This was originally posted as reply at another thread, why end up here?
It's not only the participation issue, readers to posters ratio is incredibly disproportional, but for the old timers like me and Garnaby, is quite obvious this lack of interest in general.
It's strange how suddenly from year 2015 (2nd half) till now a lot of people who were frequenting forums like this have just vanished!
You could notice this pattern not only on this forum, but in general, before 2015 were topics/threads less interesting/important than others which have been posted more recently but those from the yester years received an astonishing amount of views and replies.
In my point of view it doesn't have to do with the quality of content, much better subjects have been publicly released without receiving the participation they deserved.
What I say is objectively true, it has been noticed and mentioned by other popular old timers, on other forums too, such as TurboGenius and MrJ at gamblingforums, Kav at roulette30 and Bayes at rouletteforum.
What caused this sudden loss of interest?
Did all those people suddenly, around year 2015, found what they were looking for years?
Did trolls suddenly emerged on 2015?
It doesn't make sense for me, focus on year 2015 before and after, what changed?
I've to confess that I've spent plenty of time sharing around forums my knowledge and experience and I got responses but to be completely honest I'm bit discouraged and disappointed because I was expecting larger and better participation.
Did I have to share what I did?
Certainly no, I wanted, it was my decision, but when someone is sharing something it doesn't do it in order to read it himself and speak with his self, the original author seeks participation in one way or the other.
Since the topic is not aiming for sales it expresses a genuine intention for mutual interest/benefit, participation is not only about rejecting others ideas but also about feedback and constructive criticism.
There is distinction between what we call trolling and the constructive criticism, the first is bad intentioned while the second provide reasoning, explains why something is not as good as it could be and suggests ways to improve it.
Participation is not only about praising and debating, but also about testing and sharing feedback, this aspect is very valuable because it establishes a consensus which in turn will save time and money for many others.
My idea about the ideal forum includes the following:
1) It's ads free
2) It's fair and objective without being influenced by those who pay money in one way or the other
3) It has consistent participation with emphasis on quality rather than quantity
4) Its sole purpose is the common benefit through the interaction, exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience could be more rewarding than attempting to receive money by sales/subscriptions/ads
5) All members work together as a team, they have the same goal and are striving to help each other in the best way they can, they are honest and loyal to their goals, they are highly motivated and focused without bosses, not because someone else tells them to do so, but because they are their own boss
The only forum I've witnessed which is near to what I've described is at VR tech, it's private and initiated from member "theMagician".
Thomas, like myself, it's highly driven, very well educated and experienced individual, he takes his activity very seriously.
Such person is the ideal partner to work with, I could name a few more around the web but it's not the point, the point is the profile of a forum which attracts equivalent members.
It's so pointless to begin an online presence for using it as advertisement space, when there's really good content then good sponsorships will be attracted, not because it was the original purpose but as a result of the long term determination, effort, discipline, dedication, motivation, professionalism, honesty, altruism.
All these, in my consideration, have to be in place before expecting any reward, but frankly, who's going to do it the way it should be?
Almost all are looking for the easy solution but unfortunately there is not such.