Decline in Forum usage?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
JohnW
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Decline in Forum usage?

Postby JohnW » 10 Feb 2017, 10:55am

Does any one know.................whether use of this Forum is declining? Just looking down the 'most recent post' column, it seems to me that there are fewer and fewer participants, certainly compared with my memory of seven or eight years ago, and some sections seem to go from one week to another without new posts.

There seems also to be fewer new subjects/threads than in past times.

I hope that this is a mistaken impression. There's often some good stuff on the Forum.

Samuel D
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby Samuel D » 10 Feb 2017, 11:13am

I haven’t noticed a particular change here, but forums in general are being squeezed out by Facebook and other ‘social networks’. This is regrettable since forums are much more interesting to people like me who enjoy in-depth conversation.

The Cycling UK forum, like most web forums, has too many sub-forums. This means that I, like many readers, miss many interesting posts. There is a list of 29 sub-forums on the front page, but I only check about four of them regularly. Some of them last had a post in 2016, supporting my contention that there are too many subdivisions. Some of them are fairly active, but invisibly to me, for the same reason.

The big social networks understand the extreme importance of simplicity and discoverability when presenting information. Forums run by amateurs may have a hard time competing.

Psamathe
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby Psamathe » 10 Feb 2017, 11:20am

All web sites (incl forums, Facebook, etc.) go through phases of higher and lower activity.

In a way I'd expect miserable cold and freezing rain and wind will mean fewer braving it for leisure cycling so people are doing more other stuff so maybe focus of attention for some is elsewhere ...

That said, I've not noticed any decline in activity. As always, some days are busy, other days quieter, just as so many things in life, but not any trend I've even noticed despite the time or year and weather.

Ian

Samuel D
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby Samuel D » 10 Feb 2017, 11:22am

At the bottom of the “Board index” page it says this:

“Most users ever online was 2198 on 7 Oct 2016, 6:16pm”

Which doesn’t prove anything but is better than a message dating from 2007, isn’t it?

thirdcrank
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Feb 2017, 11:47am

JohnW

It may be that what you have noticed is a reduction in posts that interest you. eg The conversion-to-charity discussions are now all over bar the sorrow. Some frequent posters of that era have gone: SimonL6 springs to mind and regulator, but there will be others. They were opposed to the conversion so it's understandable that they moved on. There were posters on the pro-conversion side as well who may still be here but don't seem to post.

700c
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby 700c » 10 Feb 2017, 11:59am

I don't use this Forum as much as I previously did, because of two main factors;

1. the amount of political posts.
2. one particular poster who posts inane crap lifted from the likes of the Daily Mail, just for clickbait.

There are other minor things that turn me off about this forum, but they're not really the reason I decided to cut-down.

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robgul
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby robgul » 10 Feb 2017, 12:02pm

I have to say that some of the posts that are made are pretty pointless - and there are some serial offenders - how on earth some of the threads can run to loads and loads of pages beggars belief.

As an example, I gave up long ago looking at the Tea shop other than very infrequently - just drivel.

What is interesting to note is that both YACF & CycleChat fora both seem to be dwindling in post volume .... perhaps it's the Facebook thing (BTW - what is Facebook? :twisted: )

Rob

Psamathe
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby Psamathe » 10 Feb 2017, 12:09pm

robgul wrote:.... fora both seem to be dwindling in post volume .... perhaps it's the Facebook thing (BTW - what is Facebook? :twisted: )

Rob

I'm not a Facebook member but from all the Facebook sites I've seen it seems to provide a far less structured system one that I think just would not work when several different subjects are being discussed at the same time.

So in terms of forum activity I don't see Facebook as a detractor through providing an alternative platform for discussion. However, it might be detracting as people spend time looking at other people's Facebook and thus spend less time on fora.

As above, I suspect the time of year/weather might be having an impact (if there really is an impact).

Ian

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Sweep
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby Sweep » 10 Feb 2017, 12:29pm

I don't know if usage is declining, and only usually look at about four sections. In those I find the quality of the posts generally very good, on topic and helpful. Quality matters to me more than quantity. One of those other places you mention rob is a very small world and a big section of it consists of game playing people shouting at each other.

In short, maybe this place will go through ups and downs, but, not being ratings obsessed, i am quietly confident that it will continue to prosper.

I don't like facebook for all sorts of reasons. Lots of it strikes me as not much above the level of youtube comments.
Sweep

Norman H
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby Norman H » 10 Feb 2017, 1:20pm

I can't see any problem not to consign the politics to its own ghetto. It's not as if it would prevent the regular participants from continuing their discussions.

Call me a cynic, but it's my view that whichever side of the political spectrum one comes from, most such debates are a distraction. Typically they are generated by a Daily Mail type headline which is itself designed to distract from the real issues. Those that take up the cudgels, on both sides of the argument, are merely being manipulated.

Of course it could be that the original poster of the said Daily Mail type headline is well aware of this. Or would that be a conspiracy theory too far! :)

mig
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby mig » 10 Feb 2017, 1:23pm

some of the stuff here from some contributors is outstanding.

more power / elbow.

keyboardmonkey
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby keyboardmonkey » 10 Feb 2017, 1:42pm

Is it possible that people are bored of seeing the same old topics rehashed? Or put off by off-topic bickering? Or tired of replying to new users who don't then reply to the later comments? Ahem: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=112052

Dunno. Maybe they think they have better things to do with their time?

thirdcrank wrote:JohnW

It may be that what you have noticed is a reduction in posts that interest you...


I wouldn't be surprised if this had something to do with it.

bikepacker
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby bikepacker » 10 Feb 2017, 1:51pm

robgul wrote:I have to say that some of the posts that are made are pretty pointless - and there are some serial offenders - how on earth some of the threads can run to loads and loads of pages beggars belief.

As an example, I gave up long ago looking at the Tea shop other than very infrequently - just drivel.


Rob


+1
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

thirdcrank
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Feb 2017, 2:04pm

Norman H wrote:... Or would that be a conspiracy theory too far!


I'm no conspiracy theorist and IME - which is very limited, total cock-up is usually a better bet. You hardly need to be a nuclear physicist to be able to be attracted to a deliberately controversial headline and then to paste it into an internet forum for a reaction. As you ended this point with an exclamation mark, I presume you were stating a view rather than asking for comments, but there you are.

The obvious answer is for people to ignore what they see as dross, but then it just grows to be a bigger part of the whole.

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Si
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Re: Decline in Forum usage?

Postby Si » 10 Feb 2017, 2:55pm

When I started using the CTC forum (back when all this were fields, far as the eye could see....), my cycling was of a wholly different character than it is today. This is probably one reason why I use the forum much less.....that's not to say that there is necessarily anything wrong with what's discussed - it's just not my precise field of interest so I don't contribute so much. I'm sure that other's tastes change too.

Having said that the forum has changed a bit too. when it started it was all trolling and flaming, then it had a calm hiatus of people mostly enjoying cycling chat, and then the charity and name change debarcles got everyone's blood all riled up, and finally on to the post-truth forum of today. :wink: