An active user count
I would like a current active user Count for the whole site. I find them very useful for knowing when people are on I’m not a fan of group specific ones but one that said how many people where currently on I would like
Hello @Five! Sorry to see your idea has been—for lack of a better phrase—nitpicked for the sake of nitpicking. People love to bicker ("overly argumentative" tag when?) and frankly, I don't think the criticisms raised upthread are valid at all. Personally I think this is a cool idea and would provide a more dynamic view of the community. It's not that hard of a function to implement, and just because others don't find it useful, that doesn't mean you share the same perspective. Hopefully the negative views expressed don't put you off contributing in the future! :)
I'd actually go a step further than what you're proposing. I've always disliked the "subscriber count" on Reddit & Tildes because of the reasons raised upthread—it's often a meaningless metric—half those people or more aren't active anyway. I'd adjust it to:
112 here recently, 1800 participants.
You could define "here recently" as within the last 15 minutes or hour, if you'd like. I don't see at all how this is a breach of privacy whatsoever. It's only exposed as an aggregate statistic, and could be wiped as soon as your time window (15 minutes) expires. The participants count would only consider active subscribers too. If they haven't logged in and interacted with the group in say, 3 months, I wouldn't consider them an active participant.
+1 from me!
Great comment. I’m glad someone has finally made a constructive and interesting comment on the subject I was starting to loose hope. I really like your idea I’ve never seen a reason for a sub count it’s like with YouTube someone will have millions and get under 10k views I think something that says who is currently here or been here recently is much more useful
I think it's a method to try and figure out just what the real population is. How many people have visited in the last month, with or without accounts? How many of those are signed in? How many of those post comments, and how many of those post topics in that month?
I suspect it's in the low hundreds.
Take /r/listentothis, it's up to 15.5 million subscribers, yet the activity numbers rarely break 1000 at a time. We'd hover around 400 back when the place had 250k subscribers. I'd bet there are less than five thousand people who are constant participants in that community despite those high numbers.
How do we determine the active population? It's certainly not ten thousand. We had a lot of signups back when it was closed to public viewing that were just to check it out, then never come back again.
The real-time here-now aspect is less interesting to me than longer-term measurements.
I find subscriber/member count pretty pointless because they could visit once and never again
Me either. I do see the value in 'active over x time period' though.
I just find it very interesting to see how many people are on for example if you wanted to make a post on the talk group and only 3 people are on you probably aren’t going to have much of a discussion.
I think the majority of people don’t care if someone comments in 10 minutes or 10 days but there are certain circumstances that make people want a discussion to happen straight away
I guess they would post somewhere else I know if I had something time sensitive to post and I saw 2 people online I probably wouldn’t bother. This site is also very small at the moment which I think also makes something like a active user count more useful there would be no point on something like Instagram it would probably never go below 10m
This seems like it's mixing up uses for the site. What you're describing makes sense for instant messaging/chat applications, less so for an ongoing discussion. I can't really imagine any discussion or content aggregation sites that have visibly benefited their users by giving them (estimates, which is what they are at best) of the number of users currently online.
It won’t be for everyone but I think we have some time until tildes reaches Instagram’s level
What sort of thing would you post on Tildes that's time-sensitive? This aspect of your request has me curious.
Some advice maybe
Like what? What type of advice would be time-sensitive?
Most examples I can think would not be time-sensitive, like advice about how to deal with a relationship going bad, or what course to choose at university, or whether to invest in stocks.
What examples of time-sensitive advice are you thinking of? What advice would someone need in the next hour or two, that they would turn to an internet forum for?
I’ve just seen this great deal on a laptop it’s 50% off and they only 1 left it’s I7 16gb of ram and and comes with a case it’s £400 is that a good deal
You forgot to add: "... and the eBay auction closes in 56 minutes".
In most cases, you can wait a few hours for advice about purchasing something.
Any other examples?
Not off the top of my head
So, if there's not really much need for time-sensitive advice, is it still necessary for someone to see how many people are active on Tildes at any given time?
Yeah just because I can’t think of something right now I’m sure someone on the internet will
Let's say it's 5am and morning site traffic doesn't pick up until 7am. I want a response quickly. There's two possibilities:
In either situation, I have to wait 2 hours for a response. Knowing the active count doesn't get me a quick response. Even the best possible situation where I see active count is high, it may not be a set of users who can/want to discuss my topic, so I still wouldn't be able to safely expect a quick reply.
