I'm generally in agreement, though I have a few variations:Flying Fox wrote:Ragnar Dan wrote:FF: I agree that's a problem, but why does it seemingly affect TR's team more than others?
We've been left in the dust by 4 teams in the last year or so. Do you think that it's a simple matter of others recruiting a lot more than we are and even though they're having a similar rate of teammates quitting it doesn't affect them as much?
There are lots of factors, I have a few points that hopefully shed some light in the picture:
- The TR community itself is smaller than the others. This is a fundamental issue that is not going to change any time soon. Compare to other sites like AnandTech and [H] we simply don't have as big communities as theirs. To solve this we need to dramatically step up our recruitment and retaining efforts. Problem is some of us old-timers are somewhat elitistknowledgeable and massive recruitment may mean dumbing down the audience. Notice the relatively "meh" reaction to TR joining the new fancy stuff like Facebook and you can get a glimpse of what kind of people usually hang around here. /no-offense-just-an-observation
- Now, we may be small, but the fact that we have been hanging on for so long is a testament to something. I did a quick Excel exercise and it showed. I took the top 25 teams from EOC and calculated the "total points per active user". TR is at #5 at 2.8 million points per active user. If you look at the 5 teams above us they are near the bottom actually. So we just have a relatively small group but they are already pretty productive.
- The other teams that are surpassing us most likely have a lot of members folding on one or 2 machines. We seem to have lots of people with a farm of some sort, thus jacking up the per user production numbers. This can be a focus of our next recruitment drive in which we ask people to fold on one GPU on one computer. Hopefully we can get more people this time.
- The TR community also prides itself in living in the "bang for buck" realm. However, this hurts us in our folding efforts because most of us are more cost conscious and in general are just more mature. So the hotter weather, a/c costs, etc. all lead to people not folding as much as they can. Just look at how UGN and other big-time folders downsizing their farms and we can see how much that hurts us.
- Some of our past leaders have farms of CPU nodes, but the SMP client is just in such a bad state that they have quit altogether (drfish and leor are the prime examples). For the corporate folders GPU folding is usually not accessible to them.
- When we lost drfish we lost our de facto captain so to speak. UGN, FBW, FH, and PinTO have been carrying the torch but with such a disparity of points among them, it does not capture the imagination. We need more mid-range gauntlets!
- Our other "drumming up support" efforts fizzled most of the time. We need to improve on that.
1) Some of our competitors don't seem quite so large. Pande Lab is recently about to pass us like we're standing still. I believe I've seen them on our threat list before, but they've always petered out quickly, which made me think they were testing new machines or something, but this time they've been coming for longer than usual, and while they've slowed their pace somewhat, it's not so much yet that we won't be overtaken before the summer's over.
2-3) Yes, we've had several dedicated folders which kept us among the upper teams, but with people like drfish and Leor dropping out, as happened with some other big producers from earlier days, we're falling behind. I have to believe that people who are on a college campus but have a great gaming GPU, who don't have to pay for electricity, present an opportunity for recruitment.
4) Indeed I think this hurts TR especially because most of us pay our own way and TR attracts more mature regulars than other sites, or so my small sampling of some of the others would seem to indicate. Which means with the rise in electricity costs many of us are saving money by not folding as much or at all.
5) The Windows SMP client doesn't seem to have changed much, but it's always seemed to be in need of a rewrite. After a while, though, I'm sure that sort of babysitting machines thing becomes tiresome. The only real problems with the Linux SMP client lately are that it fails to delete expired data files and too often gets stuck at the FINISHED_UNIT point.
6) That's right, and we also don't seem to have anyone to get TR management interested in adding an article on the subject any more. For example, when on some Saturday TR doesn't have a Saturday science subject, it's a perfect opportunity to put in a push for new team members.
While I'm a good editor, I'm not very good at coming up with an attractive solicitation for causes. I'm a bit too grouchy.