Surfing Dirt forum stats

Written on June 1, 2020

As I’m finally getting around to playing with data visualisation a bit, I decided to try a real-life exercice: rendering data from the old Surfing Dirt forum, the one that was started over 10 years ago, before I gave it a new home.

So I extracted data from the salvaged database, and came up with 3 things I wanted to see:

  • new topics per week
  • new posts per week
  • total amount of posts per user for the top 20 or so

Turns out it wasn’t too hard, just a little time-consuming. D3’s cool!

New topics per week

10 20 30 40 50 60 Topics 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Year

Things started out really well for Surfing Dirt, 30 topics per week for a small community is not shabby at all!

The downwards trend started pretty early on, but it took a while for Surfing Dirt to really start suffering from the Facebook forum drain.

Posts per week

200 400 600 800 1,000 Posts 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Year

This graph looks a lot like the other, but in the end, when the forum was slowing down, it looks like new posts slowed down faster than new topics. I imagine this means that there were fewer engaging discussions, but a few people kept posting new things, just less successfully for the site.

At some point in 2016, before I took it over and re-hosted it, the site went down for months. Re-hosting happened too late, the damage was done. Sad!

Posts per user

0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 Posts McCarver Jasper BgSurfer BryceAZ etchy6 Jimmy Chaos Brennig Ian@KentATB leapb4ulook The 6th degree Ben Mikael belac Raoul Duke buggley stlmtboarder Travis Alan_RTH Jhammo52 parkerbomar Wyoming Adrenaline Junkie GoofyMark Mutley DirtDave pd2h BDirthead

What to say here other than McCarver's got a big mouth?