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AG

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How to grow the forum
« on: May 12, 2014, 14:02 »
Ok - so this year our forum is 2 ... and I have been having a bit of a review of things.

We have come a long way since our inception ... but its fair to say we still have a lot of growing to do. 

We do need more members, and more interaction between members to be the success we envisioned ... and I would like some input from all of you.


What is it that you like about Velorooms?

What dont you like?

What can we do better? 


How do we attract the membership and discussion that we need to be the forum that we can be?  Any ideas are good.
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  • cj2002

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 14:41 »
    For those of us who weren't here at the very beginning, could you put this in context? What exactly did you envision?

    Because, one of the things I like about Velorooms is that it isn't massive - that I know a little bit more about a few of the members than you can glean from an avatar. I like that there is a core of us who are often in the shoutbox and exchange personal "stuff" rather than just cycling talk. I like that there is a core of cycling fans who I "know" and connect with on a regular basis on Twitter.

    "Growing" the forum should have a defined purpose, rather than just getting bigger. And growing it without keeping certain things in check could lead to the sort of issues we have (I'm sure) all seen on other, much bigger forums.

    For a 2-year old site, I think we're doing well. The breadth of races covered and depth of knowledge on offer is magnificent. The respect between members is (almost always) brilliant, and the conversation and company are a lot of fun.
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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 15:07 »
    The race day shout boxes are good in the main, occasionally there's one or two members who drag it down to the level of another cycling forum, but apart from that it's probably the best bit of VR (apart from the betting thread naturally). I don't think the experiment in Turkey of just using a thread instead of the shoutbox worked so well - just too much hassle having to refresh to see if anyone had posted anything.

    Do seem to have a lot of guests - 264 currently. They could be spambots or something, but if you want to increase activity maybe work out some way to convert them (if that doesn't sound too sinister) into members.

    How about a free bucket of KFC per 1000 posts?  :P

    More/better emoticons.
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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 15:11 »
    How about a free bucket of KFC per 1000 posts?  :P

    I am sure the Reverent will be happy to hand out Bingo cards for every 1000 posts.

    the Velorooms store could be reanimated as well
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    Eric

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #4 on: May 12, 2014, 16:11 »
    Smaller is often better, there should be no rush to exponentially increase the number of posters.

    VR's best chance of increasing its numbers rapidly is hoping Froome causes the CN forums to self-destruct again :P
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    Flo

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #5 on: May 12, 2014, 16:21 »
    How about a free bucket of KFC per 1000 posts?

    I don't know

    "Disgusted Student Eating At KFC Finds A Wrinkled Piece Of Brain Inside His Chicken"
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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #6 on: May 12, 2014, 16:25 »
    I don't know

    "Disgusted Student Eating At KFC Finds A Wrinkled Piece Of Brain Inside His Chicken"


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  • Flo

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #7 on: May 12, 2014, 16:31 »


    Unfortunately it's real - it's on several news sites
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  • Eric

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #8 on: May 12, 2014, 16:43 »
    Unfortunately it's real - it's on several news sites

    Come on, KFC is a huge multinational company. They must have ten thousand outlets worldwide, each independent of the other, nothing in common except that their frozen chicken re-up comes from a common regional source. One example of a bad product from a single franchise doesn't mean there's some sort of corporation wide neglect to hygiene practices. There'll always be one or two incidents like that with anything that's mass produced.

    Having said that, if I found something like that in my food, I would not only never buy anything from KFC again but swear off all fast food outlets and turn vegan. :D
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  • Zam

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #9 on: May 12, 2014, 17:04 »
    It was not a brain, it was a kidney which looked like a brain.

    On topic to grow the forum.


    Some of us(especially me included) should comment more on threads and contribute more contents.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #10 on: May 12, 2014, 17:05 »
    Folks this is maybe not the thread for that anymore.

    CJ the issue may not be size. But active . We have too few doing 2 much.

    While we have great content and some really great discussions. But It comes from too few. It we have 1099 members 20 to 30 are active if we were 100 active we 1 or 2 have real life take over we would not notice. But fus and laz not here and it feels empty
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    cj2002

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #11 on: May 12, 2014, 17:27 »
    Folks this is maybe not the thread for that anymore.

    CJ the issue may not be size. But active . We have too few doing 2 much.

    While we have great content and some really great discussions. But It comes from too few. It we have 1099 members 20 to 30 are active if we were 100 active we 1 or 2 have real life take over we would not notice. But fus and laz not here and it feels empty

    Real life is a bitch... who ever thought it was a good idea?!

    You're right, of course - so the question is how to engage new(er) members and groom them into being the next RSS-feed/GT stage preview wizard, as much as it is to attract new members.

