Hildago.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:15 PM on September 13, 2002


[my experience with the previous comment about Hildago(!!)]

Reads first part, laughs because, yeah, people probably do spell it a lot. Gets to the part about "Hidalgo" and "Hildalgo," realizes he has always thought that it is "Hildalgo." Quickly scans to the name at the bottom of the post and reads name, attempting to sound out Hil-da-go. Has trouble witht he lack of "l" before the "go" and gives up.

Sorry, Hildalgo.
posted by The God Complex at 2:18 PM on September 13, 2002


/spelling errors.
posted by The God Complex at 2:19 PM on September 13, 2002


moz: aaron joined mefi almost 1½ years before Miguel, so I'm not sure how that works out as far as general verbosity. Perhaps a rough division of comments by months?

if you want to go the route of comments per month, you should take a look at tamim's profile (you should look anyway, since it's awesome and deserves a front page post in and of itself). back on #mefi, we goofed around and were calculating contributions per day of people. miguel had a goofy high number -- tamim tried to get his contribution per day down to 1.
posted by moz at 2:50 PM on September 13, 2002


can i be one? please? most delightful and charming mefite in albuquerque, or something?

aww, please?

(ps, hi moz!)
posted by sugarfish at 2:52 PM on September 13, 2002


can i be one? please? most delightful and charming mefite in albuquerque, or something?

aww, please?


oh all right. Bugs Bunny will pin the ribbon on you seeing as he's always making wrong turns there and whatnot...
posted by jonmc at 2:59 PM on September 13, 2002


Hey what about me:

skallas has posted 174 links and 2633 comments to MetaFilter
and 24 threads and 494 comments to MetaTalk

I'm going to assume this is a good thing.
posted by skallas at 3:00 PM on September 13, 2002


sf:

but, you're the most delightful and charming mefite of them all!
posted by moz at 3:00 PM on September 13, 2002


y'all missed me, huh?

:)
posted by sugarfish at 3:01 PM on September 13, 2002


tamim tried to get his contribution per day down to 1.

Considering the number of users, that is an honorable goal. I may have to look into my own per day usage. I think I'm a little low right now as I took a break.

Hmm...
posted by frykitty at 3:49 PM on September 13, 2002


my goal is the be the person with a 3 digit user number with the least amount of comments.
posted by corpse at 4:45 PM on September 13, 2002


my goal is the be the person with a 3 digit user number with the least amount of comments.

This guy is hard to beat.
posted by timeistight at 4:49 PM on September 13, 2002


"Who holds the record for the most annoying questions that will never be answered?"

I claim that one. I might be in error but that one's mine anyway.

At one time I had the most deleted front page posts, but I have probably since lost that title.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:32 PM on September 13, 2002


I also wonder who posts the most cliches. You know, things about our _ overlords, pancakes, what our cat's breath smells like, and the always popular WHAT. THE. FUCK. MATT. Who starts that stuff?
posted by Samsonov14 at 5:57 PM on September 13, 2002


That would have been Stefan Claude Van Der Besten. But he's gone now.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:03 PM on September 13, 2002


Blake, our own waxpancake can answer at least some of your statistical questions re: all things Mefi.

It's back (or recently updated)! Hooray! I used to contemplate what social changes could be observed by looking through changes in posts/month and comments/month, but the conditions for making posts and comments are so different now than even a year ago. Only <20 people join per day now and are compelled to meet a comment quota before making FPPs. Perhaps these changes correlate to changes in trendlines in waxy's graphs. Is there a changelog or policylog on-site?
posted by rschram at 8:43 PM on September 13, 2002


*childish singasong*
Miguel is getting snippy, Miguel is getting snippy...
posted by matteo at 10:05 PM on September 13, 2002


I was in the mood to code tonight so when I read tamim's request for a script to figure out one's Contribution Index, I threw one together. It's a work in progress and I'm sure there are bugs, but it seemed to work for most users. Feel free to let me know about users that it doesn't work for (I already know about Matt's, but "day one" isn't a valid date).

Tamim's goal was to get it less than 1. If Miguel were to try for that he would rival a monk's vow of silence.
posted by jaden at 2:45 AM on September 14, 2002


I forgot to include a link to the Contribution Index page.
posted by jaden at 3:13 AM on September 14, 2002


whoo! i beat tamin with only 0.16 posts per day, in almost the same amount of time. i have to admit i felt ever so dirty the day my post count reached triple digits 8-)

nice work jaden, thanks...!
posted by t r a c y at 5:23 AM on September 14, 2002


That contribution index is cool, but someone needs to figure out how to put a number on the amount of time spent on compulsive daily mefi reading.ê@
posted by bonheur at 7:27 AM on September 14, 2002


0.78

But shouldn't starting a thread count as more than commenting in a thread? Either a straight line variable: a post counts for 10 to a comments 1. Or, as some percentage of the comments a thread generates - a post counts for 20% of the number of comments it receives.
posted by willnot at 9:24 AM on September 14, 2002


1.89
posted by crunchland at 9:34 AM on September 14, 2002


nice job, jaden. i (attempted) to write a stats program for mefi, but i didn't take the idea too far. (matt probably saw some odd requests from a page called stats.php from my site some months ago.) this looks awesome, though. my contribution index is 3.68 -- maybe that's because i've been more active lately than i usually am.
posted by moz at 11:21 AM on September 14, 2002


my next goal is to get my contribution index to be 3.14 -- the start of pi. will i do it? it'll be tricky! and this post isn't helping!
posted by moz at 11:22 AM on September 14, 2002


0.98

A little high for the BAC. Wait, that's not what this is about is it?
posted by gummi at 11:54 AM on September 14, 2002


Metafilter Contribution Index: 0.84

That is just damned cool.
posted by frykitty at 11:57 AM on September 14, 2002


Very slick, jaden.

