Based on this post: Encouraging users to create an account (and keep it), and the fact that you need to create an account to ask questions on SO, now, after some time passed, did it really help?

Are users keeping their accounts and improving "their etiquette"?

Is it just me or, instead of having rubbish questions or "hit and runs" because of unregistered users, we now have rubbish questions or "hit and runs" because of registered (and then abandoned) users?

What is the improvement now after aprox. 1 year passed?

  • 14
    Thanks for asking this, we are currently considering requiring registration on Programmers and any answer to this will be extremely helpful for us.
    – yannis
    Aug 31, 2012 at 17:17
  • 7
    Could we get a dev to run a query for number of users in the past year that have only logged in once? Is that information available?
    – Servy
    Aug 31, 2012 at 17:45
  • 1
    It might be better to check for users who didn't log in more than 3 days after their sign up date. This is technically public data, since you can see each user's sign up date and last sign in.
    – Mannimarco
    Sep 1, 2012 at 4:53
  • This question points to some possibly-relevant data (but not enough to answer this question without more help): meta.stackexchange.com/questions/146458/… Sep 11, 2012 at 16:40
  • 1
    @gnat: I added a 250 points bounty to this question and only got one answer. I don't think an extra bounty will get further attention. I think that the response is pretty obvious. It didn't help or if it did it wasn't a big improvement.
    – JohnDoDo
    Sep 17, 2012 at 13:18
  • 2
    @JohnDoDo well I simply preferred to start small after seeing your 250 didn't make it. My rep allows me to put a series of bounties, +50, +100, +200, etc to keep this question featured, gaining attention for more than one week - and that's about what I plan to do
    – gnat
    Sep 17, 2012 at 13:23
  • @Servy Based on the "Visted X days, Y consecutive" on profile pages, it sounds like this information is available. If not, then we know it is at least stored for users authenticating via openid.stackexchange.com because of the "History" section on that page.
    – quietmint
    Sep 18, 2012 at 23:25
  • 1
    the premise of the question is kind of wrong. One of the biggest problems that this change addressed is users who had multiple "unregistered" accounts and would post answers to their own questions (as a different unregistered user), comments to their own questions (as a different unregistered user) etcetera. Sep 28, 2012 at 21:43
  • 1
    @Jeff Atwood: I understand what you're saying but encouraging people to get an account actually improves the community since the users are now accountable for their actions. Downvotes for badly asked questions or answers causing being banned to ask further ones etc is a motivation to improve. Compare this with hit and runs where you get an answer (along with the presumption of innocence since you were a new user not a bad one with bad history) and never give a s**t about it later, then repeat... Maybe you could post an answer and explain further, also mentioning if it really was an improvement
    – JohnDoDo
    Oct 1, 2012 at 12:43
  • as reported in recent update in this answer, "...This has dramatically changed the statistics in a positive way. I'm experiencing this myself as well."
    – gnat
    Nov 14, 2012 at 15:28

2 Answers 2


I suppose it depends on the criteria, but the Data Explorer suggests it probably didn't work. The Data Explorer currently includes account data through June 2012. Between 9/23/2011 (when registration became required to create a question) and 6/1/2012:

  • 452,529 new users
  • 20.7% never logged in again
  • 20.7% never logged in again and never voted
  • 15.5% never logged in again and have no posts

Compare to this data from one year prior (9/23/2010 to 6/1/2011):

  • 294,818 new users
  • 19.3% never logged in again
  • 19.3% never logged in again and never voted
  • 10% never logged in again and have no posts
  • 28
    I just love that this question is being answered by a "user#####" Sep 11, 2012 at 18:21
  • 1
    +250 for being the only answer on my question :)
    – JohnDoDo
    Sep 13, 2012 at 8:13

Registered between 9/2011 - 6/2012 = 452529
last access 1 week from creation = 130976 (28%)

Registered between 9/2010 to 6/2011 = 294818
last access 1 week from creation = 86557 (29%)

I know its old but I was interested if extending the duration past 1 day and removing the (I think) unimportant point criteria made any difference.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .