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Dwindling memberships and active participation...


miroslav

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OKsince the [Logged in members vs. guests?] thread has kinda splintered once a couple of folks introduced unrelated, side discussions (and some personal digs)

I thought it would be best to take the heart of the original topic and try it again in a new thread, but with a slightly different approach.

Lets not revisit the reasons why people need to stay logged off and in lurk modethats not that real issue or concernand anyone that has to do it for whatever reasonfinestay low and lurk awaydont joinand dont become and active member.

Its your choice

 

But getting away from all of thatit might be valuable to discuss the overall state of the active membershipnot just on this one forumbut the MP forums in general.

While that topic my interest all the MP forumsIm posting it here since this is one of the livelier forumsand besides, those Keyboard/Bass/Drum forum people are a bit weird.

 

JUST KIDDING!!! :P

I also play keys/bass and some drums when neededso Im weird too. ;)

 

Im pulling a few quotes from the [Logged in members vs. guests?] thread to start this topic off

and I would hope those people that consider this worthy of discussion, will get involved.

Those of you that think this is a stupid topicyou dont have to read it or post to it. :thu:

And those that just want to derail it because Im the one that started the topic

well, you do what you wantbut those motives will become pretty obvious.

 

I invite everyone to participateeven those of you that Ive butted heads with lately, as Im am NOT looking to bear grudges or just pick up where we left off in some other head-butting thread. :cool:

 

OKso heres the central issue for this thread, as pulled from that other thread:

 

Originally posted by miroslav:

There was a time when forum activity was in overabundance...and then little by little its dwindled down to only a handful of regular posters on any one forum at any given moment...and heck, some forums are lucky to see even a handful over an entire week or more!!!

 

You know...there are reasons why that is that...and I think if we active members explore/consider what those reasons are...we may see a turn around in participation WITHOUT having to do any direct coaxing or prodding or questioning.

Hows that goIf you build it, they will come. :thu:

 

But it's probably going to require more effort than what's happened in this thread [Logged in members vs. guests?].

 

After awhile...it may come down just a few dozen regular posters...and that's a pretty bleak prospect.

We don't need to shoot for a "Grand Central Station" atmosphere...there's already places on the Internet that have that and then some.

But heck...even a small number of new, active members on a regular basis would be good.

 

I cant help but point out the growing number of threads that start with:

 

"Has anyone seen xxxxx anywhere on these forums? He hasn't posted in months!"

 

Or

 

"What ever happened to so-and-so...and what about xxxxx...?"

 

 

Etc...etc...etc.

 

So maybe we need some new blood more than some people realize or are willing to admit.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Well, if you think about it....

 

The musicplayer forums as a whole lost most of their star power over the last two years. Ethan Winer is still here, with his specialty forum that, well, doesn't get a whole lot of traffic because it's a specialty forum. Frangioni, Massenberg, Anderton, and Nichols are all gone. That's huge. With them went a lot of other name people that were regular contributors here, and quite a bit of really engaging discussions about music industry issues. So also went a good many lurkers who showed up here because (insert name from above list) was here...

 

I started posting here regularly because of Craig and George. I stayed because of the rest of you nutjobs. :D Unfortunately, people like me aren't coming now, because George is wherever he went (I don't remember) and Craig is at HC...

 

So that's one reason. Probably not the only one, but...

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Interesting. I've strated posting and hanging here sometimes (though I play very little guitar) as I'm interested in what guitarists have to say and to discuss music with a range of musicians.

 

Are you sure it is not just adip in terms of people away for the Summer, probably not . . you're more regular than me so you're more liekly to know. I'd have thopught most people came to the forum via the magazine - that's the way I arrived at the bass forum. Is there any reason why people aren't? Editorials in Bass Player sometimes namecheck the Lowdown forum and discuss threads. Does GP do that?

 

I know I prefer the smaller size forums but I guess there's a limit on what kind of critical mass it takes to keep a forum going. I don't think this forum is in any danger of dipping below that 'critical mass' though.

