Featured The State of CivilWarTalk After 20 Years!

civilwartalk

Lieutenant General
Owner & Webmaster
Joined
Apr 1, 1999
Messages
141,892
Location
Martinsburg, WV
#1
Wow, 20 Years! It's still hard to wrap my head around that number!

1555693807194.png

So how is this forum doing after 20 years? As you may know forums as a web site type are growing fewer and fewer, where once there were thousands of forums to chat on, Facebook and Twitter and other Social Media has taken over, and only a few hundred forums remain.....

But CivilWarTalk is still here.

There has been talk that there are problems at CivilWarTalk. Well, we have hundreds of daily visitors, thousands of users, and millions of posts, of course we have a lot to discuss and there are going to be lots of challenges along the way. We are discussing the American Civil War here, it's not cute fluffy bunny rabbits and such! Let's be real about this!

Our members have a real passion for discussion, so there are lots of challenges to be had in a large discussion forum like ours. I've done my homework, I've been keeping our forum on the right path for a long time, and I will continue to do so each and every day.

With the help of Ami, she makes sure that our day to day postings are made, and that our social media posts are working! Our Moderation Staff, who help us solve problems and make the forum a safe and fun place to have discussions! Then we have our Host staff, the tireless volunteers who make sure our forums are filled with the best discussions that they can be.

And finally, the members, who yes, we quarrel and we engage in debate, but in many ways we are also good friends who we would also love to sit and have a cold drink with.

But wait, there is the un-named, the lurkers who visit, who read and never register and never post. We thank you for visiting, and we hope you enjoy what you read and come back again some day.

Forums are for everybody.... to read, but only some people are brave enough to register and post. But that's okay, we celebrate those who like to visit and read our stuff too!

So how many of you all are there? Well, I'm happy to report, there are a lot! And the numbers are growing! Let's take a look together!

Currently the forum shows that we have:

1555692242136.png

Wow, we should reach 100,000 Threads any day now!, We should reach 2,000,000 posts in less than a year (assuming I don't need to do any post deleting before then), and we already passed 20,000 total members, that's awesome!

Let me let you in on a secret, we have deleted/lost or migrated away from at least 750,000 posts, so unfortunately that number should be much higher, but over the years as we change forum software, and as we remove non-Civil War content from the forum to free up hard drive space, we loose some posts. It's an unfortunate fact, but it's the truth.

Let's see some graphs!

1555688835268.png
Here is a graph for 2019, it starts in early January and ends a few days ago. Each point represents one week of data.

We are looking at the Total Daily Average Number of Users Active at CivilWarTalk Each Week for the Last 16 Weeks.

You can see that the graph shows that the numbers go up and then down a bit, and then up again, leading to the highest weekly average so far for the year on the last point of data. These ups and downs are totally normal for a forum, but overall, the data shows an upward trend.

What about a longer term?

1555689458733.png

Here we are looking at the same data type, Total Daily Average Number of Users Active, but instead of looking at weeks for each data point, we are looking at months, from January 2014 all the way to March 2019...

See that crazy drop for March 2018? That was the month the server ran out of disk space and we had to do a bunch of repairs to the database, and I think some of the server logs were either lost or we just weren't recorded, so that's what that's showing.

There is also a drop for December 2018, that was when we upgraded the forum to a new server and upgraded the forum, we were down at least 3 days in December.

But, you can see that the trend on this graph in very favorable, and there has bee a big jump for 2019! Things are looking good for Active Users!

So, that tells us about the members who are visiting, what about our total visitors? Well, we use Google Analytic to track that:

1555691552888.png

Here is a view of the total unique visitors (Users) at CivilWarTalk from 2014 to 2019 by Month.

1555691117408.png

This is the same graph with some annotations.


In June of 2014, this graph shows we had 61,000+ unique users visit CivilWarTalk, not bad!

In March of 2019, this graph shows we had 114,000+ unique users visit, that's nearly double the number of visitors!

We do show spikes and occasional drops in the graph. I believe the spikes show the time period when we began our Facebook and Twitter Campaigns, some of which were paid campaigns to bring in new members, so that's why you see a spike.

Overall, again, this graph shows a healthy growth trend.

So what about the posts at CivilWarTalk?

1555691926405.png

Yep, we keep track of posts and post likes too. Post numbers are holding steady every month, and at this rate we expect to reach three million posts in about 4 years time. I give Ami credit for the increase in Likes, her promotion work has done a lot for the forum!

The one place I will sadly admit we are down, is in our Patron stats. Unfortunately we've had some members leave us recently. Some were asked to leave, some made the choice to leave on their own. Some were Patrons, and honestly, that never weighed on our decisions on managing the forum, so yes, some of those choices did hurt our patron numbers.