You've got 36 comments from 6 different people on this thread. Some posts in ~talk have had hundreds of comments. I'd say there's plenty of discussion happening around Tildes.
I'd say you're using metric stuffing as a scapegoat to make a point here, honestly. This says nothing about "plenty of discussion" other than that there's a high skew of commenters who make up the bulk of Tildes participation (which does not make for a healthy community).
@Five is saying posts aren't likely to have much of a discussion if only 3 people are online when they're posted. But we have evidence that posts on Tildes can get hundreds of comments, regardless of how many people how are online at any given time. And if hundreds of comments doesn't count as "plenty of discussion", I don't know what does.
So, if we're looking for some sort of justification for displaying a count of currently active subscribers, this isn't it.
Depends what you consider discussion. Taking the metric of discussion as "number of comments" is one way to look at it; but that discussion is probably of higher quality if it's spread out amongst many hundreds of participants with diverse opinions. Which Tildes doesn't have. Myself arguing with you back and forwards into a 20-deep comment tree satisfies your metric of discussion in the sense that it produces a comment entry in the Tildes database—that doesn't say anything about how meaningful it is.
Therefore, I recurse back to my original point that you're intentionally abusing a metric that doesn't track perfectly against what you're actually trying to measure. This makes your counter-point to @Five faulty, in my view.
You've added the extra qualification of a discussion being "higher quality", which wasn't mentioned by @Five. I assumed that "plenty of discussion" referred to quantity.
This demonstrates that, ultimately, it's a subjective call. There's no objective definition of "plenty of discussion". We'll have to agree to disagree on this.
I didn’t say they wouldn’t have a discussion I said they wouldn’t have a quick response
Sorry. This sub-thread comes from your comment that says "for example if you wanted to make a post on the talk group and only 3 people are on you probably aren’t going to have much of a discussion".
In that specific comment I don’t mention time but if you look at my others I’m saying some people would want a response quickly
I'm used to posting when noone reads it. Being in a different timezone to the USA means most of my day is nighttime for them. I post & comment anyway. Someone will read it eventually. And I like that Tildes' default sorting algorithm is Activity, rather than Time, which means even if someone comments at a quiet time, it still bumps the topic to make it visible.
This raises another point. This whole discussion is very US-centric. It assumes there are certain times of day which are busy and quiet, but this only happens because the majority of Tildes users are in a small group of timezones. If we recruited more people in other timezones, this would increase activity at all times of day and night, no matter where one lives.
There are three comments in that thread with no votes and one comment with only one vote (as I type this), and they were all posted at different times of day. I suspect the reason they all got no votes is not related to the time they were posted.
I'm a bit late to the party, it seems. I personally don't think this feature would be particularly useful on Tildes quite yet, and may actually be a bit detrimental and discouraging, merely due to the low population here right now. But at some point down the line it might be nice to have... so, with that said...
Added to Tildes Gitlab:
Tildes has a groups page with subscriber numbers, is that what you're talking about?
I’m talking about a live number of people active on the site
That probably says 'user tracking' to many.
Not really I imagine it is something that is currently visible to admin
What's the point if we can't see it?
Statistics are nice and I wouldn't object too much to this but keeping it in deimos's servers is probably counterproductive.
That’s what I’m saying I would like it to be publicly visible
In that case it goes back to whether people here are willing to do it or if it feels like a violation of their privacy.
I don’t think it really violates anyone’s privacy as it’s only a number it wouldn’t display usernames
That's fine by me personally, although tildes is guided by 'privacy by design', so it might need to be opt-in.
I don't understand how it would be a violation of privacy to display "5 users currently reading ~tildes".
Would a "last active at" column in the user's table count as tracking?
My rule of thumb is "Would you be comfortable if a creepy stalker had that information about you?"
"Last active at" wouldn't clear that bar for me. It's a way to keep tabs on a person's comings and goings which isn't really my business.
I agree that is why it would have to be for example (600 active users ) that is completely anonymous no one can follow you even if it said (1 active users ) there is no way to find out who is is because it’s just a number
I don’t think it should say when a specific person was active just a number of people active on the whole site that makes it completely Anonymous
I mean the database would have the user ID, then the select clause will say lastactive_at > NOW() - 1 hour and only return a count, not a user id list.
Not to me, but it might be to someone, so it would probably need to be an opt-in feature.
I like the idea I don’t think it has any purpose apart from being interesting to see