Author Topic: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?  (Read 102856 times)

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Offline Phil

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Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« on: October 13, 2016, 05:20:22 PM »
Maybe the question I am posing isn't even correct or have any truth to it, so if so, then I apologize!

Regardless, I have noticed that new users that remain active are few and far in-between.

Now, this is just my theory, which may be totally unsubstantiated, but I notice that we basically have a clique/club of personalities here at NWR's forums that are well-established. We're all pretty close for the most part (well, as "close" as one can be as personalities on a message board forum), so that might make new users feel like outsiders and make it seem hard to fit in.

In what ways could we make new users feel more like they're a part of something great instead of feel like they're on the outside looking in?

Just food for thought. I'm going to eat a sandwich now since my brain ate its food, but now my stomach wants food!
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Offline Lucario

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2016, 08:25:25 PM »
I think its more the fact that places like Nintendolife steal our thunder.
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Offline Shaymin

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2016, 11:49:03 PM »
Forums in general are slowing down in favor of things like Twitter and (more realistically) Facebook.
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Offline Lucario

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2016, 06:01:24 AM »
Both yucky, i prefer forums.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #4 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.

Offline Lucario

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2016, 08:52:39 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.

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Offline Lucario

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2016, 08:53:01 PM »
I'm only 18! Old enough to drink, drive and vote, but still!
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Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2016, 06:33:47 PM »
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

Offline Phil

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2016, 07:01:35 PM »
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.
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Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2016, 07:52:57 PM »
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.

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2016, 09:18:49 PM »
Maybe the question I am posing isn't even correct or have any truth to it, so if so, then I apologize!

Regardless, I have noticed that new users that remain active are few and far in-between.

Now, this is just my theory, which may be totally unsubstantiated, but I notice that we basically have a clique/club of personalities here at NWR's forums that are well-established. We're all pretty close for the most part (well, as "close" as one can be as personalities on a message board forum), so that might make new users feel like outsiders and make it seem hard to fit in.

In what ways could we make new users feel more like they're a part of something great instead of feel like they're on the outside looking in?

I've talked about this before a few times at length in various long posts scattered throughout these forums. It most recently was done in the Announcements section of the We Have New Moderators thread but I can understand if you glazed over the text and didn't read it. I will show some restraint right now in answering you query but just sticking to some basic points as to why the difficulty exists.

1. Content - This can be many things. Forum topics, forum games, or news announcements for instance. If there is a lot of content to engage users in then chances are a lot more users will sign up to participate in that content creating more content and help broaden the appeal of the site for more users. It's kind of a cycle. However, there are factors that can affect it. This site is Nintendo based only so there is a limit to how many people it may attract. We are currently in a period of relative inactivity from Nintendo and news thereby making content harder. As well, with the low Wii U userbase, the interest in Nintendo products seems to have further limited appeal in coming to a site like this despite the high userbase of 3DS since people don't seem to want to talk much about handheld gaming. Not sure why but that's the way it seems to be.

2. Older Users - We are lucky to have many long term users on this site and as such we have a special community. It's great if you are a long time user since there are many familiar faces you can see over and over again and you don't feel like you are just part of a crowd like in another much larger forum. That said, if you are a new user, it can take awhile to perhaps break into that crowd because having seen so many new users come and go after a week or month or year, it's hard for older users to perhaps engage much with them because there's a high chance that user won't be around long. There's familiarity with other long time users than there is with newer users so its easier to communicate with them. They have a certain level of knowledge and forum maturity that a younger, newer user may not have. So, when a new younger user may post a crazy idea like Nintendo should buy Bungie studios to own the Halo rights to win back the market, the older users can be quick to dismantle that idea when years ago, that type of suggestion may have instead led to pages of speculation about how that could be done and what a great idea that could be. I've stated before a couple times that older users should remember that if they look back on their early posts here, they made a lot of dumb comments when they first started posting so they shouldn't be so quick to shut down and rag on newer users that do the same thing as they once did but its a struggle since you just have a better understanding and knowledge of things from following this stuff for so long that it is hard to engage in misinformed ideas. I try to always look for new users and people that might be interested in trying a game like Mafia or Safe Words because that can help a new user establish themselves with the long timers here and give them a chance to break into the long time clique as you refer to it but that doesn't work for every user and may not to be of interest to them.

