What's holding back new members?

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im2kull
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What's holding back new members?

Post by im2kull » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:02 pm

Why do we not hear from these people?
Discuss.


Ideas:
-Lack of a "New Member Introduction" Section
-Sockpuppet Accounts (Non-Legit 'new member' accounts)
-Hostility towards new/less development minded members?
-Other?
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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by KCMax » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:19 pm

Maybe they have nothing to say?
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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by kcjak » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:24 pm

In my opinion, the 'average' person on the street has no idea this forum exists and has to stumble across it or find it via word of mouth.  Once they DO find it, they have to deal with all of the bullshit on here that prevents this from being a forum and keeps it on the level of an online bitch fest.

I check this place out countless times throughout the day, but it seems there are never really any discussions or attempts to see a point from another person's point of view.  I can't tell how many times I've started typing something only to kill it cuz I didn't want to get dragged down into an 'I'm right, you're wrong' fight or because I'm tired of a few people on here who either hate every development or think it's still funny to call people douchebags.  Take a look at the Ultra Pool, Schlitterbahn and DT Convention Hotel for reference.

I'm don't expect to be constantly enlightened on here, but I don't want to listen to same old arguments every time I get on - same thing goes on with other forums like skyscrapercity.com, which I look at but won't get sucked into like I have here.

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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by jdubwaldo » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:32 pm

I'm probably considered a "newer" member who particularly enjoys reading people's views here and visits regularly.  I found the site while googling online to try to find reviews for Swizzle (*RIP*) in my neighborhood and got sucked in....  People have been welcoming, but since I generally agree with the consensus of opinions of what seems to be the "in crowd",  8) typically don't chime in to agree....  :D  I really appreciate reading people's opinions though, and have gotten some great tips - from home renovation to restaurants.....

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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by Roanoker » Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:18 pm

I joined over three years ago because a member encouraged me to do so. So "word of mouth" was the hook for me. If that's true for many people, then one reason we may not be getting new people is because we have lost so many, if we indeed have.

I just checked on a few members who used to post frequently but have not posted for quite a while. I suspect that changing over to a different server may have flung quite a few off our little planet when it stopped so suddenly. When we returned to our old, familiar server (if that's the right term), we probably lost a few more who did not want to struggle with reentry.

Nobody engages in anything unless there is a good, "what's in it for me" reason. Maybe we fail to provide a good enough one. Also, there is the conundrum of spirited dialogue. On the one hand, it makes for interesting reading, but on the other, it may lead people to think, "I don't fit in here."

Would it be a good idea for the mods to create a short, non-invasive "we miss you" questionnaire and email it to those who posted at least one time (or however many times)? I know they are already overburdened with all they have to do. So maybe not. Oh, well.
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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by LenexatoKCMO » Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:28 pm

kcjak wrote: I'm don't expect to be constantly enlightened on here, but I don't want to listen to same old arguments every time I get on - same thing goes on with other forums like skyscrapercity.com, which I look at but won't get sucked into like I have here.
Sure there is some pointless, off-topic arguing from time to time but is it really a problem that we have the "same old arguments' when those arguments are about consistent issuses associated with the topical focus of this forum - kansas city urban development?  You can visit virtually any topical forum on the net and find people debating the "same old arguments" about key issues around that topic.  If you eliminated the continuing debates about development patterns, development incentives, development styles, development law, the relative qaulities of specific developments, etc. what would be left? - discussion of how lame the Royals are playing and what happened on American Idol last night?  The same subjects get rehashed over and over because those issues are the focus of the forum. 

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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by im2kull » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:51 pm

I agree with everyones thoughts so far.  Whats more, is that I believe this is one of the fewer forums where you can Strongly voice your opinion on a wide array of topics without having to deal with the regular hand-slaps that moderators at other forums give out like Candy on Halloween.  Overall I believe that we have a great forum, and great moderation here.  Rarely does a topic ever get sent directly to the "dumpster" upon its creation.  Rather we are let to debate amongst ourselves, and if it does reach the boiling point with heated tempers & uncalled for threats than it is swiftly dealt with.

The only thing I see "hurting" the forum (Its oldest members & the pure development demographic) is that over the last couple of years we have transitioned from a full fledged development website (Which had a TON of google hits due to KC Development in general), to one that is more of a development news, reviews, and rating forum of sorts....if that makes any sense.  We have ALOT more personal reviews of businesses going on now than we ever did before...which is great, but at the same time it takes away from the actual building development & construction "NEWS"...which, for me, was my reason to join.

