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Are we top heavy?
09-17-2015, 04:59 PM (This post was last modified: 09-17-2015 07:59 PM by Katie Wasserman.)
Post: #1
Are we top heavy?
Thinking that I usually see the same members posting, I just ran some quick statistics to see how top heavy we are. There are currently 32 senior members (300 posts or more) and they account for 45% or all posts. 32 members is almost exactly 1% of total members. This is worse than the US wealth inequality where the top 1% hold 35% of the wealth. Should we be concerned that we don't have a more egalitarian forum?

(I admit to being part of the 1% here, but not the other 1%.)

-katie

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09-17-2015, 06:59 PM (This post was last modified: 09-17-2015 07:01 PM by Han.)
Post: #2
RE: Are we top heavy?
(09-17-2015 04:59 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  Thinning that I usually see the same members posting, I just ran some quick statistics to see how top heavy we are. There are currently 32 senior members (300 posts or more) and they account for 45% or all posts. 32 members is almost exactly 1% of total members. This is worse than the US wealth inequality where the top 1% hold 35% of the wealth. Should we be concerned that we don't have a more egalitarian forum?

(I admit to being part of the 1% here, but not the other 1%.)

How many of the topics do those 32 members create? I think we should certainly have concern if it were the case that the "top" were overloading the forums with topics/threads they created. On the other hand, if most of their posts are in response to someone else's post, then it would seem that the forums are in fact in healthy condition. I see the former as the "top" taking control over the forums by bumping "everyone else's" topic down into oblivion (which would be a problem) whereas the latter as the "top" contributing to discussions on a forum that would otherwise be too quiet with posts very few and far in between.

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09-17-2015, 08:00 PM
Post: #3
RE: Are we top heavy?
Isn't this a general rule of internet culture?
  • 1% create content
  • 9% contribute
  • 90% lurk

Why should that be different in this forum?

Cheers
Thomas
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09-17-2015, 11:01 PM
Post: #4
How could you change that?
The amount of content I found was already here is what drew me to the forum in the first place. At times I'm a bit intimidated by how much the senior members know, so I mostly try to research first if I have a question.

If it was a good thing to get broader participation, how could that be encouraged? (Should it be? - I'd worry that the high quality of the forum might suffer.)

Now since the topic has been raised, maybe I'll throw in my own two cents' worth more often. Please be kind.

Alan
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09-18-2015, 06:53 AM
Post: #5
RE: Are we top heavy?
To be precise, one has to take into account also posts of the "old" forum. E.G. my post count was zeroed twice: First time after re-creating my account in the new forum, and a second time after being thrown out because of not posting quick enough, thus being forced to re-recreate my account.
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09-18-2015, 10:14 AM
Post: #6
RE: Are we top heavy?
(09-18-2015 06:53 AM)rkf Wrote:  To be precise, one has to take into account also posts of the "old" forum. E.G. my post count was zeroed twice: First time after re-creating my account in the new forum, and a second time after being thrown out because of not posting quick enough, thus being forced to re-recreate my account.

We didn't have a post counter in the old forum.

Greetings,
    Massimo

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09-18-2015, 09:09 PM
Post: #7
RE: Are we top heavy?
(09-17-2015 04:59 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  I just ran some quick statistics

As a moderator can you create a similar statistic to Invalid Members and Lurkers?
It would be interesting to see how this evolves over time.

Cheers
Thomas
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09-19-2015, 11:28 PM (This post was last modified: 09-20-2015 05:35 AM by Katie Wasserman.)
Post: #8
RE: Are we top heavy?
(09-18-2015 09:09 PM)Thomas Klemm Wrote:  
(09-17-2015 04:59 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  I just ran some quick statistics

As a moderator can you create a similar statistic to Invalid Members and Lurkers?
It would be interesting to see how this evolves over time.

Cheers
Thomas

I don't have any special access to the database, like Dave might have. I'd need to write some code like you must have done last time you ran these stats.

I just did a manual page through the members list and see that 63% have never posted. Even more than the 57% of members that have never posted when you computed the statistics back in January 2015.