3. New Ways of Communicating - This forum had some its biggest activity and more members during the end of the Cube and start of the Wii era. Part of that would be due to interest in the Wii, Twilight Princess, and people wanting to get more Nintendo news. However, that was also before FaceBook began to take off or Twitter was invented and cell phones became the mini-computers they are now or iPads were on the market. With those advances, the state of gaming has changed which gets back to the content part but so has communication. Before, it may have been harder to find people with the same interest in Nintendo gaming that you had. Thus, a site like this was great, allowing you to communicate with other like minded people. However, it also requires effort to communicate. You've got to post and engage with people in discussions perhaps through following or posting in multiple threads. You may have to check in regularly to keep up with the discussion. Now, you can create a group of friends on FaceBook and just post with them. You can follow people and discussions on Twitter. If you are posting a lot on those sites, then you may not want to come and post a lot of stuff here. It's a time thing. Plus, Nintendo has Miiverse to allow you to follow the games and Nintendo interests you have on that platform. Other sites may use things like Disqus or Word Press in which case you can have one account to comment on multiple sites and articles whereas here you have to create an account and username for the forum that is only usable on this site. Forums are starting to seem antiquated to a lot of internet users which is a shame since I think they still have some benefits not met by these new platforms but people don't seem to see that or happy enough with what they are now doing.

To me, those are the three main challenges facing Forum growth and sustainability. If you can figure out how to combat them, you could be Community Manager!
« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 09:20:32 PM by Khushrenada »

Offline Phil

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2016, 09:26:01 PM »
Phil will be Community Manager one day. He also knows how to split up walls of texts to create more readable paragraphs! :P:

This is all very good information. I'd love a chance to pimp the forums more often. Maybe we could have a special segment on NWR where we make a round-up of popular community topics and share them. I dunno. I'm happy 'cause I got a Skull Kid World of Nintendo figure. So cool!

EDIT: But I do think the pruning of some stickied topics to more relevant things would serve the community better. I also don't see a need for so many sub-forums when some could be merged with others.
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2016, 10:07:16 PM »
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.

No, it is good. It is better a user tell us what they think then say nothing and disappear so that nothing changes or can be improved to prevent users from being dissatisfied. A new user that is interest in forum improvement is always welcome.

Quote
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.

Some of this has been talked about before. Particularly the Strategy forum since GameFaqs has basically filled that role for a decade. Hardware varies in usage but it ultimately is very low traffic.

Personally, I like the separation of Console, Handheld and General. Right now, these boards may not have much activity but there is the outside factor of Nintendo not having a lot of activity right now combined with the smaller marketshare they currently occupy. However, up to and a little after the Wii U came out, there would be a lot of activity and topics created in all these forums. If they were all in one, there would have been a constant battle of bumping and searching for topics to reply to which I think would be more annoying or frustrating than the current system of spreading things out a bit over different subforums. We'll see what happens with the NX but it is possible that a forum merger may occur especially with the rumours of it being a console and handheld combined into one. But, as of right now, I'm of the opinion that the separation and organization of topics by these subforums is still good and something I still prefer.

Quote
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.

Not responsible for the layout and order of the subforums. I know it is based on the same set-up as the PGC forums which were converted to the current forums we have now but I'm not sure if it is easy or possible to rearrange the order of subforums as suggested or they are stuck that way from the conversion. The number one forum used is the Console Forum so its place at the top is correct. The second most used is TalkBack for the articles posted on the main page. The third is General Chat which has the new person thread. If the top three boards were put in order, it would basically eliminated the divisions of Gaming Forums, Interactive and Community. While it might not be necessary to have those divisions these days, it might be depending on the future and was useful in the past. As such, I'm not sure Forum rearranging needs to happen just yet though I'm not opposed to the idea of a subforum or two merging or changing it's original purpose.

