Author Topic: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?  (Read 1271 times)

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Offline cunardqueen

Quote
  I agree particularly with what you say in bold, Myles, but am not sure how this sorry situation can be addressed at all really.
 
It beats me also
I wonder how many memebers are on here in total, how many posted in the last year, how many posted in the last month,

Given that i have no idea how these things work..why not do a mid month trial with a Photo comp news letter mentioning the fact that its open and that have you voted and the usual links and see if that spurs any interest
If not then perhaps we can only assume that people are simply tired of QE2 
Or create a poll with a link back here asking why folks dont use the forum, some options for answers might include
A) Cant be arsed
B) no time
C) time  moves on im finsihed with QE2
D) all of the above
E) What is a QE2
F) The forum is was to massive l dont know where to start.

I hesitate to use the "F" word but could you link from there to here and block off comments
The Mods do a marvelous job and lm sure we have no idea exactly how much they do do behind the scenes

We do seem to be in a bit of a coma, limping along , while l would hate for the machine to be switched off ! What can be done to tempt the looken peepers and finger pokers  back to the mother ship.
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 09, 2019, 10:32 AM »
It beats me also
I wonder how many memebers are on here in total, how many posted in the last year, how many posted in the last month,


The ship retired nearly 11 years ago now, and yes people have moved on (or passed on...).   What interest is left, is satisfied by Facebook's umpteen QE2 groups, in amongst all their other interests.  A quick interaction on Facebook, when you're already on there anyway, takes a time investment of seconds.  You can use Google Trends to analyse the level of interest in QE2 there is globally (not much).  In the wider world, the acronym QE2 doesn't even mean the ship any more to most people... its a road, a bridge, a sports centre, a night club, a financial instrument, a hospital, a conference centre - all given as 2 not II...

Some QE2 fans are still interested - just not as interested as they once were - and are more interested in other things day to day.  This goes for me too, I'm afraid!

Certain online discussion forums are still busy - but they are ones that serve a specific need.  e.g. from my own experience, for car enthusiasts, forums are still THE place to go to get good help and advice about fixing your car, or what that strange wire does.

I don't think we should see this forum as "failing" because its quiet - and I don't think we should try to make it or force it to be artificially busier either.  In fact the level of use we get now, is probably what I thought we'd get when I created it!   Even for people who do love the forum, and do love QE2, a visit every couple of weeks or so may be enough. 

its just the way things are now for a niche subject.  Page views are still good, and over the course of a month, we still get quite a lot of people taking the time to login.  If the site was mobile-friendly we'd do even better - Google is marking us down now for not having a mobile-first site - we no longer come first for many QE2 searches because of this.

I'll do everything in my power to keep the forum alive technically indefinitely.  Its had very little downtime in 10.5 years - we must be at the infamous 99.99% uptime I'm sure.  Its also never had a security incident...  Most other similar sites have disappeared in those years - which is why so many website links you try will just error - Facebook has killed them off - including some super QE2 resources, just gone because the creator moved on one way or another...

The forum will get an upgrade at some point soon-ish when the next version of the forum software is finalised - which will also work better on mobile.  I don't have time to do a full revamp/overhaul of the site, and haven't found a way to let someone else do it, while still keeping overall control of it.  Its a big bit of work actually.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #2 on: Jul 09, 2019, 01:03 PM »
I have split and moved this discussion from the suggestions for a theme for the September competition as both subjects deserve separate discussions.

Cunardqueen has made some good points and I agree with Rob's excellent well thought response.

From a moderator's point of view it can be a bit frustrating when there is a lack of participation in the forum but on the other hand when I look at the wealth of information available, because of the contributions being made, I am very proud to be a part of the QE2 Story.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Rod

Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #3 on: Jul 09, 2019, 02:56 PM »
This is a very interesting topic!
In my own case, my participation has dropped off, I know this. But, my whole participation with the internet has dropped off....drastically.
I used to be: Get home from work, get straight on the web. Now that I am home all the time, I go on the web 3 or 4 times a day.
You have to realize that with my illness, I get tired very quickly. If I have had a battery of tests, for example that lasts a day or 2, then it takes me 2 or 3 days to recover. Same say, after a day at Epcot. I do have an I-pad but they are not the easiest things to surf the web on.
I am also a Senior Moderator on a gun forum with 58,000 members, and that takes a bit of time. But, my participation there has dropped off also.
I read most topics, but, frankly some just do not interest me. Even though I spent 20 years with Cunard, I am not a ship "buff" unless I have had an encounter with a particular ship.
The forum is well run and technically I can't fault it!
As far as making it phone compatible, couldn't care less, with the drivers round here, when walking I don't need my face buried in a phone.
As rob said, the main theme of the forum has dropped from peoples minds and so many keep up on FB or  other media sites.
If this site is deemed a niche site, that's ok by me.
Long may it continue.

Offline cunardqueen

Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #4 on: Jul 09, 2019, 03:12 PM »
Quote
and I agree with Rob's excellent well thought response.   

