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A friendly place to share small business ideas and knowledge, ask questions, find help and encourage others that are involved in the small business industry. Topics include small business marketing, generating revenue and small business computing.

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Old 6th March 2015, 01:07 PM   #1
DantheMan
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Default What can the members do to make this forum better than it already is?

Spider (and Logan),

I'm happy you mentioned contributing and stop coming.
It raises a question I've had for the past few days.
What can the members do to make this forum better than it already is?
I did a little research...there's about 10 admin/moderator/VIP members and about 10 senior level members (I'm only talking active in the past 3 months or so. I looked at some statistics and found not many "referrals" recorded. I would rather participate in a project to improve the whole forum than to help a few with my blog/diary type contribution.

My point is, I see a few members on the forum and tons of guests. Some of those guests could be members logged in, I have no clue.

What are your thoughts on this?

I can reword and repost the idea in another category or start a poll, but what can we do that would be most effective with rules to ensure the forum's credibility at the same time?


Dan

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Old 6th March 2015, 04:36 PM   #2
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I've gone ahead and made this a new thread after Dan touched bases with me. These posts were originally part of this thread

http://www.smallbusinessbrief.com/fo...t=67464&page=5

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Old 6th March 2015, 05:36 PM   #3
Spider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DantheMan View Post
Spider (and Logan),
I'm happy you mentioned contributing and stop coming.
It raises a question I've had for the past few days.
What can the members do to make this forum better than it already is?
I did a little research...there's about 10 admin/moderator/VIP members and about 10 senior level members (I'm only talking active in the past 3 months or so. I looked at some statistics and found not many "referrals" recorded. I would rather participate in a project to improve the whole forum than to help a few with my blog/diary type contribution.
My point is, I see a few members on the forum and tons of guests. Some of those guests could be members logged in, I have no clue.
What are your thoughts on this?
I can reword and repost the idea in another category or start a poll, but what can we do that would be most effective with rules to ensure the forum's credibility at the same time?
Dan
I feel the same, and anything that will increase activity will be good, but I often see many people viewing individual threads. I think SB Ideas is already one of the most active business discussion forum around.

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Old 6th March 2015, 05:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider View Post
I think SB Ideas is already one of the most active business discussion forum around.
True, but not very active. I've often wondered about this. I can find football forums where thousands of passionate fans are on all day long ... nothing exists with a high level activity when it comes to small biz. Why? Don't know.

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Old 6th March 2015, 05:52 PM   #5
DantheMan
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Default Referrals

Where are all the bloggers, copy, content, SEO, SEM and marketers?
I know members use the forum for link building and such, wouldn't the return be multiplied by forum mentions and links in articles/social media site pages?
What would be a best practice for referring others?


Dan

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Old 6th March 2015, 06:22 PM   #6
DantheMan
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Default Guests and New Members' Comments Wanted

Ok, for everyone without any marketing experience, there are no excuses for not participating.


Is there a reason you have a question, but don't ask?
Does it discourage you when a question goes unanswered for two days?
How many questions have you asked and not seen a single reply?
Are you concerned someone else has already answered your question and you need to read 2,000 posts to find the answer?
Is your question related to old thread or post?
Is the person you had a question for no longer active in the forum?
Are you intimidated by asking questions?

Reply with these or any reason you have for not asking questions.
If you had all the answers, you wouldn't be here !


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Old 6th March 2015, 07:23 PM   #7
Spider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
True, but not very active. I've often wondered about this. I can find football forums where thousands of passionate fans are on all day long ... nothing exists with a high level activity when it comes to small biz. Why? Don't know.
Logsn - You asked Why....

A poll (Associated Press-GfK poll) indicates that 49% of Americans claim to be footbal fans. That is over 160 million people.

According to the SBA, there are 28 million small businesses.
22 million small businesses are non-employers (ie, a business of one.)
That leaves 6 million small businesses that employ people.

However, The SBA Office of Advocacy defines a small business as an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. I suggest that SB IDEAS does not really cater for employers of 500 people. I would guess our visitors are more likely to be one-person businesses or owners of businesses with 10 employees or less.

So, a fair estimate of potential visitors to SB IDEAS might be no more than 25 million people compared to over 160 million potential visitors to footbal forum.

Also, I would suggest footall fans are more likely to want to talk about football than small business owners want to talk about business. One might argue that 100% of football fans talk about football (talking about is is a definition of a fan!), while 1 in 10 business people wanting to talk about their business might be a stretch. If you acccept this, you have 160 million potential football discussion forum visitors to 2˝ million potential SB forum visitors.

Mind you, I expect you would be happy with a small percentage of that 2˝ million. Logan!

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Old 6th March 2015, 07:39 PM   #8
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Here's a suggestion that might reduce the drop-out rate.

When a member has not posted in a while (several months, perhaps) an automatic e-mail message could be sent to say, "We miss you! You haven't posted in SB Ideas forum since..... and your last post was..... Why not come back and see who has responded or join a current discussion."

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Old 6th March 2015, 08:03 PM   #9
DantheMan
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RE: American Football (not soccer) has mostly American fans.
I'm a football fan. I've never talked to anyone online about football. Why? Because I can't use the information I would get.
Small business is an international market.
How many people in the world WANT or have a small business of their own?
Is the American Dream to watch football or be an entrepreneur?

I like the no activity response idea; however, that's a corrective action task for the admin/moderator. Can we find preventive actions for the members to involve each other, the guests who only read, and new members?


Dan

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Old 7th March 2015, 09:54 AM   #10
Logan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider View Post
Here's a suggestion that might reduce the drop-out rate.

When a member has not posted in a while (several months, perhaps) an automatic e-mail message could be sent to say, "We miss you! You haven't posted in SB Ideas forum since..... and your last post was..... Why not come back and see who has responded or join a current discussion."
I believe this is already in place, although I can certainly walk through the sign up process, etc to make sure things are fine tuned. Always room for improvement.

Quote:
Does it discourage you when a question goes unanswered for two days?
How many questions have you asked and not seen a single reply?
Not sure that is an issue, but I'm all ears if others have a concern in that area. Note, we have reached this point by relying completely on an all volunteer operation (including myself).

Quote:
Are you concerned someone else has already answered your question and you need to read 2,000 posts to find the answer?
I like that question, I think most/all forums can generally improve on making the golden nuggets more accessible. Sure, every forum has a search. But my interpretation is that many members come here and cull the previous threads for the information they are seeking. Seems most find some value in that process. Opportunity there my gut says.

Thanks to both you guys for taking the time to discuss. I'll be coming back to this thread and saying more, but for now I am off to enjoy my day skiing with my son!

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