I know I have been a member for a long time but let me make a case for what would attract new people and turn away new people. While active for a long time, that was mainly back in the 00 naughts when I was a different person then I was now. I have been back again and away again many times and so think I possibly have a perspective on what brings me back and drives me away.
This board is special. It is a gem among many other boards…usually…sometimes. Questions get answered here! Often much more than you expect. This was the board that showed me the error of my ways when I thought that scientists predicted an ice age back in the 70s and were worried about global cooling. Several posters told me I was wrong and gave links which I followed up on and…scientists were ALWAYS concerned about warming and not cooling. It changed my mind, corrected mu ignorance and I never made that wrong claim again.
Recently I had a question on when the perctange of Oxygen in the atmosphere would become problematic and was, again, given links to videos which were amazing. I learned that even a 10% increase in O2 percentage could cause problems. You just don’t get that on many other sites like you do here.
So what drives me away?
Not the Pit. I can ignore the Pit. I really don’t think the Pit drives people away.
Political differences? Not really. One can avoid those threads but if they start penetrating many threads unrelated to politics…
Asking a question and having it sink into oblivion with few/unuseful comments. I know, there may be a reason for it but if it happens to a newbie or to someone more often…
Asking a question and having people snarkily tell you to do your own looking up or asking if you know what Google is. New people want to become involved in a conversation. I think of that comedian who had the “Here’s Your Sign” skits of people asking stupid questions…and in 90% of them the person wasn’t being stupid but was just trying to start a conversation.
Asking a question and having it derailed into oblivion. In the Oxygen question I mentioned above, some poster ranted on about how smoking is bad for you and so is problematic at any O2 level (my original question asked about smoking and O2 levels as part of it). This was contained but has in the past derailed threads. Yes, I know, smoking is bad…don’t do it…but that is NOT the question! Non-helpful or scolding posts that get out of hand REALLY drive people away. People are curious and want to learn, not to be moralized.
Well known regulars that really only talk to each other. I have seen new posters post something interesting only to be ignored by ‘big names’ talking to each other.
Just some quick observations.