So do I , and l hate to say l find myself thinking less about QE2 than before. theres zero interest in the present incarnation in whatever form it takes and again no interest in the other floating ships.

Im guilty  perhaps of not starting or restarting topics from yesteryear, its only then you realise when you go tripping though old topics just how much there is back there , and there is a lot .

Im not really sure if l want to see the forum on a phone
Indeed long may it contine, but with a tad more Audience participation .       
« Last Edit: Jul 09, 2019, 08:14 PM by cunardqueen »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline tramscape

Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #5 on: Jul 09, 2019, 05:30 PM »
As an outsider to anything QE2 (not having ever seen her or been on her or know much about her) I am impressed by this forum and the amount of detail people have gone into when discussing topics. It is quite mind-boggling the amount of things that are found to discuss about a ship. I am sorry that it seems to be running out of steam a bit .....but if nothing else, forums are always good places to chat about things you like in common, even if you repeat yourself from time to time.

I am sorry I cannot contribute other than with respect to a couple of ships in the "other ships" section of the forum - but I wish everyone else well - and keep chatting !

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #6 on: Jul 09, 2019, 05:50 PM »
As an outsider to anything QE2 (not having ever seen her or been on her or know much about her) I am impressed by this forum and the amount of detail people have gone into when discussing topics. It is quite mind-boggling the amount of things that are found to discuss about a ship. I am sorry that it seems to be running out of steam a bit .....but if nothing else, forums are always good places to chat about things you like in common, even if you repeat yourself from time to time.

I am sorry I cannot contribute other than with respect to a couple of ships in the "other ships" section of the forum - but I wish everyone else well - and keep chatting !

Thanks Tramscape for taking time to give your thoughts. The discussions on  other ships is also an important part of the forum and participation is always welcome.

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #7 on: Jul 09, 2019, 07:08 PM »
If the site was mobile-friendly we'd do even better - Google is marking us down now for not having a mobile-first site - we no longer come first for many QE2 searches because of this.

In which way isn't the forum mobile friendly?  On those occasions when I have looked at it on a mobile, it seems to function OK so I'm not sure what the issue is?
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #8 on: Jul 09, 2019, 07:21 PM »
In which way isn't the forum mobile friendly?  On those occasions when I have looked at it on a mobile, it seems to function OK so I'm not sure what the issue is?

Google deems it not to be - and its part of how they rank (score) web pages now.  I also use it on my phone with no problems, but it isn't "responsive" - the technical term for a web page behaving differently, depending on the screen size you view it on.  I've been fully aware of this snag for years, but haven't had the time to do anything about it.

I think this should show you what they think - https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly?id=u0mZwwBvewDZX3f2EaMG1Q
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Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #9 on: Jul 09, 2019, 11:34 PM »
Hmmm.. well... Google don't seem to be aware that you can easily expand the text on a mobile screen, then, do they?

I certainly prefer trying to use the regular websites on my phone than the "app" versions - on Twitter in particular the "app" version is considerably inferior to the web version, but it seems to automatically default to the "app" version on a phone.  Presumably it can detect when it's being used on a phone even if you don't tell it!

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Offline June Ingram

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Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #10 on: Jul 10, 2019, 02:24 AM »
I agree with Peter in that I prefer to use the regular website rather than apps on everything I do on my phone.  I do not like the way apps rearrange things on the screen. 
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Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #11 on: Jul 10, 2019, 08:46 AM »
For what its worth - I joined this forum to learn more about QE2 from an engineering point of view as although I had seen her a few times I'd never been on her during her service life.

Once I was on the forum however things changed and I've ended up being involved in two successful events celebrating two significant QE2 milestones plus I now know more about QE2 than I ever dreamt possible!

This is and will always remain the place to go for "real" QE2 information - some of the dross I see commented on Facebook about the ship (and others for that matter) only serves to reflect the quality of the input on this forum.

Maybe for now the forum has just found its "level"

Gav

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #12 on: Jul 10, 2019, 08:47 AM »
I agree with Peter in that I prefer to use the regular website rather than apps on everything I do on my phone.  I do not like the way apps rearrange things on the screen.

June - completely agree.

Plus on some apps some functionality is lost as well which is annoying.

Gav

Offline Conor

Re: What would it take to encourage greater forum participation?
« Reply #13 on: Jul 10, 2019, 08:26 PM »
]I like reading what crops up on the forum - though generally have relatively little to contribute, other than repeating/bombarding the Hotel forum with content already posted in one of the Facebook groups. The Forum does have 10 years of collective knowledge, well archived, so there is still such a wealth of information.

I'm also relatively new to the world of working in the office, so have found my cognitive capacity spent almost entirely on this Brexit stuff people keep talking about!

Hmmm.. well... Google don't seem to be aware that you can easily expand the text on a mobile screen, then, do they?

While (for forums) I prefer using the desktop site - having to zoom in order to read content/interact with the website is inherently non-mobile friendly. It's becoming easier (I think) in SMF 2.1 to have responsive themes, so in future it may be more useful to have a responsive design as the default and this theme (or an evolved version of this theme) optional for members.