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Looking at the site statistics today and I am alarmed at an obvious downward trend. The number of "registered" users coming to the site every day seems to be maintained at an average of around 250 to 275 per day however years ago we were averaging 600 registered users per day peaking at up to 1,000 (the graph peaks are a result of the weekly email that goes out). I believe this drop is caused purely by Facebook. But what is concerning is the huge downward trend in the number of posts per day. This could be caused by Covid-19 but I would have thought that the numbers would increase given that everyone was in lock down spending more time on the internet.

 

Let me explain what happens when the number of posts drop...there is less to read resulting in less interest resulting in less posts again and as it keeps dropping the number of registered users coming to the site each day begins to drop...the end result is the site's closure due to cost/benefit. The other thing is when the number of registered users start to drop, which I feel we are approaching, a turn around is extremely difficult, the term "free fall" comes to mind.

 

This site has been going for some 18 years and in its heyday, before Facebook, it was the go to place for all recreational aviators to get help from each other, discuss one's flying experiences and to just get social with other like minded aviators.

 

We need to do something...but I don't know what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Your thoughts?????????

 

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I notice that the activity drops on both sites on the weekends, especially Saturday - all day- and Sunday morning.

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I personally believe all single-purpose forums have a limited lifespan. Life is all about balance - you can't breathe, live, and talk about aircraft, every waking minute of the day, without being seen as a little obsessive.

It's the same for tractor forums, welding forums, old machinery forums, gardening forums, collector forums, lawnmower forums, baby forums - they're all based around one particular obsession.

Obsessiveness is a common human trait, but it makes people become quite boring, when all they can talk about, is one particular obsession they have.

 

I come here to learn a few diverse things, have a chat about a few diverse things, chat to other quite intelligent people, whose knowledge and intelligence I find interesting.

Aircraft are just one of my interests, but I don't have adequate finances to indulge in aircraft ownership, and any potential flying ability of mine, is probably no longer possible due to health issues.

But I do like diverse discussions on many subjects, without obsession. I do like variety in a forum. I have been on numerous other single-purpose forums that just died, because they were too narrowly-focused.

 

There are many demands on our time, our money and our interests. Then people also start to realise that they're spending too much time online, and its time to catch up on the necessary jobs that have to be done.

Then there's those people who read a lot on forums, and rarely contribute. I think they feel they have little to contribute, or perhaps they're just slow on the keyboard.

I think you will find there is a need for the forum owner and the contributors to keep the forum interesting and varied, to cater for all tastes, and to keep up a fairly constant level of users.

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Did you know that generally the most popular online communities all started with a specific subject or obsession...many started by just being an online community about a specific computer game or other specific thing. However, they all diversified broadening their appeal into many other areas. For example that one specific computer game spread to other computer games and then to general life subjects and ended up forums catering to everything and which that specific computer game still exists on their site but just as 1 of the many different subject forums they have on their site. Most top successful forums also have more than just the forum function as well like i was trying to create when we used the IPS software. One specific feature they have is that users can fine tune areas like Whats New to just the subjects they are interested in, something you can't do in here (Xenforo software)

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Are they the stats for recflying, social aus, or both?

Just Recreational Flying

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i think your formats are OK as they are . You have plenty of latitude to have a lot of variation in the Off topic. bit.. Depends on whether you want to be philosophers and flyers have a confessional or what.. There's room for the lot and more I think you must maintain the "essence" or you have no common bond and it's "Little Planes" as there's no other serving that aspect of things, and most HERE are NOT rich. Over the years, we have lost a lot of quite knowledgeable people and that's a pity, but may be inevitable.. You can run out of puff etc and drift away. Nev

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" given that everyone was in lock down spending more time on the internet. "

Not all are able to keep away from " Have you done that yet as I need another thing done NOW !. "

It's never ending.

spacesailor

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We need many more posts of value to entice new users and to get discussions going

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Maybe the downturn in forum posts in the last few months just reflects less aviation activity as a result of Covid plus winter weather, leaving people with less to talk about.

Even at the best of times, probably more than 80% of the posts come from less than 20% of the users. I'm one of those who comes here regularly but don't post that often, but I'm not on Facebook either.

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I'm here for hours every day especially when it's 12 deg and feels like 9. Far too much as far as my wife is concerned. Been on other forums where you visit once a week and were the last to post. Go to one occasionally where half a dozen have a natter each morning in the Shout Box (chat room), post unintelligble gibberish for half an hour before going to work, but the last forum topic post was in April. I know we are here at different times during the day, but I have never seen a conversation in our chatroom.

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So with all the Covid 19 restrictions affecting our lives, flying activities have also taken a big hit.

Flying clubs, training organisations, forums, etc; have all suffered as a result, not to mention reduced financial incomes in many, many cases.

So what have you all been doing as a result of this?

This great site is also reported to have much reduced activity, so tell us about some of the things you have done during this period, and hopefully we can swell the activity numbers a bit.

Every post is then and opportunity for someone to respond to, and hopefully it is interesting and worthwhile to someone else.

