Rise and Fall of the Yahoo! Web Analytics Forum

The Web Analytics Forum on Yahoo! Groups was started back in 2004 by one of the giants of the web analytics industry, Eric Peterson. Since then, it has been a major hub for web analytics community news, events, and discussion – so much so that Avinash Kaushik was included “You have not only heard of the Yahoo! Web Analytics group, but 20 minutes of each day is spent reading all the posts”  as item #9 in his Top Ten: Signs You are a Great Analyst.

After being out of the loop of the Web Analytics Forum for a while due to some email changes, I was recently reminded of the relevance of this forum and subscribed again for daily updates. While doing so, I noticed some interesting stats on message history that are shown at the bottom of the home page. Being the type of person who processes data much better when it is visually represented, rather than being shown as numbers in a table (as I believe most of us are), I dropped the data into Excel and created the quick chart shown above.

I was disheartened to see that although message volume on the forum grew fairly steadily from inception in 2004 up until April, 2008, it has trended down since then. I have to admit that I have never posted a message to the forum, so I am as much a part of the problem as anybody, but from a community member perspective it is disappointing to see this resource waning. No doubt it is at least partly a result of the rise of social media and the resulting fragmentation of communications, but the Web Analytics Forum has a valuable role to play, in my opinion, as a central repository of current – and historical – information related to the practice of web analytics.

So I will continue following the Web Analytics Forum, looking for opportunities to jump in when I have something useful to add, and I hope others will do the same.

And to the forum founder Eric Peterson, as well as all those who have followed in his footsteps and contributed valuable information and insights to the Web Analytics forum in the past, present, and future…THANK YOU!