I know we just need more traffic here, but there doesn't seem to be much I can do about that without spending money. I had keywords set up in Overture and was getting 400+ people per day coming in here, but each visit was costing me 10 cents each. I'm sorry, but I am just no willing to spend $1,200 per month to get traffic to a FREE site. Obviously I can get a lot of people to visit here, but there just isn't enough glue here yet to get them to stick. The BOI is the glue that works for FaunaClassifieds, but here there is no interest at all in it.
I try to make an effort to ANSWER any question I may know something about, but some things are just outside of my area of interest. I think that if someone new comes in here, posts a question, and gets an answer quickly will be a good reason for them to keep coming back.
Heck, I don't know. I guess I like to pigeonhole everything into a separate area so I can find out information when I want to. But maybe most people find something like rec.guns more to their liking where everything is just in one big forum. Perhaps most people don't really care about finding information, they just want to TALK. Maybe my perspective of all this is just screwed up.
Honestly, when I first opened up this board, I had no restraints on people posting, and it started to pick up nicely. Then there seemed like some trolling was beginning to heat up and I then made the registration necessary. Stopped the troll threads, but it also apparently stopped everything else as well.
So I figured that I had to choose between having a dead board with strict registration requirements, or an active one where registration was optional.
Looks like I got neither one.
As far as the sig line when I post on other boards, that would be fine if I had a lot of time to do that. But since I have other message board of my own that I need to spend time in, that really doesn't leave a lot of time to be going to other sites. As far as the clickable link is concerned, I have people do that on my sites all of the time and it doesn't bother me one bit on my own sites. I don't think a site that has a lot to offer it's own members has anything to fear from a visitor sucking away traffic. And if they do, well maybe that shouldn't be resting on their laurels and should take steps to make sure they are still in the running with the competition.
Now people who just post a message saying something blatant Like "Hey check out my new site at ...........", yeah, I do have a problem with that sort of thing.
As far as moderators are concerned, that can be tricky. I have seen more than one board get in real trouble by having moderators that went way overboard on the way they enforced the rules. Actually caused a lot of damage that was hard to recover from. Really, there isn't enough traffic here to warrant a bunch of moderators. Even on my FaunaClassifieds site, which gets a LOT of traffic, I have on a couple of moderators there.
I would prefer forum "sponsors", as in time and effort, over moderators to help out.
But yes, this site does need help from the people here if it is going to survive. I set it up simply because I like to talk about guns and read about them, so I tried to put in enough forums to cover a wide range of interests.
Will it survive? Heck, I don't know. Sometimes I think maybe I'm just being too impatient. But where is the line between having unreasonable expectations, and allowing the board to go stagnant? As far as spending $40 per day to get traffic here, no I am just not willing to do that. If that $40 were getting 20 new members signing up and participating each day, then I would think differently about it. But to watch 400 people flit in then back out again just isn't worth me spending that kind of money.
So what are those people looking for that just is not here? Obviously they came here to take a look, but did not choose to register and plan on coming back.
And reasonable, how much can a core of a dozen people or so contribute without becoming redundant in short order?
Basically, it's a catch-22 apparently. In order to get traffic, you have to already have traffic. Also apparently, a startup message board has a lot of already established message boards to compete with for attention. And honestly, if someone has a choice of going to an older well established board with several thousand members and LOTS of traffic, why should they come here? What does this site have to offer them that they can't find elsewhere?
I'm in a kind of "wait and see mode". I will contribute what I can, when I can, and hope others will do the same. Either this site will grow, even slowly, or eventually I will find another use for this message board license and I will have no reason not to use it for that purpose.
Maybe I'll try to simplify the board by cutting out some superfluous forums on it. I guess it's worth a try just to see what happens.....
I was trying to combine some of the forums and danged if I didn't delete one whole category, posts and all. Dang it! I moved the edged weapons forum into the Other Arms category and then deleted ALL of the Other Arms forums....