Why is this forum still so slow and devoid of posters and/or a community?

What is going on?

I thought there would genuinely be a steadier stream of posters now but there is generally only a handful of questions/answers posted from week to week?

Even some of the staff seemed to have stopped posting?

Is it just a slow uptake with few people knowing about it?

Any ideas? Or more specifically any ideas on how we can all grow more of a community on here?

Michael Huxley 29/08/13    General travel chat Link Report

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I’d like to state as well (just so there is no confusion) I don’t mean to sound horrible when I ask this question, I’m not being nasty I promise! I generally am interested in seeing this develop into a good, strong community forum.

Oh, and is there any chance we have a category for questions related to Rough Guides or this online forum added to the category list please?

Michael Huxley 29/08/13    Link Report

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  • “Even some of the staff seemed to have stopped posting?”

    Not a good sign. Were they to show up, it’d be nice to have the one(s) responsible for the look and feel to be asking for feedback. And not just a “what do you think” and then put on ignore.

    I’ve always enjoyed the concept (since the Internet began) of how people were going to go about “advertising their advertising”. It took me quite a few guidebooks before I discovered that the “other guy” had a travel forum. As I understand it, this was here, then it wasn’t at all, and now will be a long road back. Many may not know that it re-exists. Depending on how much they care (and their absence leaves clues), it might be time to “advertise their advertising”.

    And the community part may eventually happen, but not while the bottom of the “top” posters only has 27 posts.

    PirateAt50 29/08/13    Link Report

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    I know what you mean mate. Not exactly a confidence inspiring sign is it?

    I definitely agree about the advertising aspect of it, and would be genuinely interested in how they go about doing that too. TBH I didn’t have a clue that RG had a forum before this!

    I know it is such a shame that the community isn’t developing yet. Not only does the bottom ‘top poster’ only have 27 posts, half of them are still staff! By comparison I either look like an internet addicted freak sat up there at the top, or someone who should be put on the payroll along with your good self and Time! Haha!

    Michael Huxley 29/08/13    Link Report

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    “I either look like an internet addicted freak sat up there at the top, or someone who should be put on the payroll”

    Oh pooh, I’ve been on that other place for most of the last 10-12 years. Some because of the community that exists (despite the best efforts of mgmt to the contrary) and lots bc I like helping people with that little bit of inside info that they might have missed in the book or that wasn’t there and/or current.

    I’ll bet that this will come along but “they’re” going to have to want it as much as we do. I’ll wait and see.

    PirateAt50 30/08/13    Link Report

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    I know what you mean buddy, I have gained a lot of help from other travellers over the years and I really enjoy returning that favour as much as my own humble knowledge will allow. That helping aspect of the forums was one of the best things. I hope the community aspect will come along too, like you I will wait and see, I was just expecting a little bit more momentum by now.

    Michael Huxley 30/08/13    Link Report

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  • Hi both,

    I’ve just responded on the longer thread.

    Tim Chester 29/08/13    Link Report

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    Good to see you back! Any response on advertising/ways to get more people chatting/involved?

    Michael Huxley 29/08/13    Link Report

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    Well we’re trying to promote the forum on our Twitter / Facebook feeds and are going to make it more visible on our homepage / through search. Ideas welcome though, especially from seasoned forum users.

    Tim Chester 30/08/13    Link Report

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    I’ve seen the twitter feeds and have retweeted and promoted it as much as possible for you myself. I guess it will take time to build up a reputation.

    As for ideas, as far as promotion goes you’ve just mentioned the three things I know about. Trying to promote my own work through the exact same sources! But as far as the community itself goes, I think the role Lottie now plays is a great one, getting discussions started on the board for example is a great way to bring people in and keep them coming back. It’s one way to help build a ‘community’ feel which is absolutely essential. Giving seasoned travellers reason to keep coming back and provide information/help/answers to more inexperienced travellers and content for the discussions is also important. I still do think having more clear cut categories (ie SE Asia, Europe, Packing issues, budget travel, etc etc etc) right on the community home page (as well as the improved drop down menu) is a better format than the questions feed. That may just be personal taste/opinion, what do others feel about that?

