A look at statistics for the list can be illuminating and will help partially explain the popularity of the index. In early 1996, one of the list members (Larry Woodard) was curious about the growth of the list and wanted to run a statistical analysis. Though some logs dated back to 1990, complete data began with the 1991 postings and extend through current postings. The following table (figure 1) shows the 63-fold increase in the number of postings from 1991 to 1995, while the number of users increased from 126 to 1600 during this same period. Also note that the number of postings per day increased from an average of 1.3 in 1991 to 82.4 in 1995.
Note, however, that the discussion per topic (Average # postings/topic) stayed virtually constant through this five-year period. The traffic growth of the list was not due to a larger number of messages on a given topic but was derived from a broader participation in the list. This is probably attributable to two factors. First, the explosion of Internet growth and the dramatically increased the number of people with email access. Secondly, the popularity of the sport of flyfishing itself has increased phenomenally.
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