The introduce yourself thread has become a bit of a shell of its old self. It was useful back in the high activity time of this site to merge topics created by new users introducing themselves to that thread or having them post that hello there to get it out of the way but it is hardly used these days and often ignored by a lot of users as well. I get the argument that the reason might be it is not easily found but what would be the best place for it? Console forums? Announcements? If anything, my idea / suggestion would be that a new subforum is created under the Announcements forum called Introduce Yourself and it would just be that one thread to allow new users to post their hello. That way, it is easily found and at the top of the forum page. It allows for one less stickied thread and could be a better way to alert people to a new users introduction. That requires admin level talent of which I am not but fortunately I know a guy who does so posting this will at least start planting the seed for such a thing or start a discussion on it.

As for your comments on the stickied threads, good point on the Mario Golf thread. I've unstickied that. I've never really noticed or been bothered by it but I guess it just never felt in the way of getting to the main topics under discussion in the Matchmaking forum. As for the PS/Xbos thread, the reason there are no posts since 2009 is that it is a locked thread. It is locked to prevent replies and is only meant to give links to the appropriate threads that a user needs to find to input that information. This was done to prevent multiple stickied threads for that info. As such, it currently stays but I will check and see if any of the links are still worthwhile with the PS4 and XB1 out and new revisions soon to be released. For the Wii and DS child boards, that also requires an admin to remove. Again, for me, I just don't even notice them there anymore that I didn't think having them mattered. Plus, no one can post in those threads so it is not like there is ever a new post alert / color to the child board to draw my attention to it. Not sure why the boards are being kept. That is something that also requires an admin to remove or hide and above my pay grade.

I'll check out the stickied threads in a few forums again to see if they are worth having around. Maybe this is the excuse I can use to finally unsticky the Miiverse threads!

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2016, 11:12:25 PM »
Quote
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?

Have nothing I can say about that. That belongs to Staff and Megabyte's jurisdiction and I'm not sure how that all works or who looks after the format and upkeep of it. Personally, I have the Main Forums page bookmarked so I'm rarely ever on the Main Site page and usually just see the articles via Talkback. Maybe that solution can help you ignore the Main Site page issues like it does for me.  ;D ;)

Quote
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.

In some ways, that is the case. Us long time users are familiar to the less used forums being around that they have become part of the fabric and quaintness of the site and we know and mainly use the subforums with the most activity. The point on perception is a good one to consider though. For the most part, I consider the forums like a Newspaper. A Newspaper will have different sections to it which will have varying appeal. There are certain sections I'll want to check up on regularly / everyday. There are others like Automotive or Travel that I may not care about or find useless. But, once in awhile, some article may appear there of interest which I'll check out then. Reader Reviews and Hardware Support are a bit like that. I'm not usually interested in Hardware Support topics and when I'm in the Console forum I'd prefer not to see them there as I'm interested in the latest news and speculation of other users. It's the same with how I don't really listen to or follow the podcasts and am glad they are separated from the articles in TalkBack. Filtering of content can be a good thing and make a user experience more enjoyable as well even if might create a false perception with activity.

Quote
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

 :o That's merger madness! Neogaf does have two subforums but that is also why I don't use Neogaf. I've been to their forums a couple of times and it just seems like a frustrating mess to keep up with topics or find things on it. I don't see why the NWR way has to be the same as the Neogaf way.

Again, referencing the site of Neoseeker, they subdivide a lot in their forums and I'm glad because it made it easy for me to find the information or topics I wanted on their site. Now they may have more traffic and users than we do here but I didn't really care if there Kid Icarus or Playstation forum had a lot of traffic or not since I was just there for the Animal Crossing forum. In the same way, if someone is interested in Nintendo Console discussions, then I think it would be of benefit to be able to go to the forum for that and not have mobile, PC, Xbox and Playstation discussions happening at the same time in the same forum. If I just want to engage in discussions about the NX or what Nintendo can do for the next console Mario game, then I don't really care if the Reader Review section isn't getting a lot of new activity.

Perhaps the perception image you mention is a factor in less new users showing up currently but I do think a filtering of information and topics is worthwhile and beneficial as well and the mass merging of forums doesn't appeal to me. Not sure if other users will chime in with their thoughts on that but I don't think I'm alone in that regard. A weeding out of a few forums might be in order but I'm not sure where that would fall into on priority for the staff or how much work could be involved with it.

