Monday, 2 November 2009


In it’s quest to sell advertising space in Redbridge Lief, Red-i claims a Redbridge population of 250,000. The 2001 census put the figure at 238,635 and the mid 2008 estimate is 257,600. In 2001 approx 25% of the population were under 15, so if we apply that percentage to the 2008 figure we get an adult [over 15] population of 193,200. Let’s round it down to 190,000 people who are the potential audience for the Redbridge-i website. That is about the same figure that is on the electoral roll.

Redbridge-i has, as of earlier today, 26,656 registered users. We know that some of these are duplicated, some are defunct, some are administration and some are staff who use the private forums. But how many residents are actually registered users? We know it is less than this figure and could be considerably less, but let’s take that figure anyway. I’m taking a best case scenario here.

This means that Redbridge-i has approx a 14% take up by its client base. Or 86% of residents are not registered. Not all users will be registered for the same reasons. Those who use it for transactions may not be interested in the forums. Red-i staff will know the figures for take up for things like payments, bookings and reporting. So, how many of the registered users venture into the forum area? It’s difficult to say but we do have some figures: yes I’m a nerd and have added them up. Only 463 of those registered users have actually made a contribution, which is 1.7% of those registered or 0.24% of the client base.

196 members have made 1 post [total 196]
71 members have made 2 posts [total 142]
51 members have made 3 posts [total 153]
21 members have made 4 posts [total 84]
19 members have made 5 posts [total 95]
11 members have made 6 posts [total 66]
94 members have made 7 or more posts [total 9219]

So, less than 100 members have made nearly 93% of all posts.

Let’s apply the 1:9:90 rule. This predicts that 10% of those 463 do most of the talking and the other 90% occasionally chip in. This gives 46 and 417 respectively with a non-participatory audience of observers of 4140. This seems a reasonable estimate to me. It gives a total figure of 4600.

Total, 4600 = 17.26% of users, 2.24% of client base
View only, 4140 = 15.53% of users, 2.18% of client base
Post occasionally, 414 = 1.55% of users, 0.22% of client base
Post a lot, 46 = 0.17% of users, 0.02% of client base.

This in a forum that covers the whole borough and has been running for 2 years. It has pretty much rooted out those people who are inclined and have the time to chat on the interwebby. There are 46 of us.

So, what do the Council do? They spend lots of taxpayers money [yes a Government grant but still your money] on providing a facility "My Neighbourhood" where you can chat to people within a 1Km radius of your postcode. Now, the chances of any of those 46 living within 1Km of another is pretty remote. So, we are pretty much going to be talking to ourselves.

Carry On Government.

1 comment:

  1. To paraphrase a Flanders & Swann song:

    "Oh, it all makes work for the parasites to do".