New Account Stats

Jason Remillard remillard.jason at
Tue Jan 1 16:19:08 GMT 2013


I am interested in finding out why so many people sign up for an
account but don't actually change the map. There are many theories
about what is going on, but with some logging on the main OSM site, we
can probably get a pretty good idea about what is going on. I read the
rails-dev list archives for the path 6 months and I could not find a
discussion on this issue. If it has been discussed before, I pointer
to the thread would be great so I can catch up.

To get some insight into our new user losses, I think the following
needs to be logged.

- The current lon,lat of the map when they clicked the "make new
account" link so we have an idea of where they are interested in
- if an account is not activated (probably already in the db).
- The User-agent so we know what kind of device they are using
(computer, phone, tablet, etc) when they press the new account button.
- after they activate the account, how many actually hit the edit button.
- after they activate the account, how many actually setup the details
of the account (probably already in the db).
- after they activate the account, how long do they leave the tutorial
pop-up open.
- after they activate the account, how many make a change, and decide
to not commit it.
- is there any indication that, they go to the wiki after making a new
account (might be tough one to get).
- what is the percentage of accounts are dead, no diary entries, no
map changes (probably already in the db).

With this data, we can can figure out the percentage loss at each
step. Also, on the longer term this data can support A/B testing of
changes on the web site. It might turn out that some very simple
changes could results in thousands of more mappers in the project.

- Is there any philosophical reason to not do this?
- Is there any technical reason to not do this?

I might have have the time over the next couple of months to take a
crack at coding this up, before I started I wanted to see what people
though about this.


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