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Hey everyone, Wondering why this discussion post and thread is in this space of Labs? It's where I intuitively thought it should go -- not necessarily where the product guided me -- and that's a pretty good example of the ideas we're after: challenge the "it's the way we've done it before."

I know we have the other section for feedback on releases and to get your thoughts on specific features, this space is really to broaden the conversation and listen even more. We're always looking to iterate, and everyone's opinion in Labs matters to that.

Thanks to @Mike Lang who helped start a conversation on forgotten emails / logins to help users get back into AVS, out of that I thought... what are some other ways Admins help drive traffic back to the forums? It could be as seemingly mundane as password resets all the way to some creative idea someone has that we haven't even thought about. I remember back in the days of my obsessive Google Reader days, we started a book exchange where we were mailing books across the country to one another, leaving personal notes within the book (the postal service probably misses our business).

By the way, I haven't posted in the member introduction thread yet, but I started at VerticalScope as the new VP, Community & Growth in early December. The role really points to how we're making community a priority over here. Long time lab lurker, first time poster, and now that I've shook off holiday taco brain, I'm extremely online so always feel free to chat.

Feel free to post in here, not post in here, new threads, old threads, would love to know what's on your mind. Cheers,
 

· Administrator
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I've been known to subtly mention things happening on AVS while on other communities where there's a discussion that warrants it. Not to the point of blatantly advertising the site, just something like an occasional "We discussed this at length on AVS Forum and...".

What I'd LOVE to see is a mob mentality version of that where members do the same in Facebook groups but I haven't figured out how to accomplish that without being too spammy.

There are of course newsletters, AMA's, contests, setting up regional get-togethers with dedicated threads & pics, etc.

Sometimes it's as simple as noticing that a usually frequent poster has been absent and quoting a post or two of theirs to get them churning out posts again.
 

· Senior Community Manager
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7,564 Posts
A quick thought from my experience is that the same basic questions get asked on the FB groups over and over or the same current related "Buzz" story gets posted 10x a day.

Nobody uses search or digs into the past post of a group, it is mainly the "what's new" functionality with no constructive discussion. FB groups are missing the real meat and potatoes that the forum communities provide. They miss the deeper dive where users participate more in the discussion with their findings or share examples from previous posts through search.

I do see a lot of FB groups direct users to the main forum to get more detailed info or to draw them into a discussion after they post an eye-catcher on FB. A lot of the car sites share "news" about a new model or a feature build thread to help draw users from the FB page to engage them in the discussion and see additional photos.

I am sure more will come to mind but just my main per peeve about FB groups and something that came to mind. (Rant Off)

Jeff M
 

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I am a member of the Laurel Highlands Snowmobile Club and I run the website and keep it up to date. But, as we all know updating a webpage can be tedious and usually has outdated information as soon as the next day after being updated. So, we have a Facebook page too. Like mentioned we link the Facebook account to each other so people can get the latest info on things like Trail Conditions and Club activities that can include linked pictures. IMO the best of both worlds is when both links work as a "team" where people can get up to the date current information as they need. This is what is needed with all forums as well. And it's kinda what the new platform is headed to. But with better moderation teams to keep the content valid. And the spam out.

Steve
 

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Facebook groups pretty much suck for anything but instant gratification. A quick question will get a lot of quick answers from a captive audience, but not only are a lot of those answers incorrect, far too many seem to be written by folks who have no regard for grammar & punctuation. They should implement a translation tool! The ability to deep dive into a topic or do a detailed search for previous topics is almost non-existent.

Unfortunately, more and more online users want instant gratification which means fast response times from mods & admins is critical. If a user is trying to get logged in to ask a question but can't for some reason, we have a very small window to get them in and running before they've asked it elsewhere. On top of that, we have burdens like Google constantly moving the goalposts with their algorithms which require an equally fast response from folks like VertiicalScope.

Forums are nowhere near dead. Look at Future Plc for an example of someone who seems to be killing it lately, at least on paper. True forums allow for that detailed, OCD like information hub that when powered with the correct tools & functionality, just can't be beat. But it's always going to be a moving target. We can't ever think we've gotten it perfect because there will always be someone else eager to take eyeballs away from us.
 

· Senior Community Manager
OneFora Sherpa
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Forums are nowhere near dead. Look at Future Plc for an example of someone who seems to be killing it lately, at least on paper. True forums allow for that detailed, OCD like information hub that when powered with the correct tools & functionality, just can't be beat. But it's always going to be a moving target. We can't ever think we've gotten it perfect because there will always be someone else eager to take eyeballs away from us.
Forums will never die, not on my watch. lol

Jeff M
 

· Administrator
AVS Forum + several others
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3,483 Posts
what are some other ways Admins help drive traffic back to the forums?
AVS Forum has always been strictly on topic without an "anything goes" area except for paid premium members. That created a problem recently when it seems the only thing people are talking about is Covid-19. The subject would creep into product threads and be met with complaints of being off topic. Many were coming to the forum to get away from Covid-19 talk but it was clear we could use a release valve of sorts to discuss it while not contaminating areas that should be free of it.

I created a segregated Covid-19 area and planted a few topics to get things going and after a week or so we have a thousand posts and 25,000 page views that we wouldn't otherwise have.

These discussions would have to happen off site normally, but I wasn't crazy about the idea of forcing people to leave to discuss the one thing on all of our minds.
 
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Oh! And the conspiracy theories that such a section can have!!! We have had something similar on ours since day 1, they must follow language and abuse rules as per normal, but some of the absolute BS that was coming into it made it painful, I read to make sure rules are followed but stopped posting. I started a locked thread in the section called 'Corona Virus (Covid 19). What you need to know'. In this I inserted the Worldometer and add the latest Govt information links as they come to hand.
I must say the original thread raised traffic considerably with input both domestic and international.
 
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