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Why aren't you posting?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:31 pm
by Gav
Sorry, I couldn't think of any way to word the Subject that didn't sound like a pathetic plea for attention, so I just went with it.

No, I'm not being neurotic and needy. But I have noticed a big drop-off in forum traffic since either (a) the forum "upgrade" to phpBB3 or (b) my departure from Keenspot. At first, I just figured that people were losing interest in forum discussions. That's fine. Times change. People move to other media. You might all be doing Facebook now. ;)

Also, forums have a kind of "critical mass," and this forum has never gotten much traffic to begin with. I, myself, only drop in about once a week now because I know there's so little traffic. Apathy begets apathy. Oh well.

But then I got a PM from a new user the other day that said his first post required "approval" before it would post. I guess the new Keenspot forum Administrators have decided on this line of action in order to stem the flood of spam. That's reasonable, but I would imagine it would be a tremendous discouragement for new users to come back. Forums are kind of an "impulse buy" kind of user interaction. If you don't get immediate results, you're not likely to return. I had no idea this was going on, or that I even had messages I was required to approve (this new forum tends to put cute little ignorable icons up on things like that, rather than something I might actually notice like bright red bold blinking text).

Anyway, this got me worried. Is this or some other new "features" somehow related to the drop-off in traffic? I know that I have been particularly annoyed by the new forum's lack of a "Previous/Next Message" button, for instance. Thus, my question: Is there some technical reason for the silence? Is there something about the new forum that is discouraging discussion?

I realize it's kind of stupid to be asking this question of the people who are still around and posting, but it's the only option I've got without pestering people through the news.

Re: Why aren't you posting?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:22 am
by towr
I just have nothing to say, really. I'm more of a replier than a topic-starter; and there hasn't been anything I felt called to reply to.
I do like the look of the forum less since the switch though. It just feel wrong to have the body of the post on the left side and the poster-info on the right. (Even though it may make more ergonomic sense, and the preference may be entirely conventional.)

Re: Why aren't you posting?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:54 pm
by CodeGuy
Well Gav, mainly it's because you don't participate much. It's not just lately, for years people have posted questions and the answer didn't come for weeks. You're essentially our leader, so if you're not into the board, everyone else isn't either.

For some comics the author posts a discussion thread for every single comic he posts. Multiplex actually puts the comic up on the forum an hour or two before it goes on the main page, which has sometimes gotten people to point out errors before it was even officially published. It definitely gives people incentive to visit the forums.

Re: Why aren't you posting?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:13 am
by Gav
CodeGuy wrote:Well Gav, mainly it's because you don't participate much. It's not just lately, for years people have posted questions and the answer didn't come for weeks. You're essentially our leader, so if you're not into the board, everyone else isn't either.


Yeah, I could see that. Like I said, it's somewhat self-perpetuating, unfortunately. If there are never new posts, I'm not really inclined to visit often... leading to fewer posts. The "apathy begets apathy" thing.

For some comics the author posts a discussion thread for every single comic he posts. Multiplex actually puts the comic up on the forum an hour or two before it goes on the main page, which has sometimes gotten people to point out errors before it was even officially published. It definitely gives people incentive to visit the forums.


That sort of thing always seemed really self-indulgent to me. I'm not that needy. Or I don't want to seem that needy. ;)

Also, I don't like to explain jokes, give away future plot points, etc. That precludes a lot of discussion. For instance, if any of the "questions" any of you asked would require explaining a joke or giving something away, I would usually sit quietly, hoping someone else would address it.

And again, this message wasn't meant to sound like I'm whining or anything. I'm really just interested if the new forum is actually turning people off, because if so, I'll work harder to replace it. But at the moment, I'm not much inclined to put much work into replacing a forum no one is using.

But you bring up a good point nonetheless: What would you guys like to see/use in new Nukees fan-interactive features? I'm not much into the concept of whining about my personal life to strangers, so a Blog has never seemed terribly attractive to me. But I've toyed with the idea of a "character blog." Not sure if I have the free time to upkeep it, though. The website itself hasn't been updated for, like, 10 years, after all. :-?

Re: Why aren't you posting?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:22 am
by Wafath
Primarily the "critical mass" issue. Fewer people, longer delays in replies, less interest in posting.

(BTW, I understand you are really asking "is the reason you aren't posting because of PitA barriers to posting created by Keenspot?", but is the right place to ask this question in the forums? Maybe you should put a link up on your news item. If there is a problem, the very problem would prevent a high return rate on your survey.)

Other reasons:

We post to the forums because, as labeled, sometimes my job is boring. I have since found other outlets for this problem. Fencing forums, LOLcats ( :oops: ), Flash games, etc. And lately, my job has been less boring. (On the other hand, Nukees is still a first-tier comic for me, and repeatedly made the cut. The only comics I regularly read are this, Freefall, XKCD, Sluggy Freelance, Something Positive, & Schlock Mercenary.)

A non-trivial number of threads that I have started have been nit-picks over technical nuclear details in the comic. Frankly, the comic has been far less nuclear oriented lately, so there hasn't been anything for me to nitpick. (and damn it all I want to do something with my masters! Answering silly questions at work only goes so far. (Latest issue: If a dirty bomb were to be set off in DC, a co-worker suggested stealing a bike to get home and out of the area, thinking that a bike may actually move faster than the panicked traffic. My answer: No. We are down wind of central DC (sometimes), but far enough away that direct gamma exposure would not be an issue. Particulate radioactive materials would be a problem, and with that, the last thing you want to do is to be outside, doing heavy exercise breathing unfiltered air. Best to stay indoors long enough for things to settle & be blown off.))

The comic has taken a social-issues direction lately. While I suspect that I am at least 95% agreement with you on this, not living in California, and not reading every release there has been about Prop 8, I don't have anything smart or funny to say about it.

(BTW, I just tried to post this, and it required me to log in again, after taking... uh, 30 minutes to write this? OK, I change my mind. the forum sucks.)

W

Re: Why aren't you posting?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:42 am
by bloodeye
personally, it's a completely outside matter. basically, my computer access is pretty cut, and forums are a low priority. Today I've a little extra time, so am playing catchup.

Also helps when I have something to say/ask.

Re: Why aren't you posting?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:43 pm
by loperspest
I would post more, but your right Gav, this 'post moderation' is beyond crippling. Sure, spam is annoying, but is also pretty obvious.