The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: What do these Naked Science stats mean? Put on your scientific sleuthing caps!  (Read 2941 times)

DiscoverDave

  • Guest
As a scientist, I could not longer ignore all those numbers in front of me on the NSF boards, so I analyzed the number of Posts and Reads for the latest 100 subjects in General Science, and this is what it looks like.  The red data is reads vs posts, and the blue data is the posts/read vs posts.   

What do subjects seem to have in common?  How do some differ from others?  What happens as the number of posts increases?  Why?  It'll take a little sleuthing in the General Science section to figure out why outliers occur.  Iíve got my own theories, but what about yours?



 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
OK, I am impressed - but what does it mean? Did you read "How To Lie With Statistics," too?

Oh, By the way, I am adding another point to both the red and blue dots.
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
  • Matthew 6:21
    • View Profile
controversy and uniqueness.
« Last Edit: 25/09/2009 11:54:37 by glovesforfoxes »
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5339
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
This is very interesting - can you do the same analysis on the other boards to test whether the same relationship holds? I ask since some of the other boards, being more specialist, might show different user interaction patterns...

Chris
 

Offline SkepticSam

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 48
    • View Profile
Surely the first question to ask is how are the stats collated? Is each each "view" a unique view? If the answer is no, then what value can you make out of the stats?

If you look at the stats you will see that "Just Chat" is the top board, but what value is there in just chat? Does just chat attract people to the forum, does it encourage people to join the forum? If it does then does the fact that this is actually a science forum mean anything to those joining because of just chat?

Then look at the Top 10 Topics (by Views) stats. The topic "POIS" is way out in front. Does this mean that POIS IS THE main topic on the forum? Are people coming from far and wide just for this topic? Or is it simply because a keyword search on google for "naughty" words like masterbate directs them there? Or someone looking for recipes using cranberries?

If the stats are not unique visits then POIS could simply be so far out in front because the regular posters are visiting the page many times per day thus artificially inflating the figures. Or school age children looking for naughty words or topics about sex.

How do the stats work for people who access the posts on the forum this way:
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?action=recent

Using the recent posts option. I suspect their views are not even counted.

So unless you know how the stats are put together how can you analyse them?

 

Offline SkepticSam

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 48
    • View Profile
Additionally:

the stats for most time on line. What value is there in this stat?
And some of the stats are meaning is not obvious. "users online = 158" is this registered users at any one time or within a set time period?
Again with "most online ... " is this registered people and is it at one time or over a period of time?
Does total members include only those who's accounts that are active and does it include those made by the admin or moderators to ask questions that have been sent to the radio show?

Lastly. The second most viewed topic is that used to promote the site owners book. Do the page views reflect to any sales generated through the forum?
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5339
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Hi Sam, good to have your input.

I am always dubious of stats for the sake of stats for many of the reasons you raise. But these stats can be revealing (insomuch as they relate to the naked scientists!) because they highlight what people find most interesting, what they visit most often and so on. We set up the Just Chat section as a chill out / social interaction zone. This is because we wanted to keep the scientific threads focused on the science yet at the same time offer users the benefits of being part of a community. This approach has worked quite well. I'm not surprised by the finding that the chat section is popular - the reason is obvious too: it's because to post an answer in just chat is easy and requires no rigour. What you write there need not even be right, unlike the rest of the forum; consequently people write one word answers and conduct more running conversations and interactions there. The science-oriented threads, on the other hand, are more selective in their reach (not everyone's interested in a particular topic) and require more specialist knowledge or research to post. Consequently there's a screening taking place that alters the stats within different site zones.

As to the online numbers, that result is real-time and reflects how many individuals are looking at pages at any instant. As most of the visitors are not registered forum users it says "unregistered". We hope, however, that at least some of these incidental visitors will like what they see and begin to join in.

Chris
 

Offline SkepticSam

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 48
    • View Profile
I don't think this has been answered so the question needs asking: What does a view represent? A unique visitor or just a visit?

If a shop wants to monitor it's latest advertising campaig for Ginger biscuits by giving a free sample to each person that "visits" the booth with the pretty girl and her platter containing the biscuit samples it needs to know if the 100 samples were given to 100 different people or the same guy that made 100 visits because he liked the biscuits, the girl or both.

As I mentioned before there is a way of viewing topics without accessing the topics page and that's via the "recent posts" option:  http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?action=recent

this is like someone coming in through a side door and taking some of the biscuit samples That have not been put out or included in the 100 samples when the pretty girl is not looking. This person is not known and not counted.



Edit:
thanks for the earlier welcome.
« Last Edit: 29/09/2009 05:18:57 by SkepticSam »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums