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What can we do to see a more active Anime Forum?


deaaath
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As a genuine question, I've noticed after being on the forums for a couple of months that, there isn't much activity when it comes to users interacting. I mean, we have activity spikes here and there, but I've noticed that the site has been more dead, and mostly the veteran users have been active. Newbies and just other users in general haven't been as active, and it leaves me to this question...what can WE do as a forum to get this site more out there to bring the family more together? 

And a question for the Veteran forum users, have you guys noticed the lack of activity on the forums? Or is it just me? 

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This is a question I've seen asked on other forums I'm a member of, and nowhere have I seen a conclusive answer.
I think one of the problems is that there is a greater tendency for people to be "content consumers" rather than "content creators".  Of course, by definition everything on a forum is user created content but I sometimes wonder what the ratio of is between those who just read the forums and those who actually contribute more than just clicking the "like" button.

For myself when I comment on a "what are you watching/reading/listening to" topic I try to put more than just the name of the series/manga/song in the hope that it might attract a comment, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.

I guess none of that really answers your question, but then it's a tricky question to answer.

 

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For me, and generally from what I've read from others, it seems that finding the time to be more active is a contributing factor. 

I wasn't a member of AF for too long but I did notice more users here during the pandemic. 

I think people are just turning to more convenient apps and platforms in regards to forums. Larger sites like Twitter and DeviantArt for specific types of traffic. 

I wish I can contribute more content but I'm currently busy with a lot of things until mid- September. :(

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Posted (edited)

I think forums are now a less extensive means of communication with a smaller community. There is still a vast majority that use them but mainly to exchange information or seek advice on content related to the forum(s) themselves. A lot of people seem to enjoy the anonymity. Whereas, with current technology, some crowds have moved the same content, conversations and community to more intimate platforms. With VR hangouts, visual and audio chatting/calls, mobile friendly chatrooms- group texting that lets you quickly share images, videos and links. A great advantage is screen-sharing, where communities enjoy music, movies and shows in real-time with one another. I suppose it's one of those things that inevitably become dated and less frequently utilized.

Funny thing, social giants usually burn themselves out while the retro corners of the web have been hanging in there. I still remember when IM was a massive thing, how MySpace was once Facebook-etc. Yet there's always been an audience for forums and forums tailored to audiences. AF on its own is pretty unique. Mobile friendly/easy access, image gallery, self converting links, easy media insert that doesn't require a string of code, saved text; in case you accidentally click away when commenting. There's a lot to love on this forum!

I personally think there's a myriad of reasons why forums see more traffic than others, why there are dips and spikes. You'd be pulling hairs trying to effectivly gauge solutions. I've seen some wonderful members put their hearts into creating thoughtful, elaborate content and it hardly gets any attention. I suppose you'd need to look into the community itself. Age groups, what type of discussions generate circulation, how many artists are among the active. That sort of thing.

I've talked with a few members here that had additional time to spare when the pandemic was around and are now staggering on the upkeep. In my experience, I can see how that effects communication and the flow of discussion. I'll be sitting during lunch break to engage with a topic. Usually there's distraction or people coming to talk to me and I end up cutting my comments short, maybe not too enticing to respond to. Definetly not as in-depth as I would have liked. This is probably where platforms with video/audio chat calls come in handy. You don't need to type away at something that can be said or addressed in a shorter time.

That said, I do enjoy forums and I absolutely love AF! It's great to have an open conversation about the perseverance of the site. In this case, sacrificing a virtual lamb to our overseer, Optic. That they never decide to shut the forum down. xD 

Edited by prettyboy
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3 hours ago, deaaath said:

`I guess it is tricky to answer...but I believe there is an answer to it!

I agree, but the trick is finding the answer.

 

(and it's not 42  😃)

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8 hours ago, Animedragon said:

 

I guess none of that really answers your question, but then it's a tricky question to answer.

 

`I guess it is tricky to answer...but I believe there is an answer to it!

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2 minutes ago, prettyboy said:

I think people are just turning to more convenient apps and platforms in regards to forums. Larger sites like Twitter and DeviantArt for specific types of traffic. 

Does this mean we should take the bigger step into turning the forums into a app? I understand that takes a lot of work, but if we had more activity from the moderators and recruited more mods, I'm sure we could pull off an app! It could have a reddit type feel to it, but with a forum thread twist, which could be a good design! 

I'm just throwing out ideas, I do not want to see this site die, and am willing to do whatever it takes to contribute! 😁🤘

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Posted (edited)
On 5/27/2022 at 3:26 PM, prettyboy said:

This is probably where platforms with video/audio chat calls come in handy. You don't need to type away at something that can be said or addressed in a shorter time.

I have no problem with text conversation but enjoy voice chat and all in one apps. Speaking makes me feel more comfortable. I like the feeling of getting to know someone in their own skin off that makes sense. I'm a better conversationalist this way too, it's weird to express myself with text all the time. It's a better experience to share emotions and thoughts that don't get lost by interpretation of the reader. 

Technology has changed how we communicate. Forums have their place too, it's a 50/50 for me. XD

Edited by Kit
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1 hour ago, Kit said:

I have no problem with text conversation but enjoy voice chat and all in one apps. Speaking makes me feel more comfortable. I like the feeling of getting to know someone in their own skin off that makes sense. I'm a better conversationalist this way too, it's weird to express myself with text all the time. It's a better experience to share emotions and thoughts that don't get lost by interpretation of the reader. 

Technology has changed how we communicate. Forums have their place too, it's a 50/50 for me. XD

Venturing into Discord has been okay but that has its own set of issues. Talking with you and other gaming buddies I've met here and MAL has been fun. Even when we're all scrambling to find an opening in our schedules. 😆 Reminds me of when I used to hang with school mates on PS Home. VR hangouts look exciting but also like my age group wouldn't belong. Lots of behavior and humor that I "wouldn't understand". 😛 Most of these platforms cater to youth and crowds I wouldn't have any business/interest in. So as far as chat groups- etc. goes, it's a very specific social gathering. Vice-versa forum users. I personally don't see any social detachment with the whole text vs. vocal/video presence. If you don't vibe with someone it's a shame but it happens all the time, anywhere.

🤔
Speaking on the forum aspect of things, having Anime/Manga themed challenges might be good? I've been getting into them on MAL and Ani. Some of them don't require time limits, so you can mingle with users that share similar progress pacing. Spoiler chats always bring people together when discussing challenge progression and AF has spoiler tags that are massively underutilized. There's also no skillset that would exclude members from participating. E.g. Not everyone is an artist or a poet. Something of this nature may aid users in expressing their love for a show or manga? Just a thought! Sorry if it's a poor one. 🙃

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Thinking about interactions between users.  Quite a few years back I was an active user of CB radio and had many good chats with people via that medium, but of course it needed everyone to be on at the same time.  Zoom meetings have the same problem, not everyone is available at the same time and whatever date/time you choose someone can't make it.

That's where I find text based forums so valuable as people can log in read and post messages whenever it is convenient for them something that is even more important on our forum where we're in different countries it's and different time zones, at the time I'm writing this it's 22:00 on Thursday evening here in London and it's 07:00 on Friday morning in Melbourn.

Going back to the original question at the start of this topic it occurred to me that if we read a post we agree with it's very easy, too easy perhaps, just to click the "Like" button without saying what we like about the post and I think that doing so would liven up the discussion on the forum, of course it's not always appropriate or necessary every time.

 

These are just a few random thoughts before I go to bed.

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