Seeing the Who, What, Where, & Why's of developments taking place around the greater metro area has always more important to me than the Reviews & Opinions on completed developments.  I would leave the scrutiny for the concept while its on the drawing board, not the finished project.  I didn't use to care about Bice, The Flying Saucer, & Dave & Busters...rather I cared about what buildings are going up, when they are going up, and what they will look like.  The change to caring more, and wondering more about the development after its finished the construction phase isn't nessecarily a bad thing though.  I think it simply shows how much the development scene in KC has cooled off as of late.  Although I expect a full return to how things were in the future ahead, I no longer expect to forget a development after its construction.

Now with that said, I believe that these are the two most important questions we must ask.
(In relation to making this forum a successful melting pot of ideas, opinions, and news)
1 - What makes new members join?
2 - What makes new members Interact? (Post Ideas, thoughts, pictures, & create new threads)

#1 is what I just outlined above, and while I do not believe we are "hurting" for new members, I DO believe that we are hurting for new "active" members.  Sure, we could use more exposure, we could use more people being aware of the website & forum...but that's not the point.  Everyone reading this forum as a guest can find a reason to join, and everyone that joins will have their own reasons for joining.  That is not something we can change...so why try?

What we can change is #2.  The biggest problem (seemingly) is that we tend to discredit, and attack new members ideas as "Wrong"...but why?  Just because someone posts something that we do not agree with, do we have to reject it?  Is there anything wrong with being Imaginative?  Perhaps we all need to take a step back, and show some hospitality towards those without a PH.D in Civil Engineering, City Politics, or Financial Management.  There is nothing wrong with sharing ideas, and perhaps what we are doing is stopping new members from sharing their ideas due to a fear of rejection, rather than openly accepting them as what they are and discussing their merits....as an option


This brings me back to a point I have made once before, that perhaps we are hurting the forum by choosing not to have a "New Member Introduction" area...which forces us to look at everyones ideas they post as if they do hold a degree in that area, and are fully informed about what they want to discuss...rather than realizing that what they may very well want are Answers.  We all need to take those posts for what they are, and realize that they may not fully know, or understand the concepts we are discussing, and are asking to be enlightened...not beaten down for voicing an idea that we all view as simply "wrong".

In my eyes, having an introduction area would help bridge the gap from #1 to #2.  We all need to remember that its not the members that make a forum successful, its the Active (posting) members.  That's what I believe this forums biggest setback to be at the moment.  Anyone agree? Disagree?
What's graciously given to KC, is strong for the region as a whole.  Passion and benevolence will one day exeem towards all whom know true adoration.  We shall triumph to better the community as One within
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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by KCMax » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:28 am

I don't think reviews of businesses have detracted from development news. Reviews are usually my favorite threads and they open my eyes up to a lot of places I wouldn't normally visit.

Development news has slowed because....development has slowed.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean in your "New Member Introduction" forum. Is this just a thread where people can post opinions without other people refuting or questioning it? That seems kinda silly. Why would anyone air their opinions in public if they didn't expect those opinions to be challenged?

I don't think the actual debate scares people off so much as the 119 page threads on a topic that they may want to know about. People may want to duck in to get an update on a project, but there are countless pages they have to sort through to get to the news. I still think we should have a development news aggregator, or at least a Wiki on development projects in KC so that people can reference it easily without having to go through the discussion on it.
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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by jdubwaldo » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:28 am

Roanoker wrote: Nobody engages in anything unless there is a good, "what's in it for me" reason.
This is very true for myself - I offer advice when I have some that might be useful to give, but otherwise I'm usually asking for something....  

It's also fun to read the banter - the Jones Pool thread, while ridiculous at times, cracks me up to no end.....

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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by im2kull » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:40 pm

KCMax wrote: I'm not exactly sure what you mean in your "New Member Introduction" forum. Is this just a thread where people can post opinions without other people refuting or questioning it? That seems kinda silly. Why would anyone air their opinions in public if they didn't expect those opinions to be challenged?

