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Has Our Forum Gotten Less Active?


Gustav
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I have nothing to back this up other than just a general feeling, but lately (i.e. the past couple months or so) I've gotten the impression that there's been less activity on the forum. And no, I'm not trying to start a "well back in my day we didn't have Discord" thread, because I wasn't a part of the league during that time and can't logically compare then to now. I'm speaking more in terms of the last couple years versus now. 

 

I know my own activity on Discord and the forums isn't quite what it used to be (and I used to live here, so I'm cool with that), but lately I've clicked on the media spot subforum, or the .com article subforum, and looked for active threads and things I'm interested in commenting on or talking about...and there just isn't much worth reading. Even what is worth reading is largely glossed over--anecdotally, my super in-depth articles (when I care enough to write them) don't generate nearly the amount of engagement that they used to, and that's a problem for just about every other super in-depth article I've seen as well. Graphics threads used to be notorious for being less active in general, but these days they're just as active as article threads, if not outright more active due to a lot of reviewing. And on top of that, there are just fewer threads in general--outside of point tasks and league announcements, do we really even have threads to look at regularly? 

 

Maybe we've seen a bit of a culture shift recently--our member base is larger than it ever has been. Newer members may be a bit put off or intimidated by this as it's now seemingly harder to fit in, older members stick to what (and who) they know and don't mix too much with the others. That might not even be happening at all, but it's a hypothesis I have, backed up anecdotally again by the fact that there's a handful of very active newer members with which I've had little to no interaction whatsoever, even though I doubt either of us wants to avoid the other at all. It's possible that expansion of the community has led to a less personal feel to things, and in turn a less "put yourself out there" type of mindset, but it could also just be a general trend that was accidentally followed--one generally less active week leads to a bit of disengagement, a bit of disengagement leads to another generally less active week, and so on. 

 

I feel like lately all the forum has been is a place to do what we need to do and check out for the week. Hopefully it means much more than that to many of us. I'm not trying to be all anti-Discord boomer here (in fact, I love Discord and think we've gotten along perfectly well with it for quite a while!) and I'm not trying to criticize anyone in particular. I'm not even going to say there's a concrete problem here, or that there's a concrete solution to it. If you care about our community, if you care about our forum, please just think about what you can do to make it a happier, more active, and more welcoming environment when you're finished reading this. It doesn't have to be today, it doesn't have to be right now, but just think of one little thing you can do to go beyond just posting your PTs and running away. 

 

I hope this is NOT a fair criticism, and that I'm simply going insane. If that's not the case, though, get your forum hat on and go make a difference.

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You’re not wrong! The forum isn’t as engaging as it once was. I do believe it’s a generational thing. We have a lot of younger users now and discord is a much easier form of communication. It’s easier to drop and article or graphic on the forum for claiming purposes and forget about it. 
 

I do believe forum interaction is important because their is more of a widespread interaction with one another. Discord has really made things a lot more private with team channels and players don’t always join the VHL Discord either. I am not against Discord whatsoever. I personally love it but I am also guilty for putting most of my interactions in my team server rather than in the forum or any other server for that matter.

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14 minutes ago, Nykonax said:

bring back welfare threads

 

Honestly I still kind of support this: 

 

 

I don't actually want to argue that we need to take out what's been a convenient tool for everybody and an especially convenient tool for updaters, but the fact that there's less of a need for a lot of people to check the forum in the first place could be contributing to somewhat of a drop-off.

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28 minutes ago, Ledge and Dairy said:

so it's like the walk of shame when you have to claim welfare? I like that

I PROUDLY click that button every week.

 

I do feel like activity overall is a bit down.  Even discord has felt a little quieter to me, but I think I have also been less active in discord as well lately.  I had kinda wondered if it's because things had opened up a bit more and people just wanting to get out and about.  But I duno.

Edited by Garsh
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Historically activity takes a bit of a dip in the summer months, and I can see that being amplified by the re-opening after a pandemic. Could also be a general comfort/complacency! I've never been able to zero in on how to effectively promote forum activity. It may just be a matter of individuals making a point of engaging other individuals, or groups of them.

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Nah, you’re totally right. I live on the newspaper icon at the top (it shows you all the posts and likes and comments on the forum, check it!) and it’s slow. It’s a perfect storm of summer, outside life existing again, and a bit of overall stagnation. 
 

I promise you it’s on the blue radar, even before the influx of posts this weekend. Stay tuned. 

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18 minutes ago, bigAL said:

I live on the newspaper icon at the top (it shows you all the posts and likes and comments on the forum, check it!)

I’ve been saying for a decade now that more people need to use this. Best feature on the site except for during VHFL time when all you see is drafts.

 

I’ll post my more full thoughts later but wanted to just say that now.

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