How To Model A Web Site?
February 13, 2010 7:02 AM   Subscribe

Resources for modeling a web site and its use by visitors and members?

Imagine a web site filled with many members and even more visitors. Every day some visitors become members and some members drift away.

Some members interact, others don't (visitors can't). Some members get charged for interacting, depending on how they do it, others don't.

Are there any useful methods for modeling these kinds of things? Particularly interactions between members and interactions between members and the site (via web pages and emails) and how the interactions may direct use of the site.

Has anyone written a book or a paper or had a conference on this notion?

I would also be interested in any attempts to simulate a site's entire active population for predictive purposes.

Pointers to books, papers and software appreciated. Can program, prefer python but can nut out everything else.

I am now going to be away from the computer for about 8-10 hours, so if you have questions I will be back to answer them.

Thanks in advance for your answers.
posted by hifimofo to Science & Nature (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't have any specific examples of modeling like you're talking about, but one bit of analytics that's sometimes done to track user interaction is called a "cohort analysis." Unfortunately, there's not even a ton of writing about this (Googling usually pulls up writeups about medical tests).

The core idea is that you divide users into cohorts, and you look at how the different cohorts interact with the site. A cohort could be "people who signed up in this month versus this month versus this month", or it could be "people from this geographic region", "or people who have subscribed to this site versus using the free version of the site," etc.

Here's a good writeup on cohort analyses.
posted by Alt F4 at 1:43 PM on February 13, 2010

This is not exactly what you are looking for, but you should check out Andrew Chen's freemium spreadsheet model. His blog also has good posts about start up metrics.
posted by bignerds at 7:41 AM on February 14, 2010

« Older Time for the Consumerist?   |   Music to fall asleep to Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.