When I talk about Biostar I am often told that bioinformatics targets a small and niche audience. And I've never disagreed with that. Then typically I am asked to estimate just what would be the maximal audience, how many people are really interested in what takes place here. I sometimes do a "napkin" style estimate: well there are N institutes, with X number of people and they would come to Biostar a Z fraction of the time so something like N * X * Z
But then I noticed something. The actual number of people that visit seems to always end up substantially larger than my optimistic estimate based on past observations. So in my next estimate I have to increase one or more factors in the formula, mostly X and Z since N is more stable. But then six months later I need to do that again.
When finally it dawned me, our audience is much bigger than what we think moreover it grows at incredibly fast pace.
Bioinformatics is lot bigger than what I think is.
We have now passed another symbolical milestone. At peak times the number of unique users visiting within one hour exceeds 1000! This means that, on average, about every four seconds a new person (measured as distinct IP) arrives to Biostar and looks at a post! (Visits are tied to accessing a post not just loading a listing).
In the last month we had 140,000 unique users visiting, putting us on track of reaching 1.6 million people over a year. Factoring in the growth rate I think we will be closer to 3 million.
Long story short: Is the Biostar fading? I don't think so, I think we are just getting started ;-)