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Thread: Just suppose.

  1. #1
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    Just suppose.

    Suppose that for a number of years, you belonged to a forum that was like a family. And on your birthday, all of your forum family would wish you a happy birthday. Then, suppose, just suppose, that one year, your birthday passed, without a single person taking notice. Yep. This was my year. But, more importantly, it is an indication that we need to rebuild the family that once was this forum.

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    Senior Member no mouse no more's Avatar
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    Senior Member nate99's Avatar
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    'tis a drafty shell of a place these days.

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    I hear ya.

  5. #5
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    Happy birthday, Mahler! (Hey, I don't remember my wife's birthday half the time either . . . )

    As for rebuilding the forum, I don't know how one could go about doing it. Even when I say something in current events that ought to be controversial, it goes nowhere.

    I had thought of starting a thread on Israel, but felt it was too drastic. We would be buried in vituperative exchanges that don't add up to a half way decent discussion.

  6. #6
    I agree we need more traffic here, but am stumped as to how to make that happen. Only thing I can think of is to contact former members with whom I happen to be online friends elsewhere, like Facebook.

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    Administrator Jean-Paul's Avatar
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    I think the damage from that "upgrade" to Joomla was pretty heavy. Hopefully my upgrade back to Vbulletin wasn't too little too late. Not sure if this place will ever recover, but obviously I am not ready to give up on it! Happy belated birthday you heavy deadlifting whippersnapper!

    I'm totally open to any ideas on how we can invite some of those people back to the forum. I get so many bounce-backs from mass emails that I don't think it's worth it. Maybe I could hire a mail-service. Roland could right a nice welcome back letter, and we could spruce it up with some motivational pics of Mahler deadlifting a Buick. Any other ideas?

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    Administrator Roland Denzel's Avatar
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    I'm happy to help, but people need to come back before we invite new people.

    I'm open to a letter, but from what I understand, we can't send a letter out to the existing mailing list because of spam laws? I remember getting update and alert letters in the olden days. Are those no longer allowed by law?

    What do we have to work with, JP? A serious question.

  9. #9
    Administrator Roland Denzel's Avatar
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    I also believe in the viscous circle effect. No one posts, so no one posts.

    I've almost invited friends here, but they would be coming to a wasteland right now. We need people back before we invite new people to come.

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    Senior Member nate99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Denzel View Post
    I also believe in the viscous circle effect. No one posts, so no one posts.

    I've almost invited friends here, but they would be coming to a wasteland right now. We need people back before we invite new people to come.
    The term used in some business circles is “death spiral”. On that happy note, I'm back, a little bit anyway, surely others will now pile in if I start posting stupid gifs again.

    Perhaps fitness is sort of “peaky” when it comes to one’s interest such that it is hard to sustain a community. Or perhaps to the extent that it is not, folks end up on the routine side of things and don’t have much to talk about. That and this place doesn’t have a particularly emotionally appealing ethos. No “maximum bro” of T-nation, no “us against the world” counter-culture of Crossfit, no seedy dark underbelly/ties with illicit activity of Curves. The appealing angle of this place is pragmatic realism, but that doesn’t exactly put butts in the seats, as it were.

    Last edited by nate99; 02-02-2015 at 11:51 PM.

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    I plan to continue to post my training log and motivators. If the numbers are real, it appears some die-hards are still reading them, based on views.

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    Administrator Jean-Paul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mahler View Post
    I plan to continue to post my training log and motivators. If the numbers are real, it appears some die-hards are still reading them, based on views.
    That is probably the only section that has consistently gotten heavy traffic.

  13. #13
    Administrator Jean-Paul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Denzel View Post
    I also believe in the viscous circle effect. No one posts, so no one posts.

    I've almost invited friends here, but they would be coming to a wasteland right now. We need people back before we invite new people to come.
    The new people will be here soon, but they need to have an active community in place to keep their interest. I can mass email people and just know up front that I maybe only 10% will actually reach anyone because of spam filters, and of those more than half will send back some not-so-nice response telling me to remove them from my list cos they don't even remember registering or posting on this site.

    Maybe instead of a shotgun approach we could take a slower more measured approach, and create a list made up of everyone who has posted here more than 1000 times, and if that's not too big a list, start reaching out to them individually. It's not too hard to create that list, and it would certainly be easier to get former enthusiastic members to re-join the community than it would be to get someone who maybe posted 10 times 7 years ago.

    What do you think?

  14. #14
    Administrator Roland Denzel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean-Paul View Post
    The new people will be here soon, but they need to have an active community in place to keep their interest. I can mass email people and just know up front that I maybe only 10% will actually reach anyone because of spam filters, and of those more than half will send back some not-so-nice response telling me to remove them from my list cos they don't even remember registering or posting on this site.

    Maybe instead of a shotgun approach we could take a slower more measured approach, and create a list made up of everyone who has posted here more than 1000 times, and if that's not too big a list, start reaching out to them individually. It's not too hard to create that list, and it would certainly be easier to get former enthusiastic members to re-join the community than it would be to get someone who maybe posted 10 times 7 years ago.

