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Suppose MathOverflow were to start having quarterly or annual usage reports. What statistics would you like to see reported there?

Some are obvious — new questions, new answers, new users, etc. — but some are much less obvious. For example, the number of new votes on posts more than three months old is perhaps an interesting indicator of how much people use MathOverflow as a knowledge base rather than a place to ask questions.

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    $\begingroup$ How many upvoted answers from all users with a name beginning with user. $\endgroup$ – Bill Johnson Sep 28 '13 at 18:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: 685 - data.stackexchange.com/mathoverflow/query/139655/… - 894 if you include CW answers - data.stackexchange.com/mathoverflow/query/139656/… $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Sep 28 '13 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps some measure of migration to & from MSE. The to may be easier to quantify than the from, as the latter generally occurs via reposting (e.g., this digit-sum posting). $\endgroup$ – Joseph O'Rourke Sep 29 '13 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ Most questions, I suspect, are asked, up/downvoted, viewed, possibly edited and answered within a relatively short time, and then all such activity ceases until somebody stumbles upon it later. How true or typical is this description? I would be interested in seeing statistics relating to views/votes/answers but measured against the time since the question was first posed. $\endgroup$ – shane.orourke Oct 1 '13 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ The histogram of time duration between a response getting upvoted and the next upvote on the question (or vice versa). The time duration between when the user lands on a page and when he casts his vote there. votes on a post vs the number of links it has. No of views of the page vs the modal reputation it has. $\endgroup$ – ARi Oct 2 '13 at 11:25
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Number of new users per month in 2013

Generated using this query.

      All  >100  >200  >500 (rep)
Jan   406    76    14     4
Feb   442    66    11     2
Mar   450    70    11     2
Apr   497    55    12     1
May   558    79    21     6
Jun   905   282    14     4
Jul  1458   434    16     4
Aug  1278   307    22     5
Sep  1229   263    11     6
Oct  1383   278     5     1
Nov  1269   239     4     1
Dec  1328   304     4     1
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps it's worth tweaking it, and add >101 column as well. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jan 12 '14 at 9:44
  • $\begingroup$ Does >500 mean greater than 500 when joining? or greater than 500 as of the time of the query? $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Jan 12 '14 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson: At the time of the query. I'm trying to think of a better query here but it's not easy to correctly tally the votes. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Jan 12 '14 at 19:15
3
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Number of closed questions per month in 2013

Generated using this query, giving the number of questions asked during a certain month that were at the time of the query closed questions.

Jan 26 
Feb 23 
Mar 22 
Apr 29 
May 22 
Jun 44 
Jul 33 
Aug 32 
Sep 49 
Oct 50 
Nov 49 
Dec 69 

Graph

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  • $\begingroup$ I can't say I'm not perplexed but the steep incline could be due to the auto-deletion roomba. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Jan 12 '14 at 4:25
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for all the data in this thread! But I think for this one the heading should really be 'closed and not (yet) deleted' or something like this. There should be a huge difference between question that 'were closed at some point' and those showing up here (likely, fully explaining the increase towards the end). I am sure we had a lot more than one closed question per day at the beginning of last year. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jan 12 '14 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ @quid: I don't agree since the title describes the query very precisely. Personally, I think it's better to discuss visible features of the data, such as side-effects of auto-deletion, than to include them in the title. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Jan 12 '14 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ Yes you are right after all it says "closed questions" and not "questions closed." Still I think it is important to be aware that these are completely different numbers. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jan 12 '14 at 20:16
  • $\begingroup$ @quid: Yes, I agree. Feel free to add explanations to the answer. This one is especially tricky to understand. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Jan 12 '14 at 20:47
2
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Nonpositive score posts per month in 2013

Generated using this query.

     Q's  A's
Jan  174  115 
Feb  205  135 
Mar  238  121 
Apr  240  151 
May  263  167 
Jun  170  101 
Jul  106  116 
Aug   93  115 
Sep   98  125 
Oct  129  158 
Nov  113  110 
Dec  180  143 
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Number of answered questions per month in 2013

Generated using this query.

      All Answered  Accepted
Jan   961      722       453 
Feb  1009      714       427 
Mar  1031      723       429 
Apr  1148      786       486 
May  1188      799       501 
Jun  1033      715       432 
Jul   962      693       403 
Aug   891      639       384 
Sep   938      648       371 
Oct  1010      659       380 
Nov   977      680       396 
Dec   913      601       329 

Graph

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  • $\begingroup$ Any conjectured explanation for the clear downward trend? $\endgroup$ – Joseph O'Rourke Jan 12 '14 at 19:03
  • $\begingroup$ @JosephO'Rourke: I suspect the dip at the end reflects the fact that not all questions are answered immediately. I suspect in a few months the tail will be much flatter. The first two January numbers are more surprising - I wouldn't expect nearly all questions to have answers! This may be a side-effect of auto-deletion. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Jan 12 '14 at 19:13
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    $\begingroup$ @JosephO'Rourke: Actually, something was wrong with the first column. I updated the query and data and it seems the effect is mostly due to a decline in the total number of questions. $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Jan 12 '14 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for investigating so carefully! But now the decline in the total number of questions could use explanation (although the trend is not a prominent). Naively I would expect the opposite trend... $\endgroup$ – Joseph O'Rourke Jan 12 '14 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ @JosephO'Rourke: I don't have a good explanation yet but it's interesting to compare with the relatively steady number of questions with positive score. It appears that the decline is mostly in questions with score zero or less. This is a head scratcher! $\endgroup$ – François G. Dorais Jan 12 '14 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I see! Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Joseph O'Rourke Jan 12 '14 at 21:17
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Number of posts with positive score per month in 2013

Generated using this query.

    All   Q's   A's
Jan 2003  787  1216
Feb 2036  804  1232
Mar 1984  793  1191
Apr 2186  908  1278
May 2241  925  1316
Jun 2002  863  1139
Jul 1998  846  1152
Aug 1827  776  1051
Sep 1838  813  1025
Oct 1912  852  1060
Nov 1927  867  1060
Dec 1807  733  1074

Graph

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