RE: Limiting postings -- looking at numbers

Subject: RE: Limiting postings -- looking at numbers
From: MList -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 10:03:08 -0400

I have just a few questions.

> From: Andrew Plato [mailto:gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com]
[snip list of who posted how many over 7 days]

> I think this proves that even with a 1 post per day limit,
> the affect to the
> list would not be disasterous. Although it would stop 31% of
> the posts, only 10
> list members of 136 (or 7%) would be affected by the limit.
> 93% would not be
> hindered (on average) by the 1 per day limit.

Because this follows directly from a suggestion that list
posting be restricted to one per person, per day, the above
paragraph *appears* to suggest that the 31% of posts that were
trimmed were not useful. There's also appears to be an
implication in there that when a post *is* useful or interesting,
it is useful or interesting on a one-for-one basis. That only
the single respondent is interested/helped, so that the
post must represent noise to all of the remaining thousands
of members/lurkers.

> And of those listmembers that would have been affected, 5
> listmembers had 86%
> of the limit violations. 2 listmembers would have had 49% of
> the violations.
> For this given week - 9 listmembers accounted for over 50% of
> the traffic on
> the list. That's 7% of the posters that week submitted 50% of
> the posts. Or, if
> you go off of published membership numbers of 4000 members,
> 0.23% of the
> listmembers posted 50% of the topics for a given week.

The list got to its current size. Presumably, there was a
reason for that. So, how was posting-frequency behavior
different in the Golden Age? What, related to posting-frequency
behavior, has changed that is driving away members?
In the Golden Age, did all members tend to post with similar
frequency profiles, and is this the putative measure of
contentment or satisfaction with the list? Is it implied/shown
that the change from all-members-post-equally-and-infrequently
to some-members-lurk-and-others-post-more is:

a) real
b) a bad thing?

If there has been a membership decline since the Golden Age,
is there any chance that some of it is because market conditions
have pushed many people out of the trade? Or is it necessary
to infer that any shrinkage is caused by unbalanced posting

> I believe that these numbers demonstrate that even a 1 post
> per day limit would
> not dramatically affect the grand majority of the list
> members. 93% would not
> be affected. Only a small fraction of the listmembers would
> see their posting
> affected.

Er, the grand majority do not post, or post only a few
times per year, and yet they remain. Your statement
implies that the only value to members is to post.
What of the nearly 4000 lurkers? Presumably, some of the
content is noise to them, but surely not all, or they
would leave. Is there a measure of what percentage of
lurkers -- the majority of the list -- consider what
portion of posts to be noise, versus interesting?

I don't see that there's a valid reason to assume that
a posting profile derived from 10% of the membership
makes valid predictions of desires or behavior across
the entire membership.




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