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  #201  
Old 11-18-2019, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by steatopygia View Post
First, thank you TubaDiva for the info. I have seen other forums shut down with no notice and dread that happening here. But what can you do.
What can you do? You can take it over and run it independently. As noted above, it's cheap. If the Sun Times owns the Straightdope name, they would presumably be willing to sell it if they're no longer interested. There are a bunch of details that would have to be sorted out but basically I don't see why the whole place as it exists couldn't become an independent entity, self-sustaining through ads and memberships.

And in the enduring spirit of capitalism, those who chipped in to become part owners would get a cut of the revenues.* It's true that one might question the sanity of someone investing in a board with declining membership, but maybe we could revitalize the place to modern internet standards by creating a new forum exclusively for cat pictures.

* I'm envisioning an annual dividend of around $1.64.

Last edited by wolfpup; 11-18-2019 at 10:49 AM.
  #202  
Old 11-18-2019, 12:42 PM
Max S. is offline
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Originally Posted by Babale View Post
No, what we are trying to avoid is,

A. Here is my thought

B. I disagree with points 1, 2, and 3 you made for the following reasons

C. L4wl l3Ts V1cT7mBle3m SuM R4p V1ct1M$ y4lL!!11!

D. Let me sidetrack this debate with my own thoughts about a topic that's barely tangentially related but that I derail every thread by talking about

E. B00bies!

The Dope has, in more recent times, actually addressed E. C and D, not so much
I've seen moderation addressing D in particular (WillFarnaby). I don't see the difference between C and D.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 11-18-2019 at 12:42 PM. Reason: double signature
  #203  
Old 11-18-2019, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
What does a board like this cost to keep running? I would assume the moderators are volunteer and unpaid. I've rented servers that were pretty high performance (4 CPU cores at 3 ghz, no monthly bandwidth limit) for $45 a month. Don't remember what my disk allocation was. 22 million posts at 5 kilobytes a post is only 110 gigabytes.

I would assume there is DDoS protection as well as licensing costs for the board's software and moderation tools. So at the low end it's a mere $600 a year, in reality it's probably several thousand. Practically a hobbyist project.

Does anyone have more realistic numbers?
Well, JohnT's revenue numbers were in the range of $50k+/yr. That was assuming a 4% membership rate or something, and ignored other revenue streams such as advertising. I just don't understand how he is so concerned about cost in a situation like that. Either his numbers are off, to the point that it invalidates the premise at the heart of this thread, or they are accurate, to the point that it invalidates the other premise at the heart of this thread.

Put another way, either membership dues make way more than enough money to pay for the board, or the Sun-Times Media is getting ripped off. If it is the former, there is no present existential financial concern about losing members; if it is the latter, management would better focus their efforts on the hosting issues than micromanaging board rules and moderation. It is possible, however, that JohnT's numbers on revenue or my/SamuelA's numbers on cost are way off.

~Max
  #204  
Old 11-18-2019, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Babale View Post
No, what we are trying to avoid is,

A. Here is my thought

B. I disagree with points 1, 2, and 3 you made for the following reasons

...
I note that you included point B as something you are trying to avoid.

All this seems to me just a way to call out a poster as a troll outside the Pit and get anyone with views that dont agree with yours silenced.
  #205  
Old 11-18-2019, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
I note that you included point B as something you are trying to avoid.

All this seems to me just a way to call out a poster as a troll outside the Pit and get anyone with views that dont agree with yours silenced.
Clearly you have gleaned my true intentions; you'll note that A is also something to avoid, so I don't want anyone posting at all, right? right back atcha.

Last edited by Babale; 11-18-2019 at 02:37 PM.
  #206  
Old 11-18-2019, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
I note that you included point B as something you are trying to avoid.
There is an ambiguity in that post. You could read it charitably, so that it makes sense, and so that what's to be avoided is the entire clusterfuck of a conversation, even though some of its elements are obviously okay. Or you could read it uncharitably, so that it makes no goddamned sense whatsoever, so that what's to be avoided is every single element of the conversation.

Don't choose the latter. Ever.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 11-18-2019 at 04:24 PM.
  #207  
Old 11-18-2019, 04:28 PM
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The reason that a poster and the moderation around that poster would cause the board to lose money is simply that people will refuse to pay, like JohnT has. We know for sure this is a thing, from posters who have left to those who refuse to pay. And it seems likely that there are some people who would refuse to join--especially since a lot of us won't recommend the board elsewhere.

Even if that loss of revenue is small or negligible, it's there. The only way it could possibly be offset is if there are people who find the poster and the moderation around that poster as a reason to post here (and preferably pay to post, as it would likely take 100s of unpaid posters to equal one paid one). All other payment is payment that would be there anyways.

