Suggestion Revamp / Bulk Email

Chase.

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In addition to the "Community seems dead" thread, I figured we could stick our head together how to improve FP / have more activity. While it may be less active than before, it's still a great place for fellow website owners to come and share their projects and get help. I advice if you have nothing positive to add, then keep away from posting - there is no need for your negativity. (You know who you are that I'm referring to. ;))

First thing that comes in mind is a theme overhaul. While I don't know how old this theme is, it feels a bit outdated and I know a fresh appearance can bring in activity from members. It shows FP is not done yet and still keeping thing fresh which is important for members. "Resources" seem a dead waste. There are only 2 tutorials in it that could easily be topics instead. Either focus on bringing in resources that people want to use or remove the application. Shop items are also not really worth purchasing. More items could be added to improve our advertising services on FP.

I've learned that nowadays it's very hard to keep people interested and while FP is still very helpful to fellow website owners, it still needs to keep content fresh, updated regularly and keep members interested. I've also learned that only a small percentage of members are interested in the community as a whole, and the other percentage wants to be rewarded for activity. Some will not bother to be active if they feel it's a complete waste of time. The amount of website owners have declined but feel their time is well spent if they can advertise their website. The others who are here for the community and don't have a website will not stay active because there is nothing much to do for them and moved on to something else like fb, reddit, or other social media platforms.

I know bulk emails could be helpful for old members to remind them about FP. Is it possible to send them out ? It would benefit FP immensely in my opinion. - If there are new things to look out for. (New theme, new content)

I'd also reorder the layout personally. I feel that the complete promotion directory could be handled in one forums with subforums instead of a complete category. The Package service needs a good overhaul too. It takes months to complete a package which does not benefit FP nor the forums requesting such package. There are hardly team members on packages. My suggestion in this is either remove the service or get some new team members. Most people will not do them for free and expect something in return because it's a job that involves a lot of commitment, time and resources. In order to spark their interest, there must be handed out some great rewards for their time. Either in decent services if they own a website - or a cash reward. Otherwise you might as well close it down.

These are the most important points that come to mind which need some proper discussion and work in order to make FP great again. I hope most of it made sense.
 
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Jason5

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Regarding theme it was re-worked months back so i think there won't be another change. Yes bulk email about latest or hottest topic for a month can be sent to users (but few would have disabled email newsletters). And arranging of sections can make a difference why not give a try.
 

Bluezone777

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This forum doesn't have a functioning staff team(simply logging in and making an occasional post doesn't qualify as a functioning staff team) or a pool of potential staff members to draw from to create a functioning staff team. Without those two things, you can't do anything. A lot of people around here who could serve as staff have been so thoroughly burned by this forum that they have zero interest in returning to the team. it doesn't have a lot of money to throw at a theme or any other sort of upgrade as everything on a self hosted forum cost USD to get. No one who works with Xenforo works for free or cheap. Personally I think this forum is done for as I don't see any reason to think anything that's going on around here now is going to change.

If this forum and what it does was in demand, someone would have taken it upon themselves to create their own and draw people away form here. The reaosn this hasn't happened is due to this forum no longer being relevant anymore which would explain the downturn this forum has been going through and hte lack of compeition of any kind. There used to be people who would complain about there being too many new ad boards opening up but now there isn't any opening up anymore either good or bad because the genre of this board is simply obsolete as foruming in general has been on the decline for a long time now to a point where an ad board can no longer sustain enough interest to keep a community and a staff team together.
 

Lämmchen

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This forum doesn't have a functioning staff team(simply logging in and making an occasional post doesn't qualify as a functioning staff team) or a pool of potential staff members to draw from to create a functioning staff team. Without those two things, you can't do anything. A lot of people around here who could serve as staff have been so thoroughly burned by this forum that they have zero interest in returning to the team. it doesn't have a lot of money to throw at a theme or any other sort of upgrade as everything on a self hosted forum cost USD to get. No one who works with Xenforo works for free or cheap. Personally I think this forum is done for as I don't see any reason to think anything that's going on around here now is going to change.

