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Just out of curiosity...

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:34 am
by iambiguous
I was browsing the members list and noticed something that seems strange. On December 19th and 20th and 21st, ILP was deluged with new members. Well over a 100.

And not a single one of them has posted anything.

Yet since December 21st, there have been just 10 new members. But 5 of them have posted at least once.

It's almost as though for three days someone dumped all these members here but then, participation wise, it's like they don't even exist.

Re: Just out of curiosity...

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:06 am
by Carleas
Spam. The ones with posts are probably humans. We got a sudden influx of spam accounts recently. If they don't post I can't tell spam from human. I prune old unused accounts every few months.

Here's our actual engagement over the past 28 days:
Screenshot 2019-01-10 at 23.png
Screenshot 2019-01-10 at 23.png (18.67 KiB) Viewed 2530 times

Re: Just out of curiosity...

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:37 pm
by iambiguous
Carleas wrote:Spam. The ones with posts are probably humans. We got a sudden influx of spam accounts recently. If they don't post I can't tell spam from human. I prune old unused accounts every few months.

Here's our actual engagement over the past 28 days:
Screenshot 2019-01-10 at 23.png


Thanks. I think.

There must be a reason that people do these things. Fortunately, it's all over my head.

Re: Just out of curiosity...

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:55 pm
by Carleas
My impression is that they are trying to spray the internet with links to spammy sites, either to get clicks directly or to boost search ratings.

They're pretty easy to spot once they start posting, and we screen posts from new accounts so very little is ever visible to anyone except the mods.

Here's a chart that's a little more legible in my opinion:
Capture.PNG
Capture.PNG (46.02 KiB) Viewed 2503 times


It shows traffic from December 1 to now. The top line is the total number of visits, the lower line is visits from new users. As you can see, return user visits are pretty constant (the gap between the lines), with significant variation in new user visits.

Re: Just out of curiosity...

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:36 pm
by iambiguous
Thanks.

Not that I actually understood it. :oops:

One more thing...

It is noted that "most users ever online was 294 on Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:08 pm".

Does that number figure into your assessment above or were there actually 294 bona fide philosophers exchanging posts here at ILP back then?

Nowadays it almost never goes much beyond 5 to 10.

Re: Just out of curiosity...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:49 pm
by Carleas
That is probably accurate, although I can't confirm because I don't have Analytics data further back than 2011.

I confirm a gradual drop-off over time, both in total visits and in returning user visits. I think most of that (though certainly not all) is due to changes in the internet landscape. The web has become more centralized, and ILP now competes against Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. as a venue for discussion. Moreover, my impression is that that people use fewer websites now than they used to, and are more wary of podunk forums like this one.

That said, we're also on basically the same software as we were in 2011, and Chrome (and maybe other browsers) now give a warning that ILP is "not secure" (by which they mean, don't share your credit card number with ILP). These things probably hurt both search engine rankings and willingness of new users to visit and participate. These issues can be fixed. Larger question of how people use the web are out of our control (and, in my armchair opinion, dominate the trend).

Re: Just out of curiosity...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:31 pm
by iambiguous
Thanks.

On the other hand, there are some things I'd be better off not knowing. And this might be one of them.