With the podcast forums, some podcasts are game discussions which can go on for a couple weeks or require people voting for the game to choose for discussion. I think that might be part of the reason podcasts are separated from Talkback articles. It keeps the podcast discussions from constantly being bumped up and dominating the top of the Talkback forum while new articles get pushed down or missed. It allows the TalkBack section to keep moving along with the latest news without too many threads constantly getting bumped. NWR Feedback is useful in alerting various staff members to an issue whether it be technical or an suggestion like this. Merging it into General Chat means having to constantly check General Chat on the offchance a thread appears addressed to Staff and General Chat is the third most used forum where people talk about the latest shows and movies. It's constantly getting updated meaning a thread addressed to staff could soon fall down the list of topics and be missed.

The 4th most used forum is the Funhouse and is almost equal to General Chat in stats. To relegate it to a childboard in a Community Forum seems counterintuitive. Why would you take one of the most popular forums and hide it away / make it less visable? The Mafia forum spun out of the Funhouse. Mafia games used to get played there but it would create a problem of the game threads dominating or interfering with other threads happening in the Funhouse so a new subforum was created to house all the Mafia games and filter things so that users who didn't care about Mafia games could ignore them and those that did could be alerted to the latest discussions and games for it. Again, the idea of filtering information was behind that. So, you would need 2 child boards for the Community Forum. The Mafia forum is catching up to the Podcast Discussion forum after all.  I've also been stating for awhile that I think we should have a child forum or new subforum for Movie and TV discussion but nothing has happened on that yet. More filtering!

Anyways, that is a bit of information for you in regards to why the forums are organized a bit the way they are. Perhaps something can be done about the lesser used forums but there are pros and cons to any ideas I think of right now in that regard which includes merging them with other forums. I'm not trying to be difficult or dismiss your thoughts Steefosarus. I'm glad you've found your way to this site and are taking the time to post here and be part of the community and share your thoughts. That's why I wanted to take the time to reply to them and give you some insight and feedback from how a user who has been here for awhile perceives the current state of things.

Offline Phil

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2016, 11:34:48 PM »
That's really awesome of you, Khush, to do such an extensive write-up. I agree about removing some of the sub-forums at the very least. I like having Nintendo Console Gaming, Nintendo Handheld Gaming, General Gaming, and a Matchmaking forum for game-related stuff.
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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2016, 09:09:22 AM »
Anyways, that is a bit of information for you in regards to why the forums are organized a bit the way they are. Perhaps something can be done about the lesser used forums but there are pros and cons to any ideas I think of right now in that regard which includes merging them with other forums. I'm not trying to be difficult or dismiss your thoughts Steefosarus. I'm glad you've found your way to this site and are taking the time to post here and be part of the community and share your thoughts. That's why I wanted to take the time to reply to them and give you some insight and feedback from how a user who has been here for awhile perceives the current state of things.

Thanks for the explanatory novel haha! And yeah it definitely makes sense how things grew to the way they currently are. I brought up NeoGaf mainly just because it's giant in user numbers and still only has 2 boards; by comparison this forum is pretty tiny and there's like 14.
But I totally accept that others might like super-specific filtering per category. To me a separate film/tv board seems kinda unnecessary since there's what, 6 threads max on screen-watching-stuff in the general chat section? But maybe a lot of people actually prefer as many different categories as possible.

The newspaper comparison doesn't really work for me, since you actually have to go into the subforums to see if there is that actual one new article you happen to like. Call me lazy but I'm one of those spoiled internet people who just wants to see everything at a glance. And scrolling > clicking! But yeah again, could be in the minority there. Anyway thanks for the giant reply! Hope some of the regulars here chime in with their preferences, that'd be useful data for y'all.

