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  • 1 Post By Ronald Roe
  • 2 Post By Mikasa Ackerman

Thread: IndyBoard, Another Design Question

  1. #1
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    IndyBoard, Another Design Question

    Hello World,

    I'm back again. So my website the IndyBoards - History, Programming and Science is finally getting llikes on fb and twitter and around 100-150 unique hits a day.

    With that said, asside from me and my co-webmaster there is only one person who posts on the forum despite the fact that i've made it where you don't even have to register (in fact ATM you can't register until your email has posted 5 times) what am I doing wrong here?

    I mean there are 60 people whom according to Analytics have visited everyday for 10 days, yet none of them have posted?

    I'm at a loss here, I mean it seems like out of 100 people at least 5 or 10 would be posting? Is my design flawed? If so can you tell me why? I know organization could be better but it still isn't difficult to move around and i'm targetting audiences that should be interested in the first things you see when you hit the page.

    IDK... I just don't know.
    Any Help is Much Appreciated and sorry for quasi-advertising i'm not meaning to i'm just trying to learn the new ways of the web (when i started 10 years ago it would take me 5 months just to get 25 regular unique hits a day but i would still have 5 posters for every 25 unique visitors).

    They are just strange I suppose
    Last edited by AlphaMare; Aug 16th, 2014 at 04:57 AM.


  3. #2
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    I'll give you 2 big reasons:
    1. It doesn't look like a traditional forum. Design is, in part, using user expectations to make them do something. When a forum doesn't look like a forum, ppl won't think of it as a forum.
    2. It's a new forum, and the majority of ppl who come to a forum just come to read something they found on the Googles. Not too much required to explain that one. You just set the forum up. Give it time, they take a while to pick up steam.
    Mikasa Ackerman likes this.
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

  4. #3
    Junior Member Mikasa Ackerman's Avatar
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    I second what Ronald said.

    Also, keep in mind that while there are a ton of people surfing the web, only a fraction of those people actually participate with anything in a meaningful way. There's a rule of thumb on the internet that 90% of people who view a site will only read it, 9% may join or edit content but not create content (meaning they don't write comments, they don't create threads, and they don't participate in discussions) and only the remaining 1% will actually create content (writing comments, creating threads etc.)

    Now, this is not at all a hard and fast rule. But it does put into perspective how many people you actually need to expose to your site in order to get any meaningful amount of participation. It's great that you're seeding it with content, as people will need to see threads they can participate in in order to feel that there is an established community. They will also need to feel like they're not wasting their time if they participate, (by not having a question answered, or by not having a followup to a comment they write) so keep updating, and make sure visitors can tell the forum is active.

    What strategies are you taking to get visitors? Are you relying on SEO or are you trying to get people from other networks interested?

    Edited to add:

    A few additional thoughts - Your tagline says "History, Programming, and Science" but I'm not seeing any boards that have to do with science. This could be disorienting for your visitors.

    It seems like there's often a unifying theme for popular forums. I participate in a few forums, and most of the time there is a theme or overarching topic that connects all of the various boards, or the forum is meant for a specific kind of person. For example, I belong to an adult orthodontics forum since I'm an adult in braces getting ready for jaw surgery (to help with TMJ problems). On that forum, there are boards for different kinds of braces and orthodontic appliances (like a separate board for invisalign). There are also boards for jaw surgery, boards for people thinking about getting braces but haven't gotten them yet, boards to show before and after photos, etc. The overarching theme is adult orthodontics.

    Your forum seems to have a lot of different topics, and it's not obvious how they are related. I can see those topics appealing to similar types of people (us "nerds" who like comic books, programming, and scifi? - possibly an overlap with the comic-con crowd?) but the design and content of the site don't really make it clear that these are topics for a similar group of people. As it is, if feels like a very fragmented and almost random assortment of boards.

    It would be helpful to identify the kinds of people who would likely participate in multiple places on your forum. If someone is likely to only participate in the java programing section and nowhere else, they could just as easily find a forum that's dedicated solely to programing. But if someone is a programer who loves comic books and needs a place to vent about their political views, maybe your forum is the right place for them. In that case, you then need to find where on the internet that kind of person is, and give them a reason to come to your site over someone else's. You could bill your forum as the internet's premier place to nerd out (or however you would want to put it... I myself embrace the term nerd).

    Another option would be create one overarching theme (say Pop Culture?) and encompass a few of the different boards you have like DC and Marvel Comics, TV Shows, Stand Up Comedy, Movies, and maybe even LP Guitar? Then the rest of the boards that don't fit that theme, you could put them into a section called "off topic".

    If you stick to a more cohesive theme, or at least define a kind of person who would want to be active in multiple places across your forum, your SEO and member recruitment strategies should be a little easier I would think.
    Last edited by Mikasa Ackerman; Aug 11th, 2014 at 04:27 PM.
    Ronald Roe and middy like this.

  5. #4
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoeFacedKilla View Post
    ...and sorry for quasi-advertising i'm not meaning to i'm just trying to learn the new ways of the web ...
    By rights this post should have had the link removed - the only reason I left it in is because you acknowledged the fact that you knew it was skating the line to put it in, and because it is directly relevant to the question being asked, so I assume you have actually read the rules.

    But have you seen all of the forums avialable here? If you want to have your site reviewed, which is basically what you are asking, there is the Ratings and Reviews forum, where links are not only permitted but required.

    All that said, I have nothing to add to the cogent and insightful comments already made.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
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  6. #5
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    Mikasa Ackerman is a brilliant individual.

  7. #6
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    @AlphaMare I just figured this was more a design question. I can start a new one if you believe it neccissary.

    @Mikasa Ackerman - I took what you said to heard, and have added "groups" of forums. A programming group, a Pop Culture group, a media group, ect.
    I'm hoping this is the path to getting better organized and thank you for taking the time to respond.

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