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Originally posted by A String:

Let me ask you this Miro, why do you think there are less participants?

Well...Griff just hit on some big ones, and I agree.

 

Also...the MP folks...the ones that were/are pulling the strings...have NEVER really shown active interest in the daily goings on around herethat I could see.

 

I think when there WERE some of those big names...looking back at the first 2-3 years of existence...there was a lot of excitement and interest in getting involved with active participation.

That was all taken for granted that it would just keep on going by itself...

but as big names left...and many members followed...

...little by little, these forums have become just a shadow of what they use to be.

 

Now I agree that right before the HC exodus...there was a point where things got a just little too active, in a shopping mall kinda way...and I think that was due to the fact that after many of the big names left or were forced out in the prior year or several months before the big HC exodus...

...much of the large crowds that use to hang around BECAUSE of those big names (like GM or Nichols...and others)all of a sudden were left here on forums that had new moderators...some who were just regular guys, like us...like you.

And there's nothing wrong with having regular guys act as moderators...but there is a LOT to be said with having a few bona fide "pros/names"...as that usually commands a lot more attention and to a degree...more respect.

 

Heck...we regular guys can yada, yada, yada all day long about this and that...and while some of the topics maybe interesting...you can usually find them on a dozen other forums.

So...guests are NOT that eager to join up HERE just to get involved the discussions

That don't need to ...as there isn't much of a unique draw.

 

I'm not saying these forums are "bad" and they have nothing decent without the "pros/names"...but it has gotten a bit quiet...like a pub on a Sunday night.

There's the small group of regulars (fewer and fewer every month)...

...and then you have these "faceless" guests who just float through.

At some point...many just don't come back...

 

There may be other things causing the dwindling participation...but whatever they areit's obvious that these forums are not really moving forward.

There was a lot of talk of "new and exciting things"...especially at the time of the HC exodus...but apart from a navigational regrouping of the forums on the main MP page...and the consolidation of a couple redundant forums

...nothing much new has been injected.

OK...we now have new owners...and maybe something might start to happen...but heck...there hasnt even been any kind of formal announcement or any "hello we're the new guys"...

...so I'm not getting warm/fuzzy feelings about the new owners just yet.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by Phil W:

I know I prefer the smaller size forums but I guess there's a limit on what kind of critical mass it takes to keep a forum going. I don't think this forum is in any danger of dipping below that 'critical mass' though.

I hear what you are saying...and while I dont necessarily prefer "small forums"...at least I prefer ones that have clear focusand none of that crazy schoolyard mentality.

 

While I don't see these forums just disappearing any time soon...as I know of some forums elsewhere with much less activity...

...I do think with some new blood coming in on a regular basis it would offset those members that just fade away, and it could also motivate new ideas/topics/discussions...as most of us have heard a lot of each others same opinions.over and over.....and it's gotten to the point where we can pretty much tell how a thread is going to go just by who's actively participating in it. :)

 

Also...there was that talk about new/fresh things for the MP forums a year or so ago (at the time of the HC split)...

...but very little new things have happened...and I'm not eve sure what those new/fresh things were supposed to be, as very little was ever disclosed...?

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Some good points that Neil made on the other thread...that really belong in this one:

 

Originally posted by fantasticsound:

But this is where life gets sticky...

 

I think the mutual decision to separate the SSS from MP did, in fact, have a significant impact, both on members who completely moved to HC as a hang as well as others whose participation here, while still intact, is severely diminished. Tedster, Jeff, The Weasel (Boy was I surprised to see him post on this thread!) and others are, for all intents and purposes, no longer regular contributors.

 

Having said that, I still don't know what it will take to move lurkers to members. It all comes down to the willingness of those people to register. What effort do you propose we do? By all accounts there are people out there aware of this site who read it without registering, so it isn't a matter of advertising. Does MP need to offer something within the forums that currently they don't? :confused:

Yes...MP may need to step up to the plate a little instead of just letting these forums float.

