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Thread: Freeleech - good or bad for leechers?

  1. #1
    pro267's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +7BT Rep +7
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    I've noticed two interesting trends developing lately:

    1. There are quite a few freeleech trackers that have opened up recently.
    2. The number of leechers in many freeleech trackers is usually pretty low.

    Now, (my) logic dictates that making a site freeleech should increase the number of leechers, since people won't have to worry about snatching stuff that might hurt their ratios, however the trend I've noticed seems to contradict that.

    I have several hypotheses as to why this is happening, however I'm interested in hearing some additional thoughts on the matter.
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  2. BitTorrent   -   #2
    You on about new or established trackers pro?
    If new trackers I think a lot of the time people sign up to be nosey and hence seems like large member base when in fact a lot will never return.
    So not many true member of the site hence low numbers on torrents compared to the number of peers.
    If you mean established sites now thats a different story and could be a number of reasons but will have mull it over a bit more before answering
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  3. BitTorrent   -   #3
    pro267's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +7BT Rep +7
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    I'm seeing this at both established and new trackers, but I see your point regarding the new ones having a lot of members cycle before things stabilize, so let's discuss the established ones then.
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  4. BitTorrent   -   #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pro267 View Post
    I'm seeing this at both established and new trackers, but I see your point regarding the new ones having a lot of members cycle before things stabilize, so let's discuss the established ones then.
    I know bitmetv tried this but then decided against it after beta testing.Maybe if there's someone privy to what influenced their decision,they could go a long way to answering you.

  5. BitTorrent   -   #5
    I am not going to saying free leech is a bad thing, if it used right but some places are using it to try and encourage members to use the site and doing it for too long a periods of time.
    Now some people on established trackers are proud of the fact they have a good ratio (I am for between 1.05 and 1.2) and have done it with out free leech etc, now all of a sudden a site free leech occurs and every one can get that ratio with out as much effort and all the hard work done and time spent on torrents has been a waste of time as members that have not put the effort in can get same ratio quiet quick and this then makes them fed up so go else where.
    This then results on the (lets say) less concencious members who seed for minimum time being main members who get stuff and then once seed required time is up they drop the torrent. This then also has another effect on the tracker that the torrent retention times decrease meaning the number of torrents on the site will decrease as well.

    Hope that makes sense as been up nearly 23 hrs
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  6. BitTorrent   -   #6
    kallieb's Avatar Spamaholic BT Rep: +4
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    I'm active only on a handful of trackers - established sites - and of these all offer approaches other than pure ratio systems: Free leech, share-ratio, or seeding to get GB's for a download bank, are the three main approaches.

    My guess, is that it's not so much about boosting the use of the tracker to the max. Most established trackers with low user-bases tend to have a tighter community. I'm inclined to think that these alternatives are set up to ease the ratio-panic and make it a site where the ban-hammer comes out only for the really serious/stupid shit and not because someone has a poor connection, or wants to grab movies that may not be super popular, etc.

    I used to leech dozens of movies at any given time. Now, I'm more selective, and grab a film now and then. I appreciate that I'm not going to risk a ban just because I favour grabbing films that may not attract a lot of seeding/leeching.

    Not sure if that fits your question, but it's what came to my mind when considering your comment.
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  7. BitTorrent   -   #7
    pro267's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +7BT Rep +7
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    That fits my question perfectly. What is inferred from your answer is that constant freeleech places are giving people an opportunity to grab the stuff they really like, and drop the buffering part. On one side, this is a very positive outcome as it doesn't force people to download what they don't want, and reflects the true traffic that the site should have. On the other side, it also means that on many non-freeleech places, much (if not most) of the traffic is actually buffering traffic, which is a bit sad imho.

