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11/13/2006 06:25:20 PM · #1
I have an answer, can somebody please tell me the question?" - Woody Allen

Ever since I joined DPC this summer, I wanted to see some numbers regarding the "community" everyone is talking about. How many of us dpcers are out there, what is the average age, are there more women than men etc... As I was listening to the unofficial DPC Podcast (tm) the previous week I decided to get a few of these questions answered, and since I have not found any "official" page on the site with extensive statistics, I decided to create my own (-:

Sooo, using a Perl script (it tool me about 2-3 hours to write) I accessed all the users' profiles with UserIDs ranging from 1 to 68500. The script run from Saturday 11/11 10:00am GMT until Sunday 12/11 11:00 am GMT (that's right, about 25 hours) and wrote most of the data available in each users home page to a CSV text file, including the average vote received, number of challenges entered, location, age, etc. This CSV file was then imported in an Access database, where using SQL queries and a little VBA code the results presented below were calculated.

I hope I'm not breaking any of the site's rules, but it is my understanding that since the home page of each member in the site is public - even for unregistered members - to see there is nothing "illegal" in collecting public information for purely educational purposes.

Now, if you are still with me, the fun part begins...

Of the 68500 total user homepages accessed there are:

232 Invalid accounts
700 Cancelled account
67568 Open accounts

Now, of these open accounts obviously not all of them are active. There are accounts for example that have been around for a long time and have entered in zero challenges. Other users prefer just commenting on pictures without participating and a lot of them participated in one or two challenges and then gave up. In order to proceed with the analysis a definition of the term "Active DPC user" from the challenge perspective is needed.

A simple criterion for determining if a DPC user is active could be the following:

"A DPC user is considered active, if she/he participates on average at least in one challenge every four weeks."

Before anyone starts getting really negative here, let me first make this as clear as possible. The previous statement is an ASSUMPTION that is needed for the following analysis. For some people this may seem logical, for others not. If someone uses another definition for the "Active DPC user" and uses the same data as I, he might get different results. I believe however that if someone does not sent on average at least one photo per month, he should not be classified as "Active DPC user".

Using the registration date and the number of challenges entered value, we can calculate an

index = (number of challenges entered)/((today-registration date) in weeks).

Anyone whose index is lower than 0.25 will not be taken into account in the statistics.

And now, for the critical question:
How many "Active DPC user" are there?

The answer is.......1478

This means that only 1478 users enter at least 1 challenge every 4 weeks on average. The rest 66090 have either never entered a challenge or enter challenges less frequently than once every 4 weeks.

Now, the statistics for these "active users" are as follows:

Gender
--------
Male: 857 (~58%)
Female: 425 (~29%)
Unknown: 196 (~13%) (unknown in the sense that has not specified Gender in hers/his profile)

Age
-----
Unknown: 487 (~33%)
under 20: 76 (~5%)
[20-30): 242 (~16%)
[30-40): 310 (~21%)
[40-50): 215 (~15%)
[50-60): 113 (~8%)
above 60: 35 (~2%)

Activity
--------
Active DPC Users: 886 (~60%) [1 challenge every 4 weeks - 1 challenge every 2 weeks)
Power DPC Users: 466 (~32%) [1 challenge every 2 weeks - 1 challenge every week)
Addicted DPC Users:124 (~8%) [1 challenge every week - 2 challenge every week)
DPcholic DPC Users:2 (<1%) [more than 2 challenges every week)

and finally, on the total number of accounts on the site, based on the account type there are:

Account Type
--------------
Administrators: 2
Site Council: 13
Members: 2845
Registered Users: 64456
Unknown Type: 252 (???)

Obviously there are a lot of other interesting questions that can be investigated using this data. When I have some free
time in the weekend I will proceed with the statistical analysis even further, that is of course if my account is still active this weekend...