What could they do/offer...???...don't know for sure, as the new owners haven't really shown their hand just yet...

...but I wouldn't mind seeing something of the old MP Forums...like what was happening here in the first 2-3 years of its existence. :thu:

 

Hecksome of the old formula is there in the Archives, available for review.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Well I lurked for a while checking out what was being said on here and liked the look of it thats why I joined, yes some very good nutjobs :D on here but life would be so dull if we were all experts in all things musical, this forum has a great mixture of people from the talented to people like myself, plenty of good experienced people on here, if somebody does not have the answer here then it wont be easily found.

There are more forums than ever so the resource (us posters) gets spread thinner and then like everything its can be cyclical, it dont make the forum bad, and I like it !!!!!

G

So keep them coming.

Love life, some twists and turns are more painful than others, but love life.....

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=592101

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I wasn't really attracted by the "star-power" of the posters. I didn't really know there were "stars" here, although I suppose I figured there might be one or two, and there still seem to be one or two. But I started posting here to learn stuff and hang with like-minded people. I don't have many folks to talk guitar gear with, never did really, and it's a gas to be here with folks who have the same weakness for junk(or maybe weaknesses for the same sort of junk) that I do. I could care less that Craig and the boys hauled off for the HC zone. I wish them well wherever they are, but they weren't what drew me here in the first place.

 

Why have folks been dropping off here and there? Well, people tend to come and go as their attention wanes and waxes. Some folks actually have lives, unlike the rest of us. They come and go as their time allows or doesn't. That's life on the mean streets of the internet.

 

We don't seem to have any shortage of posters or topics, so I'm not very concerned. And if there is a certain repetition of topics, what of it? Frankly, the ubiquitous admonitions for newbies to "use the search function" seem a litle smug, sometimes.

 

It seems to me that things are going well here. I miss some of the folks who haven't been in a while, but I am hopeful they just have better things to do than hang out on the web talking about playing and buying guitar gear. Maybe they actually are playing guitar gear somewhere, and more power to them either way.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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I'd like to add that Editor Boy must see this as a problem too (this being the official Guitar Player magazine forum). I often see him call readers to post at this forum every issue to discuss topics brought up in the magazine; yet we are not deluged at the start of every month by magazine-discussion topics. Do the magazine readers not care about going to the site?
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Originally posted by Picker:

I didn't really know there were "stars" here, although I suppose I figured there might be one or two, and there still seem to be one or two.

If you had been here during the first 2-3-4 years...there were many more true industry pros...tghe BIG boys...

...though there are still a lot of "smaller" pros here. :)

 

 

Why have folks been dropping off here and there? Well, people tend to come and go as their attention wanes and waxes.
Again...if you were here in the earlier days...it wasn't as prevalent as it is now.

Back then there were way more new people coming...than there were going.

 

 

Frankly, the ubiquitous admonitions for newbies to "use the search function" seem a litle smug, sometimes.
I don't know who you are referring to exactly.

I do always go out of may way to post lengthy, detailed responses...though I gotta say...sometimes people ARE a bit lazy, and they expect others to do the searching for them.

 

Reallyits not that difficult to do a search on these forums...or to go hit Google! ;)

 

 

It seems to me that things are going well here. I miss some of the folks who haven't been in a while, but I am hopeful they just have better things to do than hang out on the web talking about playing and buying guitar gear. Maybe they actually are playing guitar gear somewhere, and more power to them either way.
Things are note really "bad" here...but they could be much better, I would think...and it won't happen if everyone, including the new MP owners, just kick back and say..."It's fine as-is, don't change a thing".

 

But hey...this IS a member driven forum...so you know, if the greater majority doesnt wan to the change a thing...then so be it. :thu:

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Possibilities:

 

Repetition of threads.

Newbies that refuse to use search functions first before asking the same questions.

