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Programming forum seems slow, why?

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Pilot-Doofy
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Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 4th, 2012 @ 11:44 PM Reply

I know this isn't exactly a programming discussion, but I remember a few years ago when I used to frequent these forums, the Programming Forum was always bustling with new threads and lots of replies. However, today when I was browsing I thought I just couldn't find the "next page" button because there was only one page of threads for the past 2 weeks. Maybe no one needs help like they used to, but I kind of miss all the discussion that used to go on in this forum. :(

Diki
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 5th, 2012 @ 12:23 AM Reply

There's a few of us regulars who still post here, such as myself, egg82, kiwi-kiwi, Dean, Thegluestickman, pirateplatypus, VigilanteNighthawk, and a few others whom I am no doubt forgetting, but for the most part it seems like this forum, and the NG BBS as a whole, have died or is dying. Can't really say I know why; I haven't the faintest clue.
It's a shame, but it happens.

However I only frequent this and the Flash forum, so perhaps the rest of the BBS is actually going strong and I'm just oblivious.

The "Programming Regs Lounge" thread is pretty active, so at least there's that.

SomeTurtle
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 5th, 2012 @ 12:43 AM Reply

Might have to do with the fact that a lot of people are trying to learn to program in flash. Although it's programing it has it's own section when previously(at least I thought) they were intertwined. As well it could have to do with the placement and a lot of people may not realize these forums exist.

citricsquid
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 5th, 2012 @ 03:26 AM Reply

The problem isn't specific to the programming forum, it's Newgrounds in general. The Newgrounds forum is slowing down a lot, activity levels are down a noticeable amount since a few years back. For example yesterday there was 1,702 forum posts, 5 years ago today that was over 10,000 posts. This goes for the entire site, I have a spare hour so I'll put some graphs together to see how activity has progressed over time, I'll post back soon.

oh and specific to programming help, almost all forums have become redundant since stackoverflow entered the scene. It's like experts exchange (It's often the top result) but due to some seriously good functionality you will almost always find the right answer to your question, if you don't then you can ask and you'll get replies within 15 minutes on almost any topic. I highly recommend SO for programming help now... it's not worth it to go anywhere else (unless you're asking a super niche question...). SO pretty much killed experts exchange, which is an impressive feat!

Anyway, graphs, give me an hour, I'll throw some stuff together.

citricsquid
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 5th, 2012 @ 07:43 AM Reply

okay so I got the backend for stats gathering done; it's currently collecting statistics on the news posts and bbs posts, will run flash, audio and topics in a minute.

The basic idea is trends are valuable and they don't need a complete picture, the more data the more accurate they are, but you don't need all data to derive value from them. Due to obvious constraints with scraping all of Newgrounds I opted for a much more conservative approach, I'm scraping every 1,000 bbs posts which means we'll have about a dozen data points per day for the forum at peak and 2 a day for the forum in its current state; this should be more than enough to see an ongoing trend.

The code so far is on github, nothing spectacular and it's only the backend portion, I still need to write the front end for actually displaying the data but I'll probably go with googles charting offering as it's pretty great and I've used it a bunch previously.

https://github.com/citricsquid/stats.grounds.li

There is a README that explains how everything works if anyone wants to extend it to support more stuff. Right now it supports fetching posts, topics, audio, flash and news posts.

one hour turned into 4... 4 is going to turn into 10 haha. oh well... I didn't need sleep anyway!
citricsquid
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 5th, 2012 @ 10:54 AM Reply

...7 hours later I have lots of stats gathered and the basic charting is done:

http://stats.grounds.li/bbs_posts
http://stats.grounds.li/bbs_topics

as you can see the bbs has slowed down a lot

I've also got flash, audio and news posts tracked but their output is totally borked; I think there's a bug somewhere but I'm too sleep deprived to locate it.

http://stats.grounds.li/flash_submissions
http://stats.grounds.li/audio_submissions
http://stats.grounds.li/news_posts

anyone that feels like investigating... please do!

http://github.com/citricsquid/stats.grounds.li

also pages will load slowly; they're generating thousands of elements due to no optimisation as of yet. I'll finish making this usable and pretty tomorrow
egg82
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 5th, 2012 @ 10:55 AM Reply

I mostly frequent the Flash Forum (it's more active and i'm more knowledgeable in AS2/3 than... Well, everything else)

I visited NG on '06 when I registered, came by every once in a while for a few years and submitted some stuff to the game portal, and pretty much quit coming altogether a while later.
I only recently started posting in the BBS.