We certainly don't regret any of the decisions we made, and would make them all again if need be.

However, if you are currently a member in good standing, and you are considering supporting our site by becoming a patron, now is a great time to join!

Make sure you are a registered member on the forum first! Then use this link to join our Patron Program!


So I think I'll wrap it up here, Thank you to everyone reading this, you are contributing to these numbers just by being here reading this!
 
Last edited:

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civilwartalk

Lieutenant General
Owner & Webmaster
Joined
Apr 1, 1999
Messages
141,892
Location
Martinsburg, WV
#3
Just wondering if the 150th CW anniversary back in April 2015 had any affect on post/membership.
I've sometimes wished it had more of an effect and at the same time thankful that it didn't have much of an effect.

At least according to the stats, it's didn't really change anything, we've always had steady growth, we didn't capitalize on the 150ths during that period, but we also didn't bomb when the fall-off came for everyone else once the 150ths had worn off.

But I was also working a full time job, and, we weren't doing much or any social media, so maybe it was a blessing for CivilWarTalk.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
14,890
Location
South of the North 40
#5
I joined the site in the fall of 1999, I can say I’ve not seen the insanity of either the old history or yahoo boards. The level of scholarship and comradarie has kept me coming back
Some like to say this is a biased site but those people who complain haven’t been banned or treated unfairly. Their opinions and views are shared and allowed.
Overall I would say this site has weathered the test of time and technology quite well.
 

BlueandGrayl

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
1,591
Location
Corona, California
#9
@civilwartalk I hope we can really reach out to other more modern internet spaces like Discord (a text-voice chat website with 250 million users) to expand our reach and bring in new members like what we did with our Facebook and Twitter campaigns so long as they don't take the main experience away from this very forum.
 

Norm53

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Messages
556
Location
Cape May, NJ
#10
Wow, 20 Years! It's still hard to wrap my head around that number!


So how is this forum doing after 20 years? As you may know forums as a web site type are growing fewer and fewer, where once there were thousands of forums to chat on, Facebook and Twitter and other Social Media has taken over, and only a few hundred forums remain.....

But CivilWarTalk is still here.

There has been talk that there are problems at CivilWarTalk. Well, we have hundreds of daily visitors, thousands of users, and millions of posts, of course we have a lot to discuss and there are going to be lots of challenges along the way. We are discussing the American Civil War here, it's not cute fluffy bunny rabbits and such! Let's be real about this!

Our members have a real passion for discussion, so there are lots of challenges to be had in a large discussion forum like ours. I've done my homework, I've been keeping our forum on the right path for a long time, and I will continue to do so each and every day.

With the help of Ami, she makes sure that our day to day postings are made, and that our social media posts are working! Our Moderation Staff, who help us solve problems and make the forum a safe and fun place to have discussions! Then we have our Host staff, the tireless volunteers who make sure our forums are filled with the best discussions that they can be.

And finally, the members, who yes, we quarrel and we engage in debate, but in many ways we are also good friends who we would also love to sit and have a cold drink with.

But wait, there is the un-named, the lurkers who visit, who read and never register and never post. We thank you for visiting, and we hope you enjoy what you read and come back again some day.

Forums are for everybody.... to read, but only some people are brave enough to register and post. But that's okay, we celebrate those who like to visit and read our stuff too!

So how many of you all are there? Well, I'm happy to report, there are a lot! And the numbers are growing! Let's take a look together!

Currently the forum shows that we have:


Wow, we should reach 100,000 Threads any day now!, We should reach 2,000,000 posts in less than a year (assuming I don't need to do any post deleting before then), and we already passed 20,000 total members, that's awesome!

Let me let you in on a secret, we have deleted/lost or migrated away from at least 750,000 posts, so unfortunately that number should be much higher, but over the years as we change forum software, and as we remove non-Civil War content from the forum to free up hard drive space, we loose some posts. It's an unfortunate fact, but it's the truth.

Let's see some graphs!

Here is a graph for 2019, it starts in early January and ends a few days ago. Each point represents one week of data.

We are looking at the Total Daily Average Number of Users Active at CivilWarTalk Each Week for the Last 16 Weeks.

You can see that the graph shows that the numbers go up and then down a bit, and then up again, leading to the highest weekly average so far for the year on the last point of data. These ups and downs are totally normal for a forum, but overall, the data shows an upward trend.

What about a longer term?


Here we are looking at the same data type, Total Daily Average Number of Users Active, but instead of looking at weeks for each data point, we are looking at months, from January 2014 all the way to March 2019...