I don't think the actual debate scares people off so much as the 119 page threads on a topic that they may want to know about. People may want to duck in to get an update on a project, but there are countless pages they have to sort through to get to the news. I still think we should have a development news aggregator, or at least a Wiki on development projects in KC so that people can reference it easily without having to go through the discussion on it.
That's exactly my point.  Having a "New Member Introduction" area would allow for new members to make the jump from simply becoming a member, to becoming an "Active" member.  It would give them a place to say "hello, I'm jane, I'm interested in buildings.  I live in the suburbs, and enjoy the wizards.  I'd like to know more about KC, but dunno where to start.  Is downtown violent?  What is the PAC?  What's a NIMBY? Etc, Etc".  ..without having to interfere with ongoing arguments & discussion in other threads, where their curiosity would be taken the wrong way.  It would create a "safe" place for them to post without being rediculed for asking the same question that was answered on page 47 of a 193 page thread. 

It would give new members somewhere to start.  8)
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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by lock+load » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:45 pm

When someone has something to say, they'll say it.  This is an anonymous internet forum.  If you are too shy or scared to speak up here, I don't think anything is going to help.

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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by BSykes » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:45 pm

kcjak wrote: I check this place out countless times throughout the day, but it seems there are never really any discussions or attempts to see a point from another person's point of view.  I can't tell how many times I've started typing something only to kill it cuz I didn't want to get dragged down into an 'I'm right, you're wrong' fight or because I'm tired of a few people on here who either hate every development or think it's still funny to call people douchebags.
Bingo.

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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by LenexatoKCMO » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:43 pm

If there really is a slow down in newly conversant members, I would hypothesize that it can mostly be attributed to an overall slow down in postings.  If you look at the forum stats - the new thread and overall post numbers are way, way more off their average than the number of new members.  new member numbers are merely halved - posts and threads are more like 1/8 average.  If people talked more, the new folks would talk too.  There are two pretty clear reasons why the overall activity is down:
1) it appears to have roughly halved when the economy tanked and there stoped being much notable development news; and
2) it further fell off the table with all of the techical disasters the last few months. 

If you want more people to join and participate, the remedy is simple - post more and participate in more development conversations.  There have always been assholes and abbrasive folks around here to some degree - historically some of the peak volumes for new threads and new members came in months featuring the most divisive, combative, and vitriolic development discussions.  In fact, we got rid of two of the most combative and rude members on the forum - and overall activity/conversation dropped further.  Injecting more civility and restricting debate does not seem to be the solution. 

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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by Highlander » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:08 pm

im2kull wrote: Why do we not hear from these people?
Discuss.


Ideas:
-Lack of a "New Member Introduction" Section
-Sockpuppet Accounts (Non-Legit 'new member' accounts)
-Hostility towards new/less development minded members?
-Other?
Maybe because you talk too much and they can't get a word in edgewise??

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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by im2kull » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:16 pm

Highlander wrote: Maybe because you talk too much and they can't get a word in edgewise??
Well Now's their chance..

..Carpe Diem!
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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by Cyclops » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:30 pm

Highlander wrote: Maybe because you talk too much and they can't get a word in edgewise??
Copy that! A voice from the past. I'd rather see the chef and MD duke it out than read one more useless post of im2cool. But that's just me.... Otherwise, I'll check back in a few weeks.
Last edited by Cyclops on Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by im2kull » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:22 am

Cyclops wrote: Copy that! A voice from the past. I'd rather see the chef and MD duke it out than read one more useless post of im2cool. But that's just me.... Otherwise, I'll check back in a few weeks.
Right.

I ask one meaningful, well thought out question...and you pop in to say how useless this thread is.  Great, Good for you.  Want a cookie? Pat on the back? Hamster?

Now here's a real idea...Why not contribute something (anything!) for a change?  It can't be that hard...even if its completely useless. Oh well, I've gotta give it to you Cyclops...you just hit the nail on the head.  Now we know why this forum has a problem.  Here's your Useless post, and Smartass remark all rolled into one.  Enjoy!
Last edited by im2kull on Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by WSPanic » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:40 am

im2kull wrote: Right.

I ask one meaningful, well thought out question...and you pop in to say how useless this thread is.  Great, Good for you.  Want a cookie? Pat on the back? Hamster?

Now here's a real idea...Why not contribute something (anything!) for a change?  It can't be that hard...even if its completely useless. Oh well, I've gotta give it to you Cyclops...you just hit the nail on the head.  Now we know why this forum has a problem.  Here's your Useless post, and Smartass remark all rolled into one.  Enjoy!
I think you just answered your own question. You should really be asking why  anyone would want to participate in a discussion when you always act like that.

Got that?
Comprende?
Are you getting this through your head yet?
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Re: What's holding back new members?

Post by ComandanteCero » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:46 am

i think this thread has run its course...
KC Region is all part of the same animal regardless of state and county lines.
Think on the Regional scale.

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