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Thread Box:
Whither, refresh junkies?
Thread started by nathansnider at 11.20.10 - 10:18 pm

A few months ago, I crunched some numbers and posted up a few graphs showing the trends in MR forum traffic and stuff. Some people (OK, fine, just Rambod) had expressed interest in seeing some updated versions, so here they are:





So yeah. Forum traffic was lower during this past month than during any month in the past three years. People keep posting events (almost six rides per day!) and signing up for new accounts, though, so it's not like the site's becoming totally irrelevant. It's just becoming less and less of a general-purpose social hub.

Navel gaze away!

reply


How has traffic on the site overall done?



ubrayj02
11.20.10 - 10:34 pm

reply


I haven't got access to that information. I just calculated all these graphs using publicly-available data (reply ID numbers and dates for the forum traffic; story ID numbers and dates for the events; user ID numbers and some kind of voodoo for the valid user count).

RB might have some idea about the overall traffic (though maybe a lot of that was lost in the recent move to a new server). Alexa doesn't have full historical data, since MR isn't big enough to track, but it says that in the last month, pageviews are up 10%, but over the last 3 months, they're down 30%. Who knows whether those trends are significant though?



nathansnider
responding to a comment by ubrayj02
11.20.10 - 10:56 pm

reply


aahhhh...'08. The forum's good ol days.



shotgunBOOMBOOM
11.20.10 - 11:03 pm

reply


Guess that means more people riding, along with more people stepping up to the plate of ride leading.

Or, just jumping onto whatever else has become the rage.



bentstrider
11.21.10 - 1:10 am

reply


You can see the hey day of the forum when everyone was having a good time discovering each other. Then the negative trolling set in.... Nathan is there a way to cross reference username forum activity with the dip in forum usage? Might be a way to mathematically single out who the trolls are.


Also, sadly, a bunch of ride concepts are
lost when ride posters just re-use an old event by updating the date instead of creating a new event post.... So the event postings may skew low a bit.

Great data!

Alexa is notorious for being shit. I'll look up the current traffic stats but unfortunately I think all was lost when the site was moved.



Roadblock
11.22.10 - 1:17 am

reply


the trolls won? :(

the ebb and flow of MR.



mechazawa
11.22.10 - 2:49 am

reply


I don't think it's quite so simple as "the trolls won." I think the forum became a victim of its own popularity as much as anything else. So much of the drama that drove people away to Facebook started off with people continuously bumping their threads because traffic was so high that inactive discussions would sink out of view within minutes. This (predictably) led to a kind of arms race wherein people started acting like assholes trying to one-up one another. Things just went downhill from there, as feelings got hurt and existing cultural rifts grew wider and wider.

Browse through the topics and you'll probably notice that most of the threads now have to do with actually riding bikes, and that certainly wasn't the case when the forums were getting 600 posts per day. The trolls, for the most part, are gone, probably because they crave attention, and there are no longer enough people here to give it to them.

I think that to a certain extent, everybody craves attention, and that's one of the things that draws people to online discussions. We're social critters, and we get validation when people respond to us positively. A lot of the discussions happening during the peak of this site's popularity were completely frivolous, but you could argue that frivolous discussions are exactly the kinds of discussions build a sense of community. Even back when the forums were full of javascript hacks, photobombing, rampant trollery etc., people were building community, so it's easy for us to look back and see 2008 as the "good old days."

I guess a less charitable interpretation would be that we all just crave distraction, and years of internet use have conditioned us like lab rats to seek it out at every opportunity. Hit the button; get a pellet; repeat. So in that view, if people are now hitting their buttons and getting their pellets of dopamine elsewhere on the internet, maybe it's no big loss. The old social interactions just get moved to a new location, subsumed by an ever-more uniform and integrated spectacle, and people get to while away the hours more efficiently than ever.

I'm sticking with the community-building storyline though. I like that one better because it allows me to retain my faith in humanity.



nathansnider
responding to a comment by mechazawa
11.22.10 - 11:39 am

reply


oh how i do miss the javascript hacks. those were the days

Can we PLEASE bring back the POOP DICKS ONLY thread?



jonnyboy
responding to a comment by nathansnider
11.22.10 - 12:09 pm

reply


Also thank you nathan for the interesting charts / graphs!



jonnyboy
11.22.10 - 12:09 pm

reply


Cultural rifts? Frivolous discussions? Trolls craving attention? ...