 

People getting busted at work for being online instead of working. :D

 

Threads that don't interest you.

 

And there ARE cliques on every message board in which posters tend to monopolize every where. This puts off other posters.

 

It's like a marriage....it's gets old after a while and you want to discover new territory. :D

A Jazz/Chord Melody Master-my former instructor www.robertconti.com

 

(FKA GuitarPlayerSoCal)

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Originally posted by GuitarPlayerSoCal:

Possibilities:

 

Repetition of threads.

 

Newbies that refuse to use search functions first before asking the same questions.

 

 

Threads that don't interest you.

 

I can sorta say these are a few good reasons as to why I don't visit as much. When I first came a couple years back, I was just learning how to play. Threads about Clapton, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon would get me excited about playing since I looked up to them so much.

 

Nowadays there aren't that many threads like this, and I tend to focus a lot of my time actually playing rather than making over 2,000 posts.

 

Also, the removal of the political forum, and Anderton's forum were huge blows, because they offered a place to hangout without making posts relative to a single topic.

 

---

 

Anyways, I know that this isn't the subject of the thread. In response to the problem at hand, I think a huge factor is that people simply don't know about this website.

 

I remember I found about this website by clicking random links on Google after typing something like "Guitar forum". Typing the same thing now doesn't come up with any hits to this website on the first page, which is usually what most people look at.

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I really was not aware that there where any pros on this Forum? and I certainly would not be attracted to a Forum because one was the Moderator. To me Myles is a pro in his profession but not as a player. Neil and Bill are pros in their end of recording and engineering. I guess I should go back and see who the big names where? before I comment any more.
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I'm not so sure that anything has changed. There was the obvious loss of members during the exile, but they were quickly replaced.

 

We still have the regulars who come and go, as they always have.

 

Other then that, this place is still the same. Some of the new blood here, have added a new feel to the place, but it's still the same old watering hole.

 

I disliked the SSS, never spoke with Craig Anderton (Not by choice, it just never came up) and, to be honest, the whole exile really had no effect on me what so ever.

 

People come and go in forums. That's how they work. Have a look at the names on the forum, when it first opened. How many of those folks are still here? Is it because they hated the changes or because they just got bored of the same old thing, everyday, and just went away?

 

I think we will be fine here.

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I post here and at HC under the same name and avatar.

 

I like the knowledge and information here, but I like the pace at HC as well. I like a lot of the "newbie" questions because I still learn new things. I try not to ask Newb questions, but I can still get the information from someone elses misfortune.

It's official... I'm boned.
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Originally posted by Cowbell:

Anyways, I know that this isn't the subject of the thread. In response to the problem at hand, I think a huge factor is that people simply don't know about this website.

Actually...the Political Forum was meant for posting politically relevant stuff...and the SSS forum still preferred to have audio/music relevant topics...though quite often Craig and the other mods looked the other way.

 

 

On the MP forums the current "anything goes/hang out" kinda' forums would be the Sweat Forum, I believe...though it's not really all that active from what I can tell.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by A String:

There was the obvious loss of members during the exile, but they were quickly replaced.

Well...I wouldn't really go so far as to say they were replaced...as I do belive a whole lot more were lost than we have now.

 

Have a look at the names on the forum, when it first opened. How many of those folks are still here?
:wave:

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by miroslav:

Well...I wouldn't really go so far as to say they were replaced...as I do belive a whole lot more were lost than we have now.

Yeah, I suppose replaced isn't quite the right word, but you know what I mean.

 

:wave:
So you should be aware of how forums wax and wane. You've probably seem quite a few come and go.

 

IMO, this really isn't any different. There was just a big drop during the exile and it will take a little while for the numbers to build back up. I'd say, just about as long as it took to build up members the first time. ;)

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I'd agree that the loss of the SSS forum was a blow.

 

I know I liked to bounce back and forth between that one and this one, and it made for a lot more variety and interaction with more posters. Ah well. Wax and wane, wax and wane.

