observed that e.g. /r/MegaLoungeV is a highly-active sub, which isn’t necessarily what you’d expect if the activity level was based entirely upon the number of people permitted to have access.
I started wondering if there might be a better predictor of engagement levels. I experimented by looking at the ratio of how many people ‘subscribe’ to each MegaLounge to how many people are permitted into there. This isn’t a perfect measure of engagement, of course, but my thinking was that of the people who are invited into a MegaLounge, only some of those will add it to their front page… but that those who add it to their front page are more-likely to actively participate.
The graph shows three things. From the left axis, the blue and red lines show the number of people who are allowed into each MegaLounge and the number of people who are subscribed to each MegaLounge. As you might expect, there’s a gap between the two and the gap narrows in higher lounges, where there are fewer people.
But what I was interested in is whether and where this gap changes proportionally: is the “subscription rate” among eligible people higher in particular lounges, and can this been seen as a predictor of activity levels and engagement rates in each lounge? That’s what the green bars show (against the right-hand axis: note that it doesn’t start at zero). In general, across the MegaLounges up to and including /r/MegaLoungeSol, there does seem to be a slight upward trend: i.e. the higher a lounge you’re in, the more-likely that eligible people are to add that lounge to their front page. Beyond /r/MegaLoungeSol the bars jump around all over the place, probably because of the small number of people ‘up there’, and I suggest that we ignore them: accuracy of this as a predictor would be expected to be better where there were more subscribers: say, up to about /r/MegaLoungeDiamond.
What this would predict would be a “lull” at /r/MegaLoungeVIII. I don’t know if that’s your experience or not. And, interestingly, the ‘subscription ratio’ at /r/MegaLoungeV and /r/MegaLoungeX are also unusually low, bucking the overall trend. What does this mean? I don’t know. But if /r/MegaLoungeV really is to be considered one of the more “active” MegaLounges, then I think that we can safely say that my hypothesis – that we might be able to predict activity hotspots by looking at the subscription rate – is not backed up by the data.
You know how I love to play with statistics and data mining. Well, I’ve been doing so, and I thought I’d share with you uber-elites some fun-but-pointless data I’ve been extracting: the names of the Redditors who’d probably most-benefit from MegaMegaMonitor, but who aren’t using it (based on how many tracked private subs they’re part of – note that some subs are tracked but don’t [yet] have icons…):
I wonder if I should have some kind of referrals scheme, whereby people can claim credit for getting other people ‘hooked’ on MegaMegaMonitor. Or maybe just have a scoreboard of “who suggested it to whom”.
Or maybe I’m overthinking it all again.
Anyway: just wanted to share with you. I’m thinking of doing some statistics cross-referencing “highest MegaLounge” against “number of (tracked) private sub memberships”, because I’ll bet there’s a correlation there… and if there is, I’d be interested to see who the outliers are! /u/k_princess would probably be one, as she’s in lots of private subs but is only up to /r/MegaLoungeSaturn, somehow. /u/outroversion even more so, with a highest MegaLounge of /r/MegaLoungeRuby. But there’s always a lot we can learn from the outliers. And there must be outliers at the other extreme, too: people who are way up in the MegaLounges but aren’t in many other private subs: I wonder who they are?
This has been your insight into my mind, for today. Have a great week!
You’ll be able to see your ninja brethren everywhere on Reddit: they’ll have a “ninja” icon after their name, so you can’t miss them!
You’ll be able to write secret messages that only other ninjas (who use MegaMegaMonitor) will be able to decode. A great way to “out” suspected pirates when you meet them elsewhere in Reddit and to coordinate attacks.
If you choose, you can go into your MegaMegaMonitor settings and take off your ninja disguise! If you do this, even pirates (who use MegaMegaMonitor) will be able to see that you’re a ninja by the icon next to your name, so it’s only an option for ninjas who prefer an aggressive stance rather than a stealthy one. It’s up to you!
The pirates are about to make this same discovery, too, but (on account of me being a ninja!) you’re hearing about it first. To arms!
Performance improvements – many users, and particularly those on slower computers, those using Firefox, those with access to many private subreddits, and those browsing long comment threads, have seen MegaMegaMonitor get painfully slow. Performance should be much improved for these users, now.
Two new subreddits – MegaMegaMonitor now supports /r/gildedgonewild and /r/ElephantLounge. /r/ElephantLounge is another subreddit to which I don’t personally have access, so I’d love to hear from people who do to reassure me that the icons are working as they’d expect. These newly-added subreddits support all of the usual MMM features including encrypted messages.
