Author Topic: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?  (Read 1252 times)

Advicot

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How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« on: January 17, 2020, 05:01:54 PM »
I've noticed while posting here there is never many guests, also there are very few recent posts unlike the DTF which I struggle to keep up with reading new posts. Furthermore many of the new members that create an account don't contribute whatsoever, and some people may have some amazing information or collection that they could share with us as a forum.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 05:04:00 PM by Advicot »
Don't I take long uploading photos!


bmathison1972

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2020, 05:45:59 PM »
A little history.

First of all, ATF is the 'youngest' of these forums. STS was well-established when ATF was formed as an off-shoot from DTF, and I think most people were just comfortable with one forum. We had more activity for a while and then a few years ago, Photobucket (a service most people were using to host their pics) highjacked everyone's images and created broken links. I think that deflated a lot of people's activity for a while, fearing they would have to recapture or re-upload all their images again. Forum activity dropped off drastically on all three forums after that. While DTF and STS recovered, ATF was much slower to.

I also think a lot of ATF activity are people who are on DTF and mostly collect dinosaurs, but occasionally also collect a few extant animals now and then.

I have tried to get STS members more involved in ATF or our new blog, but most are not taking the bite. Not sure why. Again, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact most people are content with one forum.

Historically I preferred ATF to STS because while the discussions were fewer in number on ATF, they were richer in scientific discussion (half the responses you'll get on STS are just happy emojees...). I actually stopped being active on STS for a while. I only rejoined because of the decrease in ATF activity after the Photobucket Purge. BUT, my priority always was, and will be, ATF.

So, activity comes and goes. One of the best things to do is to keep discussions moving. Or maybe posting something only on ATF and creating links to it on DTF and STS.

animaltoyforum

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2020, 06:10:27 PM »
It would be nice if it was a little busier, but it is cosy as it is. We are what we are.

That said, I'm extremely happy to explore ways we could promote the ATF. One thing that would help is social media. We have a Twitter account and a Facebook account (see http://animaltoyforum.com/index.php?topic=208.0) but I don't usually have time to do much with them. On the DTF there is a dedicated Social Media Team who share new blog posts and interesting discussions via the Twitter and Facebook accounts. I've put out calls for volunteers to manage the ATF accounts but had no takers to date, which is fair enough.

Very few members find us via search engines. A lot of DTFers found the forum via the blog. I suspect that as the Animal Toy Blog grows, its SEO (search engine optimisation) will improve, and we may see higher visitor numbers there, and a corresponding rise here. In SEO, content is king, as the saying goes, so generating interesting reviews there and discussions here, should be our first priority to generate new active guests and active members. Everything else follows from that. As things stand there is new content posted here more or less every day, which isn't too bad!

« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 06:11:37 PM by animaltoyforum »


bmathison1972

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2020, 06:48:56 PM »
I wish I was more social media savvy; I just have zero desire to get involved with Facebook, Twitter, etc.

bmathison1972

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2020, 06:50:51 PM »
... @animaltoyforum I just went to our Blog and under the 'Forum' tab, if you click 'About the animaltoyforum', the page is blank! Perhaps we should get that fleshed out!

BlueKrono

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2020, 07:02:02 PM »
I love the forums for their content - so much on social media is just useless memes and emoji reacts. But FB definitely has a better photo uploading method. If we could upload photos directly from our phone rather than having to go through a photo hosting site Im sure that both would see a huge uptick in use.
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Gwangi

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2020, 07:25:44 PM »
Forums are a dying breed, unfortunately. Back in the early 2000's they flourished, before social media of course. I was a member or moderator of at least a dozen, mostly fish keeping forums. With only a few exceptions they all became husks of their former selves before closing down completely. A few have held on but they're practically ghost towns populated mostly by its original members, the regulars. I think the reason the DTB does well is because it represents a niche hobby without a better gathering place via social media, or it's frequented by old timers (a relative term when it comes to the internet) that prefer this older style of communicating and have been members for awhile. For me the DTB is the last forum I visit with any frequency. I don't think anything can be done to bring back the popularity of forums or increase traffic.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 07:27:37 PM by Gwangi »

animaltoyforum

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2020, 09:55:21 PM »
... @animaltoyforum I just went to our Blog and under the 'Forum' tab, if you click 'About the animaltoyforum', the page is blank! Perhaps we should get that fleshed out!

