Pinkbike Exploration

Introduction

 

Ahhh, Pinkbike. The classic MTB website. I’m not a big consumer of mountain bike content, but it’s definitely the go to. The site seems to get more popular and comprehensive every day, and I bet we’ve all had a few questions that we’d like answered about the infamous webpage. I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to learn more about what’s going on in the mountain biking world, how people on the internet interact with it, and how it has evolved over the years. I’ve also been exploring some ideas for a pretty cool project; one of the components of it is to gauge how well I can understand a website, it’s users, and it’s content by looking at the data. Two birds with one stone!

I’d like to start with a little exploratory data analysis to answer some questions like:

What are some of the most viewed/commented content/articles?

How long does the average person spend on the site?

How has Pinkbike changed since it’s inception?

After that, in a second post, I’d like to delve a bit deeper to answer things like:

What makes a good/bad Pinkbike article? 

Who are the most popular riders and photographers on Pinkbike?

How do you get the most upvoted comment?

 

 

The Data

The first thing I needed to do was gather the data. I wrote a script that scraped all of the preview, article, and comment text from the site (I was going to link to my GitHub, but I figured if, by some miracle, someone else does know how to program Pinkbike probably doesn’t want them going wild on the site. >.<). I was laughing because I did most of the work while I was in Cabo and I thought of Karl (one of the founders of Pinkbike) being like “Who the hell is this guy from Mexico visiting different links on the website for a week straight, 24 hours a day!?” Well, Karl, I was trying to be nice and not send out requests every .01 seconds and take your site down, so yeah, you’re welcome. Also, now that I’m finished it would be a good idea for you to implement a request limit hahaha.

All in all, it is about 700mb worth of text! So many words! The data go from July 31, 2000, to the morning of November 19, 2017.  I collected everything from comment scores to usernames to photo faves.

Fun fact: Pinkbike calls any comment under a -4 a “Cesspool” comment.
Another Fun Fact: There are 18 bad links and one duplicate article. High five if you can find them all.

Anyway, let’s get on with it.

 

 

The Stats

102,035 users wrote 1,787,277 comments and 47,628,507 words on 36,811 articles.

3,089 contributors typed 19,218,425 words, posted 263,769 pictures, and showed us 28,714 videos

Finally, photographers and videographers received 270,368,441 and 495,299,902 views on their Pinkbike pictures and videos.

Crazy.

 

 

The Comments

So this is awesome. Eight out of the top ten most commented articles are fantasy contests, and the other two are “Name our bike” posts. I think the stereotype of mountain bikers being cheap is alive and well, just add to that they love naming stuff. Still, respect to the Contest: Name This Frame From Dartmoor Bikes article for getting 6,268 comments even though the average post only gets 48.6.

 

Scott Secco had a very powerful comment about Stevie this year that got the most upvotes of all time at 2,416. This year wasn’t the same without him. He remains at the forefront of everyone’s mind, and I think we all, still, expect to just see him ride through the pits with that crazy moustachey grin. He may not be here, but Stevie still wins at everything he does. #LongLiveChainsaw #missyou

I had the privilege of spending a few days filming with Stevie over the years and he was just as rad in person as he seemed on camera at World Cup races. Fiercely competitive, funny, blindingly fast on a bike, just a genuinely rad dude. It was so badass to see a Canadian win one World Cup downhill race, let alone the overall title. Stevie was a huge source of pride for Canadians, especially those lucky enough to call Vancouver Island home. I know he's influenced a whole generation of young riders on the Island and shown that it's possible, with hard work and a beard/moustache, to compete at the highest level of the sport. Stevie, thanks for the inspiration! I'm going riding today in your honour.

 


Alternatively, MojoMaujer got 848 downvotes on their comment about Claudio’s Rampage 2015 preview. It would be nice to get the views/downvotes ratio to normalize it a bit, but this is interesting because some of the highly downvoted comments are insanely frustrating/offensive compared to this. Maybe people read it as “Rampage is not mountain biking.” Which I could see striking a chord. I mean, you can say any sexist, racist, ignorant thing you want, but don’t talk about mountain biking!

this is not mountain biking... this is just a tv show for teenagers.

 

Iconx received 454 replies to their comment. That’s almost twice the next most replied to comment at 254. The video is pretty gnarly and scary. I’m sure some people have actually gotten shot like that which is sad. Easy to see why it was so replied to, everyone has an opinion on their riaaaat to bear arms. Especially when you have a German being so logical.

So thats the way more guns would make america a safer place, just got that logic

 

 

 The Media


The average video gets 7,700.6 views and 81.2  faves, peytodog blew those stats out of the water, or should I say Jackson blew them out of the water, by getting highest view count on any Pinkbike video with 1,023,004 views and 4,497 faves!

 


Everyone loves larock. He’s made some killer videos over the years, and this one is his masterpiece. I can say that because it got the most fave’s ever at 7,536, in addition to raking in 581,330 views. Go on boy!

 

Same with Stupendousman. The average photograph gets 990.6 views and 12.2 faves. His picture of Antti Rissanen doing, what I assume was, the first cashroll to dirt got most views of all time at 607,411 views and 1,170 faves! Photographers take note; apparently, you don’t need to wake up at 3 AM and hike to the top of Mt. Everest to get that 46-year sunrise, you just need to take a photo of some dude doing something really gnarly. 😛

 

Kevin Scott has the most fave’d photo ever with this classic of Kyle Marshall at Bromont. It got 5,086 faves and 200,646 views. Yeah, right, we should also check off that stereotype that says everyone loves crashes more than anything in the entire world, got it.

