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Author Topic: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...  (Read 4803 times)

CodeTRUCKER

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"Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« on: April 09, 2009, 08:49:40 PM »
I often "watch" the "who's doing what" feature of the forums and at times have been intrigued by interest patterns of the viewers.  Following members is a cinch (yes you are being watched... but not cataloged  :P), but "Guests" present a problem.  I often let this list direct my interest exploring DC and being able to discern if there really is interest or just the random wanderings of many "Guests" would be helpful

If it was desirable, is there a way to say enumerate "Guest0001," "Guest0002," etc. without being intrusive?  The purpose is not to be Big Brother, but to give each visitor some "identity." 

Like I said in the subject,"... maybe the worst idea ever...," but I thoght I'd live dangerously.  Anyway, what's the worst that could  happen?

Josh

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2009, 05:26:30 AM »
Why would you do that? That would be a waste of system resources as most times, someone visits and closes the browser. Sometimes it's via a google link, sometimes other means. How would you know when a guest changed? How long does said system have to keep track of said guests? I say  :down:

housetier

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2009, 09:10:23 AM »
Whats the difference between their own chosen name and GuestNNN? I mean functional difference: how does using one name over the other help with whatever you trying to accomplish?

Josh

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2009, 09:13:38 AM »
He doesn't care about the REGISTERED users, he wants the guests that ARENT registered that show up as "Guests online" to have Guest001, guest002, etc. This, to me, seems like an incredible waste of resources to even implement just so one person can monitor the browsing habits of people on a forum.

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2009, 11:45:48 AM »
This, to me, seems like an incredible waste of resources to even implement just so one person can monitor the browsing habits of people on a forum.
He doesn't care about the REGISTERED users, he wants the guests that ARENT registered that show up as "Guests online" to have Guest001, guest002, etc. This, to me, seems like an incredible waste of resources to even implement just so one person can monitor the browsing habits of people on a forum.


Partially correct.  I did envision a wider audience than "one."  I envisioned that it might provide some demographic data on user habits.  I have to admit that I never considered the part about the Google hits.  This sheds a whole new light.  I had no idea what appeared to be a mundane task would be that costly in time and resources. 

I stated in the subject it was probably a bad idea given it had never been suggested to my knowledge, but Hey!  I learned something!  Thanks for the comment, Josh. :up:
Consider the issue closed.

Josh

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2009, 11:51:37 AM »
Please don't consider my comments to be a stamp of no on the subject, I just don't feel that resources should be spent on it. I am not the final say. I just think that keeping track of each guest would be rather wasteful as you have no idea who the person is, where they are, or what their background is. If you had that data, then it COULD be useful from a demographic standpoint, but without it you are just staring at a guest browsing that hasn't registered.

I could be wrong, but I feel these resources could be devoted to more useful features that would benefit a wider audience for the site such as selective filtering of posts per user, etc.

mouser

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2009, 12:31:04 PM »
hi ct, good to see you back.
ps. take a look at that symbol under Josh's name -- thats one of the choose-your-own-badges, which was an idea you suggested over a year ago that was recently implemented :)

as for this idea.. it would actually be very easy to show a number next to each guest corresponding to a hash of their ip.. so it's not much trouble -- as admin it shows me the ips directly so i can see patterns if i were to look for it, though ive never bothered.
 
i can see how it would theoretically be interesting but im not sure it would be so in practice.

lanux128

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2009, 07:55:41 AM »
where is this 'big brother is watching' section and how do i access it? :P

mouser

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2009, 04:52:30 PM »
I don't think this is an inherently bad idea, but given how sensitive people can be to privacy issues i think we should probably not do it.

Josh

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2009, 04:54:16 PM »
That was part of my logic. If they wanted to be identified they would either A. Login or B. Register. Just my two cents.

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2009, 05:10:44 PM »
@Josh - Perhaps I was remiss in not hashing out my own thoughts before posting, but in my defense, the reason I tend to err on that side is something like this...

 - Start out with a pen and ink sketch of an "idea."
 - Post it and the "idea" gets splashed with colors with that never even entered my imagination. 
 - Re-draw the "idea" in color.

