Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Forum Activity Fluctuations...

chemoleo - 17-2-2004 at 16:37

I always wondered, why is the forum sometimes really active, like 60 messages a day. At other times hardly any members are online at all, and even if they are, we'd be happy to get 10 posts.
Is this economics on a fast scale?
Whats going on?

PS I checked, sometimes it's even very active on a sunday night, but sometimes not active during the whole of a week!

tom haggen - 17-2-2004 at 18:31

I have witnessed first hand what you are talking about. As for an explanation, your going to have to get that from someone else. If I had to guess, I would say it has something to do with the earth's gravitational pull. Well when I was newer here I used to post a lot. Now I only post when I'm stuck on synthesizing something. It probably has something to do with new members posting a lot of crap, and all you veterans needing info at the same time. You know what they say. Great minds think alike. I have a feeling that the site is on a diminishing path from this current flurry.

[Edited on 18-2-2004 by tom haggen]

BromicAcid - 17-2-2004 at 18:34

Yeah, it is sort of strange. I know that there are numerous different time zones here and therefore the times between different people seeing different things may vary across different days but it's strange.

Maybe a seed topic needs to be seen, one topic gets started or refreshed that inspires others to do other topics, and all it takes is that one good topic to involke the flury of posting.

Quantum - 17-2-2004 at 18:45

I like the seed theory; like a supersaturated solution of ideas and all it takes is for someone to drop in a cystal:D

I will have more to talk about once I make my lab and get some basic stuff. My lab will be in one corner of the garage and while small is in a good place. I have a small door next to the work table that I can vent gasses out of or run away:o My mom is going to buy me a locking shelf type thing to store chemicals away from small kids and light. I have a sink with hot and cold water as well. The only problem is we have a septic tank so I can't dump stuff down the drain. The area has great lighting and a wall socket for hotplates and such.

tom haggen - 27-2-2004 at 11:56

Looks like the forum is on the bottom of the fluctuation. I wonder what that means?

[Edited on 27-2-2004 by tom haggen]

chemoleo - 27-2-2004 at 19:58

It means we are spending our time on politicising, discussing the future of the world, and discussing the insane! :D

Hermes_Trismegistus - 28-2-2004 at 17:51

Originally posted by chemoleo
and discussing the insane! :D

I hadn't realised we'd started a thread on "ignorantlyintelligent";)

froot - 29-2-2004 at 12:00

I think it's a couple of factors. Firstly the 'search before you post' directive is finally sinking in and questions are asnwered without asking. This place is a goldmine of info, just look around.
It's also maybe that people are busy with other areas of their lives and the glassware is gathering dust. I for one havn't dabbled with my chems for a while now. I have a few projects in mind, like finding a way to produce 100% HNO3 from NO2 without having to concentrate with H2SO4. A long shot but hey! Imagine I get it right :D. Or finding a use for that dam tris! I've just been busy with other stuff neglected because of chems.
It's also winter in the north so playing outside is a bit unpleasant. Getting cosy and watching vids sounds better.
I don't think the board is on a downward slant in any way, no need to get dispondant. The more stuff that's been covered here the less there is to cover, and the less frequently you'll see new interesting topics. That's inevitable.
Just keep up the good work .


and now Elite's FTP

KABOOOM(pyrojustforfun) - 29-2-2004 at 16:16

it takes most of my time when I connect. I don't wanna miss any of the pieces of info I can get from there. before it is (wish not) down. imagine how much time it takes to download Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 6th (475,616,217 bytes :o) with a transfer rate of ~4Kbps!

BromicAcid - 24-4-2004 at 14:46

Really, outside the occasional extraneous circumstance (Like the hacker incident, took a few days to get up to normal numbers again) I believe the activity of this forum is cyclic in nature. We can keep it at peak for a while but by doing so we use up the good topics and everyone gets brain drain, because of that we have these periods like now with high activity in that lots of people are visiting but comparatively few posts. Within a few days people will have done research, thought out new ideas, and in turn those will spawn new ideas and research from different people. It seems though that our periods of high activity are becoming longer and our down time somewhat shorter.

