I have discussion forum where we talk about crashing computer games, possible fixes and other problems. i receive tremendous amount of visitors yet nobody coming forward to participate, reply and help others in the forum. This site had already been for about a year still i havent noticed any single user participating except only posting new threads?

what could be the reason?

I regret for doing one thing. I decided to handcode my own forum which is very simple and very search friendly suiting my requirements. Since it is not very advanced and does not have signatures, does it mean that if anybody had to participate they ask for signature links?

please help me.

I checked out your site, it seems that most people come to your site for it's content. As for your forum, I suggest making it more user friendly, maybe switch to phpbb type forum.

I suggest making it more user friendly, maybe switch to phpbb type forum.

thanks alex. i reallt appreciate your help. what possibly do you suggest to my existing forum so that i can make more user friendly? Do you also think that many users come and participate in forum for link advertising through signatures?

Let's please keep this section non-site specific :) olddocks, you can ask for a website review @ http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforums/forum55.html

I would like the answer to the same question: What convinces people to participate? Does it take return visits after a bit of lurking around? What types of people jump right in?

I am sure most forums suffer from the same thing. But especially on this forum you see alot of people with 1 or 2 posts(they are obviously asking a specific question and not really participating) then there are people that have thousands of posts. These people are the ones that gain the most from the forum. On my forum there are people who go through the boring process of signing up and then never post? Then there are people who just keep coming back. I think people need to be rewarded for their number of useful posts(not just questions).

It's hard to "reward" people though. Perhaps giving additional forum features (ie usergroup promotions) when people hit a certain number of posts for rewarding them for their contributions. Contests might also work but they're so hard to judge.

I agree with roryt. IMO you should target the specific community and encourage them to post, use some motivational formula targeting your regular members.