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    • #19376
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      TalkPhysics has felt relatively quiet in the last few weeks. This prompted me to look into it in more detail.

      There is a lot of fluctation week-to-week in TalkPhysics posts (I show the full data set at the bottom of this post, in case anyone wants to analyse it themselves!), so I plotted a five-week moving average, and calculated the standard error for this 5-week sample to give some sort of confidence interval.

      On 7 October 2012 our decision to turn on the outgoing email server from TalkPhysics’s development site caused many TalkPhysics users to receive a series of unexpected, nonsense emails, for which I apologise. I’ve shown above the week in which that occurred.

      It looks likely to me that there has been a significant decline in posts since that date. It’s possible there was a fluke beforehand: maybe there was an unusually large number of posts just before and now it is just regressing to the norm, but it seems more likely that we’d had a trend of increasing use and that trend has been reversed. It looks likely to me that our accidental “spamming” of TalkPhysics users has deterred them.

      I shall be in touch with a few of those users affected to ask their opinions and see whether there is anything we can do to stimulate use of the site again. We’re in discussion with a preferred supplier for a new version of TalkPhysics based on Drupal software (rather than Elgg) and obviously we will be more careful controlling outgoing emails in the future.

      Raw data:

       

       

      Period start Posts per week
      2010-04-19 48
      2010-04-26 41
      2010-05-03 21
      2010-05-10 26
      2010-05-17 40
      2010-05-24 79
      2010-05-31 16
      2010-06-07 80
      2010-06-14 46
      2010-06-21 74
      2010-06-28 66
      2010-07-05 52
      2010-07-12 105
      2010-07-19 34
      2010-07-26 13
      2010-08-02 4
      2010-08-09 10
      2010-08-16 21
      2010-08-23 17
      2010-08-30 27
      2010-09-06 25
      2010-09-13 83
      2010-09-20 51
      2010-09-27 61
      2010-10-04 19
      2010-10-11 49
      2010-10-18 57
      2010-10-25 76
      2010-11-01 42
      2010-11-08 55
      2010-11-15 40
      2010-11-22 44
      2010-11-29 62
      2010-12-06 83
      2010-12-13 124
      2010-12-20 80
      2010-12-27 46
      2011-01-03 90
      2011-01-10 107
      2011-01-17 107
      2011-01-24 84
      2011-01-31 90
      2011-02-07 193
      2011-02-14 108
      2011-02-21 71
      2011-02-28 114
      2011-03-07 69
      2011-03-14 43
      2011-03-21 41
      2011-03-28 98
      2011-04-04 57
      2011-04-11 50
      2011-04-18 47
      2011-04-25 40
      2011-05-02 55
      2011-05-09 102
      2011-05-16 64
      2011-05-23 87
      2011-05-30 55
      2011-06-06 85
      2011-06-13 75
      2011-06-20 86
      2011-06-27 101
      2011-07-04 82
      2011-08-29 67
      2011-09-05 124
      2011-09-12 74
      2011-09-19 107
      2011-09-26 176
      2011-10-03 150
      2011-10-10 69
      2011-10-17 77
      2011-10-24 101
      2011-10-31 67
      2011-11-07 49
      2011-11-14 77
      2011-11-21 38

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