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User activity

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 10 months ago

TOM has been typically described as having over 6000 users and over 1000 ideas generated by the users. General activity stats for ideas that have passed the process at the moment of study sample was taken (2007-03-01) are presented in following table. In addition 20 ideas were in various phases of completion and were not counted in analysis: 2 in commenting, 5 in voting and 13 in waiting-for-answer.


Majority voted in656
Author voted350
Only author voted7
Marked voted in654
Majority voted out369
incl. 0 votes25
Marked voted out371
Author commented411
Author commented and idea voted in258
Only author commented17
Total comments6107
Author voted or commented570
Author participated and idea voted in380
Total not-deleted1045
Total finished1025


As there are some ideas with conflicting votecounts and statuses (see Weird facts) following percentages use most reasonable base: in/out relation is of actual votes and not counting the effect of following signing procedure or voted-out ideas being answered, while answered ratio is based on ideas that have been actually sent for answering.


Voted in64%
Voted out36%
Zero votes2,4%
Voted in but unsigned1,7%
Author voted34,1%
Author commented40,1%
Author voted or commented55,6%
Author commented and idea voted in62,8%
Author participated and idea voted in66,7%


While number of abandoned ideas is small (4,1% total) this seems to be mostly thanks to regular users or visitors who have stumbled upon an idea at the right moment. Author's participation in voting or commenting the idea is really low, a sure sign that the initial system was not designed with promoting discussion in mind (no easy notification about changes, multi-step process with commenting-voting-signing). Surprisingly author's participation has not had much influence on voting result.


% of all% of active
All-time registered users6837
Users who have presented an idea5959%19%
Users who have presented more than 1 idea1342%4%
Users who have presented more than 2 ideas611%2%
Average ideas per user1,78
Users who have voted230534%75%
Users who have voted more than 1 idea107216%35%
Users who have voted more than 5 ideas3625%12%
Average votes per user5,42
Users who have commented126719%41%
Users who have commented more than 1 idea4116%13%
Users who have commented more than 3 ideas1843%6%
Average commented ideas per user3,68
Users with at least single action308145%100%
Users with more than 1 action150422%49%
Users with more than 6 actions4286%14%
Average actions per user6,4


As there is no incentive to sign up except for commenting or voting it is interesting to see that only 45% of users have performed any action after signup (it would be interesting to compare the results with other systems that do not require login to read content). There is also a possibility that some users have participated only in signing procedure that was present in the first version of TOM but which is not visible in current database.


While above table lists average activities per action below are average activities for percentiles of users who have been active in particular category:




While we could interpret the above data as a sign, that sizeable proportion of active users has performed more than one action we get completely different result when we look at the proportion of activities by top active users. Following table sums actions by top 10% of users with number and percentage of active users producing 50% of actions on bottom, together with number of actions performed by the user at the 50% position. Please note that ComIdeas is not number of comments like counted for total activity, but number of ideas commented by user so it should be better comparable to ideas and votes.


top 1%18%26%30%32%
top 2%24%37%40%44%
top 3%28%45%47%51%
top 4%31%50%51%56%
top 5%34%54%55%60%
top 6%36%57%58%63%
top 7%38%60%60%65%
top 8%39%63%62%67%
top 9%41%65%64%69%
top 10%43%66%65%71%
50% achieved98944786
50% achieved16%4%4%3%
actions @ 50%2241540


It is worth noting, that in fact 10% of ideas are from single user (followed by user with 3% of ideas; top nine users have each produced at least 1% of all ideas in system).


Distribution like this is can be expected, as explains Clay Shirky in Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality - in fact, if the top user is left out number of ideas follows very nicely a power law distribution of userIdeas(r) = 50 * r ^ 0.71



Although expected this distribution might not be the best for solutions meant for increasing participation: system is dominated by small number of users (<100 in TOMs case) who place heavy burden on resources, most importantly officials who answer the ideas - but as well administrators and other users.

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