 

I tend to give TIF's as Birthday gifts to young male relations and friends. This way they not only get to experience something new, which is in most cases exciting for them, and they then brag with their friends that they flew an airplane and will probably put a photo or three on Facebook. About 16yrs ago a customer of mine asked me for ideas for a Birthday present for her 16yr old son. Unbeknown to her, I built in the cost of a TIF into an automatic gate quote I did for them, and gave it to him. She said it was the best thing ever, and the last I heard was that he about to go for his twin rating.

Going back just a few years ago, i'd deliberately leave copies of my flying magazines when visiting the doctors, dentist, or barbers in a bid to promote interest in flying.

For many years, I had a sticker on the back widow of my van which read "I'd sooner be flying with Schofields Flying club"

Maybe more advertising is needed, which need not necessarily be expensive. All clubs should have something similar in my opinion.

If nothing is done to promote something, it's normally easy to assess what improvements you could expect.

 

Recreational Flying!

Why pay $200 to jump out of an airplane.

For about half that, you could experience flying one.

Ph. No.##########

 

Schools. TAFE colleges, boys clubs, gym's, etc; are all ripe for potential promotions.

 

Your comments please!

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...I tend to give TIF's as Birthday gifts to young male relations and friends...

Not politically correct, Planey, What about the girls?

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Not politically correct, Planey, What about the girls?

 

Was wondering when someone would bring that up?

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I am on this site every day, often for more hours than I should be, and far more than my wife is happy with. I try to add at least one, and often more, aircraft profiles to the Showcase each day. It is obviously drawing some attention, with close to 18,000 views of the 300+ profiles since 29 February when the first profile was posted on this Xenforo site. I have been on other sites which may only have 2 or 3 posts per month.

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I haven't been for a fly since the 29th of Feb.

 

Still visit this site at least twice a day.

 

It's easy to divert into some other activity because of the lock down or lose interest.

 

With a lot of student pilots grounded or unable to afford training they have probably found another outlet.

 

There isn't much inspiration to to become a commercial pilot at the moment.

 

Things are changing and who knows what's at the end of the tunnel.

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I haven't been for a fly since the 29th of Feb.

 

Still visit this site at least twice a day.

 

It's easy to divert into some other activity because of the lock down or lose interest.

 

With a lot of student pilots grounded or unable to afford training their probably found another outlet.

 

There isn't much inspiration to to become a commercial pilot at the moment.

 

Things are changing and who knows what's at the end of the tunnel.

 

I feel for those youngins who have the desire to fly commercially it's pretty much a dead end road for the foreseeable future?

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I check the site several times a day and must admit there is les that interests me than there was a couple of years back. Don’t know why.

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My personal experience is I put a post up, a select few pick it to bits and just come out with BS comments. Makes me not want to visit or post. I visit maybe a dozen times a year when bored or not building my planes. I stay in touch with a select few on Facebook. The ones I enjoy socialising with.

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Two negative things about posts that annoy me and perhaps put others off.

 

1. Someone does something different to someone else and gets belittled and ridiculed. (This can be subtle and disguised as a joke)

A times there is a bit of "jumping on the bandwagon" from others if the original protagonist is a well known member.

This puts other people off posting, less they receive the same response.

 

2. People try to railroad, control and censor certain threads. Especially the accident threads.

This is like watching a tv show that you don't like and complaining about it.

If you don't like what people are posting, stop reading the thread.....simple.

I do this at times, and can confirm it works well ?

 

I've probably put up more posts in the last month than ever before.....

I put up the alternator/ lithium battery thread recently. Sort of semi related to aircraft.

What about the regular users commit to one new thread per week?

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Two negative things about posts that annoy me and perhaps put others off.

 

1. Someone does something different to someone else and gets belittled and ridiculed. (This can be subtle and disguised as a joke)

A times there is a bit of "jumping on the bandwagon" from others if the original protagonist is a well known member.

This puts other people off posting, less they receive the same response.

 

2. People try to railroad, control and censor certain threads. Especially the accident threads.

This is like watching a tv show that you don't like and complaining about it.

If you don't like what people are posting, stop reading the thread.....simple.

I do this at times, and can confirm it works well ?

 

I've probably put up more posts in the last month than ever before.....

I put up the alternator/ lithium battery thread recently. Sort of semi related to aircraft.

What about the regular users commit to one new thread per week?

 

You just described a part of human nature, to be expected on any forum.

We are ALL very opinionated, a trait that we often don't even recognise ourselves?

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Not politically correct, Planey, What about the girls?

OK, I'll bite :wave:

 

Where does 'politically correct' come in? Ok, girls generally seem less interested in flying than boys, but plenty have just not been brought up to expect to enjoy it, often by mummies and daddies who've been brought up with that expectation. After all, only a small proportion of boys end up as aircrew. Go on, give the girls a chance to say 'no thanks'.

 

Back to the OP, I don't see a short term problem; the graphs show a drop off, true, but only back to the levels at the beginning of the year with a COVID-time swell through the southern autumn. Longer term, it's the same with forum format discussions this side of the world with a lot of contributers preferring the immediacy of Facebook and the like. Personally, I find those FB-style discussions about as engrossing as a chat in the flying club bar ~ fine at the time but rarely memorable.

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