I hope that you found this as interesting as I did, and
if you have read this far, you will surely agree that the most important conclusion of this mini-statical analysis is
that I'm a far better computer programmer than photographer (-:

Looking forward to any comments, critique, bombing, etc.....

cheers,
yianisn

edit:
corrected erroneous Age frequencies. Added category unknown age for members who have not submitted it.

Message edited by author 2006-11-13 19:12:02.
11/13/2006 06:29:25 PM · #2
Man you got some time on your hands ... cool I guess.
11/13/2006 06:29:56 PM · #3
Very interesting....I think:)
11/13/2006 06:31:57 PM · #4
Interesting.... I love stats. Now if you'd checked the ribbon hogs, you'd probably find out that most ribbons are won by ~20 people.
11/13/2006 06:32:42 PM · #5
Woo Hoo! I'm one of only TWO users who falls into the "DPCholic" category! (209 challenges entered in 100 or 101 weeks I'm not sure which it is...)

R.
11/13/2006 06:32:48 PM · #6
I'd love to see who are currently the most active DPCers with the highest scoring average. Obviously, Scalvert and DrAchoo come to mind but I'd be interested to see if there are any others that don't get the recognition because they may not be winning ribbons but are scoring well and entering a lot.

Message edited by author 2006-11-13 18:34:41.
11/13/2006 06:34:49 PM · #7
I think it's erroneous to assume that entering challenges is the sole measure of activity.

I have not entered a challenge in some time, yet I visit DPC several times/day, vote on challenges, comment some and post in the forums. I would hardly call that inactive. I'm sure there are others like me.
11/13/2006 06:35:30 PM · #8
Originally posted by yianisn:



A simple criterion for determining if a DPC user is active could be the following:

"A DPC user is considered active, if she/he participates on average at least in one challenge every four weeks."



That would exclude some very active members, that for various reasons choose to not submit images to challenges very often.

Is there a way you can come up with a criterion that would include both challenge participation and other active site participation? Maybe commenting or forum participation?

11/13/2006 06:38:23 PM · #9
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

I think it's erroneous to assume that entering challenges is the sole measure of activity.

I have not entered a challenge in some time, yet I visit DPC several times/day, vote on challenges, comment some and post in the forums. I would hardly call that inactive. I'm sure there are others like me.


Agreed... I think you would have to use more criteria to calculate activity level.

Oh geez.... this makes me "like" Spazmo? :OX

Message edited by author 2006-11-13 18:38:39.
11/13/2006 06:39:32 PM · #10
Dude, can you come over and balance my checking account?
11/13/2006 06:39:35 PM · #11
Originally posted by yianisn:

Age
-----
under 20: 563 (~38%)
[20-30): 242 (~16%)
[30-40): 310 (~21%)
[40-50): 215 (~15%)
[50-60): 113 (~8%)
above 60: 35 (~2%)


I can't believe the majority of the active members are teenagers (or younger).

Case-in-point: I'm well out of my teens and according to my profile, I fall into the "Under 20" category (on purpose, BTW). LOL!!

Message edited by author 2006-11-13 18:39:54.
11/13/2006 06:41:04 PM · #12
I hate to be a wet blanket here, and while I do think your use of the script and subsequent activity is innocuous, I will point out one little line from the Terms of Service

(section 4.3) (iv) use a robot, spider or other device or process to monitor the activity on or copy pages from the DPChallenge.com Web Site,

Having said that, I am only one SC member and am just speaking for myself. Others can chime in if they feel differently.

11/13/2006 06:41:24 PM · #13
Originally posted by yanko:

I'd love to see who are currently the most active DPCers with the highest scoring average. Obviously, Scalvert and DrAchoo come to mind but I'd be interested to see if there are any others that don't get the recognition because they may not be winning ribbons but are scoring well and entering a lot.


yea this is the type of info i would love to see.
11/13/2006 06:41:49 PM · #14
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

I think it's erroneous to assume that entering challenges is the sole measure of activity.

I have not entered a challenge in some time, yet I visit DPC several times/day, vote on challenges, comment some and post in the forums. I would hardly call that inactive. I'm sure there are others like me.


