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How to help casual users cope with an active forum

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:35 am
by Mattix
I run a board which has about 1000 unique visitors a day, and 25ish forums. The level of activity has been steadily climbing to a point where one weekend day's worth of 'active topics' can be 2 or 3 pages (40-60 topics that have new posts in them, maybe 120 new posts in all). This is challenging for casual users who come by maybe once every few days or even just once a week to sort through. I'm getting signals that people have stopped visiting because of this "information overload".

My question: how do you keep a board navigable for the large contingent of casual users, how do you surface the best content (or enable people to surface their own) for those who don't visit at least daily? (That's the frequency at which I feel the amount of new information is 'processable').

I've tried searching for a topic on this, but couldn't find it.

Re: How to help casual users cope with an active forum

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:24 pm
by reptileguy
Create quiet corners for casual users: small forums for specific groups of users (based on age, gender, home town, interests etc.) where the topics of the larger forums can be discussed at a slower pace 8-)

Re: How to help casual users cope with an active forum

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:41 am
by hewmac06
Why not go through your forums and consider those you don't need to include in the "active topics". I've seen boards where the active topics have included lots of word games, jokes and suchlike - the real topics get lost. :(

Re: How to help casual users cope with an active forum

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:25 pm
by Mattix
The quiet corners idea is a good one, but I'm not sure it works well with my audience. Will have a think on it though, as it does sound good :)

As for the active topics inclusion: there are a few forums which I have excluded already and some others which I am considering (the introductions forum, for one), but I fear that would severely reduce traffic to those forums, which I'm not sure is worth the improvement in active topics.

In any case, thanks for the suggestions!