Add new metrics in the administration interface

(Camille Roux) #1


In order to have a better idea of the community health on a Discourse forum, could we think to add some new metrics? Here is some idea :

  • Percentage of active contributors (# of users who write something in the last X days / # of users)
  • Percentage of active users (# of users who read something in the last X days / # of users)
  • Percentage of invited people who sign up
  • Percentage of members who subscribed to the daily/weekly digest

What do you think about?

(Sam Saffron) #2

I agree we can improve metrics there, though we want to be careful not to go overboard.


I want to come back to this thread.

I manage a community of community managers, and it goes without saying that platform shortfalls come up a lot.
There isn’t a platform out there (that I’m aware of) that does metrics well.

I’m a huge Discourse fan, but you’re letting yourselves down badly in the metrics/analytics department. I’m not suggesting that it should take priority over some of the other things that you’re currently ironing out, but if you want to be a market leader, my advice would be to put some energy into that area.

You won’t get community professionals to really take serious notice until you do. Every time I raise the subject of Discourse, the first thing that people say is ‘I hear the analytics are bad’. And they’re right. :frowning:

I’d be happy to offer more constructive feedback around what would be useful if you ever get to the point of actioning this.

(Sam Saffron) #4

We are actually planning on working on metrics soon, as a sponsored feature, plan to start working on it in as early as a few weeks.


Very very cool. I look forward to it. :slight_smile:

(Kane York) #6

That reminds me, I should probably be getting my data_explorer branch in a mergable (default off) state. (Running admin-provided SQL is, of course, one obvious method of doing analytics.)

(Jeff Atwood) #7

OK, but what does this even mean? I feel like this is business-speak for nothing, exploring synergies and dynamics.

Metrics… for what exactly? There were some examples in the first post

Can you amplify on that with specific examples? That’s a lot more helpful to me.


Read the rest of my post then. :wink:

I’d be happy to offer more constructive feedback around what would be useful if you ever get to the point of actioning this.

Happy to give you specific examples, I just didn’t want to waste my time doing it if this wasn’t ever going to happen. I’ll come back to this next week when I have a couple of minutes.

(Sam Saffron) #9

Please the more specific the better. @strager perhaps you can start a new detailed public topic with your specifications in this department, then the community can help flesh it out ?

(Jeff Atwood) #10

It’s actually better to just do it here. Add to the list. Mo’ bullets, mo’ better.


Ok, here goes. I’ve talked this through with Rich, and here are our thoughts. I’ll get back to you next week with further input from my community.

My thoughts:

  • Traffic from registered vs anonymous users

  • User activity:
    Active Users (viewed at least one post during time period)
    Active Participants (replied to, liked, or flagged at least one post)
    Active Contributors (created at least on piece of content)

  • Are last month’s users still active (who hasn’t been active?)

  • Content distribution (i.e. Graphed activity by category)

  • Mean time to respond (how long does it take for the non-staff community to respond to a post?)


Rich’s thoughts (which are a little less specific):

  1. Trends.
    Is growth, activity, and the sense of community increasing? Can we link this to activities we have undertaken within the community? Can we identify the retention rate and where members are presently dropping out? Why can’t we have red alerts for problems that require immediate attention (e.g. a plummeting post per active member ratio?)

  2. Popular members and topics.
    Who are the most popular members and popular topics? Can we create more content about the most popular topics? Can we invite the top members to be more involved in the topics in which they have contributed the most?

  3. Segmentation.
    Can we segment, track, and contact members by demographics, time spend in the community, and quality/quantity of contributions made in the community? Can we identify members that typically cause the most problems and send a warning message en-masse?

  4. Understanding the impact of interventions.
    If the community manager does something new, if there are big events, if the website is changed, track the impact of this intervention and it’s long-term impact upon the community. Which interventions succeeded and which failed?

(Scott Trager) #13

Hi @HAWK - I’d love nothing more than to do what you suggested, but the metrics is really @Bill_S 's baby and I don’t want to step on any toes.

I can say personally that I really like some of the ideas HAWK threw out there, but professionally some of that might be a little more than we are looking to do (at least at first). I know stuff like trends and activity streams are the stuff that makes our marketing team tingle in anticipation so hopefully we can get some of that in if there is time left over at the end of the project.

@nik71 (my boss)'s priorities are primarily focused on matching the functionality of our existing forum (Lithium) and a lot of what you were asking for should be covered already…but again, I’ll let Bill elaborate (or not) at his own discretion.

(Jeff) #14

Here to throw in my support for more metrics (including what @HAWK already pointed out). It’s just that within the community, I periodically have to compile a report on how many bilateral connections there are, how many users are logged in/reading during what period of the day, etc. It’s difficult to do that manually (especially counting how many users are connected with each other through posting and responding).

Edit: Oh, and another one that would be nice:

Knowing how many people opened, clicked, unsubscribed to the digest emails.

(Kane York) #15

Knowing how many people opened, clicked, unsubscribed to the digest emails.

That’s available through Mandrill.

Page jumps after clicking N Likes
(Jeff Atwood) #16

I support all this, it’s just a question of when it gets done and which part goes first.

(Scott Trager) #17

Couldn’t you use a Mandrill Webhook to push that data back into the Discourse admin interface?

(Tim Slagle) #18

Hey guys,

New here… Any update on metrics collection? I’d like to add a few suggestions:

  • Percentage of new users that participate
  • Number of active posts (Actively being used for the last 30 days, 60 days, etc)

I am struggling to get this data on my own right now and would love to have this implemented. :smile:

(Jeff Atwood) #19

Define participate? Define actively being used?

(Tim Slagle) #20

Sorry I could of been more clear :smile:


  • Reads something or posts someting

Actively being used:

  • post is still getting replies/being read. I am interested in seeing how stale the community is or isn’t.