Programming stuffs (tutorials and extras)
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egg82
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 5th, 2012 @ 10:58 AM Reply

At 11/5/12 10:54 AM, citricsquid wrote: http://stats.grounds.li/bbs_posts
http://stats.grounds.li/bbs_topics

wow, you can actually pinpoint the day it started to decline.
July 17, 2007 - had the most posts and the most topics, and that was the top of the "hill" - after that, it started to decline.


Programming stuffs (tutorials and extras)
PM me (instead of MintPaw) if you're confuzzled.
thank Skaren for the sig :P

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citricsquid
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 5th, 2012 @ 11:05 AM Reply

At 11/5/12 10:58 AM, egg82 wrote:
At 11/5/12 10:54 AM, citricsquid wrote: http://stats.grounds.li/bbs_posts
http://stats.grounds.li/bbs_topics
wow, you can actually pinpoint the day it started to decline.
July 17, 2007 - had the most posts and the most topics, and that was the top of the "hill" - after that, it started to decline.

That was the 2007 redesign day, naturally it peaked that day but yeah, seems all went down hill after that... you can see the redesign from this year caused a peak but nowhere near as much:

Programming forum seems slow, why?

Dean
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 5th, 2012 @ 06:27 PM Reply

Would it be fair to assume that forum use in general is on the decline? As much as I enjoy browsing forums, I occasionally wonder if they're starting to become outdated in a sense. Especially for social use. Most of the forums that I lurk tend to be primarily for technical discussion or a place to ask for help.

I lurk in the programming forum at Facepunch a fair bit and they actually have a pretty active community. Right now the stats are: 42,652 active members, 2688 online (948 guests). Not too shabby for a forum. Although that's the entire forum, not just the programming sub-forum.

How many users does the Minecraft forum typically have lurking at any given time, Sam? I couldn't see that information displayed anywhere.


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Diki
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 5th, 2012 @ 06:44 PM Reply

At 11/5/12 06:27 PM, Dean wrote: Would it be fair to assume that forum use in general is on the decline? As much as I enjoy browsing forums, I occasionally wonder if they're starting to become outdated in a sense. Especially for social use. Most of the forums that I lurk tend to be primarily for technical discussion or a place to ask for help.

The only other forum that I frequent is Something Awful and it's as active as ever (there are 8,645 registered users online as I am writing this, no cue how many guests as they aren't reported). Could have something to do with the fact that registration costs $10.00 which makes people more apt to say, but I don't really know the precise reason. SA is pretty unique in the way it operates as well, so that could have something to do with its success.

citricsquid
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 6th, 2012 @ 07:21 AM Reply

At 11/5/12 06:27 PM, Dean wrote: Would it be fair to assume that forum use in general is on the decline? As much as I enjoy browsing forums, I occasionally wonder if they're starting to become outdated in a sense. Especially for social use. Most of the forums that I lurk tend to be primarily for technical discussion or a place to ask for help.

I think you're right if you consider total volume of internet users, the percentage of total users on the internet using forums is down (being replaced by other social sites eg: reddit, twitter, facebook) however the total amount of people is definitely up, but that's because internet usage is growing very fast.

How many users does the Minecraft forum typically have lurking at any given time, Sam? I couldn't see that information displayed anywhere.

Depends. We're a very unique case in that although we're a forum we're not really a forum for most of our users. The average person that visits minecraftforum.net doesn't visit to post on the forum, they visit to browse through our content sections (where people post the mods they make).

