Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
Considering the number of spelling errors, I proclaim Kaolian "DRUNK".
That is all.
No, that's pretty much normal for me. you should be worried if I start spelling things correctly during a long post. Or if I start going on about imaginary llamas.
ITT: Kao encourages spamming new threads.
It's all about balance. One person can't make all the threads, it drives people away. You've got 50 posts to work with on a default page view, 3 of those will be stickies usually, and maybe another 3 will be spam or crap (though less now that I have the fun spammer hell tool!) Ideally there would be 40 different people posting 40 different threads within a 4 hour period. Slower than that, the gestalt doesn't continue to grow. faster than that and people can't keep up.
OOT even at it's busiest never was that fast, and likely never will be.
That being said, you need at least 5-10 new threads per day to grow a forum. Less than that, people don't feel enough of a compelling draw to return.It gets slow durring the summer months when all the college kids are away from their computers for a MMO related forum, and during the hollidays. You can pretty much tell how well a forum is doing based on the number of lurkers. It's a 20 lurker to 1 poster ratio on average, and mods don't count. OOT and asylum all have a higher poster to lurker ratio, but less overall numbers. Growth is possible at about 80 average viewers. Growth is likely at 150-200. The gestalt really kicks in at 400 users and can quickly grow to upwards of 2000 depending on the topic. Game specific forums are easier to grow, but die off quicker. People automatically have a connection and sense of belonging. People don't post in the OOT or Asylum usually until they are already established elsewhere, or have lurked long enough to see how people react to newbies (hint, in OOT's case, it isn't "good")
I can give you all the facts and statistics of a forum, tell you how the mechanics work out, but I haven't figured out a way to fix the slide. I'm certainly open to ideas. Alot of it's structureal. Corporate ownership issues, people annoyed at various forum changes over the years, the ads all over the place, etc. The quickest fix would be killing the ads off entirely in the forums, which would boost return viewers and use, and probably result in more people buying premium and actually using the site features, but that won't happen. I've tried. Socks don't work long, even if I didn't find them annoying. People find out and feel betrayed. plus no one is really good at splitting their writing style into majorly different styles on the fly in real time over a long period of time with consistancy. More threads helps, and even the occasional big admin thread can be a temporary draw (ask an admin day, etc) but overall admin threads, unless they are major drama, seem to hurt if there are too many of them. That could be my perception again. Maybe a forum consolidation?
I dunno. Maybe it can't be fixed, and this is the level of posting we experiance in here. I can't help but thinking there should be a mechanism to reward posting of new thread topics, but without encouraging spam, and without everyone feeling it was a cheat. Make 1st post in the thread count double on post count? assign a random post count + value to new threads, like a lottery? (annoying to time thread dings). Automatic positive karma boost for new thread start, but offsetable by downrates? /shrug. Maybe that's the wrong approach entirely.
Certanly more visibility would help. the Wow forums showing up on Wowhead, etc. I've been working on that for a while, but the official forums are large enough that ours won't take off as much as the FFXIV ones did. at their prime the Wow forums were never over 400 or so.
We'll keep tinkering.