I have no idea what you are talking about.








Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by nathansnider
11.22.10 - 12:58 pm

reply






nathansnider
responding to a comment by Joe Borfo
11.22.10 - 7:01 pm

reply


I don't subscribe to Nathan's "arms race" hypothesis. He was on the right track with the bit about community building, but he forgot one important, if paradoxical, thing about communities: the bigger they get, the less communal they become. You can only know so many people.

To (over)simplify it, the community, both on- and offline, built itself up so well that it had no choice but to fragment into a bunch of subcommunities whose members no longer necessarily had anything to say to say to each other about things other than bikes and bike rides...at which point the sun collapsed or something.

But it's OK, because I post here again.



PC
12.4.10 - 3:33 am

reply


UNSUBSCRIBE!





Joe Borfo
12.4.10 - 1:03 pm

reply


GO DRIVE YOUR PRIUS, LIFESTYLER.



PC
responding to a comment by Joe Borfo
12.4.10 - 2:59 pm

reply


After all this time, the diehard junkies remain as whole.

Many would say that MRDC is like the mineral boomtown of the late 1800s/early 1900s.
The prospectors come here to mingle with the locals and mine the joy out of the site.
After all joy deposits have been depleted, they disperse almost all at once and it becomes the same, lackluster pack of fur-trappers, farmers, hiding brigands, and social engineers continuing their mission of letting the "boomtown" fall into the scrap-heap of yesteryear.

At this point, who knows what the future holds in store for this persistent community of ever-changing screen-types.
Perhaps new deposits of joy will be discovered, or even a new form of commerce will bring the numbers back to what they once were during the hearty boom years of the '08-'09 rush.
One will just have to sit back and enjoy the mine-cart voyage until it hits the next split in the portal.

This has been another edition of Mojave Moments on KRXV; Barstow, Baker, Ludlow, Searchlight.



bentstrider
responding to a comment by PC
12.4.10 - 3:49 pm

reply


Sign of the times? It's wet and wild too!!

Who's been here recently...

alicestrong | trickmilla | Debut213 | nobrAke09 | AestheticMynd | Roadblock | bentstrider | ^olsko*jr7 | asdf | rev106 | lacriticalmass | md2 | markd | JLee | TheDude | azn invazn | Tr1xY K3nzO | Joe Borfo | Ninja biker | July





bentstrider
12.19.10 - 3:31 pm

reply


There's joy in them hills!



July
responding to a comment by bentstrider
12.19.10 - 4:36 pm

reply


Okay, Pootie Tang!



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by bentstrider
12.19.10 - 10:57 pm

reply


Roger that, Roasted Bunny!!!!



bentstrider
responding to a comment by Joe Borfo
12.19.10 - 10:59 pm

reply


Sa Da Tay!



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by bentstrider
12.19.10 - 11:00 pm

reply


New data, bleep bloop.





I finally put the users graph on a per-day basis to make it comparable to the others. It hasn't got many data points because it's a pain in the ass to gather them, but like the others, it's started to show a decline. All of these are period averages anyway, so fewer data points actually means you get less noise and a clearer picture of the broad trends.

Jesus, this has turned into a depressing project, hasn't it? If I was on the Titanic, I'd be the guy with a yardstick saying "yup, stiiiiill sinking!"



nathansnider
04.24.11 - 9:50 am

reply


And the sad thing is that 90% of those forum posts are one or two people's many, many pseudonymous accounts.



theroyalacademy
responding to a comment by nathansnider
04.24.11 - 12:50 pm

reply


Well, at least there's still a nice turnout at actual rides.

Putting down the mouse and taking a breathe of stuffy air.



bentstrider
responding to a comment by nathansnider
04.24.11 - 3:17 pm

reply


What do we do and who do we blame?



Bikekowski
responding to a comment by nathansnider
04.24.11 - 4:47 pm

reply


I dunno. Now seems like as good a time as any to start rearranging the deck chairs. The red one looks pretty good over there by the ficus...

So far as who to blame, I'd have to go with the Illuminati, since they're behind everything. Or maybe China. Or Pizzawolf. Or Michelle Mowery. Oh, oh... how about the gypsies? Gypsies are still socially acceptable scapegoats, right?