It's currently our lowest traffic point in the day and we're at around 8,500 users online in the last 15 minutes, at normal times we're at about 20,000 people online. However we're slowing down traffic wise at the moment, Minecraft hasn't been as updated as much recently so people are losing interest, although we did spike back up last week when the latest version was released. We're currently doing about 20,000 new posts per day on average with about 2,000 new members per day and a year ago that was ~35,000 new posts per day with ~4,000 registrations per day.

We have public traffic statistics here. Maybe I should put together some graphs for minecraftforum.net growth usage like I did for Newgrounds above, would be cool to see.

Side note, all time stats for minecraftforum.net:

Unique Visitors: 124,629,019
Pageviews: 2,266,313,623

:D

uglybetty
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 7th, 2012 @ 02:51 AM Reply

Personally I think we can blame ourselves a little bit. I have constantly seen a growth of people talking about how bad it is. Really, how is that going to make it better? I don't know about what people think, but when they see things like that, they might just leave because they find it concending to be a part of a dying community.

For me, I think Newgrounds is great and just an awesome place to spend some time when I have breaks at work and quite afternoon or evening. I find the forum a bit awkward when stupid threads come up.

We need to keep it up guys! Post wise and fun threads; don't post dumb threads. If Newgrounds will just continiue to die - all we can say is: We had a great stay!

Newgrounds!

What are you doing?

Newgrounds!

Stahp!

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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 15th, 2012 @ 06:31 PM Reply

I know this topic is sort of old, but the reason I think newgrounds is dying is twofold.

There are 5-6 users on general who control the topics, 80% of topics are made by them and they are usually shitposting.

And the fact that to be taken seriously on general you have to be a part of the "NG super secret members club" which means going on StickAM and circle jerking with the regulars. (it was like this a year or two ago, don't really now if it's still like that.)

General is the most active forum and people are afraid to post there. General has a big part of keeping new users, if they don't like posting in general they won't stick around. In the specialized forums you have either a regular who's been there for years, or a newbie asking a quick question never to return. General just isn't as fun as it used to be, and I wasn't even around for the glory years.

My two cents anyway.


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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 17th, 2012 @ 03:09 AM Reply

At 11/15/12 06:31 PM, Thegluestickman wrote: I know this topic is sort of old, but the reason I think newgrounds is dying is twofold.

There are 5-6 users on general who control the topics, 80% of topics are made by them and they are usually shitposting.

And the fact that to be taken seriously on general you have to be a part of the "NG super secret members club" which means going on StickAM and circle jerking with the regulars. (it was like this a year or two ago, don't really now if it's still like that.)

General is the most active forum and people are afraid to post there. General has a big part of keeping new users, if they don't like posting in general they won't stick around. In the specialized forums you have either a regular who's been there for years, or a newbie asking a quick question never to return. General just isn't as fun as it used to be, and I wasn't even around for the glory years.

My two cents anyway.

Your thoughts are the exact same as mine. When I'm in threads in General, people are mostly spreading negativity or racking down at others. I think the forums need a little more friendly people. Take regular walks, jeez.

pirateplatypus
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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 17th, 2012 @ 11:31 AM Reply

At 11/5/12 06:27 PM, Dean wrote: Would it be fair to assume that forum use in general is on the decline?

I think that's fairly likely. There are forums I used to use that had thousands of regular posters that are now ghost towns. I personally think Twitter/Facebook are a huge cause.


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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 18th, 2012 @ 10:23 AM Reply

I sometime don't know what to start out a topic on Programming. Things such as tricky question and project, I post them all on Stackoverflow or DreamInCode. I came here quite often lately, without logging in.

Yeah, other social websites are the main thing that draws all NG users away. On General, a lot of the regs leave the place because either they dislike new kids in town or just dislike the redesign.


What comes around goes around...

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Response to Programming forum seems slow, why? Nov. 28th, 2012 @ 03:51 AM Reply

Makes me sad to see NG like this :(
I almost literally grew up on here.


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