So, are there any Dopers who say that Hurricane Ditka's posts or the way he is moderated are the reason why you post here? Or, better yet, the reason why you pay to post here?
  #208  
Old 11-18-2019, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
The reason that a poster and the moderation around that poster would cause the board to lose money is simply that people will refuse to pay, like JohnT has. We know for sure this is a thing, from posters who have left to those who refuse to pay. And it seems likely that there are some people who would refuse to join--especially since a lot of us won't recommend the board elsewhere.

Even if that loss of revenue is small or negligible, it's there. The only way it could possibly be offset is if there are people who find the poster and the moderation around that poster as a reason to post here (and preferably pay to post, as it would likely take 100s of unpaid posters to equal one paid one). All other payment is payment that would be there anyways.

So, are there any Dopers who say that Hurricane Ditka's posts or the way he is moderated are the reason why you post here? Or, better yet, the reason why you pay to post here?
I have an alternate explanation. This board is a hobby project with hobbyist moderators. They are going to generally err on the side of not taking action. One reason for this is that bans aren't permanent in a practical sense - Ditka, if he were banned, could just come back later, doing a few obvious things to mask his identity, as long as he didn't make it too obvious. There are a lot of conservative posters who have a similar MO to him so how would you tell.

Also not taking action is less effort than taking action. So usually the mods only infract for obvious violations, with some notable exceptions.

This is why they don't infract even when a protest thread is made for the latest misogyny complaint
  #209  
Old 11-18-2019, 05:06 PM
Babale is online now
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
There is an ambiguity in that post. You could read it charitably, so that it makes sense, and so that what's to be avoided is the entire clusterfuck of a conversation, even though some of its elements are obviously okay. Or you could read it uncharitably, so that it makes no goddamned sense whatsoever, so that what's to be avoided is every single element of the conversation.

Don't choose the latter. Ever.
By his reading, I am also opposed to A: Here is my thought, so it should be quite obvious that this reading is incorrect.
  #210  
Old 11-18-2019, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Babale View Post
Clearly you have gleaned my true intentions; you'll note that A is also something to avoid, so I don't want anyone posting at all, right? right back atcha.

Seems to be.
  #211  
Old 11-18-2019, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Seems to be.
I'm not sure I follow -- are you saying, you think your read of my post was correct?
  #212  
Old 11-18-2019, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Babale View Post
I'm not sure I follow -- are you saying, you think your read of my post was correct?
Why not puzzle it out?
  #213  
Old 11-18-2019, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
The argument is that the CPM revenues of this generated activity has not been proven to exceed the NPV of paying members. I am waiting for #'s to disprove this hypothesis, and I am always willing to listen to math-based arguments which disprove my case.
Well regardless, I hope you decide to come back and post.
  #214  
Old 11-19-2019, 05:34 PM
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Not a fan of my last post in this thread so I thought about it and decided to do better. It was early Saturday, I wasn’t at home and breakfast was being made, so I just typed it off and hit send, disliking it the entire time because it’s the sort of meaningless bullshit instructions a bad boss would give you.

As it’s more than dumb to be making this argument without anything other than some hastily-calculated numbers, I decided to build a simple operations/financial model which can be used to determine the monetary impacts of our posting and subscription efforts. Which took longer than I thought, but then these things usually do.

You can find it here.

This thing is very ad hoc: As I’ve never done a model like this, I just threw it together – if there are actual templates for determining the value of internet activity, I didn’t use them. I would also like to note that it’s easier for me to download Google sheets and work them as Excel files than it is to work in the Google sheets interface, but y’all do what y’all want. (Really, download it. That way you won’t mess up the original.)

Note there are two tabs – one is just to evaluate a single poster, the other is to compare two posters. Let’s get into the single poster tab to see how this works:

There are two major sections – “Poster Data and Assumptions” and “Revenue Generating Activities”. Following the RGA section are some notes about limitations of the calculator, as well as notes about loss generating activities which would be impossible to quantify… without the quantifiable data this tool brings.

The cells are color-coded for their nature: Calculations, Entered Data, and References, allowing the user to know… upon sight… which cell is which. (I’ve used my standard RGB color-blindness tones – if you have trouble seeing the differences, let me know and I’ll apply a new palette.)
Column A is data labels
Column B is for data
Column C is the data, annualized
Columns D&E contains descriptions for the items you need to enter.
Poster data is information taken from the posters User CP – total posts, date registered, price of subscription, more. (You can find your start date for subscriptions by clicking UserCP>>Paid Subscriptions.)

Assumptions allow you to modify some global references for which I have no information. These values include:
Interest Rate: For NPV calculations

# years for Projected NPV: If you are looking at a single year’s worth of data and want to know what that years’ worth of data would annuitize to if continued for X years. Otherwise, don’t use this one. I gave serious thought to taking it out, then decided that would be too much work. Or something.

