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  1. #1
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    How to improve AudioReview Forums

    I'd like to hear suggestions on how we can improve the AudioReview forums. What can we as users do to attract and keep new members?

    I know I've worked and am working hard on the SPAM issues, it seems to be going well.

    We are in the middle or upgrading our vBulletin software - this will give more web2.0 features and tie-ins with social media.

    But what do we are users have control over to attract new members? Better post? More reviews. How can we attract manufacturers to participate in the forums?

    WE need to make this place more popular so that it doesn't fade away.

  2. #2
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    This is a great question! New members are always hard to get, and even harder to keep.

    I would say that in every club/forum/BB that I've belonged to over the last 20 years, the ones that have been successful keeping new members are the ones that are the friendliest and inviting to new members. The ones that have failed have had a closed "cliquish" feeling where new members are often not even responded to.
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    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    This is a great question! New members are always hard to get, and even harder to keep.

    I would say that in every club/forum/BB that I've belonged to over the last 20 years, the ones that have been successful keeping new members are the ones that are the friendliest and inviting to new members. The ones that have failed have had a closed "cliquish" feeling where new members are often not even responded to.


    Good point! Sometimes I think we get caught up in some of the age old battles, tubes vs. transistors, wires sound alike or different and new members never get their questions answered. We have some members who are good at welcoming and saying they may not know but someone should be along with some advice. Like any business we need to work on first impressions.

    If a new member asks a simplistic question and it is their first few posts maybe we could keep from letting some of our other issues overtake their thread. Let us be respectful of the original poster. Well for a little while.
    JohnMichael
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  4. #4
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    If we have more reviews on the items and they pop up at the google search that will help get many people. I see new products hasn't been added in a long time plus some repeat a lot like most of the sony receivers. If we have more reviews that will appear at the google search, that will attract many people. Thats how I got here. I post a lot of pics so in every search audioreview site appears.

  5. #5
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    I've been a thinkin' on dis...

    I've been giving this a lot of thought lately. This website is the ONLY one I come to 3 or 4 times a day. I've actually purchased services from advertisers on this site. I post regularly and try to answer noob questions when I can. Despite all this even I notice a drop in posting and attendance. The decline is probably attributable to many things, recession, lack of time to read and post, the movement of all things audio from a passion to a commodity frame of mind, the dispicable IPod and its filthy spawn.... So with these forces arrayed agin us I've some suggestions.

    1. More reviews everyone. I don't care how old the gear is write as detailed a review as you can and update those you've already written.

    2. Help the noobs. I'm most guilty of falling down on this I'll try and do better.

    3. Keep up the humor (within reason) you catch more flies and all dat.

    4. Try and keep the arguements from getting too personal. I know it's hard but we do have PM's lets try and put a civil face on things.

    5. Subscriptions/donations - I know this is a touchy subject but I subscribe to a couple of other sites I love far less than this one. Make it optional and allow those of us that can, help keep up the site we love.

    Hope this helps.

    Worf

  6. #6
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    Exposure....without looking at the page hits, I'd guess most folks hit the homepage. The homepage contains tons of information, but none promoting the "forums" area.
    Forums is just a small link under the "SHARE" button. Chances are, most folks will never know this site has a discussion forum.
    I suggest a "Forum" pane be placed on the homepage with the most recent, popular threads listed. Basically, a Forum pane with the top 5 discussions. This should draw traffic inward.
    Just looking at the homepage, there is a section open just below the "10 Most Popular" pane.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    Exposure....without looking at the page hits, I'd guess most folks hit the homepage. The homepage contains tons of information, but none promoting the "forums" area.
    Forums is just a small link under the "SHARE" button. Chances are, most folks will never know this site has a discussion forum.
    I suggest a "Forum" pane be placed on the homepage with the most recent, popular threads listed. Basically, a Forum pane with the top 5 discussions. This should draw traffic inward.
    Just looking at the homepage, there is a section open just below the "10 Most Popular" pane.
    Excellent point. I visited the home page dozens of times over the course of 2 years before I ever realized there was a forum here. There should AT LEAST be a well labeled link on the home page.

    Another idea would be to find a way to link content from the front page to forum discussions. It would be good SEO best practice and it would cause the forums to come up in google searches much more often. Maybe your new software will allow the comments to also be a forum discussion or something. The "forum pane" is a good idea too.

    Lastly, perhaps you could offer advertisers or site sponsors of a certain level (I don't know how many you have) a subforum and encourage them to participate. Some other forums do this and it seems to work well. It's good for forum traffic and it can be a new revenue producer.
    Tim Evans
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  8. #8
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    There is nothing here really to attract anyone to this site. We need more equipment reviews, but you also need movie and music reviews as well. Not some hankty volunteer your own review type of thing, but an official Audioreview section devoted to semi professional reviews of both music and movies.

    There, I said it. Now I feel betta
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  9. #9
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    Unfortunately, this place died with the upgrade to vBulletin and the increased usage and sharing of MP3s and the likes.

    When Comp Trading was going on, we had many people in the Rave Recs area all the time. Now that everything is a digital download or share, that fun activity is a goner.

    The other problem is one only sees the original post heading and may or may not decide to read through many posts to find out that it did not interest or apply to them. Before the software change, you could have all the thread headings expanded and jump in wherever you thought was right for you, or pass the post by because you could already see what was going on within it.

    I know there is no turning back but vB killed this place and it will never recover from that. It still works fine over at Audio Asylum and I hope they never change software or they will be dead also.

    Sorry but that's how I have felt since the day it happened.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woofersus
    Excellent point. I visited the home page dozens of times over the course of 2 years before I ever realized there was a forum here.
    Same here

  11. #11
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Yes, you could go to the Audioreview.com website and not even know the forums exist!