    Michael Huxley 30/08/13    Link Report

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    Well, besides the fact that this new Comment feature doesn’t affect the post count, which will now make these COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS invisible (That was for Tim & Lottie), it’s going in the right direction. The Questions concept is kinda ok, when there’s 6 questions, but it will be unwieldy shortly. If I had my way, I’d like an easily clickable little “box” that I could populate with the topics that I would frequent, rather than having to go through a list of ones that I wouldn’t.

    PirateAt50 01/09/13    Link Report

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    Pirate, that’s part of my issue with the recently asked/recently answered thread right at the front of the community page. We all have areas where we are knowledgeable in and areas we are not, and topics we want to talk about and areas we don’t. I can imagine very few people want to scroll through a long list of irrelevant questions to get to one they might be interested in. Not so much of an issue now, but will grow as the community grows and more Q&A’s are added.

    Oh, and I agree the add comment features should add to the post count.

    Michael Huxley 03/09/13    Link Report

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  • I don’t come back all that often now because when I post a question I get extremely few replies (thankfully they were helpful, thanks Michael and PirateAt50!) but then there is no change for weeks at a time sometimes.

    Stephanie L 03/09/13    Link Report

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  • That’s the problem, Stephanie. Not enough warm bodies to ask OR answer. Thanks for the compliments.

    Michael and I have been around travel forums for some time, and we kinda know a few things, but more importantly, we like to share our info with other travelers.

    But it takes time (and my previously mentioned “advertising”) to get the word out that it is here.

    —–

    And while I’m here and randomly tossing out things they could fix…… While it doesn’t affect the post count, a Comment will still send you an email if there is a reply in Comment (Really would like to NOT have it do that automatically).

    And that “voting” thing. Not really a good idea, IMO. If good answers got clicked, that’d be ok. I saw a very very bad answer get clicked with ***GREAT***. And I hope I don’t meet the people that got that advice. And if you had to, there could be a voting system that says something like “10 people thought this was good advice” or some such. But then it might become like that other site (that I detest) with loads of faked touts and faked votes.

    PirateAt50 03/09/13    Link Report

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    Couldn’t agree more Pirate.

    A certain other forum is collapsing in on itself and has had a huge exodus of long term posters. Myself included now. The problem is it still has that – what should I call it – exposure? For many new/inexperienced travellers, so they keep flocking there. I hope the RG forum gets the same exposure too in time.

    I completely agree with the voting system too now, I could tolerate it at first but you are absolutely right. Not a good idea.

    And they need to fix the notifications, mine hasn’t refreshed in well over a month, I just have a long list of stuck notifications that won’t go away.

    The post count is still a good and necessary idea (to help people determine experienced posters from touts for simple starters).

    Michael Huxley 03/09/13    Link Report

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    Perhaps a chunk or two of the other place is falling apart, but there’s still enough of the people that I’ve known for a long time (and some I’ve met) to keep me busy talking about India and Western Europe. As you say, exposure.

    One time I walked into a restaurant at a guest house in Jaipur and a girl asked if I was ‘Pirate”. She was so pleased and exclaimed “I’m following the itinerary that you posted!”. Make it worthwhile.

    I was gonna give up this Comment thing until they figure out how to increment a post count and/or give the last poster’s name. If they get a few more messages, I won’t want to sift through to see if there’s something to respond to.

    PirateAt50 04/09/13    Link Report

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    Not for me my friend. The other place has enough exposure to keep bringing in some people (nowhere near as many as they used to), but too many experienced posters have left, and I cant stand the bugs and the new draconian rules/regime. The community aspect is gone.

    Michael Huxley 06/09/13    Link Report

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