More about heartbeats

A few weeks ago I posted a blog entry about heartbeats, which was a paper attempting to measure the size of a user base based on download activity. The assumption is that active users will download each new version, and then there will be other people who download the product but don’t become active users.

After seeing the article, Daniel Gruno started playing with the mathematical model, to make it possible to generate this kind of information from live download data on any SourceForge project. That work is taking place in the SourceForge Heartbeats project.

Daniel told me yesterday that he’s ready for you, the SourceForge community, to have a look at it.


Go to the heartbeats website, register an account, claim a project, and identify your project milestones. Milestones can be releases, media events such as a podcast or magazine article, or other significant events in the life of your project that might have generated new interest.

Along with a reading of the Heartbeats paper itself, this may provide some insight into your community, as well as into what works, and what doesn’t, in terms of publicizing your project.

Be aware that this is still experimental. So while you’ll have a chance to play with it, you’re not guaranteed that your data will last forever, or even that this service will stay online forever.


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