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Old 08-04-2006, 12:59 PM   #1   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Why Do The Majority of New Members Not Post?

I suppose this could be classified as feedback:

Given the lukewarm overall AB post rate, the dearth of new people posting and the same approx. 20 people posting regularly, this possessed me to derive some statistics (note that there may be some numerical error as I recorded everything by paper initially, although the error will be slight considering the amount of data recorded):

From 1st Jan 2004 to time of posting:
1543 members have joined.

Amount of posts to date
Number of Posts............Number of Members (Out of 1543 Mentioned Above)
0..................................................1112
1-10..............................................323
11-20.............................................40
21-40.............................................40
41-60..............................................6
61-80..............................................7
81-100............................................5
101-200...........................................7
201-300...........................................1
301-400...........................................2

% of members in each category
Number of Posts............% of Members (% of 1543 Mentioned Above)
0..................................................72.0 7
1-10..............................................20.93
11-20.............................................2.59
21-40.............................................2.59
41-60..............................................0.39
61-80..............................................0.45
81-100............................................0.32
101-200...........................................0.45
201-300...........................................0.06
301-400...........................................0.13

So from Jan 2004-Apr 2006 (2 yrs and 3 months, approx. 39% of AB's total life), 1543, that is approx. 31% of all registered members joined. However, a massive 72% of these did not even post once, and 93% had not posted more than 10 times (!). This also means that more than 20% of the total (old+new) membership of AB have not posted once.

Taking the mid-point number of posts in each category, multiplying by the frequency in each category and summing, the total number of posts contributed by these "new" members (joined from Jan 2004) is approx. 6870, which is just 0.78% of the total number of posts ever made.

So the question is why so many people have joined over the last 2 years, but so little have posted, with such a large proportion not posting anything at all. Is this a message-board general problem, or is there some sort of other explanation? Is this a chronic situation? Is there anything which can reverse these trends (assuming that one wants to)?

In short, will we still see a relatively tiny group of people posting regularly in 5 yrs time? Or will there be a lively diversification resembling more closely a large community? And what is the meaning of life?..... wait, scratch that last one.
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:12 PM   #2   [permalink]
Nokari
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Your numbers are very real, but there's another factor that it doesn't take into affect. Server downtime.
There were multiple occasions between January 2004 and the present when the server went down for maintenance, which could play a critical role if and when a new member decides to post. Simply put, there's a high probability that 1) many new members joined within a short period before site shutdowns and lost interest to return and post and 2) many are lurkers. This site has been up for a long time and has a very large thread count, which can provide ample information for anyone that is lurking around for some info.

[edit] I almost forgot about the "Server too busy" messages. They could have also played a large role in detering new members from posting. People are fickle and impatient when it comes to the internet.
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Last edited by Nokari; 08-04-2006 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:59 PM   #3   [permalink]
Guildenstern
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I've got a fair number of posts myself, but I'm sure I would have at least 50 more than I do now if not for server downtime and "server too busy" messages. So I do think that's a major factor. Assuming we don't have huge periods of downtime again, posting might go up.
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Old 08-04-2006, 11:12 PM   #4   [permalink]
ATh
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some forums do not count towards post count, thus someone may join, post a few thousand posts in chit chat and end up in your 0 post count category.

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Old 11-04-2006, 07:11 AM   #5   [permalink]
Wolfpac
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The stats would be similar for most message boards. If you go to a lot of message boards, for some reason people join just so they can do no posting. Or only make a handful of posts for the first day. But the problem is here is that we really haven't had those new members who actually stick around. I've been waiting to adopt a newbie for ages but have had any takers. It can be hard for a newbie to feel at home in a well established message board, but sooner or later one will stick. It's just that we haven't had one stay around for so long now.
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Old 14-04-2006, 09:30 PM   #6   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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I agree the server downtime/busy factor is big in 2004-5, but its effects should be going away in now we're in 2006. A fair % who joined in 2006 had not posted once, which could necessitate the "lurkers" (any lurkers reading this who want to say something?) and "this is a general messageboard phenomenon" reasonings.

Still, we shall see what happens; there could be a boom/bust cycle in operation.

I was thinking when making this thread wouldn't it be something if all those new members were actually posting, even on an infrequent basis. How to increase the conversion rate? How to lure new members into posting? Have a golden coloured "social" forum especially for members 0-3 months into their tenure? Let new members choose 5 (say) anime forums to post in, with further access restricted until they post more (appealing to the curiosity factor)? Or wait, if you thought that was a stupid idea check this: have a lottery every week of active members (posted in last week), and the chosen member gets to post one thread which will be highlighted in pink - this will then be billed as the "Thread of the Week"; Futhermore, new members have an increased probability of being picked with probability decreasing with number of days according to an exponential function.

But anyway, that's all I've got to say on the matter.
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Old 19-10-2006, 10:27 AM   #7   [permalink]
Jagan 1
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Originally Posted by Wolfpac
The stats would be similar for most message boards. If you go to a lot of message boards, for some reason people join just so they can do no posting. Or only make a handful of posts for the first day. But the problem is here is that we really haven't had those new members who actually stick around. I've been waiting to adopt a newbie for ages but have had any takers. It can be hard for a newbie to feel at home in a well established message board, but sooner or later one will stick. It's just that we haven't had one stay around for so long now.
haha? uncomfortable? that's my feeling? but I never ditched, probaly because...I think it was raynbc or whoever who said I'd never be seen again after 2 posts, well, I saw that and thought to myself: "screwyou! I"ll stay" and here I am, with the hate of most and the dislike of all.
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