Building membership

Is a lot different than it used to be. When I joined the planet, there were a handful of core posters, many of whom are still around. You need that solid core to help the direction and tone of the community.

When I took over there, that part was well in place. I devoted a lot of time to search engine optimization, getting the word out, and cross marketing with other teams forums (anyone remember the F2FA?). Over time this worked. It took years, but by 2007, for a time, the Planet was the largest busiest Patriots board. That Superbowl is still the busiest day in the Planets history:

Most users ever online was 2,068, 02-04-2008 at 12:15 AM.

For reasons.

Anyway, the Internet is far different now than it was in 2003. Back then, even MySpace was a dubious marketing tool (though I did create a page for PP there too).

So what can we do today? I don’t have the time I did then to go to other boards and lure people here. That might be an effective way still, I am not sure. Feel free if you have time to do so.

But no, today everyone is on social media, and it seems to me that is a good way to start. BSU has both a Twitter and a Facebook. When I am able, I link to threads on here on both of those accounts.

So if you are interested in helping market the place, there are a couple of things you can do to help along these lines I think. You can follow the board on those platforms:

https://twitter.com/BostonSportsUpr

And like and repost things from there.

But you can also share links directly from the board here. At the bottom of the first post in every thread is a little LINK symbol. If you hit that, you can directly share a link to the thread in your own feeds.

Open any other ideas people have. These kinds of things need to be a membership effort to work, and we can not count on members of the Planet to be our only membership. We need to cast wider than that.

Thank you for your time and your thoughts.

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Here is where the LINK icon is.

I will do what I can to help :slight_smile:

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So we can talk about the Plan…kidding! Kidding!

It’s threads like these that do remind me that your heart is in the right place. I mean that sincerely. With that said, I will say this:

I believe that the key to generating content that would drive people to the board is to provide them with a product that isn’t available elsewhere. Basic tenet of capitalism, I know, but I believe it holds true here. I believe that was the original intent of this board, as it was originally an unfiltered, unmoderated site. This site grew to be otherwise and I think we’re now seeing the effects.

I believe that this board is now exactly a reflection of what it actually is. It’s essentially a subforum for PatriotsPlanet that’s predominantly Red Sox game threads. That’s absolutely fine for those that are interested in that and if that’s what you envision this board becoming, then I think you’re on the right course.

On the other hand, I again believe that going back to the previous form of this board is the only way this board is going to differentiate itself. Yes, I feel you on “We need to build up the membership so that it can self-police” but I think that’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy in that the membership will never get built up to that degree if the place ISN’T self-policed. That, and let’s be fair, it was really only one person that really publicly complained and objected to the unmoderated nature of the place.

I believe that this board is currently suffering from the same thing that the Planet is, where it’s a small membership of people that are willing to abide by a policy of “We don’t talk about that”. Currently, this board is comprised of Planeteers that have a little bit of extra time that like a little extension from the Planet (that’s not a knock on anyone and I believe that if I were still eligible to post that I would actually be a member over here as I think it’s a cool project idea and I like to support such ingenuity). The only way to change that is to change the actual substance.

As the legion of banned posters from the Planet will tell you (we’re a nice little support group, unfortunately, no one had any contact info on TipRoast) this whole policy of “We don’t talk about that” grates on many and it’s particularly demoralizing when someone is actually sent packing for this.

I think a return to an unfiltered nature and advertisement on places like Reddit (I don’t MyFace but I’d actually be happy to try to attract over on Reddit) and other social media sites is the right way to go (as opposed to flat out poaching from other forums, places like Reddit are where the current population of posters lives (and not that Reddit subs don’t have their issues and that is something that a board like this could drill into).

Anyway, I don’t say this as a slam on you at all or anything. And it’s not my style to flat out demand that you change the overall vision for this forum (as I believe that’s what led this board to this point) but I can say that I would happily market this place if I did agree with the vision and I believe that this notion of “we can’t get to self-policing until we build up the membership” while well-meaning, I also believe that it’s currently the detriment that’s holding it back (I believe that the current wave of the future is the Reddit unfiltered nature and any place that ISN’T like that gets rejected off-hand, fairly or not).

Thanks for the feed back, I am open to all feedback.