If this forum and what it does was in demand, someone would have taken it upon themselves to create their own and draw people away form here. The reaosn this hasn't happened is due to this forum no longer being relevant anymore which would explain the downturn this forum has been going through and hte lack of compeition of any kind. There used to be people who would complain about there being too many new ad boards opening up but now there isn't any opening up anymore either good or bad because the genre of this board is simply obsolete as foruming in general has been on the decline for a long time now to a point where an ad board can no longer sustain enough interest to keep a community and a staff team together.
Let's not turn this into another delete the forum type of thread. Thanks.
 
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Thomasss

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This forum doesn't have a functioning staff team(simply logging in and making an occasional post doesn't qualify as a functioning staff team) or a pool of potential staff members to draw from to create a functioning staff team. Without those two things, you can't do anything. A lot of people around here who could serve as staff have been so thoroughly burned by this forum that they have zero interest in returning to the team. it doesn't have a lot of money to throw at a theme or any other sort of upgrade as everything on a self hosted forum cost USD to get. No one who works with Xenforo works for free or cheap. Personally I think this forum is done for as I don't see any reason to think anything that's going on around here now is going to change.

If this forum and what it does was in demand, someone would have taken it upon themselves to create their own and draw people away form here. The reaosn this hasn't happened is due to this forum no longer being relevant anymore which would explain the downturn this forum has been going through and hte lack of compeition of any kind. There used to be people who would complain about there being too many new ad boards opening up but now there isn't any opening up anymore either good or bad because the genre of this board is simply obsolete as foruming in general has been on the decline for a long time now to a point where an ad board can no longer sustain enough interest to keep a community and a staff team together.
Well, Bluezone, you were part of the staff team you so much as detest. I find it rather ironic you are here saying the forum is no longer relevant and yet here you are putting time and energy into being part of the negative force that continues to put down the very team that you are saying should change the forum for the better. The forum cannot better itself if the community members, whom agenda seems to be to create drama and negativity, continue to do so. Degrading the community and the team members sought to help the community grow is the very reason why you believe the staff team is dysfunctional and not working; the community cannot grow while the select few community members will not let it. Please, this thread is to come up with idea's on how to save it, not bring the community down more. :)
 
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Chase.

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I advice if you have nothing positive to add, then keep away from posting - there is no need for your negativity. (You know who you are that I'm referring to. ;))
This forum doesn't have a functioning staff team(simply logging in and making an occasional post doesn't qualify as a functioning staff team) or a pool of potential staff members to draw from to create a functioning staff team. Without those two things, you can't do anything. A lot of people around here who could serve as staff have been so thoroughly burned by this forum that they have zero interest in returning to the team. it doesn't have a lot of money to throw at a theme or any other sort of upgrade as everything on a self hosted forum cost USD to get. No one who works with Xenforo works for free or cheap. Personally I think this forum is done for as I don't see any reason to think anything that's going on around here now is going to change.

If this forum and what it does was in demand, someone would have taken it upon themselves to create their own and draw people away form here. The reaosn this hasn't happened is due to this forum no longer being relevant anymore which would explain the downturn this forum has been going through and hte lack of compeition of any kind. There used to be people who would complain about there being too many new ad boards opening up but now there isn't any opening up anymore either good or bad because the genre of this board is simply obsolete as foruming in general has been on the decline for a long time now to a point where an ad board can no longer sustain enough interest to keep a community and a staff team together.
Sadly it seems people cannot read anymore or don't want to read what's been said. Instead of taking your time to fill your presence with more negativity, perhaps you should suggest what can be changed to make this all better again.
 
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shadowmaven

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So I don't know if there really is a lot we could do to be honest. Listen, I have been here a while and for the last 2-3 years it's been all been about what can we do to revive the community? However, the ideas are all the same: new theme, mass emails, social media marketing, better external AD placement, more active staff, etc.

