General industry trends in participation in on-domain forum participation?

(Mark Williams) #1

[I suspect this is a question with a whole bunch of “it depends…” type answers, but I’m going to ask it anyway.]

We are seeing a general trend toward lesser participation in our forums. I have some ideas of why that is in our particular case, but I was asked in a meeting today if there is any known data for industry trends in the space. Assume a support style community. Does anyone know of some?

I assume there’s what I call a re-balancing between people that participate off-domain (fb, twitter, StackOverflow LiveJournal[?]) and those that still desire on-domain forum style. But I’ve never seen specific studies on this behavior.

I would say that each serves a different purpose and audience, but I’m willing to be argued on that point.

(Mark Baldwin) #2

If I was to guess, I would say that with a support style community people have realised they seem to get a quicker response through social media and direct emails than they do through a traditional forum. I’m guessing it’s because people demand almost instant answers when they have problems.

(Richard Millington) #3

It’s the word assume there that troubles me :slight_smile: . I’d say go and speak to members and find out. It might be something fixable or it might be a major problem that means rethinking what you do. But it’s hard to know without diving pretty deep into it beyond analytics data.