-katie

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09-20-2015, 04:11 AM
Post: #9
RE: Are we top heavy?
It's easy for even smart people to be intimidated by the knowledge base of the 1%ers. Many Senior Members appear to be math teachers, math experts and/or people with a lot of time to devote to the study of these somewhat arcane technologies. In the Titan File Complete Collection, Joe Horn writes:

Q10. Paul D. Miller of Convent Station, New Jersey, asks what is the best way to get started in Assembly Language programming on the HP-71.

A10. Buy the FORTH/ASSEMBLER ROM, buy Volumes I and II of the IDS (Volume III is not necessary), join CHHU, read John Baker’s excellent column “Exploring the 71 IDS”, and do nothing else for a few months. That’s what I’ve done, and after about a year at it, I’m finally beginning to understand it!


Definitely the right place and people from which to learn, and to contribute as one's knowledge increases.
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09-21-2015, 08:05 PM
Post: #10
RE: Are we top heavy?
(09-17-2015 08:00 PM)Thomas Klemm Wrote:  Isn't this a general rule of internet culture?
  • 1% create content
  • 9% contribute
  • 90% lurk

Why should that be different in this forum?

...and this rule is simply an enhancement of the more general Pareto rule aka 80/20 rule.

Alex
(a happy lurker)
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09-21-2015, 11:13 PM
Post: #11
RE: Are we top heavy?
After looking at my dismal posting statistics, I decided to respond, just to up my statistics. However after I looked at Katie's posting statistics my hopes were dashed that I'd ever approach the stellar atmosphere of posting "top heaviness". I'll resign myself to read, lurk and throw an occasional morsel of knowledge, wisdom, trivia or just my own humble opinion. Cheers to the posters that keep this HP Forum interesting, challenging and enlightening!
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09-22-2015, 10:07 AM
Post: #12
RE: Are we top heavy?
As long as half the members remain below the median & half above I won't worry about personal idiosyncracies.

I prefer loungers to lurkers.
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09-23-2015, 03:34 PM
Post: #13
RE: Are we top heavy?
This is, at least partially, the flip side of a discussion we had some time ago about user pruning. Since it annoyed some people, user pruning is currently turned off entirely so it's likely that most of the users will probably rarely if ever post. Some reasons are: accounts created for spamming later (some spammers are now creating accounts years in advance since many anti-spam tools consider account age), accounts created for downloading attachments, accounts created and forgotten, accounts created for selling something (1 or 2 posts then nothing), accounts created to PM someone selling something, accounts created so the new/read post indicators follow them from computer to computer…
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09-23-2015, 03:43 PM
Post: #14
RE: Are we top heavy?
(09-23-2015 03:34 PM)Dave Hicks Wrote:  This is, at least partially, the flip side of a discussion we had some time ago about user pruning. Since it annoyed some people, user pruning is currently turned off entirely so it's likely that most of the users will probably rarely if ever post. Some reasons are: accounts created for spamming later (some spammers are now creating accounts years in advance since many anti-spam tools consider account age), accounts created for downloading attachments, accounts created and forgotten, accounts created for selling something (1 or 2 posts then nothing), accounts created to PM someone selling something, accounts created so the new/read post indicators follow them from computer to computer…


I realize this and I think that the percent of user who have never posted is unimportant. I started this thread only to ask people if they thought we were too intimidating to new members. Instead of seeing a lot of RTFM replies on the General forum maybe we should add a Noob (Newbie, New Members, whatever) forum where new members can get a welcoming reply.

-katie

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09-23-2015, 07:18 PM
Post: #15
RE: Are we top heavy?
(09-23-2015 03:43 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  I realize this and I think that the percent of user who have never posted is unimportant. I started this thread only to ask people if they thought we were too intimidating to new members. Instead of seeing a lot of RTFM replies on the General forum maybe we should add a Noob (Newbie, New Members, whatever) forum where new members can get a welcoming reply.

I would hate to see a Noob forum added.

I feel we would just be trading "RTFM" replies for "this should be posted on the Noob forum" replies. And that will still not stop members from telling Noob forum members to "RTFM".

I like having the General Forum. I enjoy reading new members questions, and I enjoy the sometimes new aspects that the new members questions bring up. I have learned a lot from the discussions that result.

