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L'irlandais
28-04-19, 17:04
I am pretty sure Robbie Burns will make his own mind up about updating the forums, or not. But I was wondering what other forum members felt about the subject.

I was wondering has our userbase become too small to justify Robbie investing more money in updating the forum software? I have noticed a «*forum not secure message*» when logging in recently. So I do think the updates are neccessary, just not all that convinced they are worth it.

a quick few stats:
Of the 1000 odd members that have registered on RRF, 280 were still active last year.
Only 180 of those have visited so far this year. That figure goes down further to 116 for this month (April 2019) of which 34 are occasional posters (less than 100 posts) and a further 14 are semi-lurkers (less than 10 posts). That means about 68 active members, which probably isn’t viable, to be quite honest.

Source: Internet forums are, generally speaking, long dead. (https://medium.com/web-design-web-developer-magazine/internet-forums-are-generally-speaking-long-dead-dont-do-them-85031404fd6d)

crossref
28-04-19, 17:04
I like this bit


OCD Hyper-organization. Many site owners tend to want to break down their discussion boards into (sometimes very steep) hierarchical category areas versus just allowing a general board where people can post on any site-related topic. For example, if my company had a discussion board, I’d have ONE board for any related topic — web design, SEO, PHP / MySQL coding, Joomla!, etc. IMHO, that would be the way to go rather than creating specific topic areas. The reason is synergy… While person A may come to my board for a reason related to Joomla, there’s now a greater chance he/she may engage on another topic rather than simply checking the Joomla index and then leaving. Plus, let’s say that person (a Joomla designer) is reading a CSS post … well, he/she likely has an answer or insight to share there as well; people are much more multi-area knowledgeable than so many people believe in this world. Over-organization prevents and denies such synergy, and can doom a forum project; I’ve seen this many times, routinely warned against it, and then watched it happen after such warnings were ignored. (Still, under-organization may simply not be acceptable for some personalities.)

This was my idea.

http://www.rugbyrefs.com/showthread.php?21089-Re-organisation-idea


If I was Robbie I would be tempted to move the whole site to www.createaforum.com
The downside of that would be losing the history, but -- TBH - do we need the history? It might be nice to start with a blank page, and with a soultion that wasn't technically dependent on one person.

L'irlandais
28-04-19, 19:04
This is probably also relevant
User base too small. There’s a critical mass needed for a successful forum project. What that is, is subjective, of course. But, it’s probably larger than most people think. Hundreds of users is a good start; thousands is better. It’s tough to make those numbers unless maybe you’re a well-known brand with tons of existing and motivated fans. Let’s face it: If a board is generally inactive, no one’s going to want to return to it to see what’s been going on and continue with the fun. Getting return visits is a lot to ask of anyone these days, so a board has to be engaging and active for success. (Of course, a small board may seem exclusive to some, which may be desired in some cases.)10 years ago we had hundreds of active members. 68 seems too small a number for me, especially when a handful weigh very heavily in that few.

Dickie E
28-04-19, 22:04
Let’s face it: If a board is generally inactive, no one’s going to want to return to it to see what’s been going on and continue with the fun.

but that's not the case. Every morning when I have a look there's lots of new content. And if we had 68 turn up to a society event, the organisers would be over the moon.

SimonSmith
28-04-19, 23:04
This is probably also relevant
User base too small. There’s a critical mass needed for a successful forum project. What that is, is subjective, of course. But, it’s probably larger than most people think. Hundreds of users is a good start; thousands is better. It’s tough to make those numbers unless maybe you’re a well-known brand with tons of existing and motivated fans. Let’s face it: If a board is generally inactive, no one’s going to want to return to it to see what’s been going on and continue with the fun. Getting return visits is a lot to ask of anyone these days, so a board has to be engaging and active for success. (Of course, a small board may seem exclusive to some, which may be desired in some cases.)10 years ago we had hundreds of active members. 68 seems too small a number for me, especially when a handful weigh very heavily in that few.

I'm not sure that we ever had that many people posting.

