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.