    What do you think?
    Is there a way to get me a list in a spreadsheet, with details on post counts, etc.? I've been speaking to Dave T about good ways to send out emails without getting blasted as spammers, so...

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jean-Paul View Post
    The new people will be here soon, but they need to have an active community in place to keep their interest. I can mass email people and just know up front that I maybe only 10% will actually reach anyone because of spam filters, and of those more than half will send back some not-so-nice response telling me to remove them from my list cos they don't even remember registering or posting on this site.

    Maybe instead of a shotgun approach we could take a slower more measured approach, and create a list made up of everyone who has posted here more than 1000 times, and if that's not too big a list, start reaching out to them individually. It's not too hard to create that list, and it would certainly be easier to get former enthusiastic members to re-join the community than it would be to get someone who maybe posted 10 times 7 years ago.

    What do you think?
    I think if it's do-able, it'd be nice to have old friends rejoin. No way to know without trying...

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  17. #17
    Administrator Jean-Paul's Avatar
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    Hi phaed! :d

  18. #18
    Administrator Jean-Paul's Avatar
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    I have been giving this more thought, and I have come back with probably more questions than answers. Maybe we are trying to pull people back to get the community fired up again, but the problem isn't just that they went away. First we need to think about about why they left, which obviously leads me to the question, why did people come to this place in the first place?

    Maybe THAT is where we should channel our efforts. Those of us who are still here are the die-hards... The ones who believed in what we were trying to do and that energy fueled the discussion. So much time was wasted in experimenting on how to capitalize on the massive amounts of traffic we were getting... All attempts ultimately failed. Why did people come? We had a lot of really sharp people posting in here, which certainly helped, but that wasn't really it. And if it helped, why did it help? The people like Bill Hartman and Lou Schuler and Galya Denzel didn't get tricked or marketed to. There was a core philosophy to this community that did not offer any compensation to the experts who participated. No one was making anything (most especially not me). So why to people suddenly flock together to a place and put in hours of free advice and engage in conversation every day?

    When the denizens of new experts figured out there was a large pool of potential new fans they came flocking in, but that fell flat on it's face and backfired on all of them because their intentions were transparent, and it insulted the intelligence of the core community. We had a STANDARD, and we had a philosophy of not compromising that standard, and our community was pretty clear when they felt like they were being worked (recalling the Berardi incident).

    Even the summits were not built around the star power, but around a group of people who found true friends from such diverse backgrounds who wanted to materialize the friendships in person that they developed in here. And when we did bring in experts, they really meshed well with the readers. We didn't have to create incentives or offer free copies of our digital books to get people to sign up. People were drawn here because they could have ADULT conversation about our common passion.

    All this is to say that perhaps trying to get people back is the wrong approach. The people who are still here aren't here because of any special offers... They just haven't given up on this place because they were here when the idea of this place was being formed, and we all BELIEVED in what we were creating. We welcomed noobs, and didn't make them feel stupid for asking questions about fitness that we had all heard a million times. We gathered here because we wanted to create a unique and special place where fitness was for EVERYONE, not just the 1% of the population that are bros kissing their biceps in the mirror. We were average Joes, across the street from Globogym! THAT is what caused the natural, organic and seemingly unexplainable explosion of growth we experienced.

    Let's take what we have learned and start fresh. Create great discussion topics, and post a link to it on your FB or Twitter... Draw people into the actual discussion in here. Eventually all of our old members will find their way back, but we need to have something to offer... Something more than "hey, the software issues are resolved."

  19. #19
    asg
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    Okay - I am one voice from possibly the small population of remaining quiet forum followers... I was a member and even tagged in on a few threads pre-upgrade to Joomla. When the upgrade happened, yeah, I got lost. However, I hung in there with keeping this place bookmarked, and regularly visiting - "lurking", I suppose. Then, I saw this thread pop-up, and felt a need to chime in. So, off I went to try to register, again... I've tried a few times before, and for whatever reason, it never seemed to work. Maybe it was the into between phase of Joomla back to Vbulletin. Or, maybe I was missing a step in the registration process. This time around, all relatively smooth, except I apparently couldn't get the final blessing till I linked with my FB account. I really didn't want to do that. I try to limit any tie-in's to FB - just a personal thing of trying to pull-back on my "social network" footprint. But, to get here and post, I had to cave... Why the FB thing for registering? Anyway...

    I was originally drawn to JPfitness by Lou Schuler's NROLL spot here. Found the overall forum positive, informative, and a location where real world real people gather to share advise, experience, and knowledge with one another - and, not a place crawling with sleezy marketing gimmicks, brand-pushing, etc.

    Now that I have pushed my way back through the registration process, this old/new user will step-up and tag back in when & where appropriate.

  20. #20
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    That's funny, I am not on facebook, and don't remember it being an issue.

    One thing is for sure, if we need facebook, I will be gone. I don't do facebook.

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