Is there less activity on blenderartists compared to 10 years ago?

When I joined blenderartists around 10 years ago I got many replys even on my very simple beginner renders and many hundred views on every posted thread. Recently I got back on the forum after some time of inactivity and noticed something.

Nowadays when I scroll around in the finished Projects sections there seem to be barely any comments on many posts. And a lot of posts barely get more than 100 views.
Why is that? Are there just more users which leads to more content that competes for attention? Or Is the Traffic just spreading out to more/different social media sites (reddit, facebook etc…) ?

What do you think? Does anyone have any statistics?

I can’t say for 10 years since I only joined 9 years ago :wink: But it actually feels like more, a lot more. New works get featured in the top row almost on a daily basis (there’s almost always a backlog for voting available for trusted members, constantly being updated). The amount of published works, and also support questions, and responses, is much, much higher. The numbers you’re seeing are likely just the spread of active users over the increased amount of posts.
I’m sure there are some kind of stats running, as there’s for example the yearly review, so perhaps @bartv could shed some light on the actual site load.

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Maybe the number of topics was less back then so they got more attention

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Yes the spread of active users over the increased amount of posts was what I was suspecting. I just didn’t have any statistics to back up that theory :smiley:

I know what you mean, in some ways it feels like there is less. IN reality, there is a lot more activity, bart posted some stats like a year ago, and there is more than double the traffic than some years back. And the firehose feed is constantly moving, whereas it used to sit idle for many minutes or even hours way back.

But I do think that finished projects has gotten more selective, and a lot of posts are ignored that might have gotten feedback years ago.

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Perhaps that’s due, in part, to the layout. Every time I go in there I’m immediately lost on the order of things.

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Yes the layout may have an influence on the views, now that I think about it. Because a few years ago the tumbnails were so tiny that you actually had to click the post to view the image. With this new gallery layout, you dont necessarily need to click the post, because the Image is already pretty big.

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It is overwhelming and the layout is scattered. I prefer a listed or spreadsheet style layout where I can see the author, the views, the clicks, the likes… and kind of compare them easily. The info is buried inside each entry currently, it’s more like a JSON barf than SQL rows. Also @Dynmmon makes a really good point about the images sizes. They are currently large enough to form an opinion without clicking to see full resolution and maybe that is a mistake.

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Happy to share! Here are the stats over the last 12 months:

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Personally I quite like the new site and I think overall blenderartists improved a lot and has many nice features. But I guess the finished projects layout just has this side effect that people just don’t actually click a post to view it hence the view count isn’t updated. So in a way the views on a post are worth more today, compared to a few years ago but don’t necessarily show how many people exactly laid eyes on your posted image.

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@bartv Thanks for the stats. Very interesting!

Quite interesting to see how the first lockdown (in a lot of countries) in March/April resulted in a spike in new signups. I guess a lot of people found a new hobby during these times :smile:

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I can interpret this that things back then were much simpler in terms of software features and capabilities. Also in terms of graphics complexity and workflows there were only a dozen things you could do.

If you could aim for something that looked like the level of quality similar to “Oblivion” you would be considered world class artist.

This means that there more people get overwhelmed with information and many things to do, the less time they can spend on the forums here and there.

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It used to be that you had to enter the thread itself before you can see the image. This has good and bad points.

It can increase the number of views on a thread for instance, but it can also slam you with full frontal nudity because many do not believe in NSFW warnings.

I also wonder if the ‘like’ system this forum has actually decreases the amount of engagement in art threads. Human nature tends to lead people down the path of least resistance in almost anything, and it is a lot easier and faster to just click the little heart than to actually type out a reply.

Don’t confuse ‘engagement quantity’ with ‘quality’ - the like system replaces the ‘:+1:’ posts that you would have otherwise. They typically result in long lists of meaningless ‘noise’ that drowns out the actual conversation. This is a very deliberate design decision in Discouse.