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March was an incredible month for us, we have 44,000 posts in the month of March which is great. Anyways around 1542 new topics were created but the problem is 90 percent of the new topics created were created by the same old people which is around 10 percent of total membership base. We had 115 new members this month and only 5 percent of threads were started by new members. What do you think can be a problem? why are new members apprehensive about jumping in and starting discussions.

A brief history of site is as follows
We started all over again in January 2005, previously this was a very big msn group for 1 year we then decided to go professional and in 3 months we have over 100,000 posts and around 760 members.

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Last Post by Dani
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Whoa! First I must commend you on 40,000+ posts per month, that is QUITE the amazing accomplishment. I can only dream DaniWeb will one day get that big. However, I do understand the problem, and I think it's the same one that nearly all forums suffer from. The problem is trying to get new lurkers to join in on the community and feel like they're not only a part of the community, but that they have something to offer.

Make sure that you have a guest message welcoming new members to the community on every page of the site for unregistered users. You can also use template conditionals to set one up for those who need their accounts activated, those who have never posted before, those who haven't visited in awhile, etc. Just that extra little push to welcome new members and get them to start posting.

Also, do you have an Introduce Yourself forum? It's a good way to get lurkers to turn into first-time thread starters ;)

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One reason the site is so popular is that you can do a web search on many problems and get a pointer to Daniweb. That leads me to think that most of the people who come here are just wanting their problem solved (which is a great service for the computer community) and, either don´t have enough expertise to contribute threads or don´t really want to participate in a group.

However, your numbers shows me a parallel to the real world. I would guestimate that about 10% of computer users are knowledgable enough to participate in technical discussions about their machines. Therefore, we are getting about the right amoung of the people that see the site participating at that level. Nothing wrong with that!

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thats exactly what brough me here. i was looking for help on a subject and fell upon the site while using a search engine. i thought whoa. i have finally found what im looking for and from other techies with experience not just books. we're all here to help each other.

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Thanks for the replies. Dani you hit the mark, the problem is that new members feel alienated and dont think they can fit into the community, because as I said we have some members who live and breath on our forum (which is kinda) strange that makes that lot very tight knit and usually they are a tad hostile towards newbies. Now I cant go on punishing members who are the soul of the community and are one of the reason why we have been such a big hit. I created an introduce yourself forum just a week back and that seem to have gotten good feedback from the new members. We as admins and moderators are very welcoming to new members but sadly not all members act like that.
Once again thanks for the feedback.

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i felt alienated at first but now im settled. i think that when one is new to somewhere we all feel kinda out of sorts and unsure as to what to do, do we not?

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But now that we know what the problem is, we have to work on solutions. I think a good first solution is what I've done so far here - messages for logged out members and zero-posters encouraging them to register and post. And a Community Introductions forum to make yourself feel welcome, break the ice, and get at least one first post out of a new member. But what else can be done?

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March was an incredible month for us, we have 44,000 posts in the month of March which is great. Anyways around 1542 new topics were created but the problem is 90 percent of the new topics created were created by the same old people which is around 10 percent of total membership base. We had 115 new members this month and only 5 percent of threads were started by new members. What do you think can be a problem? why are new members apprehensive about jumping in and starting discussions.

A brief history of site is as follows
We started all over again in January 2005, previously this was a very big msn group for 1 year we then decided to go professional and in 3 months we have over 100,000 posts and around 760 members.

I get where you are coming from. A lot of people at my forum lurk around but dont post. There really is nothing you can do about it except prune innactive members.

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Thanks for the replies. Dani you hit the mark, the problem is that new members feel alienated and dont think they can fit into the community, because as I said we have some members who live and breath on our forum (which is kinda) strange that makes that lot very tight knit and usually they are a tad hostile towards newbies. Now I cant go on punishing members who are the soul of the community and are one of the reason why we have been such a big hit. I created an introduce yourself forum just a week back and that seem to have gotten good feedback from the new members. We as admins and moderators are very welcoming to new members but sadly not all members act like that.
Once again thanks for the feedback.

One of the things I've been trying with my moderators is "Find a friend". I tell them to look for a newbie with whom they seem to have something in common and send them a PM welcoming them to the community. I also encourage them to start a dialogue with that person, if possible. I've been doing it myself and having very good results. It makes the new member feel much more welcome and a part of the community.

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Oh that's a really good idea. I like that :) Almost like a "Big Brother" or "Big Sister" thing!

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