Sometimes things get messy a little, in the mean time, but with all the new "colors" that were not previously available the "idea" takes on a new life, even in my own perception.  You folks always help me see a little clearer with each thread and ,frankly, I think I'm becoming a better person because of it. :Thmbsup:

Please don't consider my comments to be a stamp of no on the subject, I just don't feel that resources should be spent on it. I am not the final say. I just think that keeping track of each guest would be rather wasteful as you have no idea who the person is, where they are, or what their background is. If you had that data, then it COULD be useful from a demographic standpoint, but without it you are just staring at a guest browsing that hasn't registered.

Isn't this what every retail store has to deal with?  Do they not have to contend with "Guests" coming into their store?  $$Millions$$ are spent in an effort to learn where "Guests" go, but DC doesn't have $$Millions$$.  Unless Mouser has been holding back?  :P  (See my comment to Mouser at bottom.)

Quote
I could be wrong, but I feel these resources could be devoted to more useful features that would benefit a wider audience for the site such as selective filtering of posts per user, etc.

That is certainly a higher priority.


@Mouser -
hi ct, good to see you back.
ps. take a look at that symbol under Josh's name -- that's one of the choose-your-own-badges, which was an idea you suggested over a year ago that was recently implemented :)

Thank you for the flowers!

Quote
as for this idea.. it would actually be very easy to show a number next to each guest corresponding to a hash of their ip.. so it's not much trouble -- as admin it shows me the ips directly so i can see patterns if i were to look for it, though ive never bothered.
 
i can see how it would theoretically be interesting but I'm not sure it would be so in practice.

Actually, having just let it set on the back-burner for a day some clarity emerged.  It's still not major, but the statistic it could show is patterns of what part(s) of DC do people gravitate initially when they first arrive.  Like I said, not earth-shattering, but interesting (at least to me). 
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 05:52:17 PM by CodeTRUCKER »

mouser

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2009, 05:17:18 PM »
Quote
It's still not major, but the statistic it could show is patterns of what part(s) of DC do people gravitate initially when they first arrive.  Like I said, not earth-shattering, but interesting (at least to me).


that's actually an interesting point.. it might make sense to think of some other kinds of displays that could show which threads are post popular among non-registered users, etc.  in other words, stuff that might be interesting to look at but wouldn't make anyone feel like they were being "tracked"..

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2009, 05:37:44 PM »
I don't think this is an inherently bad idea, but given how sensitive people can be to privacy issues i think we should probably not do it.
That was part of my logic. If they wanted to be identified they would either A. Login or B. Register. Just my two cents.

How would this present a privacy issue?  The idea is not to identify the "person" but the anonymous "behavior."

Here is a piece off the logic code...  I am a little rusty, so don't laugh. :-[

'when a new ip shows up'
GET ip
guest_ip=ip
GET timestamp
DO Guest(timestamp) WHILE  guest_ip is active
    'follow the guest'
    'log Donationcoder page for Guest(timestamp)'
RETURN
timestamp=null
guest_ip=null



It's been a good while since I've coded  :(, but I think my logic is valid.   

Josh, Mouser, wouldn't this give us the data without violating privacy since the only record is a "timestamp" without any associated IP?  Seems logical to me, but I have a very limited viewpoint.
 
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 05:48:59 PM by CodeTRUCKER »

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2009, 05:42:42 PM »
Quote
It's still not major, but the statistic it could show is patterns of what part(s) of DC do people gravitate initially when they first arrive.  Like I said, not earth-shattering, but interesting (at least to me).


that's actually an interesting point.. it might make sense to think of some other kinds of displays that could show which threads are post popular among non-registered users, etc.  in other words, stuff that might be interesting to look at but wouldn't make anyone feel like they were being "tracked"..

Yes, that is what I am thinking.  The hopeful outcome of viewing the data trends would be to make DC more "hospitable;" thereby, potentially converting a higher percentage of "Guests" to "Members," perhaps on their first visit.

rgdot

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Re: "Guest" numbering... probably the worst idea ever, but...
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2009, 06:45:11 PM »
If the same guest shows up a few times and doesn't register a pop up:

Register Already

:D