However, throughout all of this, no real action has been taken to do x,y, or z. I don't believe a new theme will do much of anything if no one already visits the community. Mass emails might help, but again, might act as a deterrent since most people hate plain and generic mass emails. I agree that FP could do more branding, to get the word out there, but again, how popular are forums these days? Are the FP services in high enough demand to get people to not only come back, but to actually register? I don't think so.

As much as the staff and the community have and are working to get the community back on its feet, I don't know how successful those attempts have and will be. To be frank here, let FP run its course and see what happens. I don't know if throwing a bunch of money at advertising (which I know there isn't much, trust me I have seen the budget for the place) will actually do anything. The ROI isn't there and would be a waste of money.

The underlying premise of FP in its current state just isn't in high enough demand. Are all forums dead? No. Just the ones where the genre are going by the wayside. If FP were to shift its focus to something more webmaster, design, something that is current, then maybe FP could turn around. However, no one wants to come here to promote their forums or to get a package service when the community is slowly slipping away and doesn't offer much.

I hate seeing FP in its current state. I, as many others, have spent a lot of time on this forum and I have severed on EVERY team over the years and this is the worse I have seen it and it pains me. However, is there much that can be done? Actually? Don't say a new theme will help either, come on.

-k
 
D

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That's an unprofessional Name. Somebody who comes to FP is going to expect everything to look and be professional. Not silly.

First thing that comes in mind is a theme overhaul. While I don't know how old this theme is, it feels a bit outdated and I know a fresh appearance can bring in activity from members.
Nope. This Theme went in to effect earlier this year. I personally don't like it but that's really all we've got. I don't think a Theme would also increase Activity. Because if an old Member were to return after a few years, they may despise the Theme, beg for a different one and may possibly even leave until a Theme they like shows up on the Site.

However, throughout all of this, no real action has been taken to do x,y, or z.
I completely agree with this bit. Barely any action has been taken for anything. Improving User-Activity, bringing more Staff and whatever else Users are begging for is not going through to anyone.

If I can remember, somebody mentioned that there was a lack of Communication between Staff. I can't remember who said it but I do remember it being said. If there honestly is a lack of Communication then that's probably the reason why barely anything is happening with our Suggestions to improve the Site. Hell, some Staff are rarely active whereas others like Cameron drop by every couple of weeks or so.

Mass emails might help, but again, might act as a deterrent since most people hate plain and generic mass emails.
Yeah, I do also agree with this one. One thing that I would like to add is that I don't think anyone(Except Students, Businesses/Business-People and Users on a Mailing-List) reads their Emails anymore. The only time a person nowadays would really read their Emails is for Password-Resets, Verification-Requests, Offers, you get the idea. And as @shadowmaven said, sending out too many Emails could cause a tiny bit of anger with some people as it may bug them with their inbox being flooded with a Site they haven't been to in a while. Another thing is what if the Email in question has been deleted? Then that Email can't get sent to the inactive Account has the Email for that Account has been deleted.

Anyways, time to add my own stuff to the fire.


FP is extremely inactive nowadays. A few years ago(We're talking about 2010 - 2013) the Site would've been more active. As Forums were still a bit popular back then. But overtime, not only have people lost interest in FP, they've also lost interest in Forums. But we're not focusing on Forums, we're focusing on FP.

As to how people may have lost interest, that's one thing we may have to dig deep to find the answer too. There are many reasons for being inactive. The person may be dead, they simply lost interest, they're no longer interested in being a Webmaster, they were tired of maybe a certain Member or certain parts of the Community and thus' it bugged them a lot, forcing them to leave. There are about 4-5+ reasons and so you'll have add some of your own reasons to it. Ones that seem more likely and reasonable.

