(Dog, that graph as the headpiece is a real grabber, ain't it?
Caveat: The people in the following drama exist only in virtual reality. Their avatars are their own, but the thoughts, ideas, speeches and actions attributed to them emanate solely from the perfervid imagination of one maleficent mutt.)
Greg Samsa : Umm, dunno Professor (geez, should have stayed out of the Pub last night) I think the dog ate my casebook (oops, sorry). Can't I go at the end?
Caveat : Mr. Samsa, as you well know, the end, so to say, is reserved for our friend Mr. Romney, (seen diligently doing his nails up in the Skydeck) who has perfected the art of the "Summary Statement" taking up maximum air time while saying absolutely nothing original. You may begin.
Greg: (Heck, I can wing it. After all, I am a cockroach). Well, Professor, like you've always taught us (did I pucker my lips enough?), I would first like us to push some numbers. And a member of our study group, quant jock non pareil, Mr. Rob St. Amant will help us do that. (Boy, Rob will owe me BIG for this free air time.)
Rob: If someone would please set up the screen while I reboot my laptop, I will show you the Powerpoint presentation I have prepared....
Caveat: Mr. St. Amant, Mr. St. Amant, pray do not be anachronistic. We are in the 70's, remember, even VisiCalc hasn't been invented -- roughly the same era as this Text Editor. So describe your methodology and make your case.
Rob: The result of my labors is presented in Fig.1 below, said graph being copied from Excel to Paint for Chrissake and then the .bmp file to My Pictures thence to this estimable Editor. (Admiring gasps. Graphs were good. And the dogwork counted for a coupla extra Brownies.)
The graph shows that we are presently at around 5400 OpenSalonistas and growing. We are currently taking in, let me rephrase that, adding 60-70 new members per day, and this trend has been accelerating somewhat. At this rate ceteris paribus (gotta throw at least one c-p in there) we can extrapolate to over 1 million members by the year 2048. (Cheering and clapping. I mean the guy's just blowing them away.)
Next we studied member productivity. The results are presented in Figure 2 below.
Apparent member activity (derived from CID numbers of posts) has been growing exponentially, reaching 350 posts/day average this month, with a peak of 554 posts on September 16! Curve-fitting a second order equation to the data extrapolates to more than a million posts per day by Election '12. Haha, we know not to extrapolate exponentially, and this Election '08 may have something to do with the current logorrhea..... but still, one can dream. (Loud, sustained applause.)
But these are only surface statistics. We've got to peel the onion (Groans). We've got to drill down to the next stratum. (Geez, why is Caruso looking daggers at me? OOPS, I was about to commit the cardinal sin of poaching my own study buddy's material. Could have been BIG trouble.) So I will now ask our drillmaster Ms. Caruso Wegie herself to continue the analysis. (Phew, I hope she's cool. Talk about the edge of the abyss.) And Greg, would you please distribute the handout outlining our statistical methods. Thank you.
Caruso: Brother Robert (Rob is dying. Forgot it was a JD/MBA. Never a good sign when they start with that moot court "brother" jazz.) was about to tell you next that the pertinent metrics ought to be active members and actual posts. ( Phew. It has let him off the hook, the kindly kitty. Rob's gonna owe two people big time now.)
We defined an active member as someone who had made at least 2 posts since joining -- a rather low bar. Results of random statistical sampling (detailed in your handout) are shown in Table 1 below:
Across all sampled groups, only 13% could be regarded as Active Members. This translates to about 700 active members currently. And the median number of posts made since joining was 8. (Mild applause, statistics can be so boring.)
Something didn't quite jibe here. Statistically this meant that we should have about 5600 posts from Day 1 (Go Hillary!), yet the latest post on the Activity Feed had a CID number over 20000! Were the statistics wrong (my stats are NEVER wrong) or were posts disappearing into the ether? After some more sleuthing using rather ahem, elegant, methodology we found that only 25-35% of assigned CID numbers ended up as actual posts!
(Read all about THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING POSTS in the handout)
And applying a factor of 30% to the latest running CID of 20000 results in about 6000 posts having seen the light of day so far, which is pretty darn close to my statistically derived number! Thank you, thank you. (Class is applauding now.)
Therefore, my friends, whereas we started originally with gross numbers (mild dig at Rob), we can apply factors of 13% to the membership roll and 30% to the daily posts to come up with the following net activity:
Active Members: 700
Actual Posts per Day (Sept.): 100 average, 150 peak
Now that we have established the baseline data, we can more rationally examine what Prof. Caveat has termed (could have said "so elegantly termed, but this cat puckers up to no one, especially dogs) the Boundary Parameter problem between publishing and social networking and whether/how the two halves may live up to their promise.
We shall look at
- Resource Allocation -- the Holy Grail of the OS Cover being a scarce resource
- Inventory Management -- the problem of the dispiriting, unread posts: "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen...."
- Management Effectiveness re the publishing promise -- editorial bias? effective agency for increased readership?
- Social Networking Effectiveness
Caveat: I'm afraid we must break here. Mizzuz (comes out sorta garbly, this is the '70s remember, Ms. had just been invented and the well-known Eastern BS was still debating whether its few women could wear trousers to class -- and yes, students were addressed as Mister and well, Miss, for the most part) Emrich and Mitchell will lead off our next session. DAMMIT, SIDDOWN ROMNEY , we'll do without your hot air summary today.
As for you, you gobbet of exoskeletal existential angst, Samsa, you might think you slithered successfully out of this one, but you'd best be spending less time at the Pub and be prepared to sum up your group's case next time. Class dismissed.