I'm at 4.66. I thought I'd be a lot higher than that.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:59 AM on September 14, 2002


0.10
posted by PugAchev at 12:14 PM on September 14, 2002


1.78 is the average number of times per day that I've clicked the 'Post' button since I joined.

Well, its about to take a nosedive since I, coincidentally, chose this weekend to make my last post on Metafilter (I need to work on outside creative projects) I apologize for my recent posting frenzy - I just wanted to share a few more things with Mefi before I left. (I'll be adding stuff to my userpage later this week)
posted by vacapinta at 12:29 PM on September 14, 2002


willnot, I agree threads are more important than comments but Tamim was just trying to see how many times he'd clicked the "post" button since he joined.
posted by jaden at 1:49 PM on September 14, 2002


Yeah, yeah, yeah, so I'm slightly over the Bo Derek level. But at Plastic and K5 I am still at a cool zero, zilcherino! And that's what really counts. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:02 PM on September 14, 2002


*riding on the sub-5k bus with Pug*
.04 (and still not brave enough for a front pager).
posted by thatothrgirl at 2:02 PM on September 14, 2002


1.68 over 494 days, with a 6-month hiatus. That's not accounting for wind-speed and daylight savings time. But I did give myself extra points for never succumbing to the pancake meme.
posted by Hildago at 2:22 PM on September 14, 2002


Maybe I missed it, but who are the top 25 on jaden's index? Is there a way to tell?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:06 PM on September 14, 2002


where the hell do I find my mefi id?
posted by Fat Buddha at 3:08 PM on September 14, 2002


click you username
posted by quonsar at 3:15 PM on September 14, 2002


~looks around the room feverishly at the sound of Tarzan's voice~
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:46 PM on September 14, 2002


Sorry Fat Buddha, it couldn't handle usernames with spaces in them. Now it can. You have a 0.88 Contribution Index.

I haven't been recording any of the users, but I guess I could add in a top 25 list. I'll let you know when it's done.
posted by jaden at 3:56 PM on September 14, 2002


The Contribution Index doesn't seem to work for those of us who joined "sometime in 1999".
posted by anitar at 4:09 PM on September 14, 2002


I know, it's because there's no way to know how many days you've been a member. The same is true for Matt, which just has "day one." If there was a month I could at least calculate from the first of that month and I guess I could assume January 1, 1999. I'm open to suggestions.
posted by jaden at 4:16 PM on September 14, 2002


Me: 4.89
ColdChef: 4.91

Shut up, you noisy bastard.
posted by yhbc at 4:43 PM on September 14, 2002


Thanks jaden, I really must contribute more, it feels like a minus
posted by Fat Buddha at 4:48 PM on September 14, 2002


The Top 25 list is up.
posted by jaden at 4:57 PM on September 14, 2002


Now I feel like a noisy bastard.
posted by Fat Buddha at 5:12 PM on September 14, 2002


Woah. And here I thought I barely made a peep.
(as of this I was number 23)
posted by gummi at 5:15 PM on September 14, 2002


2.90

I so own 15k+.
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 5:16 PM on September 14, 2002


Well, I'd have more confidence if it didn't assume I joined a full 7 months after I actually did.....
posted by dash_slot- at 5:27 PM on September 14, 2002


Er, if I have a lower C.I. (0.41), is that necessarily a bad thing?
(Trying for a higher signal/noise ratio, you know...)
posted by Lynsey at 5:32 PM on September 14, 2002


0.11

weeeee
posted by azazello at 5:34 PM on September 14, 2002


Uh.. I may not have been here as long as I thought I had.


I'll get me coat.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:35 PM on September 14, 2002


Actually, Fat Buddha, I think 0.88 is pretty ideal. (And I don't just say that because I'm 0.87.)

On preview: the Signal-to-Noise Ratio (# of MeFi posts divided by # of MeFi comments; average this with MeTa ratio) somehow figured into the Contribution Index would probably be a better indicator of a user's contribution. The CI doesn't weigh a comment any less than a post.
posted by jennak at 5:37 PM on September 14, 2002


Wow. Nicolae Carpathia ranks twice!
posted by crunchland at 5:54 PM on September 14, 2002


Miguel averages 10 posts a day. I believe I can beat that number.

I believe I have what it takes. I believe I can do it by tomorrow, if I stay up all night.