Anybody but ourselves, would be the point here. I don't know about you, but I'm too lazy to change anything myself.



nathansnider
responding to a comment by Bikekowski
04.25.11 - 10:51 am

reply


I blame the Honey Badger because he just doesn't give a fuck!



sack or crack you choose
responding to a comment by nathansnider
04.25.11 - 10:57 am

reply


Id say Facebook is the culprit. I dont have the ability to search right now but I bet if you look at the general traffic stats of Facebook, it's rise in popularity really took off in 08. In fact there were even certain people advocating a couple years ago to leave this site and to organize rides on Facebook rather than here. Facebook has a lot of really good tools for creating and promoting events that this creaky old site can't provide right now. A lot of people promoted on Facebook because they didn't want to general public to show up.



Roadblock
responding to a comment by nathansnider
04.25.11 - 11:13 am

reply


I agree facebook took away a lot of traffic. The ability to message entire rides/groups up to the last minute and organize really makes things easier. But coming on MR is like going to Reddit for me -- I'll never stop.



et
responding to a comment by Roadblock
04.25.11 - 11:38 am

reply


surprisingly the traffic stats overall continue to rise. it's the forum conversations that declined.



Roadblock
responding to a comment by et
04.25.11 - 11:45 am

reply


People still use facebook?



the reverend dak
responding to a comment by et
04.25.11 - 11:53 am

reply


No.
This is just a dream. We all got technophobic after all our MP3s all reverted to "Hail Mary Keep On Burnin" and the bug multiplied.
All tech made after 1920 was destroyed by gov't mandate and confiscation and now we all utilize phonographs and Marconi wireless tap!!!





bentstrider
responding to a comment by the reverend dak
04.25.11 - 12:11 pm

reply


*(Likes this)



gado_gado
responding to a comment by bentstrider
04.25.11 - 12:27 pm

reply


Awesome job on the graphs..



godmode
04.25.11 - 7:47 pm

reply


When I have a discussion with people on FB I know with whom I'm talking.
I know what they look like, who their friends are, where they went/go to school, where they (don't) work. That's almost like talking to someone in real life. And most of these people I have met in real life.

On MR on the other hand, I have to talk shit with anonymous trolls like POOP DICK & SACK OR CRACK. It's fucking boring. I have no interest having conversations with avatars. I may as well play a computer game. Roadblock himself has more conversations on FB than here.

Facebook beat MR for the same reasons it beat Myspace. It forced people to be real. It sounds dramatic but it's really simple. People tend to act more responsibly inside their own skin than in some invented online persona.

The other feature that kicked ass on FB was people photo tagging which again forced people to appear more or less as who they really are.

The calendar functions and invites on FB aren't such a big deal.
We all get so many invites that we tend to ignore them all.
Invites can easily be replaced with regular email.

A calendar is just a list of future events arranged in chronological order. I haven't seen much evelution since bikeboom Each calendar is geared towards a specific interest so you need to follow a few different calendars to cover all your areas of interest. MR does a fine job as a calendar. It just sucks as a forum cause it's infested with trolls.

So there. FB kicks ass cause you get to talk with live human beings. And if you don't like some of them you don't have to friend them.

EAT SHIT TROLLS!



marino
04.25.11 - 8:47 pm

reply


good points.



Satan on a Tricycle
responding to a comment by marino
04.25.11 - 8:50 pm

reply


And who the hell is "satan on a tricycle"?
:)
Oh yeah. I think that's Atomic Cycles Paul.

Fuck I have such a hard time remembering names, it's triple hard if I have to remember two sets of names. Their real name and their avatar name.



marino
responding to a comment by Satan on a Tricycle
04.25.11 - 8:56 pm

reply


I'm so glad you didn't say "who the heaven is satan on a tricycle" cuz that would have really set me off.



Satan on a Tricycle
responding to a comment by marino
04.25.11 - 9:05 pm

reply


I know better my dark overlord.



marino
responding to a comment by Satan on a Tricycle
04.25.11 - 9:10 pm

reply


On MR on the other hand, I have to talk shit with anonymous trolls like POOP DICK & SACK OR CRACK.

Well, to be fair, you don't actually have to talk shit with them. There are still other people to talk to here. Um, I think...