# Pages Per Post: For purposes of this model, I ignored the “Quick Reply” function and assumed that all posts made were through the long process: Click on Reply/Post (1), the 2nd screen where you type in your post (2), the “Click this link if you’re not redirected” screen (3), and the page with the newly-written post on it (4). In other words, one post in this model results in 4 page views. However, if you wish to modify this to another value, feel free.

CPM: CPM rates for ad views. The STM Reader people have this information, I do not. For references sake, Google averages about $2.80. CPM’s can vary quite wildly though, with many companies (with super niche audiences) able to charge much more.
I then had to think a bit about what a person does to generate revenue here. Subscriptions and donations are an obvious answer, but you also generate revenue just by being here and your activity… and how often people respond to you. I thought about the SDMB experience and for this mode, determined that one generate revenues via:
Posting
Engaging Others
Reading
Private Messaging
Subscribing
As each of these have different functions and assumptions, I created separate smaller models to reflect the earnings brought about by the above activities.
Posting – I started here first because it’s the only hard number I can get – the number of posts made by a poster over their time at the SDMB. Since it takes 4 pages to reply to a post or start a thread, this was a rather easy calculation.

Engagement – Now this one is tricky. If we were able to pull the data from the database, this would give far more accurate figures, but for this model we have little choice but to estimate:
… Start with your number of posts
… What percentage of those posts do you receive a response to?
… and how many responses do you get per responded-to post?
… multiply by 4 (pages per post, above)
… divide by 1,000
… multiply by CPM rates
= Value of your engagement contribution.
Reading. You have to read the SDMB right? Again, like Engagement, this one could have hard data if pulled from the system, but for now we just estimate by asking “How many pages do you read for every post?” This number must equal or exceed 1 as you can’t post to the SDMB without visiting the SDMB and that visit is a page read.

(Really, not the best way to get this figure.)

Private Messaging. You read 3 pages to read an inbox item. You go through 7 pages to create an outbox item. This assumes that PM’s count for CPM rates, and why shouldn’t they?

Subscriptions. Just takes the subscription information put in the “Posters Data” and calculates it here. (You can find your start date for subscriptions by clicking UserCP>>Paid Subscriptions.)
Then at the bottom is a chart summarizing all this.

(Go ahead! Try it! Go to your User CP, enter your # of posts, your starting date, subscription info, and more, to determine your total and annualized financial value to this Board based upon your posting and reading activity.)

When done building the Single Poster tab I copied it to the 2nd tab, “Comparing Posters”, where one could make comparisons between posters with different habits to determine their financial worth vis-à-vis another.

Let’s try tab 2 out with the two subjects of this topic.

HurricaneDitka: A high-engagement, unsubscribed poster who has been at the SDMB since 2012, compiling 14,961 posts (as I type this), an average of 2,052/year, 5.62/day, and has never subscribed.

JohnT: A medium-engagement, subscribed poster, who has been at the SDMB since 2001, compiling 23.885 posts (as I type this), an average of 1,305/year or 3.57/day, and has subscribed since 2004. (Was pay to post that long ago?)

I enter those numbers in page 2, in the Poster Data section. I then make sure the Assumptions match, and then review the posters for their activity, asking the following questions about each:

Engagement: Is this a poster who engages people, and how much? HD is an engagement machine, guys, with a high % of his posts getting responded to and a large number of posts are posted in response to each. For this example, I’m going to assume that 50% of his posts get 4 replies each. That’s way high… but, shit, it might not be when it’s all averaged out. For me, I’m assuming 10% of my posts get 2 replies each, or 1 response every 5 posts. (Again, this is where hard data would be helpful – knowing exactly how many replies a poster is responsible for would be fantastic.)

Reading: Is this person a reader? Again, I have no idea, so we just enter a value for the average number of pages read per post. If you’re the sort of poster who goes immediately to “subscribed threads”, posts your responses, and leaves, then this value will be low. If you’re the sort of poster who browses the boards and posts something on occasion, this value will be high. For this comparison, I put the value down as “8 pages read per post” for both HD and I. It makes us sound all smart and shit.

Private Messaging: I entered 0 for both of us, both boxes. Unless there’s a massive PM community of which I’m not a part (and there could be), this one won’t be material for most posters, and I left it out of this comparison as I have zero idea what HD’s #’s are.

Anyway, so I run the numbers, and holy shit, guys, no wonder the mods keep him around! Check this out:

HD Annualized Revenues: $61.56 (all from Board Activity)
JohnT Annualized Revenues $32.55 ($7.50 is subscription, the remaining $25.05 is Board Activity)
HD Annualized NPV generated by board activity + subscriptions: $362.01
JohnT Annualized NPV generated by board activity + subscriptions: $274.54

Long and short of it is that HD brings in about $36/year more in revenue than I do, and his contribution to the long-term value of this place exceeds my own by about $90/year.