It's not going to be easy. Quality will have to be sacrificed. Hell, coherency will have to be sacrificed. But if you want something bad enough, sometimes you have to wade through hell. It's like that movie where the guy gets tormented for a long time, and all the while he's planning his redemption. What's it called? Oh yeah, One Crazy Summer. Well, this is going to be One Crazy Night.
posted by Hildago at 6:18 PM on September 14, 2002


technical question regarding the script: if quonsar contributes in the forest and miguel isn't around to hear, what is helen keller's contribution index?
posted by quonsar at 6:21 PM on September 14, 2002


Ok, something is not quite right with that script. Now Evanizer shows up as #5 and #6.
posted by crunchland at 6:32 PM on September 14, 2002


Check, please,........ #14, with a Metafilter Contribution Index: 3.60. Well, I feel 14 now.......as I sneak out back door.....
O wait I don't feel bad settle is #19 , he has been gone some time. :P
posted by thomcatspike at 6:51 PM on September 14, 2002


This pretty much destroys the theory that the new kids post too much.
posted by timeistight at 7:04 PM on September 14, 2002


This kinda sux for those of us who joined in 1999, since there's no "member since" on our user pages. I can tell you that I joined the same day that I posted my first thread if that helps. Then I said nothing for two years. then I started again and you couldn't stop me so my numbers probably kinda strange.
posted by jonmc at 7:09 PM on September 14, 2002


Hey I made the top 10! Is that good or bad???
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:17 PM on September 14, 2002


Woohoo! I broke the top ten!

And all this from someone who, in seventeen years, probably hasn't said ten words to his in-laws that haven't been direct responses to questions.

God, that's satisfying.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:28 PM on September 14, 2002


holy shit, i am nuber 21.
posted by adampsyche at 7:29 PM on September 14, 2002


jonmc: assuming you joined on dec 5, 1999:

(58+1609+12+502)/1012

=2.16

I agree it can be unfair. I joined in august of 2001 but didnt really start posting till april of this year - so my recent CI (past 3 months?) is much higher. A recent CI would indicate who are the current most active posters and thus exclude posters like SDB or Settle, but it couldnt be easily calculated off the userpage.
posted by vacapinta at 7:35 PM on September 14, 2002


1. 10.06 MiguelCardoso
2. 5.96 ParisParamus


Why the slimy, little butter-wouldn't-melt-in-his-glottis toad...! Who would have thought I'd have old Frogs' Legs breathing down my neck? ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:36 PM on September 14, 2002


jonmc: assuming you joined on dec 5, 1999:

(58+1609+12+502)/1012

=2.16


See, I'm the strong silent type. really.
posted by jonmc at 7:37 PM on September 14, 2002


vacapinta: since nobody else has said it, let me be the first to thank you for the impeccable quality of your contributions here. Your artistic and pop-cultural sensibilities will be sorely missed.
posted by MrBaliHai at 8:01 PM on September 14, 2002


Embarrassment. Now that I'm married, I will lose my Avis status.

What about thread/comment index? I must be #1 there (smallest number of threads posted per-comment.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:06 PM on September 14, 2002


). <<<that counts as a comment?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:06 PM on September 14, 2002


Mr.B: Thanks. I regretted posting that since I didnt want to derail the thread. If you're ever in San Fran, I'd love to have a drink. My email is on my userpage for you or anyone else here to use.
/end de-rail
posted by vacapinta at 8:10 PM on September 14, 2002


[rederail]You will be missed, vacapinta - come back soon, now, y'hear? [/rederail]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:13 PM on September 14, 2002


By the way, the Index should take into account number of words posted. My posts are often short, because I don't have the time for much more than one-liners most of the time. People who contribute paragraphs of thought are in a different category.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:25 PM on September 14, 2002


vacapinta, my man: what bali said, squared. See ya on the flipside..
posted by jonmc at 8:27 PM on September 14, 2002


Oh dear God, vacapinta, don't leave us forever! You're one of the few bright spots in this place anymore! Geez, if we lose any more of our gems, I'm gonna reconsider staying as well. Urrgh. Sadness. Well, thanks for sharing with us, it's been greatly appreciated. Good luck on the projects, compadre!

I was gonna joke about this contribution index thingee, but now I just don't feel like it.


:-(
posted by evanizer at 8:33 PM on September 14, 2002


on the top 25, i see several mentioned more than once. (for example, steve_at_linnwood has 4 spots on the top 25.) how can that be?
posted by moz at 8:56 PM on September 14, 2002


Jaden, why does it keep changing?
posted by timeistight at 9:01 PM on September 14, 2002


Yeah, what is that about? I was just accusted of bumping some one off! :-(
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:22 PM on September 14, 2002


I want to come out of the clost of quiet and just say that, from a reader more than a poster (i still can't link!)...Vacapinta, you're such a treasure. And not just because your mom is hot. Thank you.
posted by G_Ask at 9:23 PM on September 14, 2002


!!!bang. .03!!!

basically i am a silent mefi treasure.
posted by Andrea at 9:29 PM on September 14, 2002


So, do any of you feel like the discovery of your ratios will impact how much you "share"? Particularly you top 25 blabbermouths? (insert some sort of sly emoticon here).

I'd LOVE to see a script describing the ratio of front page posts to comments, and of MeFi comments to MeTa comments. That's where I think the REAL gold is. I always distrust people who post links out of proportion (to my mind) to the amount they comment.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:55 PM on September 14, 2002


Not that I'm like stalkerishly obsessively watching or anything. No, really.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:56 PM on September 14, 2002


Some of us don't have much time to find great links for others (my job doesn't have anything to do with computers). I rely on other MeFi's to pass the treasures on to me. Thanks everyone!
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 10:28 PM on September 14, 2002


Hmm. I was a top-25er (although sheer number of posts is a truly crappy measure of how good a community member one is), this morning, and now I'm not.

The vicissitudes of fame. *sigh*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:29 PM on September 14, 2002


Does any find it interesting that MetaFilter, a community with out a ranking system, gravitated by its' self toward a ranking system? Is this a natural desire to compete with other humans?

