Suggestions wanted!

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Suggestions wanted!

Post by HDArtist on 2009-02-11, 02:59

I think we all agree that this forum is a really nice initiative, but it could become even better if more people would join our community. I've been monitoring the rate at which new members join us, which is at about 3 people a day. We can do better, can't we? There should be thousands of HDR enthusiasts over the world who would be interested in a forum like this. Any ideas how to mobilize them? Maybe we should make a list of all kinds of forums or websites that are related to HDR and post our calls for new members there?
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Re: Suggestions wanted!

Post by SpiffyPix on 2009-02-11, 06:24

A man after my own heart, Ron! Let's do it!

Mel

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Re: Suggestions wanted!

Post by amyandmark3 on 2009-02-11, 08:21

Here's some info that may or may not be helpful:

http://www.communityspark.com/a-quick-way-to-attract-more-forum-members/

If you come up with any ways to do this, I'll help however I can. Smile
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Re: Suggestions wanted!

Post by HDArtist on 2009-02-11, 13:14

It's definitely a start, Mark. Following this article we should consider a few things: would you agree the welcome text on the top right of every page is good enough to attract lots of people? I personally think it describes very accurately what this site is about, though maybe it could be designed differently, in order to attract the eye a bit more. I've never quite understood the subtitle "it's all about the process..." Maybe we should think about a more catchy frase? Maybe "Explore the photography of the future" would be more intriguing?
Also, it seems one should avoid having too many categegories in the forum. I made a comment on that before. In my opinion it shouldn't become more complex than it is now. The more categories there are, the more cumbersome it will be to navigate.
Also, the posts should be interesting enough for people to become a member and return to this forum on a regular basis.
In my view there seem to be two approaches here: one is to activate the existing members to make their own contribitions: start any discussion, poll etc. Post your own images or give comments on other's contributions. Start a local gallery. Whatever. A second one is to attract new members, by posting links to this forum on related websites. Let's start a small campaign to mobilize all the HDR enthusiasts all over the owrld. I myself will look for some relevant Dutch websites, other's might do the same in the US, Canada, the UK etc. This should work, wouldn't it?
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Re: Suggestions wanted!

Post by amyandmark3 on 2009-02-11, 14:10

I'm a member of a few other internet forums, so I will post this web site's URL in my signature on those sites.

As for the navigation, I agree. I originally thought that the current setup was very nice and easily navigable (it is for experienced forumites and those of us willing to take the time to look at everything on the site), however, perhaps it would be beneficial to reduce the number of sub-forums so there are less clicks during site navigation. I personally like the way it is now because it's very familiar to me, but I can see how someone new to this format would be put off by how many clicks it takes to see each different forum/thread.

Mel, if there's any way to do it, maybe consider SAVING this format as a template for future usage when the forum grows a bit and the members are more active and the thread number grows....and for now maybe simplify things for people by reducing the number of forums. I'm not sure exactly what forums titles to use, but maybe just get it down to somewhere between 2-5 forums and start off with no other sub-forums for now....also, any really important threads can be 'pinned' to the top of each forum (like a rules section) by an Admin...something like:

1. General HDR Technique & Tutorial Talk
2. Purist HDR
3. Creationist HDR
4. General non-HDR Talk
5. Maybe even consider a free Buy & Sell forum....this may or may not be wanted by you, but it does attract members and activity...you would just need to have a really thorough set of rules pinned to the top, I can easily come up with these...ie. steal them from another forum I use often that has a good set of rules Wink)...

Just spitting out ideas.... Smile
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Re: Suggestions wanted!

Post by HDArtist on 2009-02-12, 03:05

To activate the existing members might not be a bad idea indeed. I've done some calculations and it appears that about 10% of the members are responsible for over 70% of all messages in this forum. It's not unusual to have far more active than passive members, I guess, but the situation could be a bit more balanced nonetheless.
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Re: Suggestions wanted!

Post by nicholas12 on 2009-02-12, 13:08

Site needs more "how to" posts and less "here's my first hdr photo" posts. Also, when posting photos, folks should be encouraged to give shooting details and possibly EV=0 and hdr photos for comparison. Thanks.
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Re: Suggestions wanted!

Post by Sambista on 2009-02-12, 13:27

What about a `critique` section? affraid
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Re: Suggestions wanted!

Post by HDArtist on 2009-02-12, 14:02

This is not meant to be cheap criticism if that's what you're suggesting. Wouldn't we all like to have more contributions every day? Mad
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Re: Suggestions wanted!

Post by Sambista on 2009-02-12, 18:37

HDArtist wrote:This is not meant to be cheap criticism if that's what you're suggesting. Wouldn't we all like to have more contributions every day? Mad

Just realised that I should have started a new thread in the `Suggestion Box`which I have now done, I didn`t intend to post on this thread, so I apologise for any confusion! Embarassed ... no need for the angry smiley right enough big chap!! Smile
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Re: Suggestions wanted!

Post by SpiffyPix on 2009-02-13, 17:42

I would really like to thank everyone for their input over the last couple of days. I've been swamped at work and unable to write in until now.

I agree that this site could benefit from some changes. Once I got the idea of creating this site, I spent my time trying to get it up and running, as opposed to spending my time trying to structure it properly. Also, being the people-pleaser that I am, I took every suggestion and tried to implement it, even though it might not have been best for the forum. Sad

That being said, I am going to need a little bit of time to get some of the changes done. In the mean time, I would LOVE to hear more suggestions on how to improve the site and how to get more members (and get those current members to be more active).

I am all for narrowing down the amount of categories/sub-categories, but my fear is that many posts will get lost in the shuffle. Not quite sure what to do about that just yet.

In order to get more input from less active users (I hope!), I'm going to hold a contest involving the front-page banner. More info to come soon...

Again, thanks to everyone for all of their valuable input and please keep it coming!

Melanie

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Re: Suggestions wanted!

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