From the brief time that I was logging on to FB with the fake account that User1 set up a couple years ago, I got the impression that the "conversations" taking place there were pretty insubstantial and banal. Yes, it's a different social context, in which certain types of interaction are encouraged and others are penalized, but of all the potential reasons to be drawn to that website, the quality of the conversation seems like the least appealing. Better than here? Yes, these days, it probably is. A good way to spend one's time in the grand scheme of things? I'm going to say meh.

While I think I would probably waste tremendous amounts of time on FB if I set up an account of my own (the immediacy of it being pretty addictive), I don't see it particularly enriching my life. So I will opt out of that game, thank you very much.



nathansnider
responding to a comment by marino
04.27.11 - 6:52 am

reply


Marino has been harping on this "online pseudonymity is socially destructive" crap for years now. Nobody else gives a shit. As a theory to explain the decline in MR forum traffic, it's a non-starter: people posted with "fake" names before the big spike in MR forum social activity as well as during/after it.

Far more compelling are the theories that forum activity declined because the community got too big and fragmented, or that people simply left the scene (and the forum as well) because of increasingly douchey and stupid behavior on the actual rides.

And need I point out that the activities that drove people away--fighting, tagging, harassing motorists and all that shit--are all being carried out by real people, acting in their own skins? You know, just like on Facebook?



PC
responding to a comment by nathansnider
04.27.11 - 2:14 pm

reply


We need another Kwang Lee or Jared Leto to make things interesting again.......



sack or crack you choose
04.27.11 - 2:20 pm

reply


See, this is actually a good, intelligent conversation for once! Maybe there's not one right answer here, but a combination of factors - there are a few valid points here.

When a scene gets larger it tends to develop factions and it fragments. We've seen the actions of a few inconsiderate assholes can fuck things up for everybody. The internet has only increased the rate of change we see all around us - everything is instantly communicated and dissected, people are easily bored and always looking for the next thing.

The trolling on the forum has driven people to not want to participate (why bother?) in the same way that douchey behavior on rides has caused them to seek out smaller and sometimes more exclusive rides.

A lot of us won't stop riding bikes, but we'll seek to do it in ways that work best for us.



mr rollers
04.27.11 - 2:39 pm

reply


@Nathan when I post something here, I'll get comments from people I don't know and don't care to hear from. So no I don't really have a choice with whom I'm conversing.

@Nathan & @PC since neither of you participate on FB you are not qualified to compare it to anything. As I said, Roadblock posts a lot more serious topics there than here.

@PC I'm flattered that you have followed my opinions for a long time but what's your point? They are old therefore no good? Opinions are not like milk. They don't go bad after a while. They are like wine. They get better with time :) Plus I 've been the admin for two online communities for the past 10 years.

The theory "MR got too big therefore it was bound to fail" is stupid.
Facebook didn't fail after 10,000 users. It didn't fail after 100,000,000 users.
It's self-policing. You only allow people you know in your circle of friends and even if you allow marginal acquaintances in, if someone turns to be an asshole you can drop them. They don't need to be "banned by the administrator".

Sure we always used fake names on MR but we all knew each other. When the fakeness becomes so big that you don't know most people then it's easy for the anonymity to be used for maliciousness. And then the maliciousness takes over.

In that respect there is no difference between virtual and brick & mortar communities.
There is less crime in communities where everyone knows who you are.



marino
responding to a comment by PC
04.27.11 - 3:17 pm

reply


@Nathan & @PC since neither of you participate on FB you are not qualified to compare it to anything.

Needless to say (well, it would be needless if I were addressing anybody else), that's a pretty silly and anti-intellectual statement. It's like saying that a person who did not personally attend Woodstock is not qualified to compare it to Coachella. Although nobody would deny that it helps, to "participate on" something is not a prerequisite for speaking knowledgeably about it.

Incidentally, I haven't actually compared Facebook to anything in this thread, except facetiously in my last post. I will in a minute, though. I'll blow a whistle before I start, so you'll be ready.

@PC I'm flattered that you have followed my opinions for a long time but what's your point? They are old therefore no good?

No. It's that they're no good, and they're also old.

The theory "MR got too big therefore it was bound to fail" is stupid.

It likely would be a stupid theory, were anybody to actually advance it. I certainly didn't. I suggested that the real-life social network that drove a lot of MR.com's forum traffic grew too big to be a single community anymore, and fragmented. As this (among other things) happened, the forum's usefulness as a social hub for that real-life network began to decline from its peak in the middle of 2009.