Yes, we should!


animaltoyforum

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2020, 09:58:59 PM »
I love the forums for their content - so much on social media is just useless memes and emoji reacts. But FB definitely has a better photo uploading method. If we could upload photos directly from our phone rather than having to go through a photo hosting site Im sure that both would see a huge uptick in use.

You can on the ATF. but shhh! ;) See: http://animaltoyforum.com/index.php?topic=2343.0
But I haven't tested it after updating the forum software recently. Hopefully, a future forum version will make this process simpler and more like Facebook etc. I agree it is a problem, both for older members who are not tech savvy, and for younger members who are used to tech being so much simpler. Forum software must evolve!


animaltoyforum

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2020, 10:04:41 PM »
Forums are a dying breed, unfortunately. Back in the early 2000's they flourished, before social media of course. I was a member or moderator of at least a dozen, mostly fish keeping forums. With only a few exceptions they all became husks of their former selves before closing down completely. A few have held on but they're practically ghost towns populated mostly by its original members, the regulars. I think the reason the DTB does well is because it represents a niche hobby without a better gathering place via social media, or it's frequented by old timers (a relative term when it comes to the internet) that prefer this older style of communicating and have been members for awhile. For me the DTB is the last forum I visit with any frequency. I don't think anything can be done to bring back the popularity of forums or increase traffic.

I think the forum format still has benefits over modern social media, but I fear you are right. I use social media for fleeting real-world stuff, mostly promotion. Never for meaningful discussion.


Gwangi

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2020, 11:48:45 PM »
Forums are a dying breed, unfortunately. Back in the early 2000's they flourished, before social media of course. I was a member or moderator of at least a dozen, mostly fish keeping forums. With only a few exceptions they all became husks of their former selves before closing down completely. A few have held on but they're practically ghost towns populated mostly by its original members, the regulars. I think the reason the DTB does well is because it represents a niche hobby without a better gathering place via social media, or it's frequented by old timers (a relative term when it comes to the internet) that prefer this older style of communicating and have been members for awhile. For me the DTB is the last forum I visit with any frequency. I don't think anything can be done to bring back the popularity of forums or increase traffic.

I think the forum format still has benefits over modern social media, but I fear you are right. I use social media for fleeting real-world stuff, mostly promotion. Never for meaningful discussion.

I agree, 100%.

MammothProductions

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2020, 01:04:29 AM »
I love the forums for their content - so much on social media is just useless memes and emoji reacts. But FB definitely has a better photo uploading method. If we could upload photos directly from our phone rather than having to go through a photo hosting site Im sure that both would see a huge uptick in use.

You can on the ATF. but shhh! ;) See: http://animaltoyforum.com/index.php?topic=2343.0
But I haven't tested it after updating the forum software recently. Hopefully, a future forum version will make this process simpler and more like Facebook etc. I agree it is a problem, both for older members who are not tech savvy, and for younger members who are used to tech being so much simpler. Forum software must evolve!

You can, even with the new update. My phone is the only place I upload from, anyway.

MammothProductions

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2020, 04:52:56 AM »
I have noticed a severe difference in popularity between the ATF and the DTF, with the DTF having multiple members on the site constantly, with many guests, while the ATF has only several guests active and there are often no members on the site. Is there anything that can be done that can increase the popularity of the ATF to the level of the DTF, or is it jut that more people collect dinosaur figures than extant animals?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 04:53:20 AM by MammothProductions »

animaltoyforum

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2020, 11:45:46 AM »
Your observation is correct and had been a point of discussion here before. I'll merge the relevant topic and reply there. Edit - topics merged  C:-)
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 11:47:03 AM by animaltoyforum »


animaltoyforum

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2020, 11:58:40 AM »
I have noticed a severe difference in popularity between the ATF and the DTF, with the DTF having multiple members on the site constantly, with many guests, while the ATF has only several guests active and there are often no members on the site. Is there anything that can be done that can increase the popularity of the ATF to the level of the DTF, or is it jut that more people collect dinosaur figures than extant animals?

