Metafilter Stats Databased

It took a while, but my Metafilter Statistics page has finally been updated again, after resting peacefully since last November. Regardless of how you feel about Metafilter, these charts give you a three-year glimpse into the changing trends of a popular online community. It looks like traffic has finally seemed to level off a bit, after a period of long growth. (It’s also a convenient way to spot cult threads.) I posted a thread about it on Metatalk, the forum for discussing all things Metafilter.

On a technical note, the reason I stopped updating the statistics was because of the inflexibility of flat files. I had been storing all the data in text files, thinking that it might be a low-tech and quick way to store a small amount of data. Never, ever do that. They’re impossible to manipulate, modify, and the whole thing needs to be loaded into memory for some simple queries. (In my case, that led to ‘Out of memory’ errors when the dataset got too large.) Relational databases good; flat files bad.