Drilling down on first time posters & returning users

I love the visual indicators about first-time posts & returning users. I want to be able to drill down to see more details about these, though.

I’d want to be able to see what are the topics that people are engaging with, the tags on the topics, and seeing overall stats like topics created, replies created, and then being able to track them after that engagement - for example, if I look at these folks engagement in Feb, I’d want to see if they are still engaging in Mar.

Are there any reports that I can use to get this information? (I know there is the new contributors on the dashboard, but that just gives #'s and doesn’t give more detail)


With the Data Explorer you can find the answers you are looking for. The caveat is that it requires some SQL and digging around in the data.

I did something like that and posted about it on my blog. I do think this is a pretty important thing to track for more mature communities. Here’s a query I used to see how many people remained engaged a month after they joined:

       to_char(date_trunc('month', u.created_at), 'YYYY Mon') "Join Date",
                  when first_post_created_at-u.created_at <= interval '30 days' 
                    then 1.0 
                  else 0.0 
                end) /count(*) as float) "Contribution Rate"
from users u 
     join user_stats s 
          on u.id = s.user_id
where u.created_at > '2004-10-01T00:00:00.000Z'
group by date_trunc('month', u.created_at)
order by date_trunc('month', u.created_at)

This was useful to look at for College Confidential because it has very obvious cyclical patterns: High school seniors start thinking about applications in November, get decisions by March and forget about the application process over the summer. Not every community will have that sort of regularity.

One word of warning: I have found myself wrapped up in the data so much I miss obvious things I could have learned just by looking around the site. Having objective data helps verify or refute subjective observations. It can be dangerous to make decisions from data without context. (Maybe more talking to myself than you!)