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Posted by on Jan 15, 2013 in Atheism Plus, Damned Lies and Statistics, SlymePit | 9 comments

SlymePit vs. Atheism Plus – Race to 70k

I’ve previously written about how these two forums have a number of odd similarities, in addition to their overt dissimilarities in playing for opposite teams in the Deep Rift Wars. Recently, blogger Adam Lee made a similar comparison, noting that the Atheism Plus forums have “2,400 members, almost five times more people than the slime.” This is certainly true, but profoundly misleading. As of Sunday afternoon, the Atheism+ forums had 62,147 total posts from 2,403 nominal members, while the SlymePit boasted only 49,371 from 496 nominal members. Of course, nominal membership is not a measure of active membership, especially in places like the Pit where registration is not required for posting. Over the last week or so, there have been roughly twice as many Pitters online as Plussers at any given time, and the Pit has averaged 525 new posts per day while A+ have been holding steady at just over 200.

At some point in the near future, one of these two forums will be the first to break 70,000 posts. According to a quick back-of-the-spreadsheet analysis, both of them are on track to do so right around International Mother Language Day or thereabouts. Of course, that is assuming that posting continues roughly as it does now, but I fully expect that in reality the Pitters will surpass the Plussers before then. Anyone care to bet against the People of the Slime?

  • http://twitter.com/iamcuriousblue iamcuriousblue

    You’re not the only one who’s noticed the parallels, and I think those forums represent the extreme ends of each side of the Deep Rift. To the point where I’ve seen a few people on each side of the respective rift disown Atheismplus or the Slymepit. The difference being that Atheismplus was initially proposed by several bloggers at FTB who were hugely behind the idea, and who several months later are mostly ignoring or specifically rejecting that label, while the Slymepit was probably the earliest locus of opposition to the ideology promulgated by the noisier FTB blogs, and still seems to be regarded as a particular existential threat by the latter.

    • http://www.skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

      You are correct to identify them as extremes. Personally, I don’t think skepticism mixes well with extremism of any sort. Just try to say something truthful and positive about PZ in the ‘Pit, and watch the critical thinking caps fly out the window.

    • Lowe Apprenticeship

      The Pit has something A+ does not have, humor.

  • ool0n

    Comparing apples with oranges in my opinion, especially given most members of A+ are encouraged to “lurk moar”. Read what is being discussed and not necessarily join in.

    Slymepit on the other hand is an extended chat thread where many posts are people having a conversation such as you might have on Twitter. In fact I think I expended more tweets in our to and fro on twitter than I have posts on the A+ forum. Doesn’t mean I spent more time in the conversation or got more out of it however…

    What are you trying to prove through this? I’d agree the pit is more prolific, but that’s not necessarily indicative of anything… Is it?

    • http://www.skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

      Apples and oranges can be easily compared in terms of weight, size, nutritional composition, average calorie count, percent H2O by weight, and personal taste preference, among various other quantitative or qualitative factors. That said, two forums running the same software and born of the same rift in the same community have even more in common than those two kinds of delicious fruit.

      As to your point about page hits vs. posts, yeah, I’d rather measure page hits but there is no mechanism do to so unless you’re Lsuoma or SubMor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Eykel/785085155 Steve Eykel

    It’s misleading in another way, of course. Anyone want to estimate how many of AtheismPlus’s members are banned accounts?

    • http://www.skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

      I’ve wondered about that. I’m guessing that banned users still show up as registered, but don’t know enough about phpBB to verify.

  • Joseph G

    I don’t know much about the Slymepit, but the A+ forums are a real train wreck. For one, I’ve never seen a forum with so many mods. All the threads are dominated by mods. If there are 2400 members, it seems that only about half a dozen post with any frequency and most of them are mods.

    It just seems like a really weird game where the object is to be first to find some excuse to jump down some newby’s throat for some contrived offense, with antisocial behavior justified under the dubious pretense of “creating a safe space”.

    Some of the participants stated claims to ‘marginalization’ are razor thin (e.g. being epileptic, being mistaken for gay as a teen, being mildly autistic, etc.). Most appear to be white.

    In any event, of late they seem to be turning on each other. It’s a real madhouse, that place, but oddly fascinating. Like a train wreck.

    • http://www.skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion

      All the above is true, including the inevitably self-defeating nature of the enterprise. Only one other point need be made: The A+ forums are the logical result of the A+ movement, which is itself the logical result of trying to create ‘safe spaces’ wherein ideology is immune to inquiry.

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