I just got back from the biggest convention in my community’s industry and had some great discussions with some really smart people. In trying to identify why weren’t getting the engagement we used to, we were having trouble pinpointing the reason. WE have a solid core of really great members in our community and tons of traffic. Over the weekend, we realized what the issue was. Our community doesn’t have enough challenges to sink their teeth into.
We, ControlBooth.com (we call it CB for short), have a HUGE body of established content that 70% of our traffic finds from Google Search on a daily basis and gets the answers they need, and then leaves. That’s fine. But our membership isn’t posting as much as they used to. What we need are new questions for our community to sink their teeth into. This is what I think is the core of our engagement issues. We don’t have enough questions to keep the community engaged.
One of my favorite distractions on the internet is Quora. A rare question and answer site that has a very high signal to noise ratio. I can go on there at any time of day and answer questions about camera gear, something I’m a subject matter expert in. It’s a release valve for my need to contribute my expertise to answer questions. This psychological phenomenon is what has made CB a success so far. People LOVE to be able to answer questions. Over the summer, I started to get emails from Quora staff, inviting me to join the Quora Partner Program. They want to pay me to ASK QUESTIONS. Up until last night, it really stuck in my craw that they would pay for questions and not for great answers. I get it now. At a certain point, a community of knowledge faces the problem that it’s harder to acquire questions than answers.
So, this is our challenge for the next year. How do we stimulate questions on ControlBooth for the community to answer?