T Nation

Threads 101 - A Quantitative Analysis


Under what criteria should a thread be deemed successful?

I was looking at various threads and was thinking that most threads die a quick death (perhaps only receive posts for a day or 2) and some live a very, very long time.

Now the life of a thread should not be the only criteria to grade a thread. I've analyzed the 3 concrete statistical categories on which a thread should be judged. Now if you want to go into thread sabermetrics be my guest.

1: Life of a thread.
Still probably the ultimate barometer if a thread has lived up to it's hype. There are some confounding variables as to how successful it has become. A topic might be proposed and maybe a dozen posters respond within that topic for an extended period off time. While it's duration is drawn out it draws little interest of most posters.

*See "Geek s**t or most topics in PWI for it's downfalls.

Hall of Fame worthy thread (Joe Montana-esque) - Gets posts for more than 1 year on a fairly regular basis.

Great thread (Jim Kelly-esque) - 6 months to 1 year of life then dies off.

All star thread (Early Drew Bledsoe-esque) - 3 to 6 months of life.

Good career but could never win the Superbowl (Neil O'Donnell-esque) - 1-3 months

Below average to average (Stan Humphries-esque) - 3 days to 1 month

Darwin award thread (Ryan Leaf-esque)- Less than 3 days.

2: # of views.
This criteria requires a topic to be interesting and entertaining enough so it gathers readers from all walks of life.

One confounding variable is that this thread does not necessarily have enough overall community participation. This is most likely from pictures being posted of scantily clad sex pots and the same 400 posters who have never seen a boob in their lives keep clicking on the thread at hand without ever contributing.

This can result in a quick death to the thread in regards to time frame.

*See almost everything in SAMA for evidence of viewership

Hall of Fame worthy thread (Joe Montana-esque)- 100,000+ views

Great thread (Jim Kelly-esque) - 50,000 - 99,999 views

All star thread (Early Drew Bledsoe-esque) - 25,000 - 49,999 views

Good career but could never win the Superbowl (Neil O'Donnell-esque)- 1,000 - 24,999 views

Below average to average (Stan Humphries-esque) - 100 - 999 views

Darwin award thread (Ryan Leaf-esque) - 0 - 99 views

3: # of posts

This topic requires the thread to be more engaging amongst its readers. Any discussion of race, religion (including evolution and creationism), and Brad Pitt or Vin Diesel will cause an instant input of 100, 75, and 50 posts respectively. Due to it's redundancy and vast number of threads on the topics at hand these topics generally will not last very long. It takes a special thread to hit enormous numbers on posts.

One confound is the hot topic paradigm. When this topic is posted (see Michael Vick dog fight threads) it will cause an enormous influx of posts from all angles due to the controversial nature of the topic. As people become desensitized quickly the thread dies within 1-2 months at most while amassing a large number of posts.

Hall of Fame worthy thread (Joe Montana-esque)- 2,500+ posts

Great thread (Jim Kelly-esque)- 1,500 - 2,499 posts

All star thread (Early Drew Bledsoe-esque)- 500 - 1,499 posts

Good career but could never win the Superbowl (Neil O'Donnell-esque)- 100 - 499 posts

Below average to average (Stan Humphries-esque)- 25 - 99 posts

Darwin award thread (Ryan Leaf-esque)- 1 - 24

Now discuss what content, posters, subject lines, etc... that encourage a great thread on a quality level.

Only time will tell where this thread ranks. If it's a darwin award winner so be it... I can't rig the laws of nature.


corollary: the number of posts in a thread is inversely proportional to the quality of said thread


Nice work.


What factors make said thread quality?


you think Drew Bledsoe was an allstar? lol


Not quoting the entire first post several times on the first page of the thread seems to increase quality. :stuck_out_tongue:


"EARLY" Drew Bledsoe


Bigger post count = bigger penis


What Renton said.


Meeting up with a lady friend later... I better get posting


Quoting wall of text for double damage.


sure I'll join the club and agree with this too


Another post for me!


no thread is considered great without them!


Longest first page ever?


we can try for it
(think some lesbian kissing helps quality too)


wtf, I'll play too.


Damn I forgot to add the intended picture to the first post I'll go back and do that.

Edit: apparently you can't retroactively attach an image.


Huh, didn't know that, but good info nonetheless.

(triple damage)


Well there's the picture I was talking about.