I knew when I opened this site, there was a high likelihood it would never get anywhere. Let me start with that. It is difficult to build a forum community. Even when built, its difficult to keep it going.

I believe that where we currently are, if it is completely unfiltered and unmoderated, you will be here by yourself. I would imagine a place that is completely rule-less will get shut down by outside factors unless it is on the dark web anyway.

I like Reddit. I like that “posts that don’t contribute to the discussion” of the topic at hand are down-voted into oblivion. You need to sort by controversial to even see them. The average user browsing Reddit only sees posts that the COMMUNITY has deemed are the best ones.

But Reddit is pretty moderated as well. I once got a temp ban from a subreddit for a week simply asking a mod about a rule. He never did give me an answer. All those subreddits are all little fiefdoms moderated differently, and there are plenty of bans.

Here is another thing. I am not looking to run a Political forum. If I was this would be Boston Politics Uproar or something. I don’t think they really have much of a place on a sports forum, but they are here to catch those posts in this volatile climate.

At one point, I was in favor of not having a political form at all on the Planet. And I would say a good portion of members who have been banned have been because of that forum. I still don’t think its a great idea on a sports based forum. I go with what the membership wants usually.

But I tolerate it, IF PEOPLE TALK TOPICALLY. I am not running a platform, and spending my own money every month for people to be vicious with each other on my dime. Its not fun for me.

Sport trolls are fun. We used to have a lot of fun with them on the Planet.

Vicious personal attacks using real life bio information are not fun.

This place will be more unfiltered, but to start off that way chases off every poster who is more interested only in topical discussion.

my $0.02.

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Consider this. The first third of the posted rules for the /r/politics subreddit…

Treat others with basic decency. No personal attacks, shill accusations, hate-speech, flaming, baiting, trolling, witch-hunting, or unsubstantiated accusations. Threats of violence will result in a ban. More Info.
Do not post users’ personal information. Users who violate this rule will be banned on sight. Witch-hunting and giving out private personal details of other people can result in unexpected and potentially serious consequences for the individual targeted. More Info.
Vote based on quality, not opinion. Political discussion requires varied opinions. Well written and interesting content can be worthwhile, even if you disagree with it. Downvote only if you think a comment/post does not contribute to the thread it is posted in or if it is off-topic in /r/politics. More Info.

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If you dislike Politics, why even have a political sub-forum? simplify it to sports

I may end up doing just that. I was under the impression it was a category that was highly sought-after. If it turns out it’s not I may get rid of it or it may just die on the vine.

I usually only talk about politics as a means of taking cheap shots at politicians … on all sides of the aisle. Does the lack of a Politics sub-forum mean such cheap shots would be verboten?

It may make sense to keep it if only as a place to move a thread that turns political.

First thanks for that post. It was well reasoned and civil. You can be a quality poster when you choose to be.

I guess this is me. I’m all on board for unfiltered. I’m totally in on unmoderated. Hell I’m a goddamned thread jacking legend at PP.

But if I can’t disagree with someone without the threat of that someone throwing my personal life out into public, that’s not discourse. That’s bullying. Its distasteful and frankly its low brow. And it’s a hill that I will die on.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to have a rule (and someone to enforce it) that says " Don’t use peoples real life personal information as a way to win an internet argument". But obviously this isn’t a perfect world and we need that rule, and someone to enforce it.

If membership grows here and the posting mores turn to personal attacks and doxxing and just general cesspooliness then fine. I just won’t post here anymore. I don’t mean that as a threat or an ultimatum. I really don’t. I’m just one person and my preferences shouldn’t be weighed any differently than anyone else’s. Its just what I choose to do and how I choose to spend my time. The community will grow into whatever it grows into and we all have to decide if we want to be a part or not.

I don’t have any grand ideas about building membership. The only time I tried to help someone build a message board it failed miserably. So take anything I say with a grain of salt.

I would think that making BSU look as active and engaged as possible would be key. The worst thing that can happen is for a new poster to wander in when there isn’t an active game thread and its been 6 hours since the last post in the entire forum.

Game threads are awesome but we need more varied topics. And then at least some if them need to spur actual discussions. I asked a question a while back about megathreads. Maybe we don’t want a million of them but a few frequently updated ones can show a more consistent activity level. And offer a new poster a low risk point of entry.

