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What we know so far - v0.9.5
Hello! We've been given a new year, and we are in #hackathon season.
I want to take a moment to look at Pnut's recent history. I keep open communication in the Developer chat room, so please do drop in there or just talk to me directly if you want to have input in the network or have questions.
Pnut brings in a couple hundred dollars every month. After expenses, a little of the money stays in the bank. More than three years in, Pnut has the funds to survive for years, as far as regular expenses are concerned. The initial investment I made for server hardware included a duplicate of all the hardware in use, so hardware failures are already accounted for. We already made a full hard drive replacement once, preemptively.
If you support Pnut with money, that is fantastic! Thank you!
Over the years, some folks who've really wanted to support this project have had to stop their subscriptions, and that has been understandable. But the financials are a consistent encouragement to me.
We had a strong start three years ago, and then a steady decline since App.net closed in March of 2018. If you look at basic stats, we've stayed fairly steady this year, after sliding down to a happy medium of activity in March.
We track just a handful of things that I can translate into engagement metrics. I know how many posts, messages, etc., were created in a period of time. The discerning developer will notice that the https://api.pnut.io/sys/stats endpoint gained a new field called
counts.users.today on the last update, which is just a set of user IDs that have hit the API in the current UTC day. This is the closest Pnut has to a "monthly active user" metric, but it's daily.
These are napkin stats:
- 90 accounts use Pnut in a daily fashion. Some of those are feeds or bots.
- 110 human users create a post in a month.
- 60 human users create a message in a month.
Apps for users are the lifeblood of the network, and we still have good support for major platforms. There is a hearty band of developers who maintain and iterate their apps. This is a hobbyist platform for sure. We improve the infrastructure when we have time and when we have an itch to scratch.
Existing apps continue to be supported by the likes of @rafaelcosta, @ludolphus, @thrrgilag, @xyz, @ericd, @kwood, @lechindianer, @hutattedonmyarm, @dasdom, @ravisorg, @unixb0y, @mcdemarco... the list goes on!
New apps are still being built to fill needs – these recent additions, for example:
- Gamma; an Android app from @xyz
- PiNut; an iOS app from @unixb0y
- html.is; a sparse but accessible web app by yours truly
We are a small community that supports itself financially and with developer support. I think there are some holes in our community engagement. I think that is what I am worst at. This year I will be challenged to either foster a more lively community, or slip past another threshold of holding attention.
We don't need to worry about Monthly Active Users or harsh statistics like other social networks, but there is a felt loss of perspectives and stalwart users that I think discourages other folks from sticking around.
Cheers to a new year!
(You can take a look at the Developer change log for details on the latest API update.)
@33MHz / Robert, on behalf of Pnut