Why is the SDMB membership declining, and what's the best way to add younger members?

I know someone who can tweet that thread to 500,000 followers.

The Chicago Sun Times

It’s also, literally, their own product they would be promoting.

You’re right. Because if somebody isn’t doing something, I shouldn’t do it either.

I mean, if that’s the attitude even among Charter Members, maybe the place should be closed.


That’s… not what was said even a little?

ETA: I mean, it’s a criticism of the S-T, not of you.

I can’t help what the STM does. This thread is about what can be done to improve membership. Responding to “We can do this” with “well, the owners don’t” isn’t really to the point of this thread. Of course the STM doesn’t do this shit, that’s why this thread is here.

Again. After all, this isn’t our first rodeo of this nature. Hell, TubaDiva had a thread just like this a few years ago.

Ok, I guess if your point was that FB/Twitter are so large and contain multitudes, then sure, that’s true. But that’s just observing that they have multiple, largely non-overlapping spheres of groupthink, not that they’re somehow immune from the problem.

Groupthink is a huge problem with any groups of people, and it seems to be especially pronounced in online communities. Like buttons aren’t the sole cause - I mean, we have it here to a degree, and we don’t have like buttons - but I think it’s inherently true that if like buttons create “selective pressure”, then they also encourage groupthink. I don’t think you get the former without the latter.

Can I suggest a new joiners forum?

A forum where newbies can post an introduction to themselves, ask questions about the board and for us to welcome them …and where the tone is designed super-friendly, helpful and welcoming.

A lot of boards have this but we don’t.

Good idea!

fyi, for many of the reasons you mention, Discourse supports "like"s but has no “dislike” functionaltiy.

Great minds and all that

No, it’s more of this

That’s not the only way, it’s at best a modestly effective high effort way to get the word out. I imagine you had to work to get the response you did, and I honestly think it’s awesome that you did, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it, it’s just not the only way, or the most effective way.

My social network reach is to about 100 people, and I don’t know that ANY of them would want to post here. I don’t even know where to begin to personally encourage people to join.

The media company that owns this product can have an intern write a tweet and hit 5,000x as many people as I can. They could put a link on their website.

I think I’d have more luck promoting the boards by sending a Sun Times IT guy a fruit basket, than anything else.

The “Gypsy cab” thread is a good way to get new members.

Joined 2 days ago. Asks question while acknowledging the term “Gypsy cab” is offensive. Gets jumped on by a fucking idiot. Thread gets closed.

Not sure if this is new users or new active users, but here’s a stat. My guess would be new active users (which means they don’t have to be new to the Dope, just not having posted in the last 30 days, but that encompasses people who are new as well)

last 24 hours - 3
last 7 days - 21
last 30 days - 82

For all the people talking about the ‘like’ feature, there was also this discussion with pretty much the same sides as this thread. (It wasn’t actually a thread on the ‘like’ function.)

It got closed with this note (not complaining about the closure or the note, just posting it here for information).

I was briefly in a Facebook page for owners of duck tollers. Same fucking problem. It’s an absolute nightmare. People just cannot be civil online.

Yep. There is not reason to allow that in any civilized group.

Rants? Those can be great.

Leave the rants, get rid of the insults.

I have seen new members hounded off within a week.

This sounds … surprisingly plausible. Good analogy with the lizard, by the way. I at least find your logic more compelling than the specious arguments made by a typical run-of-the-mill conspiracy theory.

I love Tollers! Great dogs.

The BC forum usually goes something like this:

“Any recommendations for a good dog food? I don’t want to feed my dog raw meat.”

“You are an idiot if you feed your dog anything cooked or processed.”

" -I- only feed my dog pure raw meat processed organically."

“You moron! All meat is organic. Besides, you should do what I do and prepare all food for your dogs yourself. I use only the best meat for my dogs, not that processed crap raw meat from the store.”

“I sometimes run out of dog food, so I have to buy some dog food at the grocery store. Is there a decent dog food you can get at a grocery store? Like Dr. Ballard’s or something? This is just when I’m out of the good stuff.”

<cue about 100 messages shrieking in horror at ‘name brand’ foods, calling the poster irresponsible for running out, etc>

God help you if you say you occasionally give your dog a pig’s ear, or a cooked bone, or certain toys…

These problems are not unique to the SDMB. The outliers are the places that manage to remain civil.

I did not know if was possible for a dog to be this awesome. Benny is a ludicrously good boy. Also very handsome. Aren’t you, Benny? Who’s a good boy who does good boy things? You are!

I’ll certainly take him over the people who scream about how to take care of dogs. And yeah, I agree this is fairly normal to internet conversations. We do have power over this place though.

That may be the best CT I’ve ever read, and probably even true. It may be in our best interests to go unnoticed as much as we can. We’ve survived this long because the higher-ups never noticed that we were a financial liability to them.

I do not think we lose money. The costs are small, no one is paid, and there is ad revenue. There were a couple of offhand posts from TPTB on the order of “We don’t make any real profit for them, so if someone sued and they had to pay out big bux for lawyer fees, we’d be gone in a jiffy”.

If we do lose, it is like a rounding error amount of loss- but so is our “profit” if there is any. This is purely my opinion, based upon a couple of comments made once upon a time. I may be totally wrong here.

But this part is certainly correct. We do not want to be noticed.

As I said in another thread, the fact that tubadiva was not replaced as an administrator strongly hints that ‘straight dope admin’ is not on anybodies STM job description.