Just wondering .....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:31 PM on September 14, 2002


Yes. And yes.
posted by timeistight at 10:47 PM on September 14, 2002


The list is freaking out. Steve_at_Linwood is in there six times.
posted by timeistight at 10:50 PM on September 14, 2002


Fear me, I rule the Index List!

(seriously though, why is this happening?)
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:52 PM on September 14, 2002


Is this a natural desire to compete with other humans?

Sure. Just remember though, the goal is 1, not 10+. (I'm at a cool 0.74 so I've got some work to do - phew!)
posted by D at 11:05 PM on September 14, 2002


Well, since nobody else has stepped up with the obvious, the top 25 is the top 25 that have checked their scores. If the user hasn't been checked, they could have a score of Miguel squared, and they wouldn't show up in that list.

Also, it doesn't exclude multiples of the same user.
posted by willnot at 11:10 PM on September 14, 2002


I can not believe that as a major lurker I have a 0.59 index.
posted by bjgeiger at 11:29 PM on September 14, 2002


Yes, the top 25 list is a bit screwy. Right when I finished I went to a concert and didn't get home until just now, so I'm going to fix it right now. It may get worse before it gets better ;) I was using the CI as the key rather than the user, so if they posted again, their CI would change and would enter in another in place of it.

Also, as willnot pointed out, it is only ranking users who have been checked. I thought about trying to probe for all the users but I don't think Matt would be too keen on the idea since it would put a load on the server. Maybe I'll just add those on the donation list instead, to encourage people to donate if they want their user page to be checked periodically for other ranking values (most comments, most posts, etc.)
posted by jaden at 12:19 AM on September 15, 2002


I can not believe that as a major lurker I have a 0.59 index.

I hear ya on that one. I feel like I pretty much never post anything, and yet I clock in at 0.49 all the same. Who knew?
posted by youhas at 12:26 AM on September 15, 2002


The top 25 list will only show users once now.

I'd LOVE to see a script describing the ratio of front page posts to comments, and of MeFi comments to MeTa comments.

I added a few new ratios to the page, is that what you meant?
posted by jaden at 12:40 AM on September 15, 2002


So, does that mean that the multiple slots indicate people so obsessed with their scores that they keep going back to recheck?
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 12:41 AM on September 15, 2002


or that other people were clicking on thier name... ?



posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:47 AM on September 15, 2002


Hey - apparently yesterday I had been a MeFite for 666 days! If only I'd known then, I could have hatched an evil plot, or stolen someone's soul or something...

Now it's just the Neighbour of The Beast, and not as much fun. Thanks, jaden. Neat thingo.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:57 AM on September 15, 2002


Actually, it's more that the CI is very volatile for new users. If you've only been a member for a few days, a single post will change it dramatically, so for Steve_at_Linwood when he posted here, that changed his score and the next time someone checked his user it would add him in again.

Funny you mention that stavros, I just checked Settle and he had 666 comments
posted by jaden at 1:00 AM on September 15, 2002


For all of the users who don't have a clear date (like Sometime in 1999) I've made it assume January 1, 1999, so at least you can get a ballpark figure.
posted by jaden at 1:17 AM on September 15, 2002


On second thought, I've changed it to assume July 14, 1999.
posted by jaden at 1:22 AM on September 15, 2002


No, Steve, by the time I thought of doing that it was too late - it was already fixed. If I'd made it in time, you'd have known - a joke worth doing is worth overdoing. You would have been on there 23 times.
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 4:49 AM on September 15, 2002


This ratio needs a name ... the Golden Tamim? I had no idea I was such a loquacious freak. Very nice work, jaden.
posted by rcade at 7:13 AM on September 15, 2002


Contribution Index Explained

The Contribution Index does not measure the quality of the contribution, but the frequency. The concept of Contribution Index stemmed from the various debates when some members voiced their concern over others using MetaFilter as their own weblog. The consensus was that those who post too frequently are abusing MetaFilter in lieu of their own weblogs.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 It is generally assumed that dedicated bloggers would update their weblogs at least once a day. Thus the sweet-spot for being a "productive" contributor to MetaFilter, yet not abusing the resources as a personal soapbox, is just under 1 contribution per day.

To answer willnot, accounting for the various forms of contributions: posting a thread, "moderating" a thread, getting into a "debate" (aka flame war), exchanging thoughts and collegial chatter, and just commenting on topic, not to mention ideologically motivated threads and comments; it was simpler to assign every click of the post-button the same weight. Of course in reality, not all clicks of the post-button carry the same weight. A better matrix to compute the true value of a member's contribution would assign various positive values for posted thread, on-topic comments, and negative values for moderating, flame-war, chatter, agenda driven and deleted threads and comments. But there is no software solution for it. Someone can, hypothetically, comment ten times in a thread and be on-topic and not chatty. But there is no way of knowing it without reading the thread. Hence a blind software simply can't compute the value of one's contribution. The Contribution Index is a simple formula to gauge how frequently someone clicks the post-button; not the "signalness" of those contributions.

Of course, this came about long before Matt himself declared that the frequency at which one clicked on the post-button has a direct relationship (as opposed to the previously assumed inverse relationship) to their productive contribution in furthering the mission of the site. As of September 13, 2002, a low Contribution Index essentially indicates your worthlessness in (or ambivalence for) the MetaFilter community.

That said, I'd like to thank jaden for doing an impressive job. Excellently executed. Pretty cool indeed!