Perhaps you didn't read this bit...

"A DPC user is considered active, if she/he participates on average at least in one challenge every four weeks."

Before anyone starts getting really negative here, let me first make this as clear as possible. The previous statement is an ASSUMPTION that is needed for the following analysis. For some people this may seem logical, for others not. If someone uses another definition for the "Active DPC user" and uses the same data as I, he might get different results.
11/13/2006 06:42:45 PM · #15
Originally posted by ursula:

Originally posted by yianisn:



A simple criterion for determining if a DPC user is active could be the following:

"A DPC user is considered active, if she/he participates on average at least in one challenge every four weeks."



That would exclude some very active members, that for various reasons choose to not submit images to challenges very often.

Is there a way you can come up with a criterion that would include both challenge participation and other active site participation? Maybe commenting or forum participation?


Since the name of the website is "Digital Photography Challenge", it probably makes sense to define "activity" in terms of challenges entered. The question is, "How many challenges per what period of time = active?" He could, of course, broaden the concept of activity to consider forum participation (x posts per y period of time = active) but this can lead to "false positives".

What do I mean by that? Suppose I joined the site in 2002 and made 1000 posts in that year, then nothing since. That might still make my average posts/week high enough to put me in the "active" list. I'm sure there are ways around this, but...

R.
11/13/2006 06:44:36 PM · #16
All clear, now tell me how many ribbons I'll get in the next 2 months. Analyze That !

But, letting the joke aside I find this interesting too...especially your percentage of "active users". Maybe you can put this on an interactive web page where one can play with the "configuration" of an "active account". For example 1 challenge at 2 weeks or at 8 weeks at least. Did you considered deadspaces? I mean, if I enter 1 challenge each week for say 10 weeks, after that I have a break (deadspace) of 5 weeks and then I'm begining to enter again at least 1 challenge a week for another 10 weeks, am I an active user or not?
11/13/2006 06:45:29 PM · #17
Your criteria makes some of the SC and admins the most inactive members. ;)
11/13/2006 06:45:43 PM · #18
Originally posted by ursula:

Originally posted by yianisn:



A simple criterion for determining if a DPC user is active could be the following:

"A DPC user is considered active, if she/he participates on average at least in one challenge every four weeks."



That would exclude some very active members, that for various reasons choose to not submit images to challenges very often.

Is there a way you can come up with a criterion that would include both challenge participation and other active site participation? Maybe commenting or forum participation?


I think he chose the right critiera to measure the thing he wanted (i.e. participation in the challenges). This is after all a digital photography contest site so that seems like the most logical thing to measure. Now if he was interested in forum activity then sure count those people only.

ETA: Dammit, Bear beat me to it.

Message edited by author 2006-11-13 18:46:08.
11/13/2006 06:47:18 PM · #19
Wow, that is some dedication to statistics!

I'm wondering how you accounted for people who don't have an age posted at all?

While the data as posted is valid for your definition of "Active" users, I'd agree with some of the other posters that a person can be active on the site without participating in a challenge every 4 weeks. I go through fits and spurts on that myself. The number of "Active" users surprises me a bit; it must be that there are people using the site for challenge entries and not posting to the forums? I would not have guessed that the number was so high.

As far as getting in trouble, I think there is something in the TOS about using any process to to monitor the activity on the DPC website. Perhaps a quick PM to Langdon/Drew might be in order?
11/13/2006 06:54:27 PM · #20
Originally posted by karmat:

I hate to be a wet blanket here, and while I do think your use of the script and subsequent activity is innocuous, I will point out one little line from the Terms of Service

(section 4.3) (iv) use a robot, spider or other device or process to monitor the activity on or copy pages from the DPChallenge.com Web Site,

Having said that, I am only one SC member and am just speaking for myself. Others can chime in if they feel differently.


I must say I did not notice this line in the terms of service. If you find that this post violates the rules of DPC or offends anyone in any way, feel free to remove it.