No doubt about it, on the face of it, at projected CPM’s of $1.50, HD can run off two posters like myself or iiandyiiii or whomever, and his presence will remain profitable for the SDMB (though the value of the place will decrease in excess of his contribution). In addition, he can cost this place 7-9 Charter Member subscriptions, every year… and it will remain profitable for the SDMB to keep him around as long as those lost subscribers keep posting. And this will remain so long as he remains who he is because this profitability is largely due to his high engagement metrics at the stated CPM’s (which, again, is guesswork in this model).

However, once a negative influencer runs off 3 or more long-term posters, both value and revenue metrics turn negative. Of that, there is also no doubt – one can only post so much, one can only be so engaging, etc, all of which sets an upper boundary to the value of one’s activity and engagement metrics when people start getting sick of you. We’ve had a number of notable flounces in the past 20 years, but I doubt anyone has charted who pissed off who enough to make them leave.

So, there it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Economics of Trolling.

Last edited by JohnT; 11-19-2019 at 05:35 PM.
  #215  
Old 11-19-2019, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
... HurricaneDitka: A high-engagement, unsubscribed poster who has been at the SDMB since 2012, compiling 14,961 posts (as I type this), an average of 2,052/year, 5.62/day, and has never subscribed. ...
Just on the point of "has never subscribed", I think some clarification is in order. I received a subscription after being the runner up in the 2016 election prediction game, so I was a subscribed member for a year, even though I didn't pay for it. Of course, if we're headed down the road of evaluating posters based on their financial contributions, I think that subscription ought to be added to my total, even though someone else paid for it.
  #216  
Old 11-19-2019, 06:11 PM
DrDeth is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
...
No doubt about it, on the face of it, at projected CPM’s of $1.50, HD can run off two posters like myself or iiandyiiii or whomever, and his presence will remain profitable for the SDMB (though the value of the place will decrease in excess of his contribution). ...

However, once a negative influencer runs off 3 or more long-term posters, both value and revenue metrics turn negative. Of that, there is also no doubt – one can only post so much, one can only be so engaging, etc, all of which sets an upper boundary to the value of one’s activity and engagement metrics when people start getting sick of you. We’ve had a number of notable flounces in the past 20 years, but I doubt anyone has charted who pissed off who enough to make them leave.

So, there it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Economics of Trolling.
I applaud your math but not your conclusions- which is that HD (or other posters with whom you happen to disagree with) "runs off" anyone. In fact, I'd say the opposite. Spirited debate is a Good thing. A Greek Chorus gets a MB nowhere.



"we're the chorus and we agree, we agree"
  #217  
Old 11-19-2019, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Not a fan of my last post in this thread so I thought about it and decided to do better. It was early Saturday, I wasn’t at home and breakfast was being made, so I just typed it off and hit send, disliking it the entire time because it’s the sort of meaningless bullshit instructions a bad boss would give you.

As it’s more than dumb to be making this argument without anything other than some hastily-calculated numbers, I decided to build a simple operations/financial model which can be used to determine the monetary impacts of our posting and subscription efforts. Which took longer than I thought, but then these things usually do.

You can find it here.

This thing is very ad hoc: As I’ve never done a model like this, I just threw it together – if there are actual templates for determining the value of internet activity, I didn’t use them. I would also like to note that it’s easier for me to download Google sheets and work them as Excel files than it is to work in the Google sheets interface, but y’all do what y’all want. (Really, download it. That way you won’t mess up the original.)

Note there are two tabs – one is just to evaluate a single poster, the other is to compare two posters. Let’s get into the single poster tab to see how this works:

There are two major sections – “Poster Data and Assumptions” and “Revenue Generating Activities”. Following the RGA section are some notes about limitations of the calculator, as well as notes about loss generating activities which would be impossible to quantify… without the quantifiable data this tool brings.

The cells are color-coded for their nature: Calculations, Entered Data, and References, allowing the user to know… upon sight… which cell is which. (I’ve used my standard RGB color-blindness tones – if you have trouble seeing the differences, let me know and I’ll apply a new palette.)
Column A is data labels
Column B is for data
Column C is the data, annualized
Columns D&E contains descriptions for the items you need to enter.
Poster data is information taken from the posters User CP – total posts, date registered, price of subscription, more. (You can find your start date for subscriptions by clicking UserCP>>Paid Subscriptions.)

Assumptions allow you to modify some global references for which I have no information. These values include:
Interest Rate: For NPV calculations

# years for Projected NPV: If you are looking at a single year’s worth of data and want to know what that years’ worth of data would annuitize to if continued for X years. Otherwise, don’t use this one. I gave serious thought to taking it out, then decided that would be too much work. Or something.