Matt started collecting the member since dates since the evening of January 27, 2000. Many who signed up before that, including those who signed up earlier that same day, were assigned "sometime in 1999." User starduck was the last lucky member with the elite "sometime in 1999" tag; as user gavin, who signed up a few hours later, was the first with a 2000 date stamp. There was a spike in new membership following MetaFilter being named the CoolSTOP Best of Cool on January 23, 2000. During the soul-searching that followed, Matt, just as Caesar before him, was warned by vitaminb: "There are too many idiots out there that will take advantage of the situation once they find sites like Metafilter." As he rushed to install new scripts, Matt lost some of the data of the early members.9 That same day he implemented a no self-link policy and a MetaFilter Guideline, 10 and delayed posting priviledges.11

Just to help you with some of the missing data, here are some of the member since dates for the early members. You might have to hard code these into your script[s]. [* are approximation/aggregation.] Null Memberships: (2-7), (9-12), (14-15), (31), (35-37), (67-68), (77-86), (126), (128-129), (132), (143-144), (152), (154-155), (166-171), (175-179), (182-188), (195-196), (236-237), (243), (271-272)
posted by tamim at 7:31 AM on September 15, 2002


tamim : Of course, this came about long before Matt himself declared that the frequency at which one clicked on the post-button has a direct relationship (as opposed to the previously assumed inverse relationship) to their productive contribution in furthering the mission of the site. As of September 13, 2002, a low Contribution Index essentially indicates your worthlessness in (or ambivalence for) the MetaFilter community.

This in particular bears a great deal of discussion, friends and comrades.

I must say that I was pleased and enormously surprised (and also surprised that nobody seemed to respond) to read that Matt is actually making a grand a month or so off MeFi these days. More power to him, but perhaps this means something and is worth discussing in relation to the growth and health of the community...

Buried in tamim's exhaustively researched post (and thank you, friend tamim) is fodder for an interesting discussion about where MeFi is going, I think...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:42 AM on September 15, 2002


Matt is actually making a grand a month
is that before or after the free bandwidth and hosting?
posted by quonsar at 8:22 AM on September 15, 2002


I suggest asking him, if you're interested. I read his comment, given the history of this place sucking money out of his pocket, to mean sweet sweet profit, but that might be fanboy fantasy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:28 AM on September 15, 2002


As of September 13, 2002, a low Contribution Index essentially indicates your worthlessness in (or ambivalence for) the MetaFilter community.

This doesn't follow -- you're talking mathowie's remark out of context. What he actually said was, If the site were sold -- i.e., had value to an outside interest -- and he were to benefit from that sale, then he would share that benefit with those who helped create that value.

He also says, however, that it turns out the site didn't in fact create any real value by that measure. He wasn't offered any large amount of money for it, and doesn't expect he ever will. So the fact that he once thought about it that way doesn't mean anything; he could just as well have decided to divvy up the profits by how many letters you have in your username.
posted by mattpfeff at 8:50 AM on September 15, 2002


...As of September 13, 2002, a low Contribution Index essentially indicates your worthlessness in (or ambivalence for) the MetaFilter community.

I disagree. I know many users who don't post/comment to MeFi often, but when they do, it's high quality. As I pointed out before, the Contribution Index doesn't factor whether how much of a user's contributions are comments and how many are posts. This valuable information; if a particular user has contributed less comments than posts, then s/he isn't really fufilling the "community" aspect of Metafilter.

Of course, Metafilter wouldn't have anything to discuss without posts, but it certainly wouldn't be a community without commenters. A substantially higher number of comments to posts (signal-to-noise ratio) is beneficial and essential to this community. One can't look at a so-called "Contribution Index" and tell if a user *is* really contributing to MeFi.
posted by jennak at 11:09 AM on September 15, 2002


tamin, I have to agree with mattpfeff. I was merely thinking aloud about a bygone era's fantasy, about what to do if I were given loads of money to get the site off my hands. If there were true measures of quality (karma ratings or something), I'd divvy things up that way, but in the absence, the only metric left is participation, but you're right that it would send a message that participation = quality in a way BUT it's pointless to base anything on it, as again, it was merely noodling about fantasy "what if" scenarios and it should never be used as a policy mandate.

I guess in the future I'll do my best to not talk about past dreams or jokes, for fear of sending the wrong signals for what mandates acceptable policy.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:33 AM on September 15, 2002


I guess in the future I'll do my best to not talk about past dreams or jokes, for fear of sending the wrong signals for what mandates acceptable policy
Just like Alan Greenspan.
I appreciate Matt's comments in this thread. They've certainly furthered my understanding of MeFi.
On the other hand, that appreciation itself is the proximate cause of The Greenspan Effect (tm).
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 2:12 PM on September 15, 2002


Now it's just the Neighbour of The Beast, and not as much fun.

Actually, Stavros, 667 would indicate that you live across the street from the Beast. Which is better, in a way, since that's an ideal vantage point for peeking into the Windows of the Beast, a la Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched.
posted by Optamystic at 4:34 PM on September 15, 2002


Now, if only someone could come up with a MeFi Contribution Quality Index...

vacapinta: since nobody else has said it, let me be the first to thank you for the impeccable quality of your contributions here. Your artistic and pop-cultural sensibilities will be sorely missed.

Ditto. With bells on.

mathowie, keep sharing your jokes and past dreams, as it provides a little insight into why MeFi is what it is.
posted by dg at 4:38 PM on September 15, 2002


How many times a day does an average mefite visit metafilter?