Offline Oedo

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2016, 07:35:38 PM »
This is something I've wondered myself on occasion because, at least to me, a forum like this does have its own unique appeal. Twitter is not a good place for substantive discussion for multiple reasons and NeoGAF has so many users that if you don't follow a particular topic or thread for a day or two it's impossible to get caught up. Forums like this have the capacity to support substantive discussion on a regular basis while remaining manageable for most forum members, so even if you haven't been posting here for years, there's still a very real appeal to a place like this that you can't find anywhere else. That's partly why I've moved away from posting in a lot of other places and have started to post here a bit more regularly. I still prefer discussing games with other people in places like this above the alternatives and I'd imagine there are many other different kinds of people out there who feel the same way. 

What I think it mainly comes down to, then, is the first point Khushrenada brought up. There's a lack of content right now and new users don't really have a reason to sign up and be active on the forums. I remember there was a lot of great forum activity around the time that Xenoblade Chronicles X came out and it was cool to read through that thread every couple days to compare my experiences with the game with that of other forum members who were playing it at the same time. In fact, I think that thread may have been the reason I decided to start posting here more. However, new games haven't really gotten talked about all that often since then. Part of that is due to the types of releases on Nintendo platforms right now. If you love JRPGs, you're swimming in amazing games this year; for me, this will go down as one of the best years in gaming. If you're less interested in the genre though or don't have interest in the particular games within this genre that have been coming out, there isn't much. Talking about new games is a big part of the gaming discussion that takes place anywhere, so removing that from the equation is naturally going to lead to the forums being less active and lacking new content on a regular basis. There are still great posts that are made in the "last game you beat" and "what are you playing threads," so hopefully when the NX comes out Nintendo can go back to a more balanced lineup of games that helps things in this regard.

Beyond that, I think community events and feature discussions are important for driving forum activity as well. Phil's idea for a game night is great and I'll definitely put forth an effort to be part of it (both this weekend and in the future). If that becomes a semi-regular thing, it can be a lot of fun for existing forum members and it may give someone who may just browses the forums from time to time a reason to sign up and start posting. I also really liked the idea behind the "Run the Series" feature. My experience with 2D Mario is limited as someone who grew up with the 3D games, but that topic got a lot of activity and I enjoyed reading the thoughts of forum members who are veterans of that particular series of games. I've put off sharing my thoughts in the Pokemon thread for a while so maybe this isn't the best endorsement for what I'm about to say next, but I think regular features like that are a great way to increase activity and constantly give forum members something to post about. It's difficult to keep coming up with good ideas for topics like that on a consistent basis though, especially when it's only a handful of forum members coming up with the ideas. To that end, I've had a specific idea for a while now and if you don't mind Khushrenada, I'll send you a short message about it later (I would have made the topic already, but I suspect you've already thought about it in some capacity with your Run the Series threads).

I'll share some thoughts on other things mentioned here too:

I do think that having separate Console, Handheld, and General sub-forums is a good way to organize discussion. Console and Handheld could be merged into one (though I like it the way it is now), but you'd definitely need a separate General sub-forum since there are a lot of people here who are multi-platform gamers. Matchmaking probably needs to be its own sub-forum too, or you'd risk just totally screwing any possibility of that happening here. Strategy and Support do seem superfluous though and, while I don't put a lot of stock into these things, I think it does give the forums the appearance of being less active than they really are (and that likely will turn off some new users). Those could be rolled into the General sub-forum or have their own sub-forums in Console and Handheld, but I'm not sure how much work that would be for the people who handle the behind the scenes stuff.

I think you're probably right about cliques Phil, but that tends to happen on any forum. To this forum's credit, I can't ever recall anyone going out of their way to make a new forum member like me feel like an outsider. There are probably ways to make things easier for people looking to sign up like your game night idea or making the new members thread more visible, but in general these forums have usually seemed like a pleasant place to me.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 07:40:18 PM by Oedo »

Offline Lucario

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2016, 07:36:57 PM »
I am not reading that ;D. Jesus that's big! like my kak!
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2016, 09:58:43 PM »
To that end, I've had a specific idea for a while now and if you don't mind Khushrenada, I'll send you a short message about it later (I would have made the topic already, but I suspect you've already thought about it in some capacity with your Run the Series threads).

