| 1:24 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)|
total number of mind blowing posts
| 1:27 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)|
You know you've built a community when they all, on their own, make arrangements to meet each other in person.
| 4:01 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Or when they all get fed up with you and create a new forum by themselves :)
| 5:06 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)|
How long it takes to get a solid answer to an on-topic question. Best metric I know of.
| 10:22 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)|
The real world angle's a good one, and I agree there has to be an assessment of the quality of the posts too.
It's hard enough to explain to sponsors/donors that your community is growing, and that it's worth supporting, unless you can kind a killer angle that's not so anecdotal and personalised ie. "mind-blowing posts".
Guess it's not something others find important then.
| 12:31 pm on Oct 30, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Agreed, but that will happen faster for certain boards than others, for example ones with a regional focus, or particularly 'rosy' communities.
|You know you've built a community when they all, on their own, make arrangements to meet each other in person. |
I like to plot histograms, grouping members according to number of posts. A healthy community would give one that's not too skewed
| 8:24 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Nice idea. I wonder if it's possible to put together some kind of "demographic transition model" for forums?
| 7:24 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I think linear's approach is a good measure of the quality of discussion in a forum. When quick answers are the norm, that means that the forum is well-trafficked, has a good range of expertise among its posting members, and that the members care about responding to new questions. That's not a very quantifiable measure, of course.
Perhaps a statistician would look for unanswered posts more than 24 hours old as an indicator.
| 10:58 am on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I like it! Linear's suggestion feeds into many of the threads about "meet and greet" approaches to getting newer users involved. For statisticians, a follow up question would be to use some kind of unobtrusive rating system to determine whether the user posting the question felt it was answered to their satisfaction.
| 4:31 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I've seen some boards with a "thank you" button. I don't know if that's a core feature or a mod, but I am sure that the forum operators who offer it are using that as a metric around the idea of getting your question answered.
I've seen karma features/mods a lot, but the "thank you" button is a little more focused on "I got my answer" versus "I have a good feeling and I want to share." Whether it incorporates timestamps or not, I do not know.
Now it's been suggested in this forum that sometimes the best approach to foster involvement isn't to give a neatly packaged answer, but to pull the questioner into the conversation with some followups, doling out the info/answers in tidbits. A bit like the following:
Q: "Where can I buy gravity-fed widgets?"
A1: "example.com and example.net both stock a variety of widgets."
A2: "Could you tell us whether you need left-handed or right-handed widgets? there have been a lot of forum members reporting probelms getting left-handed widgets promptly from overseas. Have you considered miniature right-handed widgets?"
With A2 you stand a better chance of building up your authority stance along the way too.
| 7:59 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)|
So a more refined metric could be double-edged: speed of response coupled with a qualitative "ta very much" element. That said, it's limited to a small range of situations that have a definite end-state ie. question answered. I guess rating of more multi-layered discussions is a whole different matter, moving more towards regular surveying of users to get more formal feedback.
| 8:14 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Yeah, I stuggle with the idea that if you are too good at serving answers the questions, you get traffic that asks, gets answers, and leaves.
A couple things I've tried:
+ you asked a project question, I'll suggest you add pics of the finished project to the gallery board
+ awarding custom titles for those who post completed projects.
| 8:28 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)|
How long members stay on your forum per session is a good one.
| 8:59 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)|
When forums with the same topic and using the same template as yours start popping up everywhere.
| 12:46 am on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Yes, I suppose when your stuff is worth nicking you've got it made! Session time is a good one too; not sure how to get that kind of info for my (DiscusWare) forum though.
Another thought, less quantitive than my original list:
Use Pathelizer to see how content is being viewed: this could help you identify "the beaten track" in your forum better, and add a new angle on the users that innovate and those that don't.
| 2:05 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)|
>>not sure how to get that kind of info for my (DiscusWare) forum though.
A good third-party stats tracking program will give you what you need.
Glad to see another Discusware user here. I don't have any active DW forums now, but it's an underrated tool that can be hacked to produce really good search engine performance.
| 12:57 pm on Nov 9, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Yes, DiscusWare is a very powerful tool once you begin getting a grip on its ins and outs, and are prepared to put the time in. Initially, it seemed very barebones, but it's suprisingly nifty.