# Pages Per Post: For purposes of this model, I ignored the “Quick Reply” function and assumed that all posts made were through the long process: Click on Reply/Post (1), the 2nd screen where you type in your post (2), the “Click this link if you’re not redirected” screen (3), and the page with the newly-written post on it (4). In other words, one post in this model results in 4 page views. However, if you wish to modify this to another value, feel free.

CPM: CPM rates for ad views. The STM Reader people have this information, I do not. For references sake, Google averages about $2.80. CPM’s can vary quite wildly though, with many companies (with super niche audiences) able to charge much more.
I then had to think a bit about what a person does to generate revenue here. Subscriptions and donations are an obvious answer, but you also generate revenue just by being here and your activity… and how often people respond to you. I thought about the SDMB experience and for this mode, determined that one generate revenues via:
Posting
Engaging Others
Reading
Private Messaging
Subscribing
As each of these have different functions and assumptions, I created separate smaller models to reflect the earnings brought about by the above activities.
Posting – I started here first because it’s the only hard number I can get – the number of posts made by a poster over their time at the SDMB. Since it takes 4 pages to reply to a post or start a thread, this was a rather easy calculation.

Engagement – Now this one is tricky. If we were able to pull the data from the database, this would give far more accurate figures, but for this model we have little choice but to estimate:
… Start with your number of posts
… What percentage of those posts do you receive a response to?
… and how many responses do you get per responded-to post?
… multiply by 4 (pages per post, above)
… divide by 1,000
… multiply by CPM rates
= Value of your engagement contribution.
Reading. You have to read the SDMB right? Again, like Engagement, this one could have hard data if pulled from the system, but for now we just estimate by asking “How many pages do you read for every post?” This number must equal or exceed 1 as you can’t post to the SDMB without visiting the SDMB and that visit is a page read.

(Really, not the best way to get this figure.)

Private Messaging. You read 3 pages to read an inbox item. You go through 7 pages to create an outbox item. This assumes that PM’s count for CPM rates, and why shouldn’t they?

Subscriptions. Just takes the subscription information put in the “Posters Data” and calculates it here. (You can find your start date for subscriptions by clicking UserCP>>Paid Subscriptions.)
Then at the bottom is a chart summarizing all this.

(Go ahead! Try it! Go to your User CP, enter your # of posts, your starting date, subscription info, and more, to determine your total and annualized financial value to this Board based upon your posting and reading activity.)

When done building the Single Poster tab I copied it to the 2nd tab, “Comparing Posters”, where one could make comparisons between posters with different habits to determine their financial worth vis-à-vis another.

Let’s try tab 2 out with the two subjects of this topic.

HurricaneDitka: A high-engagement, unsubscribed poster who has been at the SDMB since 2012, compiling 14,961 posts (as I type this), an average of 2,052/year, 5.62/day, and has never subscribed.

JohnT: A medium-engagement, subscribed poster, who has been at the SDMB since 2001, compiling 23.885 posts (as I type this), an average of 1,305/year or 3.57/day, and has subscribed since 2004. (Was pay to post that long ago?)

I enter those numbers in page 2, in the Poster Data section. I then make sure the Assumptions match, and then review the posters for their activity, asking the following questions about each:

Engagement: Is this a poster who engages people, and how much? HD is an engagement machine, guys, with a high % of his posts getting responded to and a large number of posts are posted in response to each. For this example, I’m going to assume that 50% of his posts get 4 replies each. That’s way high… but, shit, it might not be when it’s all averaged out. For me, I’m assuming 10% of my posts get 2 replies each, or 1 response every 5 posts. (Again, this is where hard data would be helpful – knowing exactly how many replies a poster is responsible for would be fantastic.)

Reading: Is this person a reader? Again, I have no idea, so we just enter a value for the average number of pages read per post. If you’re the sort of poster who goes immediately to “subscribed threads”, posts your responses, and leaves, then this value will be low. If you’re the sort of poster who browses the boards and posts something on occasion, this value will be high. For this comparison, I put the value down as “8 pages read per post” for both HD and I. It makes us sound all smart and shit.

Private Messaging: I entered 0 for both of us, both boxes. Unless there’s a massive PM community of which I’m not a part (and there could be), this one won’t be material for most posters, and I left it out of this comparison as I have zero idea what HD’s #’s are.

Anyway, so I run the numbers, and holy shit, guys, no wonder the mods keep him around! Check this out:

HD Annualized Revenues: $61.56 (all from Board Activity)
JohnT Annualized Revenues $32.55 ($7.50 is subscription, the remaining $25.05 is Board Activity)
HD Annualized NPV generated by board activity + subscriptions: $362.01
JohnT Annualized NPV generated by board activity + subscriptions: $274.54

Long and short of it is that HD brings in about $36/year more in revenue than I do, and his contribution to the long-term value of this place exceeds my own by about $90/year.

