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  1. #1
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    Do people really care about a forum's # of threads, posts and views?

    In looking through many forums I notice the fields on the main forum page that list the # of Topics (threads), and # of posts (replies, whatever).

    Is this important information? I can't say that I've ever paid attention to those numbers, except for possibly the cumulative number at the top of the forum, listing total members, total threads, total posts. The only info that is important to me, as a viewer, is the date and author of the latest post (which appears in the far right column on Sitepoint).

    Do any of you feel the same way? I'd like to just eliminate that field, to reduce clutter. I'd also like to the the same for the column that allows for smilies next to the thread title, for the same reason.

    Oh, one more thing - if I eliminate those fields, can I still track those numbers behind the scenes?


    Thanks,

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Degrading Gracefully PalmerB's Avatar
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    Despite what you've been told, size matters But seriously, my feeling is, it's a programmers way to put a little stats on the forum. The numbers are avaliable from the database anyway, why not put them somewhere? Most of the time it's at the bottom where no one pays much attention to it anyway.

    Yes there is a way in certain forums to eliminate those numbers but still keep track of the statistics. It would be in your admin control panel.

    Palmer

  3. #3
    Outsource Web Design featuredhost's Avatar
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    a forumis a place for varied people of somewhat simmilar mentality . Bugt even then there are differences in opinions at times . SOm ppl surf just for the fuun , some to participate , help out and some just to leech or rant.
    Some wuld like to view the details like how many ppl do visit your forum , some are not interested in such stuff . So it is best to keep them until and unless users argue against it.
    And it is mostly quite easy to re-arrange these statistics on any forum software . It is called customising or skinning the forum . Just run thru the sites that create hacks for your particular forum software , you are sure to find out a way . if not there will be even ppl to help you out with those .

  4. #4
    Non-Member mmi's Avatar
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    Lightbulb mmy thoughts

    hey - the thing that always come to mind for me about those stats is that the "members" total can be, imo, quite misleading - in my hometown forum, there are maybe a few dozen moderately active members - the total listed is around seven thousand

    I agree that "size matters" in that a viewer's opinion of a forum might be affected negatively if the number of members is fairly small - it shouldn't be for the reason above - what's so great about having 7K members if the vast majority have high-tailed it? - wouldn't it be a lot better to have a few hundred members that continue to post?

    dunno if this contributes to yer Q, but ...

  5. #5
    Outsource Web Design featuredhost's Avatar
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    for exactly that reason brave Forum owners often clean out the crappy users who don't return . i have seen that happen as well . To some extent I would vote for it .

  6. #6
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    I doubt I would ever have members complain about having post numbers shown. But I also question if they'd care if the numbers weren't there.

  7. #7
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    This is actually the thing I look for first in a forum. I've seen so many forums that I need a way to quickly judge whether it's worth my time or not. So many of the forums I see have few or no posts, so I know immediately it's time to move on to the next forum site. So, I'd say that in the beginning when you have low numbers to show, it will work against you, as people will think they've entered an empty room. When/if you get some active discussions going, the numbers will tell people that they've come to a lively place, and they'll be more likely to enter.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  8. #8
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    petertdavis, that sounds like good advice. I want to avoid clutter at all costs, but maybe I should keep that info until the site is established enough that it doesn't need that 'sales' tool.

  9. #9
    Outsource Web Design featuredhost's Avatar
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    hiding stats hardly helps much ( personal opinion).... once the person clicks on the main index, and enters he will get to know . if you have realy low posts counts at first , try getting some of your friends and collegues to post and reply to your own posts in the begining , at least 2-3 times a day in the begining. that willl keep the forum lively . and keep posting good quality posts and intereasting topics and goodies.
    Last edited by featuredhost; Dec 23, 2002 at 00:27.

  10. #10
    Bananas contain Zinc fonzerelli_79's Avatar
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    i prefer to judge forums by quality of posts and number of online and active members

    there are forums out there with over 4000 members and when you go to latest posts - there arent any

  11. #11
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    iFroggy's Avatar
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    Yes, you can track those behind the scenes (or should be able to). All you are doing when you remove those numbers from public view is taking that out of the template, the database is still accumulating them (at least in every software that I know of).

    You should display the stats. It matters to some people and not to others, so why not just leave it there? Some people will dismiss your forum as active or not active by the numbers that you show/don't show.

    Peter does make a point in that it could work against you. But, if someone is going to find out you have no posts/no members, they are going to find out.

    I personally just display them, building an active community is not easy, it requires time. Reaching posting and member milestones should bring pride to your community (even if it is just 1,000 posts).

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by PalmerB
    Despite what you've been told, size matters But seriously, my feeling is, it's a programmers way to put a little stats on the forum. The numbers are avaliable from the database anyway, why not put them somewhere?
    Remember that keeping track of number of Views of a particular topic automatically means that at each pageview of the topic, something in the database gets updated.

    Updating the database when someone just READS a message might create quite a bit of overhead, if your forum consuming a lot of resources already.


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