See that crazy drop for March 2018? That was the month the server ran out of disk space and we had to do a bunch of repairs to the database, and I think some of the server logs were either lost or we just weren't recorded, so that's what that's showing.

There is also a drop for December 2018, that was when we upgraded the forum to a new server and upgraded the forum, we were down at least 3 days in December.

But, you can see that the trend on this graph in very favorable, and there has bee a big jump for 2019! Things are looking good for Active Users!

So, that tells us about the members who are visiting, what about our total visitors? Well, we use Google Analytic to track that:

View attachment 303470
Here is a view of the total unique visitors (Users) at CivilWarTalk from 2014 to 2019 by Month.

View attachment 303467
This is the same graph with some annotations.


In June of 2014, this graph shows we had 61,000+ unique users visit CivilWarTalk, not bad!

In March of 2019, this graph shows we had 114,000+ unique users visit, that's nearly double the number of visitors!

We do show spikes and occasional drops in the graph. I believe the spikes show the time period when we began our Facebook and Twitter Campaigns, some of which were paid campaigns to bring in new members, so that's why you see a spike.

Overall, again, this graph shows a healthy growth trend.

So what about the posts at CivilWarTalk?


Yep, we keep track of posts and post likes too. Post numbers are holding steady every month, and at this rate we expect to reach three million posts in about 4 years time. I give Ami credit for the increase in Likes, her promotion work has done a lot for the forum!

The one place I will sadly admit we are down, is in our Patron stats. Unfortunately we've had some members leave us recently. Some were asked to leave, some made the choice to leave on their own. Some were Patrons, and honestly, that never weighed on our decisions on managing the forum, so yes, some of those choices did hurt our patron numbers.

We certainly don't regret any of the decisions we made, and would make them all again if need be.

However, if you are currently a member in good standing, and you are considering supporting our site by becoming a patron, now is a great time to join!

Make sure you are a registered member on the forum first! Then use this link to join our Patron Program!


So I think I'll wrap it up here, Thank you to everyone reading this, you are contributing to these numbers just by being here reading this!
An awesome site that you and Ami have certainly worked super-diligently to make world-renown in spite of stiff competition. Considering that you have vastly improved the educational and entertainment levels of thousands of viewers and participants, you can take justified pride in your unique accomplishment that certainly merits more patrons. Thank you, your competent and devoted staff, and your able CWT participants for significantly enhancing my ACW knowledge.
 

Lubliner

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
1,123
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
#12
I know I may still be a bit of a greenhorn here, but I must admit the common bond among the members though protective, are also very keen and welcoming, and honest with their feelings, or opinions (one and the same?). I do find a gracious willingness for calling on me for correcting or clarifying any statement of opinion and fact I may make. I appreciate this more than you other members realize, due to my own need for educational disciplines I never mastered. It is a great help to me, and surely also for others. And I find it satisfying to know that even though anyone may become a patron, it does not permit them a free pass to tread upon. Rattle Rattle, Rattle.
A sublime undercurrent of goodwill and thanksgiving be upon us all this Holiday.
Lubliner.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,429
Location
Central Pennsylvania
#14
When I joined, ' likes ' weren't used much? I've always wondered if that was a result of a different format where they didn't exist as part of CWT posting? Remember being a new member and being hesitant to ' like ' something because there didn't seem to be many despite awfully active posting.

I lurked for awhile- it was just too intimidating to join because the level of knowledge here was so high you could see where they'd be forgiven for saying " What are you doing here ? " to beginners. No one even laughed! They did put you right in a big hurry when saying stupid stuff and still appreciate every one- how do you learn anything otherwise?

I wasn't a big FB fan to begin with, groups really not providing much balance in information and it's boring ( to me ) watching everyone's life unfold through posts there. This has been endlessly fascinating, hugely educational and a lot of plain old fun- can't be grateful enough to have it, so thank you Mike and Ami.
 

ami

Major General
Super Moderator
Joined
Apr 1, 1999
Messages
5,129
Location
the mountain state
#16
I don't use social media any more, except for email. Too many hacking problems. I only use my cell phone to make phone calls (imagine that). It's an age thing, I think. Congratulations Mike.
To make calls! Oh my! Blasphemy! Lol This thing calls people? And then I’d have to verbally talk to them? Eww! Lol
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
7,805
#17
I've been here for six and half years. Honestly, I can't talk to a "normal American" about the War Between the States anymore. That's because the typical person doesn't have any idea what he or she is talking about.

I'm smarter about it because of this Forum and the books I've made it my business to read that others put forward, even when I disagree with their internet posts.

So, thanks Mike and Ami for all your work here. Hopefully, you'll have another 20 years to allow others to get smarter.
 



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