One thing that I would like to point out is that a lot of Discussion here seems to have died out. I think a lot of people now only come to FP to increase the Traffic to their Websites and nothing else. They just make a quick Promotion-Post for the Site, saying what it's about and then just leaving their new Accounts to gather dust. Then, that causes a waste of space on FP's Database because the Account is no longer being used. Even if the Account's Data in question is only a few megabytes or a few hundred kilobytes, it's still a waste of space that can easily be cleared by deleting the Account and wiping all of it's Data away off the Server.

Now at first, I wanted FP to continue thriving for a few more years. But now, I think it's time to kill it off. Flip the switch. Tell it's Members to prepare to leave and maybe find an alternative or start their own Sites to continue FP's legacy. The alternative Sites may not be as active either but at least it will provide a new home for FP's original Members.
 

Lämmchen

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That's an unprofessional Name. Somebody who comes to FP is going to expect everything to look and be professional. Not silly.


Nope. This Theme went in to effect earlier this year. I personally don't like it but that's really all we've got. I don't think a Theme would also increase Activity. Because if an old Member were to return after a few years, they may despise the Theme, beg for a different one and may possibly even leave until a Theme they like shows up on the Site.


I completely agree with this bit. Barely any action has been taken for anything. Improving User-Activity, bringing more Staff and whatever else Users are begging for is not going through to anyone.

If I can remember, somebody mentioned that there was a lack of Communication between Staff. I can't remember who said it but I do remember it being said. If there honestly is a lack of Communication then that's probably the reason why barely anything is happening with our Suggestions to improve the Site. Hell, some Staff are rarely active whereas others like Cameron drop by every couple of weeks or so.


Yeah, I do also agree with this one. One thing that I would like to add is that I don't think anyone(Except Students, Businesses/Business-People and Users on a Mailing-List) reads their Emails anymore. The only time a person nowadays would really read their Emails is for Password-Resets, Verification-Requests, Offers, you get the idea. And as @shadowmaven said, sending out too many Emails could cause a tiny bit of anger with some people as it may bug them with their inbox being flooded with a Site they haven't been to in a while. Another thing is what if the Email in question has been deleted? Then that Email can't get sent to the inactive Account has the Email for that Account has been deleted.

Anyways, time to add my own stuff to the fire.

FP is extremely inactive nowadays. A few years ago(We're talking about 2010 - 2013) the Site would've been more active. As Forums were still a bit popular back then. But overtime, not only have people lost interest in FP, they've also lost interest in Forums. But we're not focusing on Forums, we're focusing on FP.

As to how people may have lost interest, that's one thing we may have to dig deep to find the answer too. There are many reasons for being inactive. The person may be dead, they simply lost interest, they're no longer interested in being a Webmaster, they were tired of maybe a certain Member or certain parts of the Community and thus' it bugged them a lot, forcing them to leave. There are about 4-5+ reasons and so you'll have add some of your own reasons to it. Ones that seem more likely and reasonable.

One thing that I would like to point out is that a lot of Discussion here seems to have died out. I think a lot of people now only come to FP to increase the Traffic to their Websites and nothing else. They just make a quick Promotion-Post for the Site, saying what it's about and then just leaving their new Accounts to gather dust. Then, that causes a waste of space on FP's Database because the Account is no longer being used. Even if the Account's Data in question is only a few megabytes or a few hundred kilobytes, it's still a waste of space that can easily be cleared by deleting the Account and wiping all of it's Data away off the Server.

Now at first, I wanted FP to continue thriving for a few more years. But now, I think it's time to kill it off. Flip the switch. Tell it's Members to prepare to leave and maybe find an alternative or start their own Sites to continue FP's legacy. The alternative Sites may not be as active either but at least it will provide a new home for FP's original Members.
This isn't supposed to be another kill off the site thread. Stop.
 