Prettier icons – people at ‘gemstone’ level MegaLounges now have appropriate icons, and people ‘stuck’ (black icons) in the MegaLounge chain theme “after the sun” now have part of the style of the icon carried over, too.
As always, I’d love to hear what you think, including any ideas for the future. I’m still hoping to make the “gossip” feature, mostly for the folks in /r/gilderguild, and I’ve still got grand ideas to help support /r/NinjaLounge and /r/PirateLounge (I’m just waiting for the go-ahead!). I’d also like to add some stability-improving features in an upcoming release, to help ensure that MegaMegaMonitor stays working with minimal intervention and is hopefully even capable of outliving me!
Update: I’ve also just pushed out v116, which also adds:
Encrypted messages on wiki pages – it’s now possible to use the secret message feature to put encrypted messages onto Reddit wiki pages, too. I’ve done this so that I can use some as examples in the upcoming documentation that’ll be appearing later today.
Update2: MMM updates are like buses. You wait for ages for one to come along, and then three come all at once. Here’s v120, which adds:
/r/NinjaLounge and /r/PirateLounge support – not only do pirates and ninjas get icons and encrypted messages, like everybody else: they also get an extra setting on their options page to choose whether or not their identity is protected (via ninja stealth or pirate magic) – the default – or if they’re going out proud and fully-armed (which means that their enemies can see their icon, too!).
I’ve just released a new version of MegaMegaMonitor, v108. It’s compatible with v106, so you can upgrade “at your leisure” (or else your browser will probably do it for you in a day or two). Here’s what’s new:
Faster updates – thanks to some improvements at the back-end (and with apologies to people who were temporarily inconvenienced by missing flair for a few hours yesterday), your MegaMegaMonitor icons should now never be more than 8 hours out-of-date (and typically closer to 3-4), rather than the previous 24 hour delay.
Smarter caching – this is achieved, however, alongside smarter caching, so your copy of MMM will spend less time checking for updated data, which will make it less-likely to slow your browser down, especially if your Internet connection isn’t very good.
Better “back” support – thanks to the HTML5 History API, the MegaMegaMonitor “tools/options” panel now has its own web address. Which means that if you press “back” to get out of it, it works like you’d expect, not in weird ways as it did previously. It also means that you can give people a link to “their MMM options page” if you’re helping them to understand it – here’s your MMM options page, for example!. Your options are still all stored on your computer, of course – it’s just an illusion.
Private sub support – at long last, MegaMegaMonitor is capable of supporting private subreddits of which I’m not personally a member. If you’re the moderator of a private sub and want to make this happen for your private sub, get in touch. If you’re not a moderator but would like this to happen for your private sub, talk to your moderators! This new change means that, for the first time ever, it’s possible for somebody to have more icons than me. Get collecting!
“Tiny icons” mode – don’t like how much space all of the icons take up? Now from the options page you can switch to “tiny icons”, which are eye-squintingly small but should fit daintily alongside the name of the redditor you’re looking at. How sweet.
I hope that’ll keep you all amused for a little while. Don’t forget to get in touch if you’d like icons for your private subs: I wonder if the /r/HarryPotter folks would like MMM support for their “houses” (which are four private subs)? And whatever happened in the end to /r/DragonLounge? And is /r/ElephantLounge still a thing? The more subs MMM supports, the sooner people will finally start overtaking me with icons!
(FYI: the /r/centuryclub mods have already said “no”, so that’s not going to happen until I get another 70K comment karma…)
Update:/u/gamehelp16 (who’s about to get some gold for their efforts) spotted a bug in the tiny icons that could make some icons invisible, some of the time. I’ve now released v110, which fixed that problem. Thanks, /u/gamehelp16!
Edit: fixed typo.
Update2: v108/v110 also broke the “search for a user’s posts by sub” feature, so I’ve rushed-out v112 to fix that. I really ought to initiate some kind of “beta” process, shouldn’t I?
I’ve got all of the core code written for v108, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you all. But first, I’d like to find mods from one or more private subs of which I’m not a member who’d like to be guinea pigs for a new feature.
This new feature will, at long last, allow icons, encrypted messages, and all of the other fabulous features you love to be used on private subreddits even if I’m not personally a member of them. From the serious (/r/top? /r/centuryclub?) to the silly (/r/dragonlounge?) and even to fringe outliers (/r/MegaLounge2), this feature could be yours. I’m already talking to the /r/NinjaLounge / /r/PirateLounge folks.
MegaMegaMonitorBot can then see the membership list for your sub, and can thus – for MMM users – let them “see” one another anywhere around Reddit. So it’s basically the same as regular MegaMegaMonitor, except you don’t need to invite me personally into your sub.