    On which subject I shall away and muse... (Because clearly I'm a modern day Shakespeare)
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  • Flo

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #12 on: May 12, 2014, 17:38 »
    It was not a brain, it was a kidney which looked like a brain.

    On topic to grow the forum.


    Some of us(especially me included) should comment more on threads and contribute more contents.

    Yes I agree
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  • just some guy

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #13 on: May 12, 2014, 17:42 »
    I guess that´s the thing for me if we have 2 chatting away in a thread 4 would be better 134 no good.

    I think we have a lot of people who read the site due to our content which is fact or link based, but we have a little too little discussion.

    and when we do it stands out

    take the Cali thread started a few gags about the 4th GT then there is a link to catch about on board camera´s and bag we have an active thread.
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  • DB-Coop

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #14 on: May 12, 2014, 17:42 »
    Folks this is maybe not the thread for that anymore.

    CJ the issue may not be size. But active . We have too few doing 2 much.

    While we have great content and some really great discussions. But It comes from too few. It we have 1099 members 20 to 30 are active if we were 100 active we 1 or 2 have real life take over we would not notice. But fus and laz not here and it feels empty

    Surely growing the forum is with the purpose of having more active users, otherwise we could all just go create 5 profiles, and success. The real question is, is it possible to have activity all the time without losing the familiar feeling of VR? I am not sure, the good thing is that we have plenty of guests that check out the site as well. How to boost both visits and members seem like important issues.

    As far as more visitors, getting linked other places and moving up google seems the quest. As far as links we just need to highlight our material enough that people will borrow it and give us link, as an example our stage previews are of a quality that is better than what many news papers can produce on their own. As an example take an article I read in Metro Express the other day, stating how Nairo Quintana is not a very good TT'er, a thing that is not true, in fact apart from Evans he will gain time on most of the main contenders in the Giro, he is a youth ITT Nat Champion, and secured Pais Vasco on his ITT. This fact VR would never have gotten wrong. So more links from electronic news media seems the best way to go about getting more visitors. As far as members go simply more visitors should bring more members. To be fair though it works well now, it is actually possible to read what is new on VR in the sections I follow without having to spend multiple hours before I am updated on every post in a thread so I can respond.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #15 on: May 12, 2014, 17:45 »
    Surely growing the forum is with the purpose of having more active users, otherwise we could all just go create 5 profiles, and success. The real question is, is it possible to have activity all the time without losing the familiar feeling of VR? I am not sure, the good thing is that we have plenty of guests that check out the site as well. How to boost both visits and members seem like important issues.

    As far as more visitors, getting linked other places and moving up google seems the quest. As far as links we just need to highlight our material enough that people will borrow it and give us link, as an example our stage previews are of a quality that is better than what many news papers can produce on their own. As an example take an article I read in Metro Express the other day, stating how Nairo Quintana is not a very good TT'er, a thing that is not true, in fact apart from Evans he will gain time on most of the main contenders in the Giro, he is a youth ITT Nat Champion, and secured Pais Vasco on his ITT. This fact VR would never have gotten wrong. So more links from electronic news media seems the best way to go about getting more visitors. As far as members go simply more visitors should bring more members. To be fair though it works well now, it is actually possible to read what is new on VR in the sections I follow without having to spend multiple hours before I am updated on every post in a thread so I can respond.

    yep it is the balance that we need to be careful about
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  • Zam

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #16 on: May 12, 2014, 17:46 »
    We need somebody to invest in the forum.. i think
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  • DB-Coop

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #17 on: May 12, 2014, 17:54 »
    We need somebody to invest in the forum.. i think
    Time or money?

    Time is already being invested by so many, money will be hard to come by, can't see how to get that without sacrificing the destiny of the forum.
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  • Zam

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #18 on: May 12, 2014, 17:55 »
    Money.
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  • DB-Coop

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #19 on: May 12, 2014, 18:02 »
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #20 on: May 12, 2014, 18:06 »
    Oleg maybe?
    I should have had a word with him yesterday when I had the chance. :fp
     ;)
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    l29205

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #21 on: May 12, 2014, 18:29 »
    Money.

    What would the money used for??  Would it be used to bring in content creators and move towards a news site with a forum?

    I have been here since day one and I really need to do a better job of participating.  Plus side is now I currently have more time to be more active.  Downside is that is because my job was just downsized.
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  • Dim

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #22 on: May 12, 2014, 18:33 »
    Yeh, I dont know where Zam was going with the money idea unless he was thinking of advertising on other sites or something.
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  • « Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 19:19 by Dim »

    just some guy

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #23 on: May 12, 2014, 18:33 »
    What would the money used for??  Would it be used to bring in content creators and move towards a news site with a forum?