    It would be great if we could get a bigger piece of the front page. Also, if you post a review it should also include registration to the forums. Possibly even a re-direct after you post to te review section?
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  12. #12
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    There are some good points about making this place easier to find, but my two cents is that another factor is this forum has a somewhat cliquish quality that can be off-putting to newcomers.

    All internet forums have cliques to some degree (in fact, it is just human nature as respects group behavior) but the key is to have a situation where newcomers can stick around long enough to form a bit of attachment with one group or another, or at least the subject at hand.

    One aspect I've noted about Audio Review is how often posts by newcomers are either somewhat ignored or answered with a condescending tone. Either one will quickly send people elsewhere.

    I've been here four years and it is often difficult to find a thread that interests me or where I have an urge to get in the middle of what often seems like a private discussion. If I'm having that reaction after four years, what's it seem like to the newbie?

  13. #13
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    I find that most times newbies are greeted very well and are given the advice they ask for. I can't say that this isn't a welcoming forum.

  14. #14
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    One thing that is puzzling is why so many will view one's thread and never take the time to comment. It's particularly discouraging when a member takes photos and posts them and still gets zero responses.

    I like this forum as it's not so terribly technical and I believe there is a niche for that. We should be aiming more content at folks who are just getting started. I think we assume most readers know the basics which is not always the case.

    I love AC's "cheap and cheerful" and this forum should encourage something similar.

  15. #15
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    Out of interest, I just looked at about a dozen threads where the original poster had under four or five posts to his name. Without quantifying things on a spreadsheet, they did seem to follow a pattern.

    Often, the OP is never heard from again, and if the thread doesn't die quickly, it becomes a private discussion among the regulars that may or may not stick with the original topic.

    Another pattern is the OP just wanted a quick answer and got it (or maybe not) but gave no appearance they had found a new place to hang.

    The problem is one of perspective. What appears to be "welcoming" behavior to a regular may look completely different to a stranger.

  16. #16
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    It's really a numbers game. For every one that sticks, hundreds pass through. If you can get the "pass-through" amount to go up the sticks will go up too. If we could get even a small percentage of the people who read the reviews to visit the boards then membership would go up considerably.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  17. #17
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    We have to so something, I really like this site and I don't want one day to try to log in and this site not to exist anymore because not of having enough people or interest!

    Look how popular the audiokarma is! They have hundreds of new members and they stick there!

  18. #18
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    PE has a nice feature where when a Mod deems a thread too far off topic, political, or otherwise not related to music, they send it to PM only and include all who posted in the link. Maybe something like that may help if our usual bickering is truly what turns people away.

    I really don't think that to be true. I have been here for over 12 years and the same 20 or so folks are still here while thousands have come and gone.

    Maybe you could try banning us old timers to see if traffic picks up.

  19. #19
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    Maybe you could try banning us old timers to see if traffic picks up.
    Hey! I'm not that old.

    I came here because I did a search on google for new receivers. A thread came up that gave me a lot of information and helped me. But now when a nubb asks about a receiver, it gets almost no response. We need to help these people. Most will leave anyhow, but a few will stay and become family.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    Hey! I'm not that old.

    I came here because I did a search on google for new receivers. A thread came up that gave me a lot of information and helped me. But now when a nubb asks about a receiver, it gets almost no response. We need to help these people. Most will leave anyhow, but a few will stay and become family.
    I have seen many newbie posts about which receiver to buy and almost all were answered with a greeting, questions about other gear and music tastes. Maybe one problem is that most of us may not use receivers so cannot comment on them.

    I just did a quick search on receivers and found no unanswered thread on the first page.

    http://forums.audioreview.com/search...earchid=277372

  21. #21
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    Maybe you could try banning us old timers to see if traffic picks up.
    HA! That's the "Logans Run" solution eh?
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  22. #22
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    At every review there should be a link to go to the forum so this way we can get some people!

    Discussing and posting pics of audio gear will help a lot because people like to see pictures!

  23. #23
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    I have seen many newbie posts about which receiver to buy and almost all were answered with a greeting, questions about other gear and music tastes. Maybe one problem is that most of us may not use receivers so cannot comment on them.

    I just did a quick search on receivers and found no unanswered thread on the first page.

    http://forums.audioreview.com/search...earchid=277372
    I'm still not old!
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  24. #24
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    vB is not the issue here. While it may have changed a dynamic that used to exist, Audio Karma is proof posistive that vB is perfectly fine for a site of this type.

    I know some of you post at AK, but it is truly thriving. One big difference? It's moderated with a heavy hand. They have a "philosophy", if any thread turns into too much of a fight or goes OT, it gets closed. The reason there is so much fighting and such here is that we are pretty much left to our own devices. I am not suggesting a military state, but it's a point to ponder.

    There are some EXCELLENT suggestions here. Yes, AR has become irrelevant people. I fully agree with Terrence, we need current and interesting opinions on what's happening to draw newbies. I think this combined with the ideas about proper linking to the forums page would at the very least increase traffic.

    It's a tough proposition. The only one getting paid around here is Adam. We all live busy and productive lives with jobs, family's, etc. I think however if the right ideas are put out there, and the precious time we have is a bit more focused, we could make a difference.

    As far as the infighting goes, that's nothing more than boredom.

    The review portion of this site is great, but still lacks in alot of ways. There's still the old issue of a zillion products with no review attached.

  25. #25
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    I'm still not old!
    You keep on repeating that(virtual headpat).
    Meanwhile, there is one thing that will increase attendance..
    WOMEN WITH MACHINE GUNS!
    yeah....
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