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What about lurkers?
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Whill
Supreme Chancellor (Owner/Admin)


Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 5701
Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA, Earth, The Solar System, The Milky Way Galaxy

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:18 am    Post subject: What about lurkers? Reply with quote

I consider the ".com" in RancorPit.com to stand for community. The Rancor Pit is a community service. The Rancor Pit consistently has between 5,000 and 6,000 unique visitors every month. Obviously, a very small percentage of them actively post. This is simply the way it is. I accept this.

On another website, I was recently given a suggestion for the Rancor Pit with the purpose of increased lurker benefit at the detriment of active users who contribute to discussions. The idea of that bothered me.

Primarily, this website is for those who actively participate here. This is a community of Star Wars D6 gamers. You can be an active member of this community by simply contributing to discussions.

Registered member or not, if you don't participate then you are only an observer of the community. If that's all you want, that's fine but you will always be considered 'second tier' until you contribute. Your access to lurk and unlimited downloads is just a side effect of this being a public website and my web hosting deal having unlimited bandwidth. Active participants here are the actual Rancor Pit community this site was designed for. That's who I cater this website too.

I invite all lurkers to step up and contribute to the Rancor Pit by becoming active members! Try five posts a month for starters!

Does anyone have any ideas for getting more lurkers to participate in discussions? To get the infrequently posting members to post more often? A lot of people register but maintain a zero post count. How can we get them to participate? Thoughts?
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garhkal
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Joined: 17 Jul 2005
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Location: Reynoldsburg, Columbus, Ohio.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my adnd sites has it where you can read the site as a 'lurker' but can't comment/like, or download any o the content without signing in.
Another has it if your account has no use in 180 days, it gets disabled.. If disabled 2 yrs, then its cleaned out..
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RyanDarkstar
Lieutenant Commander
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Joined: 04 Dec 2014
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Location: Chambersburg, PA, USA, Earth

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm typically on break at work when I log in to check updates. Unless there is some instant nugget of information or comment I can share, I usually just email myself posts of interest to review later (of these, I have many).

I'm also uncomfortable with "Good job!" posts, though I may start if no one is opposed to the clutter.

With work closed next week, I plan on continuing work on my OneNote database and miniatures/miniature terrain. Hopefully, I'll have something cool to share then.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RyanDarkstar wrote:
I'm also uncomfortable with "Good job!" posts, though I may start if no one is opposed to the clutter.

...Hopefully, I'll have something cool to share then.

There's nothing wrong with just replying "Good job" to something you like if you have nothing else to add. It really means a lot to people to know they aren't just posting for themselves. Lurkers only think 'Good job, I like this, I'm going to use this' without any feedback. They just take, and never give. Posting appreciation for something is giving back.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks garhkal for your reply. Here I've defined lurker as anyone who reads the site without ever commenting, whether they are logged in or not.

garhkal wrote:
One of my adnd sites has it where you can read the site as a 'lurker' but can't comment/like

Yes, you have to be logged in to comment. This isn't about restricting people from commenting. This is about getting people who aren't commenting to comment. The door is always open.

garhkal wrote:
...or download any o the content without signing in.

Right now log in is not required for Library access because the library was created outside of the Forum application. Even if log in would be required to download in the future, that still won't help people be more active on the forum. And that would only worsen the current situation of people registering and then never posting. To cut down on spammer registrations, each and every registration request comes to me and I manually process it (with some vetting). It's labor intensive but keeps the spammers at bay.

Now if there was a way to only allow Library access to those who have posted on the forum at least five times in the past month's time I'd consider it, but that probably wouldn't help much because you can get everything elsewhere. Even if there were "RP exclusive" documents, they could be downloaded by active members and re-uploaded elsewhere, and then they wouldn't be exclusive anymore. The whole point of this thread is to get observers to participate on the forum.

garhkal wrote:
has it if your account has no use in 180 days, it gets disabled.. If disabled 2 yrs, then its cleaned out..

