Forum Stats

Mod note: split from How to make the forum better for novices?

I share many of the concerns raised here but by far my biggest concern is how well new users are able to adapt to the forum layout and how easy they find it to use. So that got me wondering @wadestriebel if we have any stats that might help? For instance:

  • how many forum users do we have now
  • how does this compare with, say, 12 months ago
  • how many users create an account but then remain inactive
  • how many users create an account and the close it shortly afterwards

That sort of thing.

No comment on my post about stats?

Or you could quote and start a new linked thread like I asked :slight_smile:

Here are the stats you requested:

  • how many forum users do we have now? 352
  • how does this compare with, say, 12 months ago? 109 users signed up between May 3, 2019 and May 3, 2020
  • how many users create an account but then remain inactive? What do you consider “inactive” - Does gaining a trust level count as being “active”?
  • how many users create an account and the close it shortly afterwards? You can’t close an account, but to date we have only done a handful of anonymizations
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Other interesting stats that weren’t request but I think may be useful:

Daily Active Users/Monthly Active Users

Number of members that logged in in the last day divided by number of members that logged in in the last month – returns a % which indicates community ‘stickiness’. Aim for >30%.

From May 3, 2019 to May 3, 2020 we have an average of 38%.

New Contributors

Number of users who made their first post during this period.

61 so if we base it on the 109 users signed up that is 56% - I think.

Trust Level Growth

Number of users who increased their Trust Level during this period.

Reached TL1: 57
Reached TL2: 29
Reached TL3: 12
Reached TL4: 2

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Wasn’t aware you did ask tbh. But why create a new thread when my post very much on topic?

Topic: How to make the forum better for novices:
Post: Do we have any stats that might help us to understand how novices are using the forums?

You’re telling me that’s not on topic? :confused:

I will DM you - but main point is that post was a moving target - it was basically 5 different conversations all happening in one thread if you go back and read it :slight_smile:

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Yes, good point. I meant someone that creates an account but then doesn’t do anything else. They don’t post anything or interact at all.

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I guess the New Contributors is the best indicator of that, as it tracks the number of users who made their first post during this period.

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That seems quite high to me. Roughly half sign up and then do nothing. That must tell us something?

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I personally don’t think that’s high per se, but if you could find some numbers to compare to that would be interesting :slightly_smiling_face:

I would also be curious to see what percentage of those that didn’t contribute also didn’t complete the user onboarding.

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I honestly got nothing to compare it with. It just strikes me as odd that almost half of those that create an account don’t then go on to contribute in any way. They must have had a reason to create an account so why did they not use it?

Maybe preemptive registrations to preserve their brand space? Like, I’ve registered codepotent as a username on Instagram and others even though I don’t use the services.

Or maybe “I might use this one day”, or maybe they registered an account and then forgot about it / got busy with other things. Lots of possible reasons.

It’s difficult to find hard numbers about this kind of thing, but here is one: 55% of Visitors Spend Fewer Than 15 Seconds on Your Website

I think it’s reasonable to assume that the same kind of process repeats throughout a funnel, and just as a gut feeling I would say that around 50% user activity is actually pretty good.

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Ya, this was kind of my thinking from my experience with SaaS products - the funnel to a single conversion is huge so 50% signing up and becoming active in my mind sounds pretty good. But again, if there are other forum stats to compare to I would be super interested in finding out how we stack up.

This was an interesting read too:


Summary: In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.


So I did find a report I could pull to find out how many people open the welcome message:

  • Over the last 12 months only 7 users have opened it.

So that indicates to me we need to make adjustments there. I have already started by adjusting the text to be more clear about “starting” an onboarding experience.

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Wade, do you know how they track opens? Personally, I have my email set to not autoload images so if they’re tracking that way, they won’t pick up on me. I can’t imagine I’m the only one…

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Oh I see, sorry I wasn’t clear - it is the message you receive on the forums, it tracks when you open that.

When you first sign up you will start with 1 notification over your user avatar, that notification is the message from @discobot welcoming you and offering onboarding :slight_smile:

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This is my setting, as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the default behavior of mail clients and apps these days.

Perhaps there’s a report that indicates who has earned the welcome-related badges over time? This might possibly give a better number of who is going through the onboarding. If users are unwilling to do the 5 minute onboarding, I would 100% expect them to have trouble using a modern piece of software, regardless of what that software did. In light of that “7 users” number, I strongly suspect that “usability” is merely a symptom, and not the underlying cause.