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shadowmaven

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Most are now, over the years so many threads like this just gets moved and forget
This. Right now, FP has zero direction and it really shows. We have Cam who barely visits let alone do anything, Josh who tries his best with what he has, but FP is slowly starting to slip.

Over the years, this has been forecasted and now that it's here, no one does anything about it. Shit gets old quick. Lets's just throw a new theme and some random plugins at the community and watch it flourish - eye rolls.
 
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shadowmaven

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This needs to be said. There’s yet another Deleted member in this topic. If it’s who I think it is, that needs to stop. Four or five accounts whatever we’re on is incredibly ridiculous and shouldn’t have been allowed to progress this far.
You are correct in who you think it was, it's his 5th account I believe. He just leaves and comes back as a new username when the going gets tough but references past deleted accounts?
 
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Gio

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You are correct in who you think it was, it's his 5th account I believe. He just leaves and comes back as a new username when the going gets tough but references past deleted accounts?
This crap needs to stop. I’m no grumpy pissy Retired Admin, but this is just ridiculous. Why is he being entertained when he says to shut down FP? He shouldn’t be allowed back with his conduct.
 
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Jon

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I believe Forum Promotion has a great foundation to offer exactly what it's intended to offer. This is a community of webmasters who are given the opportunity to share their ideas, promote their sites, and discuss their thoughts with those alike. Although things may seem slow, I don't believe a change of theme, style, features, etc. is the solution here.

We could use more user-developed content and to gain that content we'd have to widen the userbase. I believe working on things like SEO, advertising, promotions, and organic reach are key. Forum Promotion simply needs to be exposed to a larger sum of webmasters so that constructive discussions may continue and grow.

Referencing 'the good ole' days' where activity appeared to be higher isn't exactly productive in my opinion. Just because there were more posts because of 'count to 1000' threads and 'fun' content, that doesn't necessarily mean FP had more to offer its users during that duration of time.
 
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JoelR

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Hi, I'm relatively new to Forum Promotion so I'm not fully aware of it's past history but allow me to make the following recommendations.
1. Functional Value - There are two fundamental reasons why users would want to visit. The first is functional value: can users find information, education, and resources that they cannot obtain anywhere else? You must offer best in class content if you want to thrive in the modern web and grow the site beyond forums into a community of content, members, and education. Forums are considered mostly low value UGC (user generated content).
2. Audience - The second reason why users visit is because you're active and engaged with the proper audience. You're not targeting webmasters. You're targeting retail forum webmasters of small hobbyist sites, which is a rapidly shrinking audience. And if the total universe of prospective users is shrinking, it makes sense that this site's activity will proportionally shrink.
Also, just because it's a shrinking niche doesn't mean it's a dead niche. There are tons of hobby sites in old, outdated, or passe trends that still retain a core following.

I have some other critiques:
1. New Theme - This is a low value suggestion. It's never been about how pretty a site is (and if you're an admin who spends more time on your theme than your content, then you're doing it wrong. Sorry!). The ugliest sites have tons of activity because it provides functional value that users can't find anywhere else. It's not a bad suggestion, and redesigning a theme has some merit for a relaunch, but it must be meaningfully followed up by a true reorganization.
2. Webmasters of online groups have moved, but FP hasnt - Do any of you know where the largest group of online communities is located? It's on Facebook Groups with an estimated 900 million users (!). Where's the discussion, the outreach, the content and guides on how to make the most out of Facebook Groups? That's literally the largest group of individual group owners and you're completely ignoring them.
3. SEO, advertising, promotion, and organic reach - This is one of those things that people wave around like a magic wand as if solving those will somehow make your site popular. Similar to the theme, it doesn't matter how much advertising, promotion, reach, or optimized SEO your community does or doesn't do if you simply don't have functional reasons for why people should visit and stay. These are all secondary and tertiary concerns. Building content and properly defining your audience is 90% of community building. The last 10% is all of this miscellenous stuff like themes, advertising, and SEO, which means you should prioritize accordingly.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

Joel