Have you ever seen a community seem to do everything right... and fail?

Discussion in 'Increasing Traffic' started by cheat_master30, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. cheat_master30

    cheat_master30 Moderator

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    As in, one where everything was done right yet the site still failed?

    Because I've seen a few forums like that. They've got a great userbase with some good staff running the show. The theme looks brilliant and matches the topic to a tee. The promotional methods used should be massively successful for the site.

    Yet after all this it still fails. Somehow, the crappy free hosted forum with minimum effort takes off while the beautiful looking pet project with hours of effort put into it fails miserably. I don't know, but I've seen this happen quite a few times now.

    So what about you? Have you ever seen a fantastic forum fail despite seemingly doing everything right?

    Or for the most part, has the activity of every forum you've seen mostly correlated with the amount of effort put into running it?

    Post what you think (as well as examples of said forums) here!
     
  2. Bikenut

    Bikenut Enthusiast

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    Im trying to help a guy right now whose new forum just wont gain any traction. He has an amazingly well built xenforo forum. So easy to use, so many great features, tons of helpful posts.
    People join every day so that they can read the tech posts to get help.

    And nobody ever posts. They come to read the info they need, and then run back to Facebook to post pics and comment on each others topics.

    With Facebook groups, new forums don't stand much of a chance. It's just so easy to post pics and comments. There is a Facebook group for almost every topic you can think of now. And any idiot in the world can create a Facebook group. And someday, wait and see, Facebook will open up categories for groups just like a forum with different categories of topics. And when they do that, we will all be screwed.

    But I think that having a forum app can help him. Sending notifications to people's phones, just like Facebook does. Drawing them back in throughout the day whenever someone comments on or likes their posts and pics.

    Im telling you guys. If forums are to survive, there needs to be 5-6 good forum phone app solutions for us. It's a huge need.
     
  3. Maddox

    Maddox Moderator

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    It's a sad fact that, in today's world, we have become a society of takers and, equally sad, is that the givers who are still around are spread pretty thin on the ground; the givers tend to fall (though not exclusively) into the older age bracket - call them 'old school' if that fits. Everything today appears to be disposable, so yes you can do everything right and still fail.

    Another part of the equation is that the Internet is saturated and still expanding - where there used to be small pockets of informative sites, there is now more than an abundance - this can make it difficult for those givers still around to choose where to lay their hat.

    And, of course, there's the dreaded Social Media sites that have attracted millions of users where vanity is at the forefront of whatever is posted; generally banal and useless text and images that consumes the Internet at an ever growing pace, yet keeps the masses interested and glued to those vast chasms of mind numbing decaying self-importance.

    I feel for those who take the time to put in the effort, the money and the research to create something that would benefit others and bring together like-minded people, only to see it going to waste.

    :(
     
  4. Starskull

    Starskull Enthusiast

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    I agree. Social media sites have taken over the small attention spans people had before. They can snap,tweet, or update their way to being popular. No need to make a fancy theme and cool new features. When almost everything is connected to these accounts. There isn't as big of a need for forums.

    A project I have now seems to be in the same spot. I'm connected to twitter and fb for the social media presence. I did a boosted post on fb...got 3.4k views..only 43 clicks...and I think I only had 5 signups. That is what the post was even for, to sign up for my website. So since only 43 people clicked the post to take them to the sign up. It was a total bust. I'd didn't drive much traffic and didn't gain any users that contributed. Yet FB and social media prospered.

    Does that just mean forums need to evolve into more social media ways?
     
  5. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    I've seen considerably more than a few fall into that category.

    That's because there's really only one thing that matters where forums are concerned and that's content. If you have some and it makes people want to engage then they won't care much about how the forum looks or functions.

    It's true there are no absolutes, looks and function can help tease a little more participation out of people but it's your content that will keep them engaged. The real trick is to know what kind of content you need to put out there.
     
  6. Cyburbia

    Cyburbia Fan

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    Old thread, I know.

    I feel like the message board I've been running since 1996 (really) falls into that category -- not so much "fail" as "not really reaching its potential", despite having no competition from other message boards. The moderators are great, the members post excellent content, there's a strong sense of community, we're diligent about spam, and we've kept a "big tent" culture. However, the site never really took off like one would expect, even compared to message boards for more specialized professions or topics.

    In its early years, the competition came from mailing lists, which older urban planners still embrace to this day. They saw the message board format as "not serious enough". In middle age, competition came from blogs and a planning-specific news aggregator site. Today, it's Reddit and meme-based Facebook groups. Even then, the breadth of discussion on Reddit's urban planning subreddit is really limited compared to the board I run -- the Reddit crowd only talks about how terrible cars, suburbs, and gentrification are, or the lack of affordable housing in superstar cities. Ironically, the Reddit/FB crowd sees the message board format as "too serious".

    Ten or so years ago, it seemed like any anime board, no matter how awful it was, would take off from the moment it hit the ground. phpBB, a cheap hosting package, too many subforums, a really cheesy skin, and a month later, they reach the 100,000 post mark. I wonder how those sites are doing today.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  7. darnoldy

    darnoldy Curmudgeon

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    FWIW, I think Cyburbia is great! I have been what you folks call a "citizen planner"... started reading it then, and still read it more or less weekly.

    --don
     
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  8. truthingtotruth

    truthingtotruth Aspirant

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    I'd like to throw out an idea for folks to consider: Special Guests Posting.

    I mean you invite folks of a type that are not usually of the sort to be asked to be a Special Guest and address a crowd, but they are the type of human that might very well have some topic they know about, usually because of work, and you ask if they have anything they'd like to offer to the population of the world on that topic you think they are qualified to offer something about. (Be sure you have that firmly in your own mind, too; it is the entire planet you address in your community, most of the time, if it isn't restricted from visitors viewing the site.)

    Now there is a lot more work to this than might at first seem necessary, and most of that work has to do with protecting the individual if they get sort of 'known' in their community in the brick-and-mortar world. You also need to be careful about the grammar and spelling and such of the Special Guest's post. And you'll have to decide if this Special Guest will answer questions. If yes, how?

    And my thinking is that we are not referring to what might be known as "famous" human types. Just pretty cool regular human folks.

    And I am absolutely sure there are other things that need consideration to allow this idea to grow.

    Truth is, I only just thought of that idea about an hour or so ago after seeing this thread. On the forum I have I haven't had the least bit of concern about who is there or not. That's a long story nobody need know too much about. I had my full share of admin excitement, so to speak, back in 2004 and so on when I was an admin in a very large and extremely diverse community that was also in a part of the world where three "groups" of human folks were at each other's throats everyday. It was a nasty OJT for an admin. And I was an admin on a veteran's site for a very long time and that is a community that needs no special adverts to draw them in. But that is also a community where you better know what you are on about in that field or you will sure as heck be eaten alive and that isn't easy to do on the Net. But a vet can do it. And I ain't referring to the cat doctor vet.

    Point is, after I sort of retired from doing serious admin work I didn't care too much about increasing community participation in my own little Net village, but now I've thought about it and that idea is what popped out of my brain an hour or so ago.
     
  9. Cyburbia

    Cyburbia Fan

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    Thank you! :)
     
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