Statistics shown in this article are produced by the Small Basic Community, for the Community.

By reporting community activity and traffic flows stakeholder and interested parties can assess activity volumes and consider any trends for the Small Basic  Monthly Challenges as at June 4, 2014.




The worksheet is updated at most monthly and sourced directly from the data as displayed on the forum.  Any new and related fields of data will be included as they become available or to meet demand.


The monthly totals for earlier months were collected sometime after the close of the month thereby possibly creating an upward bias for earlier months on the “replies” and  “votes” totals. The source worksheet includes the last “post date” and total “views” which can help the reader judge any possible maximum bias.


Fortunately this bias could only inflate earlier totals as compared to later totals thereby favouring a conservative interpretation of growth trends and projections.

It’s possible that future updates may not include earlier months. Either way any impact can be examined by further analysis of the worksheet. Any bias will favour a conservative interpretation of growth trends.

Monthly Totals



This graph illustrates an enthusiastic and consistent on going participation in the Monthly Challenges.

The View line slopes downward, illustrating ongoing interest in all Challenges past and present.

The Votes line, if anything, has a timid positive slope, perhaps illustrating a growing appreciation of the Monthly Challenges.

The Replies line varies. The frequency of Replies can be affected by the degree of difficulty among other things, Community demographic and life cycles. Any seasonal influence is countered by international participation.

Moving Averages and Lagging Trends

Excluding the 1st two months as outliers the challenges proved to be an innovative and novel forum feature for those learning to program with Small Basic. Early growth was strong peaking in February 2013, a little over 1 year from their conception.

In June 2013 a significant downward trend emerged, where the “short term MA” dropped below the “long term MA” and stayed there for just under 1 year. This could be a typical down cycle of something new, exciting and self-determined, i.e. conceived from the community itself.

By May 2014 an early growth trend has begun where short term MA moves above the long term MA.

Moving Average Convergence/Divergence

In coming months it will become clearer if 40, 45 or 50 replies could be considered an emerging running average and if a resistance level of 50 can be crossed for a while with the presence of community momentum.

Downward divergence has contracted and a new period has begun with early upward divergence.

I wouldn’t be too surprised if a pattern of momentum continued based on the thought that members have a stake in the challenges (their own community).

In times of sustained low activity the desire to support might be felt and in times of sustained high activity the desire to “take a break” might materialise. This could well produce cycles of momentum. That would make forward estimates easier to project.

Concluding Thoughts

In considering these statistics and trends effort has been made not to view or present them as a community asset but as community-determined service. 

The significant statistical observations and interpretations discussed were:

  1. The possible impact of their innovative conception. Often is the case where something novel takes off then plateaus to a more sustained level of activity.
  2. The presence of community spirit illustrated by a pattern of oscillation in the MACD graph.
  3. A recent cross-over of MA’s at least suggesting a coming sustained average and possibly a modest growth trend buoyed by community momentum.
  4. A forward estimate of current growth to a resistance level of 50 replies.
  5. Downward sloping “views” line indicating continued interest in all challenges past and present.

It’s also worth considering when projecting, any life-cycle fluctuations that could come about by factors exogenous to the community. These may include things like product innovation, competing products, marketing and goodness knows.

Projections could also be affected by endogenous changes. These may include things like reformatting the challenges, challenge content, incentives, guest posters and any other enhancement conducive to learning and participation.

What are the Monthly Challenges?

It’s where forum members get together every month to practice as they learn - a collaborative event of enthusiastic beginners and experts.

We are challenged each month with a diverse array of real world tasks of varying degrees of difficulty and given the opportunity to post, share and show our solutions. Positive reinforcement is provided and thoughts exchanged.

Consistent practice, trial and error, mentoring, feedback, fun and enthusiasm are vital for learning! The monthly challenges provide this service and are a popular and valuable Small Basic resource. They provide an enjoyable, accessible self-determined and self-paced learning resource in a welcoming, friendly and respectful online forum.

The challenges are live and top quality. This is maintained predominately by the generosity and steadfast stewardship of litdev, a popular moderator and experienced professional programme.

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