Deleting accounts would either delete all their posts or erase the identity of the posters on posts, if they did have any past posts (like the many members who were active at one time in the past but aren't active anymore. Even spammer accounts aren't deleted because they are blocked. Even if account deletion would only be for those with zero posts (so there would be nothing lost), that would probably only increase lurker registrations as they have to periodically re-register. And disabled account would just have to be re-enabled, which is more work for me and still doesn't incentivize people to post. Again, the whole point here is about getting people who aren't participating to participate.
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I can tell, lurking is just a fact of life in forums. If people like what they read here, then fine. I'm happy there's something here for them.

I think that incentivizing posting may not actually help the discussion here at the Pit. Those who feel motivated to join the conversation, do. If someone is posting just to get something (like library access), you'll see posts that are just a means to a completely different ends. I kind of like having a community where the discussion is the point of the discussion.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
The Rancor Pit consistently has between 5,000 and 6,000 unique visitors every month. Obviously, a very small percentage of them actively post. This is simply the way it is. I accept this.

On another website, I was recently given a suggestion for the Rancor Pit with the purpose of increased lurker benefit at the detriment of active users who contribute to discussions. The idea of that bothered me.
cheshire wrote:
As far as I can tell, lurking is just a fact of life in forums. If people like what they read here, then fine. I'm happy there's something here for them.

Yes. But I'm not going to increase lurker benefit at the detriment of active members.

cheshire wrote:
I think that incentivizing posting may not actually help the discussion here at the Pit. Those who feel motivated to join the conversation, do. If someone is posting just to get something (like library access), you'll see posts that are just a means to a completely different ends. I kind of like having a community where the discussion is the point of the discussion.

Of course, you're right. That's not the way to go about it. The ideal is more actual discussion and not only "quota" posts.

So the question remains, how do we inspire people to take the step from lurker to participant.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know that we can. We can't control what other people are interested in, and if they aren't interested enough to get involved, then there's nothing we can really do about it. We are something of a niche topic, after all...
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

So the question remains, how do we inspire people to take the step from lurker to participant.


To be honest, i can't see one.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

So the question remains, how do we inspire people to take the step from lurker to participant.


<sarcasm>Have better conversations?</sarcasm>
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is hesitation in posting because some 'lurkers' may see long-time posters having in-depth discussions. They will see this and wonder to themselves. 'What does my opinion matter?'

Coupled with the fact that, intentionally or not, some members can be fairly territorial and can slam down a neophyte poster pretty quick in a manner that might be received as callous.

"Well then, why should I bother?"
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dredwulf60 wrote:
I think there is hesitation in posting because some 'lurkers' may see long-time posters having in-depth discussions. They will see this and wonder to themselves. 'What does my opinion matter?'

Coupled with the fact that, intentionally or not, some members can be fairly territorial and can slam down a neophyte poster pretty quick in a manner that might be received as callous.

"Well then, why should I bother?"


Remember when I got slammed by a long-time poster on a point I had already conceded?
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
Dredwulf60 wrote:
I think there is hesitation in posting because some 'lurkers' may see long-time posters having in-depth discussions. They will see this and wonder to themselves. 'What does my opinion matter?'

Coupled with the fact that, intentionally or not, some members can be fairly territorial and can slam down a neophyte poster pretty quick in a manner that might be received as callous.

"Well then, why should I bother?"


Remember when I got slammed by a long-time poster on a point I had already conceded?


Not specifically...

Why, was I involved?

In any case, glad to see you still around. Smile
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dredwulf60 wrote:
MrNexx wrote:
Dredwulf60 wrote:
I think there is hesitation in posting because some 'lurkers' may see long-time posters having in-depth discussions. They will see this and wonder to themselves. 'What does my opinion matter?'

Coupled with the fact that, intentionally or not, some members can be fairly territorial and can slam down a neophyte poster pretty quick in a manner that might be received as callous.

"Well then, why should I bother?"


Remember when I got slammed by a long-time poster on a point I had already conceded?


Not specifically...

Why, was I involved?

In any case, glad to see you still around. Smile


Don't think so, no. Just apropos of your point.

(And, TBH, I may be slipping into lurker status soon; just haven't had as much energy for this these days)
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing wrong with that. I fall into slumps every now and then myself. It’s not like we’re on some sort of quota system or something, so post when you feel you’ve got something to say.
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