Home many times a day? You mean some users actually leave?
posted by dg at 4:45 PM on September 15, 2002


True mefites only leave for two reasons -- bathroom breaks (only 2 per day, 15 minutes each, if you have your period you must notify the management) and to read the Onion. All other departures risk serious long term disaster. Miguel once took an unauthorized vacation and the place just fell apart.
posted by dness2 at 5:23 PM on September 15, 2002


15 minutes - that is a bit excessive, isn't it? If you need to spend 15 minutes in the bathroom twice a day, you should invest in a notebook and wireless network (or an RJ-45 next to the towel rail).

Reading of The Onion should only be conducted in a separate window - either MeFi or MeTa (preferably both) must be at least partially visible at all times.
posted by dg at 5:45 PM on September 15, 2002


Wow, thanks for all the research tamim. I've added all of the hard coded dates to the script.
posted by jaden at 5:56 PM on September 15, 2002


Sorry.
posted by yhbc at 8:26 PM on September 15, 2002


Don't mind me.
posted by yhbc at 8:26 PM on September 15, 2002


But I just
posted by yhbc at 8:26 PM on September 15, 2002


figured out that
posted by yhbc at 8:27 PM on September 15, 2002


I just needed
posted by yhbc at 8:27 PM on September 15, 2002


ten
posted by yhbc at 8:27 PM on September 15, 2002


more
posted by yhbc at 8:27 PM on September 15, 2002


comments
posted by yhbc at 8:28 PM on September 15, 2002


to
posted by yhbc at 8:28 PM on September 15, 2002


top ColdChef.
posted by yhbc at 8:29 PM on September 15, 2002


You need ten comments to top ColdChef? He lets me do it every night for free...

*Zing!*

I'll be here all week. Enjoy the buffet.
posted by evanizer at 9:09 PM on September 15, 2002


Stan Chin (14991) has been a Mefi user for 35 days

Hundreds of days younger than those above me. My index is 5.91, and I'm ranked 6 overrall.



I quit.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:02 PM on September 15, 2002


I did pay my check, officer, I'm no longer in the top 25, whew!
posted by thomcatspike at 9:54 AM on September 16, 2002


Mefi thread to comment ratio: 0.05
Mefi Thread Index: 0.01


Now, I've been a member for 362 days. Loyal, dogged, come-here-for-the-links, stay-for-the-chatter kinda gal. Clearly, I'm not doing much chattering myself, but don't we need more members like me to keep the noise and signal down? If all 15k+ of us found it our membership-given right to blather on like some of you, we'd have threads that were 1000's of comments long. Not to mention how many freakin' threads there would be.

Of course I'm saying this to defend my abysmally low rating, and turn it around to make it seem like I'm a DAMNED FINE MEFI CITIZEN.

posted by readymade at 12:06 PM on September 16, 2002


I think I should change the title to the Top 25 Blacklisted Mefites. No one person should be hitting the post button an average of 10+ times a day and if the list is encouraging people to post worthless drivel in order to break into the Top 25, it is doing the opposite of what I had intended.

I hoped people would see it as an indication that they're hogging the spotlight. If you see your name on the list, how about toning down the frequency of your comments a little? Before posting a snarky one-liner, take a moment to make sure it's going to contribute to the discussion. It's the quality of the post, not the quantity, but I don't know of a way to measure that programmatically.
posted by jaden at 2:15 PM on September 16, 2002


I get just 1.37. However, I'm sure my trolling abilities have resulted in raising the overall average score of everyone else by a few points! Come on you lefties!
posted by wackybrit at 3:15 PM on September 16, 2002


Well I hope they're not blacklisted yet. Many of the people on the list are members whose contributions I find particularly enjoyable. I don't want them to tone down the frequency of their comments.
posted by timeistight at 3:22 PM on September 16, 2002


I think I should change the title to the Top 25 Blacklisted Mefites. No one person should be hitting the post button an average of 10+ times a day

Who's doing the blacklisting? You? As the most obvious Red in your wannabe Blacklist I offer my finest Bogart sneer to your ungainly self-nomination as MetaFilter's Joe McCarthy.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:05 PM on September 16, 2002


Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the promiscuous posters party?
posted by timeistight at 4:19 PM on September 16, 2002


I like all the 25ers. I don't read everything they write, but if I did, I'd have to chain myself to my computer and give up "society at large" for the "MeFi society," solely, completely and absolutely.

On an unrelated note, are all the 25ers blokes? I think so, unless I'm missing something. And people always accuse women of being chatty....
posted by readymade at 4:24 PM on September 16, 2002


I think I should change the title to the Top 25 Blacklisted Mefites. No one person should be hitting the post button an average of 10+ times a day and if the list is encouraging people to post worthless drivel in order to break into the Top 25, it is doing the opposite of what I had intended.

Bravo, and agreed. While many of the top 25 do produce good posts, there comes a point at which volume overwhelms a community site, no matter what the quality. A community of this size is lessened when it becomes about a small group of people, especially in a medium where it is so easy to get a site of one's own.


posted by frykitty at 4:38 PM on September 16, 2002


So what's the best way to achieve this hallowed 1.0 CI? Should I come here every day and drop a comment in a thread and then disappear? Or should I post 30 times on the first of every month?
posted by timeistight at 5:14 PM on September 16, 2002


Who's doing the blacklisting? You? As the most obvious Red in your wannabe Blacklist I offer my finest Bogart sneer to your ungainly self-nomination as MetaFilter's Joe McCarthy.