No doubt about it, on the face of it, at projected CPM’s of $1.50, HD can run off two posters like myself or iiandyiiii or whomever, and his presence will remain profitable for the SDMB (though the value of the place will decrease in excess of his contribution). In addition, he can cost this place 7-9 Charter Member subscriptions, every year… and it will remain profitable for the SDMB to keep him around as long as those lost subscribers keep posting. And this will remain so long as he remains who he is because this profitability is largely due to his high engagement metrics at the stated CPM’s (which, again, is guesswork in this model).

However, once a negative influencer runs off 3 or more long-term posters, both value and revenue metrics turn negative. Of that, there is also no doubt – one can only post so much, one can only be so engaging, etc, all of which sets an upper boundary to the value of one’s activity and engagement metrics when people start getting sick of you. We’ve had a number of notable flounces in the past 20 years, but I doubt anyone has charted who pissed off who enough to make them leave.

So, there it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Economics of Trolling.
What are the economics of calling posters assholes and trolls in ATMB while the mods ignore such behavior? That’s an ‘analysis’ you can now run as well.
  #218  
Old 11-19-2019, 06:32 PM
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Did you really have to quote that whole wall of words? Seriously?
  #219  
Old 11-19-2019, 06:37 PM
Max S. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
I then had to think a bit about what a person does to generate revenue here. Subscriptions and donations are an obvious answer, but you also generate revenue just by being here and your activity… and how often people respond to you. I thought about the SDMB experience and for this mode, determined that one generate revenues via:
Posting
Engaging Others
Reading
Private Messaging
Subscribing
As each of these have different functions and assumptions, I created separate smaller models to reflect the earnings brought about by the above activities.
Impressive, JohnT. But why are you counting both page reads and posts as revenue generating activities? Shouldn't it only be the former, and even then only for unsubscribed members? There's no ad revenue coming in at all from paying members. Member contributions may increase the nonfinancial value of the website, and attract more pageviews which themselves bring ad revenue or possibly new subscriptions. But you've put that under engagement. It seems like you are double-counting here by also putting it under posts.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 11-19-2019 at 06:40 PM. Reason: snipped quote
  #220  
Old 11-19-2019, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Not a fan of my last post in this thread so I thought about it and decided to do better. It was early Saturday, I wasn’t at home and breakfast was being made, so I just typed it off and hit send, disliking it the entire time because it’s the sort of meaningless bullshit instructions a bad boss would give you.

As it’s more than dumb to be making this argument without anything other than some hastily-calculated numbers, I decided to build a simple operations/financial model which can be used to determine the monetary impacts of our posting and subscription efforts. Which took longer than I thought, but then these things usually do.

You can find it here.

This thing is very ad hoc: As I’ve never done a model like this, I just threw it together – if there are actual templates for determining the value of internet activity, I didn’t use them. I would also like to note that it’s easier for me to download Google sheets and work them as Excel files than it is to work in the Google sheets interface, but y’all do what y’all want. (Really, download it. That way you won’t mess up the original.)

Note there are two tabs – one is just to evaluate a single poster, the other is to compare two posters. Let’s get into the single poster tab to see how this works:

There are two major sections – “Poster Data and Assumptions” and “Revenue Generating Activities”. Following the RGA section are some notes about limitations of the calculator, as well as notes about loss generating activities which would be impossible to quantify… without the quantifiable data this tool brings.

The cells are color-coded for their nature: Calculations, Entered Data, and References, allowing the user to know… upon sight… which cell is which. (I’ve used my standard RGB color-blindness tones – if you have trouble seeing the differences, let me know and I’ll apply a new palette.)
Column A is data labels
Column B is for data
Column C is the data, annualized
Columns D&E contains descriptions for the items you need to enter.
Poster data is information taken from the posters User CP – total posts, date registered, price of subscription, more. (You can find your start date for subscriptions by clicking UserCP>>Paid Subscriptions.)

Assumptions allow you to modify some global references for which I have no information. These values include:
Interest Rate: For NPV calculations

# years for Projected NPV: If you are looking at a single year’s worth of data and want to know what that years’ worth of data would annuitize to if continued for X years. Otherwise, don’t use this one. I gave serious thought to taking it out, then decided that would be too much work. Or something.

# Pages Per Post: For purposes of this model, I ignored the “Quick Reply” function and assumed that all posts made were through the long process: Click on Reply/Post (1), the 2nd screen where you type in your post (2), the “Click this link if you’re not redirected” screen (3), and the page with the newly-written post on it (4). In other words, one post in this model results in 4 page views. However, if you wish to modify this to another value, feel free.

