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Lil'Pon December 21st, 2005 06:19 AM

Why I think forum posts have dropped...
OK so if you want my honest opinion as to why your forum is dying (after reading your sticky)…I used to post frequently in the old forum before your software was changed over - the very last thread I participated in survives to this day in your archive. The old forum used to be lively. I believe a reason why your forum is much less active today, and I made this suggestion a few times to you years ago: archive old posts, instead of deleting them. You responded to this suggestion with the statement that you did not know how to archive, so your only choice was to delete, because the forum posts were making the forum too huge.

It got pretty sad to see so many people take lots of time writing well reasoned sometimes lengthily and involved posts only to see them deleted after a few weeks. So I think even before you changed over to the new software, this alone frustrated people and they figured why bother participating when the work get’s deleted. I believe that your forum started dying long before the new software was implemented.

A second reason for the lack of posts, is that I believe professionals and students are much less likely to post confidential or personal information when they are required to leave you a valid email address. Many people who discuss these kinds of issues wish to retain their anonymity. Even though people can set up an anon address, some people don't know this and are still scared away by having to register.

A third reason why I think your forum is dying, is that since there are not very many posts in the archive from which to research or revive or continue old discussions still pertinent today, it gives people less material on which to draw or come up with new ideas as to what kind of threads might be interesting to start.

A fourth reason why I think your forum is dying, is because when people don’t see a very large archive, there are only a couple of hundred posts, which is pretty small for a forum that has been around for over a half dozen years, by forum standards. People look at that small archive and figure that if the archives are that small this probably was not a very active forum to begin with (which it actually was but most of the interesting posts are gone now), so they don’t waste their time. People today don’t like to waste their time posting unless they believe that they are participating in an active forum in which they will get many responses. The Internet is huge compared to 1998 and your competition is much greater so you need to keep people happy if you want them to re visit your forum.

A fifth reason why I think your forum is dying, is because people figured that since you deleted so many good discussions about Law and Ethics of Psychiatry, when user names were NOT required, then you probably will delete even more now, now that people are required to have registered user names and passwords.

This was not indented to be a flame or an insult, I just write what I see.

Lil'Pon December 22nd, 2005 10:43 AM

Re: Why I think this forum has died...
I also think the below notice on the main thread page at is misleading to people who are not computer savvy and are not used to using discussion forums.

The below notice says –

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

This is misleading, it should say something like the above is not the case if you register your username and password, and also assure people that they can remain anon with a web based email account. Just make it sound more friendly; presently it sounds a bit unfriendly or foreboding to the casual visitor, like “no trespassing”, etc. Maybe change the wording, i.e., pretty simple to do.

If you did that your forum activity will probably increase over time.

William Reid December 22nd, 2005 02:19 PM

Re: Why I think this forum has died...
You might post your comments and recommendations to the overall forum chief, Dr. Gil Levin. Some are specific to this forum (e.g., my culling a few years ago), but others are relevant to all of them.

BTW, I assume you know there is an archive of the old set of forums, although it is a bit unwieldy to access.

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