The observant among you might note that, if I were the unscrupulous type, I could log in as/u/MegaMegaMonitorBot and snoop upon whatever it is that you say there. I suppose that’s true, just as it is with any bot that you grant access to your sub. But on the other hand: if I were malicious, I’d already have seen such content by abusing the trust of the people in your sub who’ve installed MMM already. Just sayin’. Anyway: the key thing is, it’s up to you. I think that this has the potential to add real value to many kinds of private subs, and I’d love for people to have the chance to make use of it.
Not a mod? Tell the mods of the subs you’re in!
tl;dr: next version of MegaMegaMonitor will be able to support private subs of which I’m not personally a member: mods who want to do this should invite /u/MegaMegaMonitorBot and then contact me; non-mods should pester their mods.
To fix it, (1) delete MMM from your Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey scripts list, then (2) restart your browser, then (3) install MMM again. Most people can get away with fewer steps than this, but this three-step approach should work for everybody.
So apparently everything broke for a lot of people after I released v106. The problem was the combination of two things:
v100 broke the auto-updater.
v100 also broke the error message that was supposed to appear if the auto-updater was broken and #3 happened.
v106 changed the format that the data was passed around in, which invalidated earlier versions that were still “out there”. It repaired #2, though!
The combination of these two factors meant that people running v100, v102, or v104 will have ended up “stuck” on those versions, and won’t even have gotten error messages to tell them that the data format had changed and they needed to update.
I’ve remotely-fixed #1 as of yesterday, so everything should fix itself for anybody who’s still affected. Sorry it took longer than it should have to do that, though: I’ve had a nasty stomach bug this week.
Everything should now be okay for everybody, and I’m going to be getting started on all-new features in about a week and a half, of which the principal new feature will be tools to allow MegaMegaMonitor to work on private subreddits that I’m not a member of (with permission from the mods of that sub). Updates, as usual, on /r/MegaMegaMonitor.
tl;dr: This is a security update to MegaMegaMonitor. If you don’t update, your copy of MegaMegaMonitor will stop working.
Sorry for the wall of text – scroll down to “What’s new?” for the short version, and remember to upgrade:
So there’s been a security bug in MegaMegaMonitor since about the year dot. I’ve always known about it, and I’ve always intended to fix it (in fact, it was the very next thing on my list), but for the time being I’d been doing something particularly naughty which was to rely on ‘security through obscurity’ – hoping that nobody would put the effort in to undermining me. Well, I should’ve known better, really, and /u/BeanbagLover caught me out, making a minor tweak to their copy of MegaMegaMonitor to pretend that it was me in order to read encrypted messages from any of the currently-available subs for crypto.
So I’ve rushed-forward my efforts to release a more-secure version of MegaMegaMonitor, putting it together this lunchtime at work. Owing to the nature of the fix, old versions of MegaMegaMonitor will stop working or will stop being up-to-date within the next few hours, so you might need to click the “install megamonitor” button again if it stops working for you and the auto-update hasn’t kicked in yet.
It’s all behind-the-scenes stuff, this time, I’m afraid:
Faster updates on the server-side: this won’t affect you yet, but will make it possible to have MegaMegaMonitor update its data more-frequently in a future release
Handshake authentication – instead of just trusting that you are who you claim to be and giving you the appropriate membership data and encryption/decryption keys, MegaMegaMonitor will now (if it doesn’t recognise you) perform one of several additional background identity checks to ensure that you really do have access to the subreddits that you claim to. You won’t see it – it all happens in the background – but after an update or when you first install MegaMegaMonitor you might notice that it takes a couple of seconds longer to run, the first time around.
Fresh cryptographic keys – I’d already implemented a system by which old encryption/decryption keys could be invalidated if they were leaked (as they now have been!), so that’s included. Again, it’s silent, but the essence of it is that even though existing encrypted messages made with MegaMegaMonitor v104 and below can potentially be read by anybody who broke the older (shit) security system (e.g. /u/BeanbagLover), they can’t read any newly-encrypted content (from v106 onwards) without finding a whole new way to break in. Which is now a lot tougher.
So there you have it – the first major security-patch to MegaMegaMonitor, out now. And again I’ll stress that I’d far prefer to see ethical disclosure of vulnerabilities in this tool (or any of my software): drop me a private message and I’ll fix things ASAP and credit you. Break them in public and I’ll still fix them, but I’ll have to do them under pressure and it’ll make me sad. This particular bug was always going to be fixed in v106: I just didn’t expect to have to find time to finish and release v106 until Sunday.