CPM: CPM rates for ad views. The STM Reader people have this information, I do not. For references sake, Google averages about $2.80. CPM’s can vary quite wildly though, with many companies (with super niche audiences) able to charge much more.
I then had to think a bit about what a person does to generate revenue here. Subscriptions and donations are an obvious answer, but you also generate revenue just by being here and your activity… and how often people respond to you. I thought about the SDMB experience and for this mode, determined that one generate revenues via:
Posting
Engaging Others
Reading
Private Messaging
Subscribing
As each of these have different functions and assumptions, I created separate smaller models to reflect the earnings brought about by the above activities.
Posting – I started here first because it’s the only hard number I can get – the number of posts made by a poster over their time at the SDMB. Since it takes 4 pages to reply to a post or start a thread, this was a rather easy calculation.

Engagement – Now this one is tricky. If we were able to pull the data from the database, this would give far more accurate figures, but for this model we have little choice but to estimate:
… Start with your number of posts
… What percentage of those posts do you receive a response to?
… and how many responses do you get per responded-to post?
… multiply by 4 (pages per post, above)
… divide by 1,000
… multiply by CPM rates
= Value of your engagement contribution.
Reading. You have to read the SDMB right? Again, like Engagement, this one could have hard data if pulled from the system, but for now we just estimate by asking “How many pages do you read for every post?” This number must equal or exceed 1 as you can’t post to the SDMB without visiting the SDMB and that visit is a page read.

(Really, not the best way to get this figure.)

Private Messaging. You read 3 pages to read an inbox item. You go through 7 pages to create an outbox item. This assumes that PM’s count for CPM rates, and why shouldn’t they?

Subscriptions. Just takes the subscription information put in the “Posters Data” and calculates it here. (You can find your start date for subscriptions by clicking UserCP>>Paid Subscriptions.)
Then at the bottom is a chart summarizing all this.

(Go ahead! Try it! Go to your User CP, enter your # of posts, your starting date, subscription info, and more, to determine your total and annualized financial value to this Board based upon your posting and reading activity.)

When done building the Single Poster tab I copied it to the 2nd tab, “Comparing Posters”, where one could make comparisons between posters with different habits to determine their financial worth vis-à-vis another.

Let’s try tab 2 out with the two subjects of this topic.

HurricaneDitka: A high-engagement, unsubscribed poster who has been at the SDMB since 2012, compiling 14,961 posts (as I type this), an average of 2,052/year, 5.62/day, and has never subscribed.

JohnT: A medium-engagement, subscribed poster, who has been at the SDMB since 2001, compiling 23.885 posts (as I type this), an average of 1,305/year or 3.57/day, and has subscribed since 2004. (Was pay to post that long ago?)

I enter those numbers in page 2, in the Poster Data section. I then make sure the Assumptions match, and then review the posters for their activity, asking the following questions about each:

Engagement: Is this a poster who engages people, and how much? HD is an engagement machine, guys, with a high % of his posts getting responded to and a large number of posts are posted in response to each. For this example, I’m going to assume that 50% of his posts get 4 replies each. That’s way high… but, shit, it might not be when it’s all averaged out. For me, I’m assuming 10% of my posts get 2 replies each, or 1 response every 5 posts. (Again, this is where hard data would be helpful – knowing exactly how many replies a poster is responsible for would be fantastic.)

Reading: Is this person a reader? Again, I have no idea, so we just enter a value for the average number of pages read per post. If you’re the sort of poster who goes immediately to “subscribed threads”, posts your responses, and leaves, then this value will be low. If you’re the sort of poster who browses the boards and posts something on occasion, this value will be high. For this comparison, I put the value down as “8 pages read per post” for both HD and I. It makes us sound all smart and shit.

Private Messaging: I entered 0 for both of us, both boxes. Unless there’s a massive PM community of which I’m not a part (and there could be), this one won’t be material for most posters, and I left it out of this comparison as I have zero idea what HD’s #’s are.

Anyway, so I run the numbers, and holy shit, guys, no wonder the mods keep him around! Check this out:

HD Annualized Revenues: $61.56 (all from Board Activity)
JohnT Annualized Revenues $32.55 ($7.50 is subscription, the remaining $25.05 is Board Activity)
HD Annualized NPV generated by board activity + subscriptions: $362.01
JohnT Annualized NPV generated by board activity + subscriptions: $274.54

Long and short of it is that HD brings in about $36/year more in revenue than I do, and his contribution to the long-term value of this place exceeds my own by about $90/year.

No doubt about it, on the face of it, at projected CPM’s of $1.50, HD can run off two posters like myself or iiandyiiii or whomever, and his presence will remain profitable for the SDMB (though the value of the place will decrease in excess of his contribution). In addition, he can cost this place 7-9 Charter Member subscriptions, every year… and it will remain profitable for the SDMB to keep him around as long as those lost subscribers keep posting. And this will remain so long as he remains who he is because this profitability is largely due to his high engagement metrics at the stated CPM’s (which, again, is guesswork in this model).