I’m not sure if I’m accurately conveying my thoughts here but I hope you get the gist.

As for politics, I’m actually not against it. I’m not interested in participating myself but if people want to its no skin off my nose. Just keep it mostly civil. And out of the non political threads.

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I haven’t read all of your post (sorry, I’m busy right now) and i will say that if YOU are saying that I can be reasonable though then it MUST be true! :grin:

That, and now that I know you’re not who I was admittedly mistaken in you being we truly have no beef…

I say all of that to say that you were not who I was talking about when I was saying who publicly demanded the vision of this board be changed on their whim. You might not have liked my style but I certainly never saw you bark at the Clown calling him a pussy and demanding that the board be shaken up.

Edit: I took the three seconds to read your post (i’m not THAT busy after all…) and you actually address the above (rather clairvoyantly, I might add). You can have a fiery disagreement with me, that’s fine. You certainly have. It’s the demanding that the board admin bend to your preferences is where there’s an issue and on that one my issue is decidedly not with you.

I wasn’t exaggerating when I said if you had gone on as you were, you would be the only one here. It wasn’t one person demanding anything. Not everyone spoke publicly. No one enjoyed that behavior.

It may not have influenced your decision-making, I’m just saying it wasn’t TPS that I was referring to.

How do you build membership?

In today’s world of instant feedback needed for many posters, a loyal base is needed to respond to any new poster. Most lurk and read the environment and based on what they read join or move on. You need a welcome committee of sorts to be there to engage any new poster.

I don’t see enough of a base yet to do that. Other boards I joined, all of the sports, more specific Football with one baseball, either had that committee of people willing to spend the time to engage or failed.

I went to the Many boards posted and waited two days for a reply, sometimes more. No one is joining those boards.

FB, instagram, Twitter, are all busy and most posters want a response to their post right then and there. Something happened to diminish people from joining here. Could be it is Baseball heavy, could be lack of numbers to respond, it could be a number of things.

I would love to see this place strive, I don’t think it will as it currently exist, it needs members who are willing to engage and entertain others to thrive. There is a solid base but more are needed.

Who is the last poster to join and add in 3 post a day 4 out of 7 days? I can’t think of one before TylerD.

How can we members engage people to stay? One way is to not have constant little bitchfest occupying the board. Other is a wide variety of topic people can agree on.

I asked why have politics if the owner doesn’t enjoy it? Not because I have same or different views but because politics is cesspool of hate. Add it once you have a base of people who can have simple discourse and possibly talk about it without blowing a load every time someone disagree with them. As this point it is an empty sub forum with minimal activity at best and most of it is negative in nature, not topic.

Time to see if we can get more variety of topics, sports topics, even off the wall stuff that draws in readers not divides as they arrive.

This is kind of interesting. I just earned a badge here for sharing a link that was visited by a certain number of ‘Outside Visitors.’ I didn’t even know it was tracked, but this is good to know…

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I do think that there has to be room on any forum for laughing at a poster clumsily trying to claim an article readily available on the internet as his own intellectual property.

I mean, c’mon, if you can’t chuckle at that then what’s the point of the internet? Seriously.

Wait, THAT^ got flagged for mod action?

That said, as a point of clarification, this being the feedback thread and all, does that mean that the above post was flagged by a mod or a member?

Because there were absolutely no rules broken in the above post. I cited another member having broken the rules, but there was no attack and there’s no rules against citing rules.

That topic has been covered in another thread. You didn’t agree with the resolution and that is fine, but it is what it is.

This thread is for talking about building membership. Posts like that are guaranteed to derail the thread into another pointless argument.

If you can contribute like your first post in this thread, we can start building constructively, and maybe get to the point where members can police and have more freedoms in a more unfiltered environment. If you are just looking to take pokes at people, it is not going to do anything to help build membership.

I had a couple more items to discuss (civilly, I promise) but got busy.

Not sure when I’ll have the time to flesh them out, I’ve got plenty of work that I’m not attending to and then I’m heading to the Pats preseason game tonight (“who the hell takes their third game of the preseason like it’s bullshit?” RIP, Denny).

Suffice to say, I think presenting a unique product is what this board (and any board) needs to sustain itself. I think a board that has an open townhall style thread like this is an example of that, yes.