I shouldn't--but evidently I do--have to explain that saying "It's less useful than it was at the peak" is not saying "It's no longer useful at all." Let me translate that into something that you presumably understand: housing prices. If I point out that the median home sale price in California is considerably less than its unsustainably high peak four or five years ago, and I explain why this was inevitable, am I saying that houses are now free? Am I even saying that it'll never go up again?

Facebook didn't fail after 10,000 users. It didn't fail after 100,000,000 users.

And no doubt it won't fail after a billion either, unless somebody invents something better.

(*blows whistle*)

A community can only get so big, but there can be an infinite number of communities. This forum, as an online adjunct to a specific cycling-related social community in Los Angeles, will grow and shrink as that community's need for a single communication hub goes up or down. Facebook isn't tied to any one community or network; the whole point of Facebook is its ability to serve as many social networks as its billions of potential users care to put on it.

In other words, if you somehow haven't yet figured it out, you're comparing apples to oranges.

In that respect there is no difference between virtual and brick & mortar communities.
There is less crime in communities where everyone knows who you are.


You wouldn't have anything to back that up, would you? I'm not saying you're wrong--I honestly don't know--but that smells like one of those things that everybody "knows" is true but isn't actually true.

It's probably safe to say that there is less stranger-danger type crime in communities where people know each other, but I don't think there's any real reason to suppose that humans are necessarily less beastly to one another when they know one another's names and addresses. And I can think of some pretty compelling, albeit anecdotal, evidence to contrary in places like the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka where people have been killed viciously and enthusiastically, in statistically significant numbers, by folks who knew their names and addresses quite well because they lived on the same street.




PC
responding to a comment by marino
04.29.11 - 3:02 pm

reply






gado_gado
responding to a comment by PC
04.29.11 - 4:02 pm

reply


Wubwubwub...







I'm not sure that the sharp increase in user accounts is due to increased interest in the site so much as increased spambot activity. Aside from the ones that have successfully posted to the forums ("most excellent cycling jersey yadda-yadda"), there are a lot of new usernames with obvious marketing intent and a lot of others of the form [first][last][####], where the numbers are increasing sequentially with each new account.

Otherwise, trends continue.



nathansnider
08.19.11 - 4:53 pm

reply






DArK ENERgY
08.19.11 - 5:10 pm

reply


OK; this too:





nathansnider
08.21.11 - 9:14 pm

reply


A desire arises in the mind...











nathansnider
04.18.12 - 12:05 am

reply


FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP!



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by nathansnider
04.18.12 - 1:59 am

reply




uplr



uplr
responding to a comment by nathansnider
04.18.12 - 11:11 am

reply


*(Likes this)



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by uplr
04.18.12 - 11:30 am

reply








andres84
04.18.12 - 12:26 pm

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maybe a chart on how much the LAPD hates cyclists? or on how many failed reports they have done.



andres84
04.18.12 - 12:28 pm

reply


Oh, he's all "Come hither now. I got'cha some o' the real good refresh junk."

But nope, I'm still not going thither, shakes be damned.



nathansnider
responding to a comment by andres84
04.18.12 - 1:31 pm

reply


My life was better when it was just this site that had taken over my life.

Snider, we're all proud at least you never succumbed to Zuckerberg's sultry non blinking eyes to lure you in. Did you know that there's even a MR group in the facefucks?


The Facebooks is dead, Long live the MID-NACHT RIZZ-RAAZ!






Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by nathansnider
04.18.12 - 1:48 pm

reply


as for the midnight ridazz group on the facefuck please die...that is all



andres84
responding to a comment by Joe Borfo
04.18.12 - 2:20 pm

reply


ATTN MY SONNY

regulate on the MR group on facebuckchin and delete it



andres84
04.18.12 - 2:31 pm

reply


The only Facebook page I've ever had or will ever need.



theroyalacademy
04.18.12 - 2:32 pm

reply


wurd



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by theroyalacademy
04.18.12 - 2:53 pm

reply


ridazz_forum_posts_2013_may
ridazz_event_posts_2013_may
ridazz_photo_uploads_2013_may


*CHIRP* *CHIRP* *CHIRP*



nathansnider
05.20.13 - 6:47 pm

reply

Reply


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