    So what's the answer? Are freeleech/share-ratio sites destined to have low traffic just because they allow people to grab only the stuff they really want to? Is there a way to boost traffic on such sites while keeping the community tightknit, assuming the content is decent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Duckater View Post
    I am not going to saying free leech is a bad thing, if it used right but some places are using it to try and encourage members to use the site and doing it for too long a periods of time.
    Now some people on established trackers are proud of the fact they have a good ratio (I am for between 1.05 and 1.2) and have done it with out free leech etc, now all of a sudden a site free leech occurs and every one can get that ratio with out as much effort and all the hard work done and time spent on torrents has been a waste of time as members that have not put the effort in can get same ratio quiet quick and this then makes them fed up so go else where.
    This then results on the (lets say) less concencious members who seed for minimum time being main members who get stuff and then once seed required time is up they drop the torrent. This then also has another effect on the tracker that the torrent retention times decrease meaning the number of torrents on the site will decrease as well.

    Hope that makes sense as been up nearly 23 hrs
    It makes perfect sense. What you're saying is that limited freeleech times are used by people to buffer their accounts, grabbing what they can, while they can, in order to create the buffer for the other times. I'm sure that's true, but what about total freeleech trackers? How do they fit into this equation?

    The conclusion I draw from your and kallie's posts is simple: traffic on many trackers is skewed up considerably, while in fact much/most of it is generated for buffering purposes.

    I'm not sure who's to blame for this apparent outcome: the ratio systems that are forcing people to grab stuff they don't want or need to have an opportunity to grab what they really want, or the members who are twisting the system by buffering their accounts excessively.
    Last edited by pro267; 09-20-2009 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  8. BitTorrent   -   #8
    I guess an option is an adopt a torrent where people get bonuses for adopting it and keeping it alive and this will help the tracker. Not sure if any one will really adopt this let alone write some code for it. Also if they have adopted a torrent and leechers on it and it is say more than a month old they can then drop off new torrents they have not seeded full with no warning etc as supporting the site to improve torrent retention.
    This way they can improve ratios by getting torrents they want and keeping them alive
    Now clearly the tracker staff would have select if a torrent is worth of being adopted as some things will never get many people after them after about a week or two

    Just a thought that may work for some trackers
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  9. BitTorrent   -   #9
    Zip's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
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    Quote Originally Posted by pro267 View Post
    I've noticed two interesting trends developing lately:

    1. There are quite a few freeleech trackers that have opened up recently.
    2. The number of leechers in many freeleech trackers is usually pretty low.

    Now, (my) logic dictates that making a site freeleech should increase the number of leechers, since people won't have to worry about snatching stuff that might hurt their ratios, however the trend I've noticed seems to contradict that.

    I have several hypotheses as to why this is happening, however I'm interested in hearing some additional thoughts on the matter.
    What kind of trackers are we talking about? Ones with small databases? Because on bigger ones leeching has never been a problem (at least not on those I've seen).
    Last edited by Zip; 09-20-2009 at 01:40 PM.

  10. BitTorrent   -   #10
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    An already established user base is definitely needed imo. The majority of trackers the are free leech or try this route are general 0-day trackers i.e. people can get the same files everywhere.

    Another problem is trackers testing the waters with an occasional free leech and believing that it's the same as a constant free leech. The tracker will get an insane amount of traffic right away which then dies down. This being because many users will try to get everything they want, but were afraid to grab before, right at the start. This isn't the trackers fault or the quality of files, the community or anything else. It's the mentality of 90% of the users.

    When Waffles had their last free leech, there was a lot of talk about this exact issue. People knowing beforehand that there would likely be a 72 hour free leech, gave them the opportunity to bookmark hundreds of torrents before it even started.

    Personally I don't see total free leech as a good thing, because we see it affects retention in a bad way. Lot of trackers on the other hand do a good job with the occasional free leech, with some torrents always on free leech, maybe even coupled with a seeding bonus. To name a few, where I believe, that they are doing something right. SDBits, x264, ScT and SCC. In the first two it's obviously original content, but ScT and SCC are both the general 0-day trackers, who are most likely to try free leech. I'm sure there are lots of others, where I'm not a member.

    What I would love to see is one of the big music trackers employing some kind of seeding bonus or free leech slots (not like the Waffles ones, where you already would never need them, if you can afford them points-wise). That's something I believe is lacking.

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