Just a pinch between the geek and chum

 

 

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Originally posted by A String:

You've probably seen quite a few come and go.

 

IMO, this really isn't any different. There was just a big drop during the exile and it will take a little while for the numbers to build back up. I'd say, just about as long as it took to build up members the first time. ;)

OH YEAH...I can recall a lot of names I have not seem in a long time!

 

Yeah...it might all build up again eventually...though I gotta say...that first year or two, when MP was launched...

...this place got buzzing very quickly!

 

By the 3rd-4th year it had kinda' peaked/plateaued...and we already saw some of the first "big names" like Al Kooper, Ed Cherney disappearing...then we saw Roger Nichols and GM (probably the best loved "big name" around here) also disappear...and then Craig split with SSS (along with a few other forums).

Heck, things today are nowhere near what they were during those first couple/three years!

 

And most of those names, I believe are still doing time on other forumsor their own forums.

 

I just took a quick look at The Studio Business Forum history...and you know, there's like a total 45 pages of threads since it's inception...

...but about 30 of those pages all happened in 2000 and 2001...the first two years.

After that, threads/attendance dropped off like the HF response of a cheap Radio Shack mic!

That forum was originally moderated by Ed Cherney.

 

Roger Nichols entire forum closed when his relationship with MP ended...and at that time...most people just moved over to GM's forum and SSS and a spread out to some of the other ones.

But then...I think the beginning of the main "slide" and something that may have precipitate the final SSS/Anderton departure (in an indirect way)...

...was when GM left. :(

 

His forum was by far...*THE* place to hang if you wanted to see the best audio/music discussions...not to mention the fact that GM was very lenient in his moderation, and he allowed a lot of "good" OT...and when I say "good"...that means anything was OK, as long as the debates remained civilized, that was the only ruleand OhGM also liked people to use real names, and not hide behind handles.

 

Anyway...I don't mean to go down memory lane...but things are NOT what they were...and for most of you folks who only joined up a couple of years ago...it may not mean all that much, as you really cant reference something that you never experienced.

But...if you spend some time reading through some of those archived threadsI think you can get a good sense of it all

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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I'd rather have a few regulars in here that we all know and that we have a good time discussing things with rather than have 1000 new people that we dont know and may not contribute alot.

 

With that being said, the people that contribute quality posts on here are the ones that stick around, cause they see this place as a great resource for learning new things, discussing, and having fun. Is that not the reason you are all here?

 

The people that roll through and blow out quickly probably have nothing worthwhile to be contributing anyway, because if they did, they would all see the same thing in these forums that we see in them.

 

So maybe its better to have a lower number of members and more substance rather than the other way around. Hows the saying go? Quality over Quantity?

 

The challenge is to get more people in here that will contribute, which is what I think Miro was going for. We dont just need numbers, we need active, contributing numbers. When we can get those people here is when the forums will be givin some "new blood".

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I too am one of those who had no idea any of the moderators were meant to be stars.

 

I simply wanted to check out GPs website and drifted into this forum. And I wouldn't have bothered with GP, if I didn't like Michael Molenda's version of GP as much as I do. So MY "star mod" is really Editor Boy. :)

 

And I've stayed here because I get to talk about gear and guitarists and playing and being in bands and a few other OT things which come up every now and then. And I really like everybody here, and checking out other forums, I realize that this is one of the better ones.

 

Dwindling membership? Well... I wasn't here before The Big Split, so I can't speak about the original numbers but we do get a lot of new people coming in and staying.

 

Which is pretty amazing really, since most people think of forums as places where you get a quick answer to a question and then disappear. I see that on the IT forums all the time.

 

As far as the "whatever became of..." threads, bear in mind that people do have other interests or are in situations that may not be conducive to regular posting.

 

Look at me, for example... If I hadn't mentioned several times that I'd be offline because I was moving to NZ (and even started a thread about it), I mght have been one of those "whatever became of..." people.

