How can we increase Forum Participation

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Peter McLennan
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Peter McLennan » Thu, 23 Jun 2016 8:20 am

I agree re FB, Google+, Twitter, etc. I was hoping that they could be used to channel people into this forum, although I'll admit that there's some things that FB and G+ can do that this site can't. That said, diluting our focus across multiple sites would probably not work too well; as it is, the non-forum AWF pages are largely unknown.

Because I find FB and G+ harder to fathom than forum software, and to distibute the effort required to run AWF, I've tried to fob off; er, encourage others to take on those beasts. A list of such roles is here. I've been slack in keeping those things ticking along. Since we're all volunteers, it's tricky.

I'm absolutely amenable to restructuring the forum somehow to better focus on individual genres, but I also see the benefits of generic topics (especially when there isn't a critical mass of people to keep genre-specific discussions going). I'd rather not rush into any solution, if only because I'll be away for a week or so. But let the discussion continue!
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AJ Konlucko
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby AJ Konlucko » Thu, 23 Jun 2016 8:31 am

Peter McLennan wrote:I'd rather not rush into any solution, if only because I'll be away for a week or so. But let the discussion continue!


I think this is a wise move, lets get as much feedback as possible before any decisions are made. Another (non writing) forum I am a member of has a few "tags" you can add to the subject of posts to easily show what a post is about, those who don't have an interest in that topic can simply move past it, much like this:
R Munro wrote: introduce a convention of tagging by the poster in the heading, e.g.:
[POETRY] "Ode To A Small Lump Of Green Putty I Found In My Armpit One Midsummer Morning"
by
Grunthos the Flatulent » Thu, 32 Apr 2016 25:02 pm

[SHORT STORY] A romantic short-short story for review! Please be gentle!!!
by
Tamerlane the OverSensitive » Thu, 31 Apr 2016 13:72 pm


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Peter McLennan
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Peter McLennan » Thu, 23 Jun 2016 4:17 pm

An additional explanation from the original suggester, which may influence how this should be implemented:
I know for people who are time poor, just being able to duck into the area they are most interesting in, and having all posts relating to that in one spot could be helpful. I know I could manage that then. Plus someone new, of course, would be able to browse all posts just on the one topic. You could end up with a lot of posts under the Fantasy writing heading though :--)
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby AJ Konlucko » Thu, 23 Jun 2016 4:28 pm

Peter McLennan wrote:An additional explanation from the original suggester, which may influence how this should be implemented:
I know for people who are time poor, just being able to duck into the area they are most interesting in, and having all posts relating to that in one spot could be helpful. I know I could manage that then. Plus someone new, of course, would be able to browse all posts just on the one topic. You could end up with a lot of posts under the Fantasy writing heading though :--)


So the issue is just being able to see posts on the subject they are most interested in? Based on that adding tags to subjects won't work, it would mean having sub-forums which can be clicked on to access.

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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Peter McLennan » Thu, 23 Jun 2016 5:49 pm

Here's another. It's brief but once again reinforces the importance of reviews (feedback).
I had a very good experience when I was active with the AWF. I meet people who were interested in what I wrote an focused on it with a critical eye. A courtesy I tried to extend to others myself.
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Peter McLennan » Thu, 23 Jun 2016 5:51 pm

PGB wrote:So the issue is just being able to see posts on the subject they are most interested in? Based on that adding tags to subjects won't work, it would mean having sub-forums which can be clicked on to access.

I was thinking that too, Paul—unless the forum has the capability (perhaps via an add-on) to add custom 'tags' to posts. Needs thought and research.
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby AJ Konlucko » Thu, 23 Jun 2016 6:13 pm

Peter McLennan wrote:
PGB wrote:So the issue is just being able to see posts on the subject they are most interested in? Based on that adding tags to subjects won't work, it would mean having sub-forums which can be clicked on to access.

I was thinking that too, Paul—unless the forum has the capability (perhaps via an add-on) to add custom 'tags' to posts. Needs thought and research.


If tags are added manually when you post a new topic, or via some automated process the forum would still need a way to filter these so that people who for example only want to see posts about "short stories", only see these posts.

IF we did go this way I suspect it would mean creating sub-forums.

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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby AJ Konlucko » Fri, 24 Jun 2016 8:47 am

Excellent idea, I think at one point we talked about / started using [mature] and [NSFW] in the subject of posts which needed them. I am not sure if this was a "rule" or something that just started happening.

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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Peter McLennan » Fri, 24 Jun 2016 9:31 am

PGB wrote:...I think at one point we talked about / started using [mature]...

We did. It was hard to remember and enforce, but I still think we need to do that.

I have a nasty habit of over-engineering (over-complicating) things, to the extent that they become unwieldy and unusable. I could easily devise such a tag system, but then I wouldn't want to moderate all of the posts that don't conform (which would be the vast majority); it would deter new/casual members; and would generally be a PITA. A simple system that's integral to the forum software would have a better chance of enduring, but I don't know if there is any such system.

I'm not saying that [tag] mightn't be the best solution, but that we'd have to be careful with it.
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby AJ Konlucko » Fri, 24 Jun 2016 9:56 am

Maybe as a first step we can request the use of the [mature] tag for those posts that need it. The moderators can keep an eye on this and add it when and if needed.

Thoughts?


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