Featured on Thingiverse: A Look at the Stats
My MOM Gimbal – Print in Place design was featured on Thingiverse on May 8th, 2015. The design is a remix of a Parametric Gimbal model by Bluebie. The small star icon of a Thingiverse feature is coveted recognition for hobbyist 3D designers. I have an unhealthy obsession with my Thingiverse analytics and the blue star provided a great glimpse into the statistics of a featured design.
On a typical day with no recent uploads, my designs receive an average of 100 views and 25 downloads. I include well lit photos and descriptions with most of my designs. Last year when I originally posted the MOM Gimbal it received 400 hits on the first full day with rapid fall off in the next few days. My experience shows that most designs will follow the same pattern. For student designers, the analytics can provide motivation and insight into the public interest in their designs.
This year, I noticed an uptick in my stats starting on May 5th. The MOM Gimbal went from 35 views on the 4th to more than 600 views a day. It turns out that the MOM Gimbal was part of the MOM Featured Collection. Featured Collections are represented by a small thumbnail photo on the Thingiverse main page. These collections are posted by Eric Mortensen aka glitchpudding on Thingiverse. The image used for the thumbnails appears to rotate between the designs in the collection. Being part of a featured collection provided a nice bump to not only my Thingiverse stats but also to my tutorial on customizing your own gimbal.
On May 8th, I received an email from Thingiverse that my design had been featured. Thingiverse Featured means a full size photo and description on the main Thingiverse page. The MOM Gimbal received 2,600 views the first day (13 hours) and 3,900 the next. The bump in stats are pretty amazing with about 2% of the views leading to links to my blog. The MOM Gimbal has now received over 20,000 total views and 4,900 downloads.
The other big difference with the featured design is the number of Makes. Most of my designs do not have anyone posting any photos of their printed Makes of the designs. The MOM Gimbal received 35 Makes and 8 Remixes. So quite a bit of interaction with other Thingiverse users.
I was also featured on Youmagine.com which is a 3D community/repository with strong open source roots. Many users migrated from Thingiverse to Youmagine to protest the perceived appropriation of open-source community designs into Makerbot patent filings. (I may have lost the featured status as the design no longer seems to be listed with the other YouMagine featured designs.) YouMagine can be a little frustrating for stats hounds as there are no view stats and no dedicated analytics page for users. I also have a problem with not being able to see current download stats unless I totally clear my browser cache. The current stats shows 137 total downloads for the MOM Gimbal on YouMagine.
This was a brief glimpse into the stats of Thingiverse. If you would like more behind the scenes insight into Thingiverse, check out the Thingiverse Google Group.