Go ahead. Glad to hear that others are interested in that feature. I've been meaning to post another entry for the past 10 days but it turns out Nintendo characters and what makes a series with them can be hard to determine. I didn't want the next feature to just be Zelda so I was looking for some other entries and it seems like some of the other options can be mixed bags as to whether a game belongs in a series or not or whether I should post it in Console or Handheld because of the amount of games that could be included in the series appearing on those two different platforms. I was leaning towards Donkey Kong and the Country type series as the next entry and I guess I'll just post something on that and let the community argue my definition of what games make up that series but maybe your idea will be better.

Offline ejamer

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2016, 08:39:52 AM »
Lots of good ideas posted above.


I always felt like NWR Forums have a couple of key issues that prevent them from being more lively.
(1) Focusing on Nintendo content means they'll naturally ebb and flow with Nintendo's success. 3DS and Wii U have been pretty niche systems, so fewer people have been seeking out places to talk about Nintendo gaming.
(2) Age of core user base seems higher than average which often affects rate of posting, type of discussions taking place, and participation/availability for community events. (There are some benefits to having an older user base, but when I look at forums that are more active or "successful" they are almost always dominated by posts from younger users.)


Those ideas were already mentioned, along with many others. Only posting to show support for the thread, because I'd love to see more traffic at NWR forums - even if I am an old crank who would probably complain about all the kids who need to get good or go home.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2016, 02:38:58 PM »
Yeah, I was also going to mention the lower popularity of Nintendo products as of late, but forgot to. Plus, their systems don't have as much of a strong online interface as other systems, so there are less reasons for users to seek out other online players. Also, I think more of the writing staff used to visit the forums more than now, maybe that helps too.

As far as organisation goes, I agree that could be better around here. However, I do not think all forums should be combined into only a couple categories, as that gets really cluttered really quickly. As someone who does not visit every day, it would be a pain to sift through all these random, unrelated threads, trying to find the ones I want, which could have fallen down to the second page or farther, causing me to miss them.

I actually hate modern website design, it's very messy, cluttered, and unfocused. No offense to its designer(s), but I actually don't even visit the NWR front page anymore because it's just too much of a mess, and read everything through the forums. Maybe this is better for phones and tablets, I don't know, I still use a computer to browse the Web. I also know that a lot of people these days have really short attention spans, so this probably appeals to them also.

That said, there are certainly more forum categories than needed and some should be merged or done away with. Plus, stuff like the NWR March Madness board is still there despite serving no function and unlikely that it will again. Forum descriptions are also grossly out of date: the console one for example still mentions GameCube and Wii, but not Wii U. It does not give the impression of an upkept forum, for sure. It's also interesting to see this talk before the Switch reveal, as it means that the console and handheld sections should probably be merged now...

Offline ejamer

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2016, 04:18:54 PM »
(Just thought it funny to see how many people are chatting at NWR forums today due to today's announcement.  I really do think that lack of exciting Nintendo-specific news to talk about is part of the reason for forum slowdown.)
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2016, 02:17:19 PM »
Sure, but other good points were brought up as well!

Offline Stratos

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2016, 12:41:00 PM »

Good conversation going on about the layout and organization.

The biggest offenders for unnecessary child forums would be the Friend Codes and March Madness boards. Can we at least make them hidden? Is there really a reason to keep them up?


Some changes to the boards is probably needed, but should probably wait until we know more about Nintendo's future. Sure, the NX may be the console/hybrid everyone thought it would be, but what about Nintendo's growing collection of mobile games? Should those be lumped into one Nintendo Games board or will it turn into an NX board and a Mobile board?


And really, there is only so much that can be done with the current software. What are the chances of getting an upgrade to the forum software?
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Why do you think NWR's forums rarely get active new members?
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2016, 02:15:06 PM »
Correct me if things have changed, but last I heard, there was only one member with the forum privileges to actually change anything about the forums, and it's someone who barely visits anymore. I don't think either Insanolord, Khushrenada, or UncleBob actually have the ability to make changes, and I also don't think the NWR writing staff post on the forums (or at least not outside of the occasional podcast or Talkback thread). So, I think one problem may be that anyone who can actually upkeep the forum, doesn't visit / pay attention to it.