The biggest change in the way that mefites participate on the blue in years has been the rise of US politics megathreads. We have had several discussions of the qualitative impact of them, but it occurred to me that it might be useful to dig into the infodump and see what quantitative picture might emerge. I think my findings are worth sharing - while a quantitative analysis on its own can't tell us whether the megathreads are a good thing or not, there are several negative trends regarding community engagement and participation that are happening in close concurrency with the rise of the megathreads. [more inside]
Here is a collection of graphics about the evolution of user engagement (posting, commenting) on the Blue (data from the infodump, 15 June 2015). [more inside]
If one is a habitué of AskMe who devotes himself more to satisfying his own curiosity than resolving the problems facing his fellows, one is apt to find, among the ranks of those who are more helpful, that some among us dispose over a sufficiently wide-ranging expertise, or all-encompassing benevolence, that their names recur with a frequency so apparently noticeable that one's thoughts are naturally led to the question of whether the said frequency is merely apparent or is in fact real, a question to be settled not by the comparison of anecdotes and impressions, prey as all such are to the biases afflicting all finite creatures, but by the totting up and comparison of figures, which, though they be in one manner of speaking finite, admit of another view on which Plato's placement of them in the heavens, rather than under the changeable moon with ourselves, quite appropriate—and which makes it fortunate that cortex placed several useful figures in the clouds if not the heavens, so that the curious can indeed determine who the answeringest mefites are, considering the "answeringness" of a mefite to be the ratio of the number of distinct questions posted to "the green" to which the mefite has submitted at least one answer, to the total number of distinct questions posted to "the green" following the first question the said mefite answered, that question marking the mefite's first becoming active on AskMe, and excluding, as apt to be uninformative, those participants of AskMe whose first answer was posted within the last six months. [more inside]
Infodump fun with the fabulous Fishbike! [more inside]
I'm assuming this got lost in the Great Server Disaster of 2009, but is the Infodump ever coming back?