Your comment above begs the real question: Why do we have to be intimating at all to new members? To feel superior to them? To berate them? Why do we do that? It is fairly easy to ignore questions that might be annoying or beneath us. Just don't respond and let the rest of us enjoy the question and related responses.

Bill
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09-23-2015, 10:59 PM
Post: #16
RE: Are we top heavy?
(09-23-2015 03:43 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  I realize this and I think that the percent of user who have never posted is unimportant. I started this thread only to ask people if they thought we were too intimidating to new members. Instead of seeing a lot of RTFM replies on the General forum maybe we should add a Noob (Newbie, New Members, whatever) forum where new members can get a welcoming reply.

A opinion of one of those intimidated newbies ;-): I do not have this feeling at all. On the contrary. Polite answers and communication all the time so far. Really enjoy it. Most likely I will never reach member or senior member state. Why? There are several reasons:1. like many I use forum as a knowledge base. Knowledge here is huge. I cannot contribute. Not because I do not dare, but simply because I cannot 2. My interests are HP classics series and HP 41 series. Long gone. Closed. Difficult to add something new, when every bit is already examined. 3. Trivial reasons like time shortage and language barrier.

On no account cause of senior's behaviors. At least for myself I can say: You are not top heavy and I have been very suprised to read such a thread.
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09-23-2015, 11:43 PM
Post: #17
RE: Are we top heavy?
(09-23-2015 10:59 PM)Sadsilence Wrote:  I cannot contribute. Not because I do not dare, but simply because I cannot 2. My interests are HP classics series and HP 41 series. Long gone. Closed. Difficult to add something new, when every bit is already examined.

I dare disagree ;-) you already provided a valuable contribution by bringing some fresh accuracy to the old HP-45 timer! Smile
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09-24-2015, 05:43 PM
Post: #18
RE: Are we top heavy?
(09-23-2015 07:18 PM)Bill (Smithville NJ) Wrote:  Your comment above begs the real question: Why do we have to be intimating at all to new members? To feel superior to them? To berate them? Why do we do that? It is fairly easy to ignore questions that might be annoying or beneath us. Just don't respond and let the rest of us enjoy the question and related responses.


I would hope that we're not intimidating to new members, but I'm sure that some of us are unintentionally intimidating and others seem to be deliberately so -- although it could just be a language issue.

I really wasn't pushing for a Noob forum, just suggesting an alternative that I've seen on many other forum sites.

-katie

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09-24-2015, 06:26 PM
Post: #19
RE: Are we top heavy?
(09-23-2015 03:43 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  Instead of seeing a lot of RTFM replies on the General forum maybe we should add a Noob (Newbie, New Members, whatever) forum where new members can get a welcoming reply.
Don't. New members aren't necessarily sissys, and bullys can be found in sandboxes, too.
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09-25-2015, 03:09 PM
Post: #20
RE: Are we top heavy?
Like any open communications form, the ratio of frequent contributors to contributors to non-posting readers seems like most. Even back in the 1970's heyday of the HP-65 Users Club with its sizeable monthly Journals printed and sent to about 5000 members worldwide, I suspect the ratios were about the same as today. There are always the few with the time, energy and burning passion to really dig into to obscure minutiae and document what they find. There is the larger group of clever folks who write a unique program and publish it. And there is the much larger set of interested users who want to get more from one of their tools.

The same is true today. Look at MAKE magazine, for example - there's a small core group of frequent writers, a constantly varying set of article writers and a massive set of subscriber / readers who probably build a tiny fraction of what gets described but learns from all.

What strikes me as important is that the frequent contributors encourage all the others. Being a totally volunteer bunch that does all this because they want to, that tends to be the case. It's hard to suppress the joy of discovery when writing about same. I've enjoyed that aspect of the HP calculator scene since its inception.

For what it's worth, that can be seen in the flesh at the annual HHC (HP Handheld Conferences). For those who can go, I most heartily recommend doing so - you'll never forget it!

Thank you, Katie, for an excellent discussion topic - and your frequent posting on this forum with your deep insight and delightful enthusiasm.
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