Jump to content

[EN32] Traffic Generator


Elad Nava

Recommended Posts

File Name: [EN32] Traffic Generator

File Submitter: Elad Nava

File Submitted: 05 Jan 2012

File Category: Promotion

Supported Versions: IP.Board 3.1.x, IP.Board 3.2.x, IP.Board 3.3.x, IP.Board 3.4.x



This hook generates fake visitor and member sessions to recreate the environment of an active community.

Note: This item cannot be used on IPS Hosting.

Advanced functionality includes: Admin CP settings allow for the following configurations:

[*]Random board locations (board index, forum view, topic view, profile view, reply view, search, and login for visitor sessions) [*]Generated sessions can only access forums that they could normally access under their permission groups. This means that a visitor won't appear to be browsing a topic in the administrator forum and a member wouldn't appear to be browsing the staff hangout. [*]Generated sessions appear to be created at different times within the cut-off limit so they won't seem to be created at once in the online list. [*]Generated sessions are assigned a random User-Agent string, a browser key, and its latest version, according to a popularity percentage for each browser and a latest version record in the Admin CP settings.




Enable/disable the traffic generator. Specify the number of members/visitors to be generated at any time. Exclude member groups from being generated. Modify the list of User-Agent strings for generated sessions and the browser keys to their popularity percentage and latest version.



[url= here to download this file

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Think there is a bug with secondary groups/exclude member groups.

If you choose to show X amount of members from a secondary group (e.g. VIP Member) and you exclude the primary group they belong to (e.g. Members) then the hook does not work.

For a member in the secondary group to appear, he must also have his primary group permitted too, which unfortunately means it then allows ALL primary groups to show as well as secondary!

Otherwise it looks good and has great potential :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Suggestion: It would be good if the x members to be generated was either a maximum (so it was random amount up to that limit) or there was a min / max setting instead. This would look a bit more realistic I feel as its nice but it sort of appears 'static' in number. :smile:

I do like the way they are using different browsers and differing locations too.

Thought: Might not be possible but I note it does not update Mike's Members Online Today with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Question. What happens if actual member comes to board. Will they be able to login OK? Does it normally pick non active members, or just random.

BTW... I did not see where I can change the settings, as to how many to appear logged in etc.

Also, does it effect this stat?
90 users are online (in the past 15 minutes)


Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Question. What happens if actual member comes to board. Will they be able to login OK? Does it normally pick non active members, or just random.



BTW... I did not see where I can change the settings, as to how many to appear logged in etc.



Also, does it effect this stat?


90 users are online (in the past 15 minutes)




Thanks.




Under SYSTEM SETTINGS there is the HOOKS tab. It is under there.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It has no real value to most large scale forums who have a regular supply of traffic, but for a small forum that is starting out and needs to make itself look active enough to get people to join and participate it can be a valuable tool.

It is no substitute for fresh content being posted but if used sparingly, it can lead to a forum looking slightly more active on the off-peak times than it really is, and may help capture a registration or two.

It also depends on what the forum is about too, some forums that are based solely on discussion would receive little benefit from this as people want to see fresh content as opposed to people online, or registering is based on getting support to a problem. But for some projects, it can be all about the number of people online that is the biggest puller or a certain membergroup being online that is important.
For example...... If you run a dating type of forum project, you may offer premium memberships that includes featuring those members more prominantly. In that case this hook would be an ideal way of making those members who have upgraded appear online when they are offline, and hence raise their profile to other members who may contact them! The site may do this transparently and therefore no deceiving of visitors at all!

However, for the above example to work, the developer REALLY needs to sort out his "secondary groups" bug because by a member upgrading to a secondary group to get featured, the bug is forcing ALL members, including the paid secondary group to be featured, making the example above void,.

Another very good reason for the use of this hook is the ability to make Administrators/Moderators appear online when they may not be. It won't help with the moderating process, but it can make visitors feel that a moderating presence is always online and watching over the site 24/7 and therefore may stop a few troublemakers taking advantage of a very quiet site, to cause a little disruption if they are fooled into believing they are being monitored, while the real moderating team sleep in bed at 2am!

What I am saying is that for a generic discussion forum with 2 or 3 regular online visitors the hook makes little sense, but if you try thinking outside the box about projects that may not be all about just the discussion boards and fresh content, there is a lot of usefulness available. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Its purpose is to deceive new visitors to your site and make them think the site is more popular than it actually is. It's a pretty underhanded trick to pull on your visitors.




Then I'm out. I don't feel morally okay about decieving my members like that. I feel this hook would insult my members intelegence, which isn't a good message for my site to give off. I was brought up to believe that the truth always comes out eventually and if it were ever to be found out, I doubt my members will be too happy. I'd rather be honest and work hard at drawing visitors in to registering, than to lie and take a "underhanded" short cut.

Thanks Michael for confirming what I thought.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

First of all, thank you very much for this hook!

And to those who say it's immoral or deceptive, why not just admit it if asked about it? I know I would. Otherwise there's really not a reason to explain it up front. Also I'm only using 3 fake guests; I'm that desperate for new traffic that such a thing actually matters. Starting a new forum is very hard because you need traffic to get traffic and that's a Catch 22. And apparently, for a variety of reasons, it's harder to start a new forum now than it ever was; I believe being forced into Google's sandbox for a 6 month probationary period is related to this but I know there's other factors.

Suggestion: It would be great if I could restrict which forums/section are being viewed. I'm concerned about how these "crawler-guests" seem mainly to be spamming profile views, and I don't want people to get nervous if they see they have like 30,000 profile views. As a temporary fix, I think I'm going to restrict guests from viewing profile pages. I don't like blocking the spiders from profiles though.

Back on the topic of ethics, as long as it's not being abused I fail to see the harm. I know an IPB forum which abuses this hook greatly, and it was always a mystery as to how our profile views would randomly spike to absurd levels. That being said, this same forum sets its fake guest number to 400 which very suspicious considering at any given point there is only a few members online. I think this serves its function with set to just 3 or 5, 17 at max. Otherwise it would just crowd the "view full list" and ruin the ability to see what everyone is looking at.

Also, +1 to those who suggested a min/max, although at least with this I can remember what my constant was if I'm curious how many real guests there are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The bit about guesting viewing admin-restricted sections of the forums is small enough of an issue that most people probably wouldn't notice. But it would be really nice if it didn't show guests "logging in" or making posts.

guestProblem_zps59b9cd86.png

That being said, my Alexa rank has really been accelerating lately despite no real apparent gains in organic traffic, and I wonder if these three guest bots are contributing to that. My rank has gone from like 2 million to 600k since I've installed this (and I only have 2 or 3 active members).

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Then I'm out. I don't feel morally okay about decieving my members like that. I feel this hook would insult my members intelegence, which isn't a good message for my site to give off. I was brought up to believe that the truth always comes out eventually and if it were ever to be found out, I doubt my members will be too happy. I'd rather be honest and work hard at drawing visitors in to registering, than to lie and take a "underhanded" short cut.

Thanks Michael for confirming what I thought.

I do generally have to agree with this. I'd rather not trick my members or visitors into thinking the site is active when really it isn't.

Sorry but I'm not downloading either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...