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Thread: Reviving DB
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2019, 06:51 PM
dendrobates frisia dendrobates frisia is offline
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Default Re: Reviving DB

I just joined here recently, so no idea how busy it used to be here.

but I don't think this is a dendroboard or dart frog specific issue. over the years I've been involved in multiple hobbies, and forums for them, and over time I've seen a decline in forums, to the point now where mostly just the bigger international forums(like this) have a decent activity.

~10 years ago I had dart frogs, and back then I was on dutch forums(was 15-16 years old, so not that focussed on english forums yet). back than there were a dutch and belgian forum both of them decently active. through there I also ended up on an antforum(there once was a thread theorizing about ants as feed insects, and based on that a kind of exchange of info with the antforum happened).

now I'm coming back, the belgian dartfrog forum is gone, the dutch dartfrog forum is almost dead(only the classified section seems somewhat more active), and the antforum is gone too. that's also part of the reason I came here, since there's still some activity here.

in the mean time I've also taken up weed growing as a hobby(you can think of it what you want, but it is a hobby with similar dynamics as in any hobby, and it's semi-legal around here). there the same transition happened, the old dutch forum where I started is pretty much dead, most people left moved to a new dutch forum but it's much less active as the old one used to e back in the day.

there's a big international weed growing forum which is still pretty active, but much less as some years back(i'm guessing somewhat similar as here, except the weedgrowing hobby is bigger so more people are left on the forums).

the weedgrowing ****** (edit: ok, apparently the name of this social network site is censored on here? weird, anyway it sounds like edit) communities are more active though. but it's a format that's far less conductive to deeper discussion, since the posts have a high turnover and it's easy to join if you're already on other subreddits, you get a community that mostly revolves around beginners asking the most basic questions over and over('is this a male or female plant?'). because there's no seperate subforums, deeper discussions easily go under in the flood. so people more experienced in the hobby get bored and leave, leading to a kind of community with slightly more experienced beginners advicing beginners. also a lot of the hobby now seems to congregate on instagram(but I'm not on intagram, so I just hear references to it). meanwhile on the forums there are many more experienced people, but little influx of new members, so activity will not recover.

I think it's sad, but I also think it's too optimistic to expect that with just adding some new features you're going to reverse that momvement for dendroboard, while it's something that seems to be affecting hobbyforums in a broad sense. I think it's not something wrong with the features on here that causes it, but a broader social development.

edit: one thing though that is a big downside of forums, which could be taken into account to help more new members staying involved, is the typical 'use the search feature' answers. such posts are common across forums, and I understand wy you'd say that. however, it comes across unwelcoming, and often doesn't really help. for example, I'll use the search through google on a subject. first page of results will be 10 topics with my question, but no answers except 'use the search feature'. then I'll finally find a thread from 5 years back with a helpfull person who links a few threads, but all or most of those threads will be dead links. eventually on the 3rd page pf google I could find a rare thread that actually has an answer, but it's 10 years old and may be completely outdated by current hobby standards.

so what might help for forums in general(not saying it is the case here, but from some older threads I looked up it does seem to occur here often too) is to have a few people who keep answering these beginner questions, within a dedicated beginner forum(which already exists here) so the rest of the forum isn't flooded with it. but don't just kill threads with the 'use search' comment.
sticky threads help too, but care should be taken that they are regularly updated, and the pics stay working. nothing more frustrating then people refusing to answer you because there's a sticky, but the sticky lacks half the info because all the pics were once uploaded on photobucket or imageshack and are gone now.

edit2: another thing that could be done, if there are enough volunteers, is use a kind of mentor-system. I've seen such a system on a weedforum which seems to be keeping a good influx of new members(although the knowledge level is a bit lower as on some other weedforums). there they have an option where new members can ask for a mentor to personally guide them and ask beginner questions to in pm, the mentors are more experienced growers who volunteer for it and are asigned. and they do stuff like competitions to keep the community active, give a reason to visit besides just asking questions, so people are less inclined to leave if they've nothing left to learn from there. but stuff like those competitions only works with sponsors, and the downside on that particular forum I find it seems to be pretty commercial.

Last edited by dendrobates frisia; 04-27-2019 at 07:16 PM.
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