I thought it was rather obvious that it was my suggestion. The "posted by jaden" part usually gives it away.

All I suggested was temperance when posting to improve the quality of the discussions. Take it as you wish.
posted by jaden at 5:17 PM on September 16, 2002


Jaden: no offense, but I find people who most make excuses about how difficult it is to judge or measure quality are invariably the most obsessed with counting quantity. My objection arose because, in the comment of yours I quoted, you turned what was an amusing exercise about posting frequency into a moral recommendation.

The corollary - if everyone followed the Tamim Coefficient (you'll note that Tamim alone makes every post of his worth hundreds of others) is that you'd also have to force more reticent posters (the great majority) to post more often. You'd have a quantity-based MetaFilter, i.e., one that paid no attention to individuality.

I bet the average posting coefficient for all active users is way beneath 1. So things even themselves out. If I and the other 24 blacklisted bastards stop posting, who exactly will leap in?

I guess my point is that numbers are numbers and not much more. They're fun but they're not very good to turn into crusades. Besides, "blacklisting" is an ugly word.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:23 PM on September 16, 2002


Well jaden, I came by to apologize for my ten-in-a-row joke, but I don't really feel like it anymore. Yes, it was silly, but it was obviously silly, and neither derailed an active discussion nor kept anyone else from contributing. I guess I just didn't realize there was still a simmering jihad against over-posting.

Fine. I keep threatening to take an extended MeFi vacation, and this is the perfect opportunity. Please keep your script up, though, since I will check it periodically and make sure not to post anything again until my ratio is under 3.00. That way, I can do my part to make sure that the overall contributions to MetaFilter are both qualitatively and quantitatively meted out properly, and no one needs to get their knickers in a twist about seeing the same names too many times.

See ya's.
posted by yhbc at 7:33 PM on September 16, 2002


Now look what you've done.
posted by timeistight at 7:53 PM on September 16, 2002


jaden's script thingee is fun and all, and tamim's whole contribution index thing is fun too, but to take it seriously is frankly, well, silly. If someone is talking too much and without enough substance, they'll be admonished for it. But some people like to write more frequently than others. If they're fairly consistently interesting, and their contributions don't "drown out" everyone else in any obvious way, then I won't be complaining and neither will anyone else I suspect.
posted by evanizer at 8:04 PM on September 16, 2002


Listen, this is geting silly.

I'm sure all of us get pissed off at each other once in a while, and I have also considered a MeFi holiday.
But - if I did that - I'd certainly keep the statement private, if only because primadonna-esque feelings have a wont of coming back to bite me on the ass.

yhbc: don't please take that personally - I wish you coulda waited for the feelings to pass. Don't you recall playing football in the park, and one of your mates saunters off saying " i ain't playing with you guys no more", 'cos he didn't like a call by the ref? This wasn't even a call by the ref!

And the self-declared exile means less fun for the exiled, the group will always go on.

I'll miss you, please reconsider.
posted by dash_slot- at 8:11 PM on September 16, 2002


I just popped in to inform everyone that I'm not taking any sort of organized break from metafilter, and have no need to announce my departure or hiatus.
posted by dong_resin at 8:53 PM on September 16, 2002


Okay, that deserves one more comment.

* hugs dong *

Maybe I'll only make it to 4.00.
posted by yhbc at 9:14 PM on September 16, 2002


Miguel - No offense taken. I have no ill feelings towards you, in fact I usually enjoy reading what you wrote and I think it usually adds a great deal to the discussion.

I think people are taking my suggestion to "[tone] down the frequency of your comments a little" far too seriously. It was by no means a moral recommendation, simply a request for people to reconsider before saying something that derails a thread. That's all, a bit of thought before a snarky comment, nothing more.

timeistight: I have no power over yhbc. The decision to leave is his own. I thought his 10-post bit was funny and laughed when I read it. As evanizer stated, it was a fun little script, nothing more. Who knows, Matt may want everyone to have a contribution index of 10. I'm just sharing my opinion and may be in the minority.

Let me state one more time that I simply requested that people not post just to post, but only when they have something meaningful to say. As dash_slot- pointed out, I'm not the ref, coach, nor captain. I'm a bench-warmer who doesn't play much and was just proposing a potential strategy for the benefit of those on the field.
posted by jaden at 9:22 PM on September 16, 2002


Oh, and about the blacklist being ugly, how does the verbose list sound?
posted by jaden at 9:34 PM on September 16, 2002


jaden: I (over)reacted to the term "blacklist". I admire your "fun little script" and I hope you'll continue to provide us with statistical tidbits.
posted by timeistight at 9:42 PM on September 16, 2002


I was planning to add top 25 lists to answer some more of the questions asked in this thread. I hope they don't cause any more problems.
posted by jaden at 9:51 PM on September 16, 2002


yhbc, first you disappear from your own site, now MeFi. Surely fantasy football can't be that much fun?
posted by dg at 10:10 PM on September 16, 2002


grumble, mumble The Verbose List is fine, Jaden. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:09 AM on September 17, 2002


Here I am screwing up my perfectly symmetrical 1.11 to say this:

This is a very simplified metric. As has been said elsewhere in this thread, it in no way takes into account threads vs. comments, signal vs. noise. Somebody's 5.00 is not going to be the same as another person's 5.00. That's where the self-policing comes in.