The Users

At the heart of Pinkbike lie its users, and there is no one more wrapped up in that heart than WAKIdesigns! He’s posted an astronomical 14,581 comments over the 8.5 years he has been a member. Let’s dive into this a bit more, shall we? To put it into perspective. RedBurn , who is in second place, has 5,827 comments and the average Pinkbike user has a lowly 17.5 comments, bless their heart.

We can get an idea of how long people spend typing comments by dividing the total number of words in all their comments by how fast the average person types (40 wpm).

WAKIdesigns is at:

19 Days, 2 Hours, 3 Minutes and 3 Seconds

The average of RedBurn, scott-townes, bigburd, and groghunter (2nd-5th place) is:

5 days, 22 hours, 27 minutes and 49 seconds

And the average Pinkbike user types for

33 minutes and 1 second

Now, this is just time spent typing. Not time spent on the site. And yes, each day counts for 24 hours.
I would love to see time spent on the site. I would be curious to know if it painted a different picture. Are your most active users the ones who spend the most time on the site? Does spending more time on the site mean more ad clicks? In that sense, who’s more valuable? So many questions! We should ask Facebook, they would know.

 

Here are the most active countries comments-wise. The Pinkbike-Admin account has their own country. Maybe that means Karl is sitting in the middle of the ocean on a yacht. Oh! Or maybe they bought an island. Pinkbike-Admin Island. Yeah. (Just kidding. While there is an admin account, the numbers are just users with no country)

United States        637,979
Canada               391,025
United Kingdom       250,324
Australia            57,507 
Pinkbike Admin       49,792 
Scotland             33,511 
Germany              30,406 
New Zealand          28,440 
France               23,214 
Sweden               22,007 
Poland               19,355 
Switzerland          13,434 
Wales                12,796 
Portugal             12,334 
Netherlands          11,450 
Belgium              10,704 
Ireland              9,873  
Brazil               9,313

 

 

The Articles

So speaking of time spent on the site, it takes the typical Pinkbike user 4 minutes and 55 seconds to consume each article. How do we get that? Well, we know that the average article has 522 words, 0.78 videos, and 7.2 pictures. If we make a few guesses and say average person reads at 200 wpm, that the average video is 2.5 minutes long, and that people look at each picture about 3 seconds, then we can come up with our fun little approximation.  Even though this doesn’t take into account scrolling, zoning out and A.D.H.D. I was a little surprised at how short that was, but after looking into it, that seems about right!

We can do the same for comments. Each comment has an average of 26.7 words, and each article has an average of 48.6 comments which means it would take you about 6 minutes and 29 seconds to read the comments section of an article.

We can see the average number of articles posted per day. In 2010 – 2014 the site was pinned!

      articles_per_day  pct_increase
year                                
2000  1.42              0.00%        
2001  1.86              23.34%       
2002  1.97              5.72%        
2003  2.37              16.75%       
2004  1.91             -23.63%       
2005  2.09              8.30%        
2006  2.34              10.89%       
2007  2.73              14.32%       
2008  3.42              20.07%       
2009  3.37             -1.45%        
2010  5.47              38.36%       
2011  7.07              22.61%       
2012  8.83              19.96%       
2013  10.80             18.22%       
2014  13.02             17.03%       
2015  13.75             5.32%        
2016  12.99            -5.80%        
2017  13.27             2.08%

Here’s a look at the number of comments per day. There’s so much we can do with this and some of the other stuff we’ve found! Ugh, OK, OK. I’ll refrain from getting too nerdy.

 

It’s kinda cool to see the consistency of the contributors. Most of them have been there from almost the beginning. Here are the top 3 and the number of articles they’ve posted:

Tyler Maine       2279
Pinkbike Staff    1917
Mike Levy         1333

It’s also absolutely hilarious to go back and read some of the earlier posts. Here’s one:

This one was sent in by about a dozen people. I’m not sure what the source is but it’s been making the rounds on emails all over the world. This is the one where one XC racer shoves another and they both wipe out. Hey look at me, im editing the pinkbike news! Mwahahahah!!!

Oh, and this one, who knew Pinkbike was primarily XC focused?

The old poll was “What kind of racing are you into?”. 1495 people voted and the most the most popular was XC with DH in a close second. In the new poll let’s see what kind of travel you all have on your bikes.

Ahh, how far we’ve come…

Hopefully, you enjoyed our little trip through Pinkbike. See you soon!

 

7 thoughts on “Pinkbike Exploration

  1. Anonymous Reply

    Great article, Eliot! You’re my hero and I have such a huge crush on you!
    – XO Gossip Girl

  2. Mirka Garland Reply

    OH my lord this is so ace! Waki designs being the #1 pinkbike person (not judging so no adjectives utilized.) not a shocking discovery. I love the break down of all the data. Thank you for avoiding the wheel size debate. 🙂

  3. Jeff Woodgate Reply

    A great read!
    I remember the site reboot of 2000 that brought new formatting, but lost a few of us our original user names. I wonder if they have the original site archived somewhere.

  4. Bobby Reply

    Yes nerdy, but I dug it. I love data analysis stuff. I find it absolutely fascinating. However, the fact you were doing this in Cabo makes me wonder about your vacation choices.

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