@MammothProductions Yes you are quite right. The reasons for the discrepancy are given above.

However, we are probably busier on average in recent months than we have been for several years, which is a sign that our efforts may be paying off. :D The blossoming success of the Animal Toy Blog has certainly helped. The best thing we can do to encourage people to visit the ATF is post here. The more active discussions there are the more visitors will feel inclined to participate. The more content there is, the more that search engines have to get their teeth into, so new visitors can discover us, and members and viistors have more reason to hang around.

I still occasionally drum up interest on social media pages (Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnimalToyForum has 59 followers and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/animaltoyforum/ - 1,215 page likes) but not seriously or regularly. @Halichoeres does such a great job for the Dinotoyblog Twitter account, which is why that account has 1,053 followers.

Lastly, an updated forum software release is due imminently. This may have some new features (smoother image upload) to help bring the forum experience into the 2020s.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 12:17:32 PM by animaltoyforum »


Halichoeres

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2020, 11:01:36 PM »

Lastly, an updated forum software release is due imminently. This may have some new features (smoother image upload) to help bring the forum experience into the 2020s.


Iiiinteresting.

Thanks for the kind words re: the Twitter account. I try to keep up, but I'm sometimes a little slow on the draw!

animaltoyforum

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2020, 11:23:24 PM »

Lastly, an updated forum software release is due imminently. This may have some new features (smoother image upload) to help bring the forum experience into the 2020s.


Iiiinteresting.

Thanks for the kind words re: the Twitter account. I try to keep up, but I'm sometimes a little slow on the draw!

I've never noticed any delay and it wouldn't matter anyway real time updates aren't mandatory! So long as every new review gets trumpeted at some point, that's all that matters. I really do appreciate it. 8) At some point I'll have to do some analytics on the traffic to quantify the impact it has.


MammothProductions

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2020, 04:14:40 AM »
I would support these pages, but sadly I don't have accounts on those platforms. I have never met any other collectors (to my knowledge) so I can't spread word that way either. I guess the only way is to participate in discussions on the forum then. Do we have any sort of advertising other than on social media? Maybe somebody with connections to Safari Ltd. could figure something out, I know they are always very customer friendly and encourage criticism and reviews, which this site certainly has. I might be able to make a Youtube video promoting the page, with admin permission, once I get my channel up and running again.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 04:15:31 AM by MammothProductions »


animaltoyforum

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Re: How could we encourage people to vist the ATF?
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2020, 12:42:12 PM »
I would support these pages, but sadly I don't have accounts on those platforms. I have never met any other collectors (to my knowledge) so I can't spread word that way either. I guess the only way is to participate in discussions on the forum then. Do we have any sort of advertising other than on social media? Maybe somebody with connections to Safari Ltd. could figure something out, I know they are always very customer friendly and encourage criticism and reviews, which this site certainly has. I might be able to make a Youtube video promoting the page, with admin permission, once I get my channel up and running again.

Links to this site from any other site help. I'm not sure Safari Ltd has a links section, though. Any shout-outs would be appreciated, but really, the best thing anyone can to is post - that's part of an upwards spiral content generates content.

Oh, yes, there is our Youtube account. It's the Dinotoyblog channel but I mention the ATB and ATB there often. I don't have enough content for a separate Animal Toy channel.

On the other hand, of course, keep in mind that we are not desperate for more activity. It is what it is. If ATF is more close-nit and cosy than on the DTB, then there are positives to take from that!


 



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