Still, it may be worthwhile to enhance the index using other objective statistics to determine the "quality" of a thread or comment. Is the person's comment part of his own thread? (Deduct its impact, since the comments usually elaborate on the point of the thread itself.) Are more than 20% or so of the comments in a thread by the same person? Lower its weight, it's likely to be chatter. What else could you use? Things like how many links go into a post - whether you consider Tamim's posts to be revelatory or just annoying, the fact is that more time is spent reading them and they add tens or hundreds of times more to the discussion than a quick one-liner.

Basically, the true "contribution index" can never be perfect, and its definition will always be subjective, but it can be better measured using available statistics.


posted by PrinceValium at 3:43 AM on September 17, 2002


This was one of the more nefarious reasons why I advocated adopting an automated quoting system a while back, since it can be used to better generate these kinds of statistics. I'm not advocating a system of elite user overlords or popularity contests. It's just that there has been a clamor here for a while for mentorship of new users, increased moderation of threads, and documentation on what makes a good post to Mefi. Tools such as these help while reducing the stigma of generating an online popularity contest to determine who is the "best user."

It's also very interesting how polarized we are here between thinking that being on the Top 25 list is good and being on the Top 25 list is bad..
posted by PrinceValium at 3:57 AM on September 17, 2002


Hmmm - good points, PrinceValium. The number of links included in comments (or as a ratio) seems an important factor to me. Although I have no idea how to go about it, wouldn't you say that the number of words is also a consideration? I know pithy is better than garrulous and all that, but longer comments tend to be less frivolous and more elaborate than one-liners. Hey, this is the Verbose Index, after all!

Tamim, teehee, would of course lose his perfect 1 because if you went about separating his generously packed contributions into mean-fisted, bite-size chunks you'd have lots more comments and threads.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:11 AM on September 17, 2002


It's also very interesting how polarized we are here between thinking that being on the Top 25 list is good and being on the Top 25 list is bad..

It can't be good considering how easy it is - all you have to do is post a lot. Verbose people like me usually admire our opposite numbers and measured, laconic people also usually admire measured, laconic people. So it's all a bit one-sided and unfair, dammit!

Like it or not, Tamim is the ideal poster because he does post - and makes his posts meaty - rather than just hang back and make a point of not posting. So he has the advantages of both camps. The bastid! ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:39 AM on September 17, 2002


It's so sad this thread fell off the front page.. I really liked it. :(
posted by PrinceValium at 12:38 PM on September 17, 2002


Cheer up. Cool kids only hang out on OTFP threads.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:59 PM on September 17, 2002


I'm, like, a 0.63, baby.

And I'd like to note that the 'hardcoded dates' I think are based on first front page post.. unless I just never joined for months in 1999 while lurking until I came up with something to post and realized I needed a user id to do so.

So, I *really* should have a much lower user number than jonmc, is all I'm saying. And we need a quality index. I agree with that.
posted by rich at 1:53 PM on September 17, 2002


In case anyone's still reading this I've added top 25 lists for most threads and most comments (on mefi). Out of the users that have been queried so far, mathowie is the king of threads at 789 and dhartung leads the pack with 5188 comments.
posted by jaden at 10:56 PM on September 17, 2002


Well, I'm clocking in at a relatively respectable 2.22 index...and have avoided all the top 25 lists. So, depending on your view, I've either got some work to do, or Yay for me. ;)

Heh.
posted by dejah420 at 1:32 PM on September 18, 2002


jaden, what about a list of the most threads and most comments in threads during the largest number of days....? or does that defeat the purpose? or am i confused? : >
posted by amberglow at 3:33 PM on September 18, 2002


amberglow, I'm not sure if I understood your request, but information about the days people posted isn't on the user page and that's all I'm getting at the moment. If the information's not there, accessing two pages per user may not make the server very happy. I'm trying to add as little load as possible to the server while generating stats, but I'll definitely think about it.
posted by jaden at 8:58 PM on September 19, 2002


jaden, it's because it seems weird to me that I'm up there (along with Stan and XCUZ--all relatively new people) along with people who have been posting for 2 years or more...that's what I meant-- the list seems odd to me without taking into account length of membership--like a filter that would determine how long a person's been a member and factor that in.
posted by amberglow at 4:18 PM on September 20, 2002


I'm thrilled about all this CI business. It has elevated my ignorant pre-judging to heretofore unsurpassed levels. Really, I couldn't be happier.

So why not take it a step too far? I actually wouldn't mind seeing members' scores on their user pages. Each user could have the option whether or not to display their score - like a "do not display CI" check box. Or something.
posted by boomchicka at 6:14 PM on September 20, 2002


whether you consider Tamim's posts to be revelatory or just annoying, the fact is that more time is spent reading them

I don't think there's any evidence to support that contention. Certainly it is probably true for *some*, but others have said they skip over any post with multiple links because it looks like a time sink and scares them off.
posted by rushmc at 8:03 PM on September 20, 2002


the list seems odd to me without taking into account length of membership--like a filter that would determine how long a person's been a member and factor that in.

Well, the number of days they've been a member is the denominator in the equation. That's the whole point of the CI. It shows how many times people are posting per day. Of course, someone could join today and post 100 times and they would have a score of 100, but I doubt anyone could keep that up for long.
posted by jaden at 10:20 PM on September 20, 2002


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