Forum: So how big is bioinformatics? Well a lot bigger than I thought ...
gravatar for Istvan Albert
5.3 years ago by
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k
University Park, USA
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k wrote:

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 ;-)

biostar forum • 1.4k views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 5.3 years ago • written 5.3 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k

For those that didn't catch the "Biostar fading" reference: Is The Biostar Fading? (Updated For 2014)

ADD REPLYlink written 5.3 years ago by Devon Ryan91k

Pretty cool! Does your analytics platform show the breakdown of visitors by country?

ADD REPLYlink written 5.3 years ago by Dan D6.8k

Very few countries don't send visitors, these are the top locations for user sessions

ADD REPLYlink modified 5.3 years ago • written 5.3 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k

Very interesting, thanks!

ADD REPLYlink written 5.3 years ago by Dan D6.8k

This is phenomenal. Have you considered a user survey?  It would be very interesting to get a more detailed picture of the BioStar audience. How many of the people visiting would consider themselves bioinformaticians. I want to guess that a substantial (maybe majority?) fraction will actually be non-informaticians that are stuck and end up from a google search on their specific problem. What percentage are one-time users versus becoming regular visitors. And, what percent of regular visitors then become contributors. You could probably learn a lot about the state of the field with the right surveys of the biostar audience.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.3 years ago by Obi Griffith18k

There are some companies offering more detailed analytics I will look at their services.

ADD REPLYlink written 5.3 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k
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