However, once a negative influencer runs off 3 or more long-term posters, both value and revenue metrics turn negative. Of that, there is also no doubt – one can only post so much, one can only be so engaging, etc, all of which sets an upper boundary to the value of one’s activity and engagement metrics when people start getting sick of you. We’ve had a number of notable flounces in the past 20 years, but I doubt anyone has charted who pissed off who enough to make them leave.

So, there it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Economics of Trolling.
Quote:
Originally Posted by octopus View Post
What are the economics of calling posters assholes and trolls in ATMB while the mods ignore such behavior? That’s an ‘analysis’ you can now run as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
Did you really have to quote that whole wall of words? Seriously?
Agreed.
  #221  
Old 11-19-2019, 08:21 PM
SamuelA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopus View Post
What are the economics of calling posters assholes and trolls in ATMB while the mods ignore such behavior? That’s an ‘analysis’ you can now run as well.
Well it obviously adds to the traffic, and thus the pageviews of the board. Basically, if the board's primary revenue source really is advertising and not user subscriptions, then this board's business model is based on clickbait.

The very title of this thread is clickbait. HD's typical response to a question is a rage inducing bit of clickbait.

Every time those evil misogynists get away with it again, that thread creates more clickbait.
  #222  
Old 11-22-2019, 06:47 AM
Budget Player Cadet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Thank you for this. Given how often we are accused of bias by right wing posters, a post like this is an affirmation that the moderation is even handed. Being accused of bias by both the far right and the far left is a pretty good indication of a lack of bias.
Every once in a while I get so bored I figure, "eh, let's see what's going on at the dope".

Then I see a post like this and decide I'd probably have a better time doing something more productive, like seeing if weight-loss surgery is something I can do at home with a large kitchen knife.

This post fucking sucks, and any moderator who agrees with it is a terrible moderator and should step down.

Last edited by Budget Player Cadet; 11-22-2019 at 06:47 AM.
  #223  
Old 11-22-2019, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
I applaud your math but not your conclusions- which is that HD (or other posters with whom you happen to disagree with) "runs off" anyone. In fact, I'd say the opposite. Spirited debate is a Good thing. A Greek Chorus gets a MB nowhere.



"we're the chorus and we agree, we agree"
I see no sign that the arguments with Hurricane Ditka have brought anyone at all to the board. I do know people who don't want to post in threads he is in, however.

Though, admittedly, I wouldn't characterize those arguments as "spirited debates," except as a euphemism.

Last edited by BigT; 11-22-2019 at 07:51 AM.
  #224  
Old 11-22-2019, 08:45 AM
Colibri's Avatar
Colibri is online now
SD Curator of Critters
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
Every once in a while I get so bored I figure, "eh, let's see what's going on at the dope".

Then I see a post like this and decide I'd probably have a better time doing something more productive, like seeing if weight-loss surgery is something I can do at home with a large kitchen knife.

This post fucking sucks, and any moderator who agrees with it is a terrible moderator and should step down.
Thnak you once again for confirming my point. You are clearly entirely unbiased.

Last edited by Colibri; 11-22-2019 at 08:49 AM.
  #225  
Old 11-22-2019, 10:07 AM
Wrenching Spanners is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
Every once in a while I get so bored I figure, "eh, let's see what's going on at the dope".

Then I see a post like this and decide I'd probably have a better time doing something more productive, like seeing if weight-loss surgery is something I can do at home with a large kitchen knife.

This post fucking sucks, and any moderator who agrees with it is a terrible moderator and should step down.
The subject of the OP is "The Economics of Trolling, the SDMB, and Moderator Decisions".

Would you care to make an economic argument regarding Colibri's SDMB moderation? If you choose to do so, will you stick around to defend your argument?
  #226  
Old 11-22-2019, 11:15 AM
Shodan is online now
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The thread, or at least the economic argument in JohnT's case, might be moot, since he has requested a voluntary suspension. I am not sure how that affects his analysis of who should be banned and who shouldn't, because the request is at least partially for personal reasons not related to the SDMB.

Regards,
Shodan
  #227  
Old 11-22-2019, 11:17 AM
Jonathan Chance is offline
Domo Arigato Mister Moderato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
The thread, or at least the economic argument in JohnT's case, might be moot, since he has requested a voluntary suspension. I am not sure how that affects his analysis of who should be banned and who shouldn't, because the request is at least partially for personal reasons not related to the SDMB.

Regards,
Shodan
Agreed. I think this thread has run it's course and I'd prefer it not become an analysis of JohnT and other posters.
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