Wikipedia says SDMB has more than 61,000 registered members, of which about 3,500 are paid subscribers as of August 2005.
Would anyone be able to cite current figures?
The figures seem lopsided to me. I almost never see Guest posts. Sampling several long threads yields “Member” and “Charter Member” posts almost exclusively, it seems like 99%. Where are the 19 out of 20 who are Guests?
Also, 3500 seems very low for a “Subscribers” figure, judging by the striking vigor of this message board in terms of variety and frequency of new threads and frequency and speed of responses. 3500 doesn’t ring true to me, from the little I know of other message boards.
The larger number reflects everyone who has ever registered, even if they never posted. (Now 67,664, by the way.)
The Chicago Reader no longer releases subscriber numbers. They did for a bit when we first went pay-to-post, to assuage members who were worried we weren’t going to get enough subscribers to keep going, but that was it.
I quite often, as a moderator, log on about 6:30-7:30 AM(EST, in the US) and notice that there are almost an equal number of Guests and Members on at the same time. The total can be as low as 150-180 on a Saturday or Sunday morning, or more than 200 total on a weekday. The total quickly grows as the morning progresses. The total can quickly grow into the 500-700 range.
You may not see “Guests” post, as they may have registered to post on a topic that is dear to them, and then retreated. But they’re there.
As an example, right this minute there are 194 members online and 205 guests. Make of that what you will.
I just tried to post to this thread and it said I didn’t have the privilage to. My membership expired at midnight. Ha!
I know that the administration here always trys to er on the side of confidentiality, but I was wondering if there is a good explanation on why members are not allowed to see who is currently logged on. Before **sam ** came on and reported the numbers I always thought that this function was simply something that was turned off. Now I see that you do have the power to see it, but members just don’t have the privilage.
I’m really, really, trying not to turn this into a TPTB bitchfest.
About 18.9 of them who actually post are spammers, and we (the moderation staff) have removed their posts from public view. Or so it seems, some days. Actually, it seems that we get a lot of people who register, but never post. I just looked up the most recent registrations, and of the 30 listed, only five posted. One person has 6 posts, another has 4, and three more have one post each. IME, this is pretty typical. A lot of people register, post once or a few times, and then move on to other things. Even more people register and never post even once.
I don’t know about other people, but I HATE HATE HATE having people know when I’m logged on. If I’m in the mood to chat, I’ll fire up AIM. Otherwise, you can reach me by email. This is NOT an Official Admin Answer. I suspect, but do not know for sure, that the Official Admin Answer is something on the lines of board performance. Do not take that as an Official Answer, either.
Hmmmm, I was referring to the little counter usually at the bottom of the forum pages that say how many users/members are on. Come to think of it though, I guess you’re right because a lot of the time I see those they actually list the members who are logged on. I wasn’t thinking about that. I was just thinking about a general count of the current logged on population. So people can see when the boards-o-buzzin’.
But** Lynn**, if you don’t want people to know when you’re logged on does this mean you’re not in favor of the little bulb next to everyone name. Green when online, and blue when not. This was more of a personal question, rather than looking for an administrative response.
I cannot answer for the Dope, of course, but I can say that this is a significant though not enormous consumer of server resources, given how VBulletin works, and I suspect that is the reason it remains turned off except for Admins. (and Mods.?).
Of course, there’s a selection effect, here. The long-term members, by and large, have thousands or tens of thousands of posts each. A guest, on the other hand, has been posting for less than a month, and so would have a hard time getting to even 100. So 100 guests all combined might have the same number of posts as a single charter member. And since you view posts, not members, charter members will then seem 100 times as common as they really are, compared to guests.
By the way, if you’re wondering about the Charter Member label, that’s someone who has stayed continually paid-up since the time when the Board went pay (in 2003, I think it was), not necessarily someone who’s been here since the founding of the Board itself (1999). There are still a few of those around, but not nearly as many as there are Charter Members.
As a small sample or anecdotal evidence: I was searching in the Admin data base on a fragment of username, got around 30 hits. Most of those names had zero or one post, and were registered several years ago. Only two of the 30 were active. People do stop by, register, post once or twice, and then vanish … and they’re among our 65K.
I’m very glad to know that. Thanks!
Here are a couple I can’t figure out, at http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=379074:
Post 3 on 07.10.2006 is ‘ybeaf’, a Guest, and has Join Date May 2002.
Poster 5, ‘bup’, also a Guest, has Join Date Sep 1999.
Post 1, however, does make sense to me – a Guest who is posting 07.10.2006 with Join Date July 2006.
Because when someone has a subscription and it expires, they are reset to “Guest” status; they can read but not make postings, and all previous postings show “Guest” under the name.
Same with everyone currently in the database who is not a subscribing member; you’re either a Charter Member, a Member, or a staffer of some kind, an Administrator, a Moderator, or SDSAB. Or you’re on Sabbatical. Or you’re BANNED.
Everyone else is a Guest.
We do not turn on the “Who’s Online” function because it takes up resources and because we believe most people here prefer to read the board in peace. You can see by the little lights who is on and who is not; if you are a Member you can send a PM if you want to talk to someone, or see by the list of instant messaging icons in user profiles what they have going on. If they want to hear from you they’ll have PMs activated and/or instant messaging names listed.