L'irlandais
29-04-19, 08:04
Well, eight years ago we were getting 1000 unique visits a day (http://www.rugbyrefs.com/showthread.php?15346-Where-visitors-are-coming-from/page4&highlight=Analytics) at the time of RWC 2011. As I recall there was input from Newbies on a daily basis. And it’s not the number of posts that is telling, the quality was different back then, more in keeping with Robbie’s objective of helping New Referees improve their game.

Even a look at the Top Ten prolific posters (http://www.rugbyrefs.com/memberlist.php?order=desc&sort=posts&pp=50) reveals that we are in fact succumbing to the trend. In that four of these members haven’t posted this year, if fact some not for quite a while. Stretch that out to the Top 20 and we lose another 3 prolific posters. Seven out of twenty wouldn’t be so disastrous, if one of those was not the founder.

You can add another 19 gone from the Top 50, that’s 26 out 50, or just over half. On the second Page we see that increase to 31 out of 50. Or just 43 of the Top 100 still visiting; 30 remain out of the next 100. (73 out of 200)
(88 out of 250). I have not actually checked if they are still posting. That would be an interesting stat in itself: Some might prefer simply to lurk, rather than be mobbed for expressing an opinion.

Balones
29-04-19, 09:04
Well, eight years ago we were getting 1000 unique visits a day (http://www.rugbyrefs.com/showthread.php?15346-Where-visitors-are-coming-from/page4&highlight=Analytics) at the time of RWC 2011. As I recall there was input from Newbies on a daily basis. And it’s not the number of posts that is telling, the quality was different back then, more in keeping with Robbie’s objective of helping New Referees improve their game.

Even a look at the Top Ten prolific posters (http://www.rugbyrefs.com/memberlist.php?order=desc&sort=posts&pp=50) reveals that we are in fact succumbing to the trend. In that four of these members haven’t posted this year, if fact some not for quite a while. Stretch that out to the Top 20 and we lose another 3 prolific posters. Seven out of twenty wouldn’t be so disastrous, if one of those was not the founder.

You can add another 19 gone from the Top 50, that’s 26 out 50, or just over half. On the second Page we see that increase to 31 out of 50. Or just 43 of the Top 100 still visiting; 30 remain out of the next 100. (73 out of 200)
(88 out of 250). I have not actually checked if they are still posting. That would be an interesting stat in itself: Some might prefer simply to lurk, rather than be mobbed for expressing an opinion.

Where do you get access to such data?

Do we know to what extent guests use the website? The vast majority of my visits is to simply read what has been said since the last time I had a look. I don't log on because quite often the question has been answered or I feel that I cannot contribute any extra to any discussion. I know this forum does provide a valuable service to people even if they don't contribute or become members or log on.

L'irlandais
29-04-19, 11:04
The best of the stats came from Robbie’s Google Analytics account (http://www.rugbyrefs.com/showthread.php?13107-Huge-increase-in-hits&p=175773&viewfull=1#post175773), apparently. Which includes Bounce rate (people that come and leave straight away). The RRF member list can be interrogated for a fair amount of information without any subscriptions. Of 87 members who logged in this past week, 24 choose not to post.

L'irlandais
04-05-19, 07:05
but that's not the case. Every morning when I have a look there's lots of new content. And if we had 68 turn up to a society event, the organisers would be over the moon.Every morning? Guess you don’t come on here every day then. About two single solitary posts this morning. If 68 people turned up at your event and only two uttered any words, then it would be a very awkward event.
The trend is global, it is silly to suggest RRF is bucking that trend, without providing some evidence to back up the statement.

Balones
04-05-19, 08:05
Proverb - We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.

The above is quite a good approach at some meetings.��

L'irlandais
04-05-19, 15:05
Nah.

“My guess is that as time went on and the archives got larger and larger, many people are researching old topics rather than starting new threads,” another wrote. “Every possible topic has already been discussed.”
Source: NYT (https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/remembrance-of-message-boards-past/)

L'irlandais
27-05-19, 12:05
Kind of telling that Robbie hasn’t been on here for a whole month. 9 months later, the changes so necessary last August are now 3 months overdue.

Another website I frequent, has carried out an upgrade along the lines of Robbie’s proposals, generated a fair amount of criticism from members who preferred this or that aspect of the Vbulletin forum layout. The problem being, disgruntled members are more vocal that those who are satisfied with the changes.