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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Wayland MA

    Default Lurkers and Loudspeakers

    With the Town Crier boards inaccessible and a resulting load of free time on my hands, I was poking around the WEN Discussion Forum during my lunch "hour." I happened to sort the threads by number of posts and noticed what appeared to be a pretty consistent ratio of page views per number of posts.

    The attached chart shows how impressively linear the relationship is, at least for threads with 20 or more posts. The average is about 47 page views for each post.

    Only three threads really stand out as outliers, although part of that effect is visual--a number of the ones down in the 20-50 post range are fairly far off the curve in percentage terms.

    I came up with names for the two types of outliers. "Lurkers" are those threads where the views to posts ratio is high--people are content to watch but not contribute. The ES reconfiguration thread and the much older cell tower thread are the two most obvious examples.

    "Loudspeakers," on the other hand, are threads where there were relatively fewer views per post--people really want to make their voice heard (or alternately, no one but the posters care). The WSC Web site discussion is the prime "for instance" here.

    I can only conclude from this data that Wayland residents should support the operating and capital budgets at Town Meeting.
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