    I have been here since day one and I really need to do a better job of participating.  Plus side is now I currently have more time to be more active.  Downside is that is because my job was just downsized.

    well that´sh*t news hope you get a job, that pays well, and gives more time to fourm ;) , soon
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  • mew

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #24 on: May 12, 2014, 19:02 »
    The race day shout boxes are good in the main, occasionally there's one or two members who drag it down to the level of another cycling forum, but apart from that it's probably the best bit of VR (apart from the betting thread naturally). I don't think the experiment in Turkey of just using a thread instead of the shoutbox worked so well - just too much hassle having to refresh to see if anyone had posted anything.

    Do seem to have a lot of guests - 264 currently. They could be spambots or something, but if you want to increase activity maybe work out some way to convert them (if that doesn't sound too sinister) into members.

    How about a free bucket of KFC per 1000 posts?  :P

    More/better emoticons.

     :D
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  • just some guy

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #25 on: May 12, 2014, 19:03 »
    Yeh, I dont know where Ram was going with the money idea unless he was thinking of advertising on other sites or something.

     Ram is the cricket guy

    zam is the married one ;)

    you mean zam  ;)
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  • Dim

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #26 on: May 12, 2014, 19:19 »
    Ram is the cricket guy

    zam is the married one ;)

    you mean zam  ;)

    swatised wasnt it :D
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #27 on: May 12, 2014, 19:33 »
    I have been here since day one and I really need to do a better job of participating.  Plus side is now I currently have more time to be more active.  Downside is that is because my job was just downsized.
    Damn, bad news for you.
    Sending good vibes your way, I hope things will get better soon.
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  • Zam

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #28 on: May 12, 2014, 20:22 »
    Money so that dim could go to races or hire people to go to races.
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  • Gotland

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    Re: How to grow the forum
    « Reply #29 on: May 12, 2014, 20:51 »
    This is just some random thoughts after reading the thread and thinking of it whilst making supper. Don't expect my thoughts to be coherent in anyway. Although it took some time writing this mainly becuse I write really slow. And I realised my thoughts maybe isn't as clear as I want them to be which has to do with me not writing in my mother tounge.

    As for growing I must say I like the content driven small familiar VR. I realise that at some point familiarity has a critical mass to it - somwhere down the line there will be to many members to be a small family. However we can always stay content and insightful almost regardless of how many members there are. I think as VR grows many members will branch out to sub groups for example men's road, track or women's racing. Where they willl be familiar with members, the topic and content of each sub group .

    As far as activity being low at the moment. I'm not surpised when the most prominent members of VR are doing other things at the moment. I think it is not a bad thing but, and activity will bounce back with new members being active, VR will evolve.

    On the topic of member interaction. I think there's a difference between starting a topic and writing a preview for a stage race or an one day race. In order to get more  active members in terms of the latter part I think VR needs more tasks. Those tasks should be structured, like a bare bones guide or template to follow. So when you are asked the question - cand you do this?. You know what is expected of you.  Two things come to mind race preview and race reporting from smaller races comes to mind.

    Tasks mentioned above could be collaborative. One person could be in charge to write a bare bones (or do two full pages in Guardian if he or she wishes) preview and others can add a section that is left out and everyone is credited for each part. This requires that the bare bones is relatively fixed in its content.  Members can add a section at the bottom it could be information obtained from non-anglophone media, or just "Gotland's biased thoughts on all things Emma winning this race"

    I think the concept of VR's roving reporter(s) for more senior members is something to build on (if possible). This could make more junior members aspire. I'm sure many members of VR living near races (or atleast closer to races than I do up here where the sun don't shine during winter time) would love to get and accredited to the press office and attend press conferences and report for us, or just taking selfies of ones favorite rider(s) and post them on VR :D

    On a more playful note of interaction, I think the idea of VR's banking system is quite underused. Buying, selling and stealing *stuff* is always fun.


    Maybe this is a bit far fetched, but I'm throwing it out there. why not create our own "CQ-ranking game". But more integrated in the forum and more automatic than doing calculation on a spreadsheet.

     For instance every rider with #1 in each team roster is subjected to a bidding war and can only be selected once in the competion.  Domestiques is up for grabs for everyone. Your income in the game is decided by part basic starting salary and past avtivity on VR.  To add some fariness to it maybe if you are playing a womens game then your income will be based on your postings in under womens racing.

    To sum up my thoughts. First, my point is to make it easy for moderating staff (and other dignitaries, generalissimos etc.) to ask new members to write for all members on VR. Which require a guide or a template on how to write a bare bones xyz piece for VR. Second, those task should be developed in to more than race previews. Third, Playing silly buggers is important!
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