 

So yeah, I agree with Craig... we'll be ok. Really.

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People come and go in forums. That's how they work. Have a look at the names on the forum, when it first opened. How many of those folks are still here? Is it because they hated the changes or because they just got bored of the same old thing, everyday, and just went away?
Forums are a LOT like bars in that respect. The "regulars" tend to change every few years even when there is a core group of people that sticks around.

Likewise, if there is a core group that dominates most conversations only new people with strong personalities will come and stay. The "weaker" people will drift back out.

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Originally posted by guitarisawayoflife21:

The challenge is to get more people in here that will contribute, which is what I think Miro was going for. We dont just need numbers, we need active, contributing numbers. When we can get those people here is when the forums will be givin some "new blood".

That's the same end result that I'm going for! :thu:

 

Heck...if you just looked at the roster of registered members...I'm sure it's H-U-G-E!!!

But if you can somehow track/check how many of them are regular, active posters...then numbers will probably dwindle down a lot.

 

I know people have other shit going on in their lives, and cant be expected to post on every thread, every day...and I would not ever expect that.

Nor would I want 1000's of new members constantly flying through, posting very little, only to be quickly replaced by a 1000 more new ones.

I was just thinking that now and then, a little shot of some forum adrenaline...would not be a bad thing.

 

I agree that the MP magazines need to do WAY more to steer people towards these forums...and up to now, I think that's been just a casual effort on their part...

..and more often, it's been the other way around, where MP expected the forums to steer people towards the magazines...which also aint really happening.

 

You know....right at the time of the big HC split...THAT was exactly what was being discussed...that there would be a much closer relationship between the forums and their related magazines.and that new/exciting things were in the horizon.

But it just never happened...and now with new owners...who knows what's their agenda?

 

I was really hoping that Craig Anderton, who is very familiar with these MP forums...and as the Exec Editor at EQ...would try and make that happen a bit more...but Im honestly not sure if he can or if there is much motivation, other then the occasional vists he makes to the EQ Editor Forum.

I just dont know what if any instructions" hes been given by MP...for THESE forums?

And I do understand that now, his real forum focus is at HC...and that's all fine.

 

But nowwhat about our forums?

(And Im not directing that at Craig Andertonits more for the MP Group.)

 

I believe there is a middle ground...where things can stay comfy cozy around here...but at the same time, a bit more lively...with a bit more active participation. :thu:

 

Don't know if these discussions are having any impact...but I did notice this afternoon that the ratio of "guests" to logged in members" had narrowed, and was closer to a 2.5-to-1 ratio...rather than the constant 4-to-1 ratio I've been noticing the last few weeks before I started this topic.

 

So. maybe we do need to just "ask" people to "come on down"..."jump in"..."we want to hear your views/ideas and not just watch you, watching us. :cool:

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by miroslav:

Heck...if you just looked at the roster of registered members...I'm sure it's H-U-G-E!!!

But if you can somehow track/check how many of them are regular, active posters...then numbers will probably dwindle down a lot.

But Miro... a lot of the membership consists of guys who register so they can ask what's the best beginner guitar to buy and then disappear.

 

For all we know, a lot of those guys might have decided to spend their guitar money on a new steering wheel (or whatever) and that's why they never came back.

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Working too much; reading, playing, posting too little.

Plus school is in session so either the guys are running a cross country meet or we're going to the football game.

 

Or maybe no one left to photoshop an avatar for. :cool:

Raise your children and spoil your grandchildren. Spoil your children and raise your grandchildren.
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Its evoloution, i didnt realise so many "stars" had been here in the past, so they have gone, SRV is gone does that mean blues music stops ... NO we carry right on trying to fill the void and in the meantime we come across good people who we enjoy the interaction with on some of our favourite topics.

Yes we could all maybe do more but there is a good solid hardcore of guys and gals who post regular and always have good comments to make. its a good place to be.

G

Love life, some twists and turns are more painful than others, but love life.....

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=592101

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