Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 1998)

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Subject: Re: List statistics, time & motions etc
From: Darren Wyn Rees <merlin @ netlink . co . uk>
Date: Sat, 2 May 1998 18:06:29 +0100 (BST)
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM

murr rhame = MR <murr @
 vnet .
 net> wrote
MR>For example, entertainment fan type mailing
MR>list tends to attract a much more chatty crowd than a depression
MR>support group.

yes, ... the list I noted with twice the 'traffic' was a
music/fan list.  Counterpoint : It's not a law cast in stone, as I can't 
correlate the above with _other music lists. But as you write...
MR>Even forums which are superficially similar can have very different

I agree wholly with
MR>Both of these lists serve a useful purpose but they are quite 
MR>different statistically.

but am not sure of ...
MR>I don't see statistical analysis is generally useful as a 
MR>list management tool.
as I see it in the reverse.   If I've got some well-prepared stats 
I can make better costings of various list management activities (perhaps
I'm taking the definition of 'list-management' too far, and should have
explained, I have to deliver etc. the mail for various lists).  This is
useful for me, it's very useful.  I can't think of a single organisation
where cost management is not useful.  Are there any?

Perhaps it's a personality thing, on second thoughts, of _course it is!
Different strokes for different folks : I'm a control-freak who'd ideally
like to cost each probable post shifted for a given period, down to the
last dime.  And I love my accounts, and a part-computer & man-made
morass of figures that give me a sense of bureacratic omniscience... 
Counterpoint :  Those 'in the know'/experienced don't need these things as 
they've got instinct (I can't afford instinct for the forseeable future).

Or, more succintly in the words of psittler @
 behemoth .
 tamu .
 edu = PS
PS>People are different.
PS>People behave differently.

Yep, that's true. But I don't think it's grounds for my not preparing
stats which IMHO give me a better idea of what people are after, what it's
costing me to give it to them, and perhaps, how I can give it to them
better in future.  The term 'statistical analysis' doesn't help as I see
it (and I acknowledge quite frankly I'm as green as newbie on this)
as it sounds too cold and cerebral... I just want to knowing the market,
or audience, or community (whatever metaphors suits thy style) better.

What I'd say as an end-note on how stats are 'useful' in my case...
I've started toying with some of the Perl code to give people the
opportunity to join a list in another language (a nice feature of the
forthcoming Mj2). So I look at the stats and I can say, XYZ joined this list
in the alternative language.  And I know (based on market research) that
they get an _extra sense of value from that.  That's worth knowing,
because without the stats (albeit simple in this case) I'd have no idea
how many people were using/valuing something added just for them.  I can
therefore use my/other people's time more efficiently in future by a
greater knowledge (based on useful stats) of the user.

I note the comment on 'seasons', but surely the less statistics you have
at your disposal, the more likely you will be basing your list 'life
cycle' predictions on... instinct, gut-feeling :  These are not a bad
thing, of course, for those with that kind of experience to go by.

Darren Wyn Rees  mailto:merlin @
 netlink .
 co .

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