( I really wish that we had an emoticon for 'lost in thought' )

[Edited on 4/24/2004 by BromicAcid]

activity fluctuations

Magpie - 24-4-2004 at 20:51

I've noticed this and wondered about it too. My theory is that weather may have something to do with it. When it is nice out I have a lot going on outside like yardwork, house repairs, etc. Also I like to be outside doing something in the sun instead of inside reading or doing paperwork. Pretty soon fishing trips will be high priority for me.

I've wondered if we will exhaust the topics - but chemistry is a huge, growing, and evolving field.

I think it is important that we keep getting new members. They always have surprisingly new, sometimes off-the-wall, questions and comments.

Also I think just sheer randomness gives us a sine wave shaped fluctuation with time.

I hope to be a much better contributor and instigator when I get my home lab up and going. Right now all I have is my past experience to draw on. As a chemical engineer I was fobidden to do lab work for much of my career. That was the exclusive right of the chemists. I have also been chastised for doing pipefitting.

The_Davster - 24-4-2004 at 21:54

Originally posted by Magpie
As a chemical engineer I was fobidden to do lab work for much of my career. That was the exclusive right of the chemists. I have also been chastised for doing pipefitting.

Could you elaborate on this a bit? I am considering chemical engineeering as my career path, but not if I have no lab work.

I agree with what BromicAcid said about the "brain drain". I have noticed a similar effect with my own experiments. Some times I can spend all my time in the lab doing many different experiments, but other days I just sit around washing the glassware(both literaly and metaphorically). Right now I think the forum is washing its glassware, today there have been very few posts where as last week I could log in every half hour or so and there would be new replies in almost every section.
I like Magpie's sine wave idea, but for me its more like sin(x) +1.1 because I never completly stop thinking chem.

yup, I'll go with the crowd on this...

Hermes_Trismegistus - 24-4-2004 at 23:38

I dunno about you guys but I find it much easier and more frequent to have an opinion on the idea's of someone else than to come up with anything original myself.:D

So when someone comes along with something particularly cool.....

Hey HEY! :P

Saerynide - 25-4-2004 at 04:32

Originally posted by rogue chemist
I like Magpie's sine wave idea, but for me its more like sin(x) +1.1 because I never completly stop thinking chem.

I was just about to ask how could we have negative forum activity :D

Chem E

Magpie - 25-4-2004 at 21:11


Chemical engineers have a very wide range of job possibilities, possibly the most of any field. As a Chem E whether you get to do, or are expected to do, lab work is a function of the nature of your job/employer.

In the pulp/paper mill I was expected to do lab testing and development. When I worked in synthetic rubber the work was pilot plant, but no lab. In another job of 23 years I was not allowed to work in the lab. This was very frustrating and counterproductive.

In all these jobs I could not do mechanical craftwork such as pipefitting or instrument work as that was union protected.

PHILOU Zrealone - 24-5-2004 at 15:56

Life has its ways even life doesn't know...and this forum is prety much alive...
It' alive, it ALIVE

Also despite the fact we are kind of weirdos...I can spend hours inside my lab or reading books or make calculations...or write on alt.engr.../sci.chem... NG or here in SM forum...forgetting to drink, to feed or to pee...we stil have a need for fresh air, BBQ, friends, love, familly contacts....

Finally the time you spend behind your screen is time you don't spend at your very hobby...chemistry...I'm not too keen to have my PC and ADSL inside my lab...IF YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN ;););););););)

This doesn't take in account the motrice force generated by a single individual post...if pertinent and based on get fire to the powder and many replys, comments gives new ideas, new treads...but rare are endless fire and so like for fireworks...
IT IS SHORT BUT GOOD AND INTENSE --> QUALITY...otherwise it would be banal, insipide (no taste), flat

Just think about it and you will see it is obviously natural.
And this gives you the desire to watch and read further the new treads waiting, nervous like virgins ;););)

Cyrus - 1-8-2004 at 21:37

Wow, yesterday and the preceding days were really low activity! Like 5 posts a day.:(

Somebody ought to make a graph of the activity and compare it to moon phases, holidays, election years, sunspots, etc. I am 3/4 serious.

Forum Actitvity seems to be really high lately

Democritus of Abdera - 19-8-2004 at 14:55

can't really put my finger on it, but a greatly increased # of topics show red envelope's in the last 72 hrs.


Never mind, it's just older topics with 15+ posts Upwelling.

[Edited on 19-8-2004 by Democritus of Abdera]