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Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?

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--- Quote from: Mop it up on October 14, 2016, 05:17:04 PM ---I suspect this happens with most relatively small sites like this, I think these days most people prefer larger communities such as GameFAQs and the like. Some people may also seek out newer sites to support. I'm not sure if your theory is it, though it could be part of it. Wouldn't surprise me.

I was also going to suggest what Shaymin said, that social networking sites have made forums seem a bit obsolete for most people. Older folks like us still prefer forums.

--- End quote ---

I'm only 18! Old enough to drink, drive and vote, but still!

Sooooo since I'm pretty new here I have some possibly useless thoughts? This may all sound harsh but I mean it all in constructive fashion. Also it's hella long, sorry.

1. For the amount of traffic this forum seems to get, there's way too many subforums. Now when new people (like me) check it out they see a whole bunch of dead subforums, making the whole place seem empty.
Why is there a strategy one, that fits in with gaming, why is there a hardware one, that could merge with consoles. And even there I would merge all three (handheld, consoles and general) as well.

2. General upkeep and clarity. There's sticky threads for PSN/XBox Live (no posts since 2009), "child boards" for Wii and DS friendcodes, a Mario Golf tournament from 2014, etc. While I assume most people just don't look at those, to me as a newbie who used to moderate another forum, it just seems like wasted space (especially since all these stickies and child boards are at the top of pages). I had look through every board to find the "i'm new here" thread because the Community board is, paradoxically, all the way at the bottom.

3. The main website. NWR does that jarring thing where it has a bunch of images up at the top which don't change much for weeks, and for the new content you need to scroll a bit. Spotlight the new stuff! Why do I need to press the news tab, make that front & center.
The press releases on the right are hella outdated so remove the section. I do like how the talkback is also visible on the forum since it theoretically encourages people to make an account and chat here. I understand NWR has a small staff and I don't wanna crap on their hard work, but if the site seems static and unchanging then why would anyone assume there are lively forums to be found?

4. Realise the "market position", if you will. Nintendo isn't having as many releases, this forum clearly isn't being used very much to talk about non-Nintendo stuff, and forum attendance is dwindling, possibly due to Reddit/Facebook/Twitter. So turn that into your strength! Make it a cosy, vibrant little place where the forum fits the community size/activity. Phil understandably worries about cliques, but a clique on a seemingly vibrant forum is still better than 20 dead forums with 2 sparsely populated ones.

So what would I do? Declutter the forum by having just 3 pillars: Gaming, Community and the Talkback/Podcast comments (I assume those are separate only because of a technical reason? Cos they should merge too). Harsh yeah, but Neogaf uses just 2 subforums and they're just fine.
Relegate the forum rules/announcements into a sticky atop the Community forum. The feedback category can go, that's just Community stuff anyway. Make ONE child board in the Community section for those weird Funhouse/Mafia things I don't dare click on. ;)

I get that few of these things probably bother all of you regulars, and I don't wanna swoop in here in tell y'all how it's done. But perception is absolutely everything and when I clicked on here, my first thought was "yikes most of this board is dead."

There are people out there who want to post on forums, clearly. Cater to them. #MakeForumsGreatAgain

I've talked about too many subforums before and old topics being pinned/stickied, but I think that fell on deaf ears, or I guess blind eyes in the case of a message board post. I wasn't too forceful, though, so that's mostly my fault!

Anyway, you're a really awesome contributor to the forums, Steefosaurus, so your thoughts are just as notable as anyone else's. Someone will probably mention Lucario in a joking manner as not having notable opinions, but w/e.

Thanks Phil. :) But yeah I don't wanna sound entitled or anything, I mean you can't just waltz in some place and start barking demands - particularly one run entirely by volunteers. But yeah if y'all are serious about either attracting more active members and/or giving the forums a "lively feel" - then I feel like downscaling is appropriate.

So many websites are trying to become "no clicks, one page shows it all" places. And while I'm not sure that's necessarily the best, it certainly optimizes the user experience - they see everything that's going on at a glance without having to search around themselves. For forums you especially want that, so people see active threads and jump in.
People's eyes start at the top of every webpage, so it's a waste to clutter that with useless child boards and outdated stickies; that's your prime eyeball real estate right there doing the exact opposite of what it should.

Again I don't wanna just criticise, NWR has a neat vibe unlike the awful GameFAQs forums (which really hold that site back) or the impersonal subReddit space, but it's just too bad to see a lot of untapped potential.


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