Although I used a script to collect the data, I do not think that this qualifies as "monitoring" since it shows the DPC community's status at a precise point in time and not continuously. Furthermore I did not copy the DPC pages. The same data could be collected manually, although it would take a lot longer, just by opening each members homepage and the registration date, the challenges entered and a few more fields.

But the again, if the SC feels this activity was illegal I believe my post MUST be removed. After all we are all here in order to become better photographers (-:

11/13/2006 06:55:57 PM · #21
Wow, cool stuff. I love stats. You should post the information as an Excel spreadsheet and let people have at it. I'm sure there would be a dozen people who would devour it in a hundred ways and we'd come up with some interesting stuff.

And I'm flattered Yanko would think I'm one of the highest average scoring active members, but there are others who are a lot higher. Larus is active. Gary probably still qualifies as active.
11/13/2006 06:56:35 PM · #22
Originally posted by yanko:

Originally posted by ursula:

Originally posted by yianisn:



A simple criterion for determining if a DPC user is active could be the following:

"A DPC user is considered active, if she/he participates on average at least in one challenge every four weeks."



That would exclude some very active members, that for various reasons choose to not submit images to challenges very often.

Is there a way you can come up with a criterion that would include both challenge participation and other active site participation? Maybe commenting or forum participation?


I think he chose the right critiera to measure the thing he wanted (i.e. participation in the challenges). This is after all a digital photography contest site so that seems like the most logical thing to measure. Now if he was interested in forum activity then sure count those people only.

ETA: Dammit, Bear beat me to it.


Yeah, I know. However, I was wondering if he could do the other. Would be interesting for comparison. Although, overall, these stats really don't say much of anything.
11/13/2006 06:59:01 PM · #23
Originally posted by yianisn:

"A DPC user is considered active, if she/he participates on average at least in one challenge every four weeks."

...

Using the registration date and the number of challenges entered value, we can calculate an

index = (number of challenges entered)/((today-registration date) in weeks).

Anyone whose index is lower than 0.25 will not be taken into account in the statistics.

If I'm reading this right then this is very flawed. I've entered 1 challenge in the last 6 months, yet my index is around the 0.5 mark and, assuming I enter no more challenges, won't drop below 0.25 for another 4 years!

Not trying to be -ve, you just need to write some uber-complex code to determine activity levels based on entry/forum posting dates :p
11/13/2006 06:59:44 PM · #24
Originally posted by keegbow:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

I think it's erroneous to assume that entering challenges is the sole measure of activity.

I have not entered a challenge in some time, yet I visit DPC several times/day, vote on challenges, comment some and post in the forums. I would hardly call that inactive. I'm sure there are others like me.


Perhaps you didn't read this bit...

"A DPC user is considered active, if she/he participates on average at least in one challenge every four weeks."

Before anyone starts getting really negative here, let me first make this as clear as possible. The previous statement is an ASSUMPTION that is needed for the following analysis. For some people this may seem logical, for others not. If someone uses another definition for the "Active DPC user" and uses the same data as I, he might get different results.


I read it.

While that assumption may be necessary to perform the analysis, it leads to a false conclusion that there are not that many members actively participating in the site.

Most people don't read the fine print on statistical studies and would say, based on the "study" that there are a lot of members, but most are not particpating in the site. When in fact, there are many ways to participate on DPC, challenges being one of those ways.

If the measure were correctly defined as "members actively participating in challenges" or something like that, then it would not be as misleading.
11/13/2006 07:00:35 PM · #25
Originally posted by idnic:

Interesting.... I love stats. Now if you'd checked the ribbon hogs, you'd probably find out that most ribbons are won by ~20 people.

and that gave me an idea, why not have a challenge every now and then only open for those that have never ribboned?!? There have been challenges for ribbonwinners only, why not turn it around.

Fun statistics, keep on playing with those numbers. You know what they say, there are lies, there are bloody lies and there are statistics.
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