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I couldn't help but notice that of the top users on all the sites, the majority are from outside North America:

Server Fault: 60% of the 10k users (SF only has 10 10k users)

Super User: 60% of the 10k users (SU only has 10 10k users)

Stack Overflow: 40% of the top 10 users (to keep the field even)

(users with no location specified were counted, but to err on the side of caution, were counted as North America).

Is this because people in NA are working harder, and thus have less time to spend answering questions? Or is it because the other timezones are so far off the NA timezone that we're not competing with so many other people answering?

Either way, I think the message is clear: If you want to rep-whore, do it outside of the NA business hours!

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3 Answers

I think the sample size is too small to draw any general conclusions about the population. It's likely that those few individuals are just smarter (or whatever attribute you want to associate with S[UFO] reputation) than the rest of us.

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Well, Stack Overflow is the only site that would have a large enough sample size and unfortunately I don't have the time to anything else in depth. Too busy avoiding work on SF ;) –  Mark Henderson Mar 11 '10 at 2:13
    
P.S. If I were an advertising exec, I'd be saying that the sample size was perfect for illustrating the point ;) –  Mark Henderson Mar 11 '10 at 2:13
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By "sample size" I meant the top 10 users from each site. You're only looking at the top few contributors from each country. It makes sense that the top 10 would be spread out geographically, because you'd expect the very best Australian contributor to be about equal to the very best American or Brit, even if most users are from NA. If you start to look at the top 100 or 1000, there will probably be a higher concentration of people from NA. –  Bill the Lizard Mar 11 '10 at 2:41
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Oh, and an advertising exec will just keep taking samples until he gets one he likes. :) –  Bill the Lizard Mar 11 '10 at 2:42
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those, I agree. About the sample size and the ad exec :) –  o.k.w Mar 11 '10 at 2:46
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Took me a number of re-reads to understand the OP's point. It's rather odd for me that NA users are highlighted. Are the trilogy sites built for NA users or is it because it is built/owned/hosted by NA guys?

India alone has about 1/6 of the world's population. China's just below 1/5. Not to mention the population of the entire non-NA region. In fact, all other things being equal, the numbers are showing that there are more NA users than it should be.

If this question (or rather this post) is for information only, I do find the statistics interesting. If it is to suggest something to be done, I don't think there should be any. It is just how the community grows and evolves.

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The trilogy sites are built for English speakers. I have no idea what percentage of the populations of India and China speak English and program computers, but it's probably tiny compared to the same statistic in NA, the UK, and Australia. –  Bill the Lizard Mar 11 '10 at 2:33
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@Bill, check this out en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… –  o.k.w Mar 11 '10 at 2:42
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I don't suggest there's anything to be done, but it was some food for thought. And there is definately a pro-NA feel to the site. Not by any fault of the creators, but (in my experience) that's just the way the world works - people, in every country, tend to forget that other countries exist on the intertron. Which is why I found it very interesting that there was quite a heavy non-NA slant on the top users... –  Mark Henderson Mar 11 '10 at 2:45
    
@o.k.w: I did not expect that. :) –  Bill the Lizard Mar 11 '10 at 2:45
    
@Farseeker, I won't be surprised if the number of users (of any rep) from India is the highest. And the number is still rising rapidly. I think I can view it from a more holistic perspective because I myself is from a tiny country in Asia. –  o.k.w Mar 11 '10 at 2:50
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I don't think your stat is meaningful. You have to compare it with the total number of active users per region and show that out-of-NA programmers significantly dominate the 10k spot.

Only then you can say that the majority of the 10k users are coming out from North America and can draw inference from it.

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Well, I can quite easilly state that on SF and SU the majority of 10k users are, because they each only have 10 10k users. Makes the maths easy. –  Mark Henderson Mar 11 '10 at 2:46
    
Oh, and you're probably right, the stats are probably not meaningful. I never took Maths outside of high school (and I failed it AT highschool), so I took a very very simplistic approach. A statician or someone in Actuarial science would probably have a heart attack with my methods! –  Mark Henderson Mar 11 '10 at 2:48
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