'Tis just one of those things - some people's hobbies appear to be joining forums like some people approach 'friending' on Facebook *washes mouth out with soap*
The first Tolkien forum I joined boasts well over 80,000 member (it was started around 2002 so when the films were still red hot). I effectively left about 18 months ago having been a member for over 3 years and during an idle moment when one of my friends & I were having a jolly good bitch about how certain people seemed to think they were running Dachau on there we wondered just how active a membership they really had... We reckoned conservatively that they had a max active population of around 120 and on a 'meaningful' level (so say 5 'decent' posts a week - say about 200 characters
long) it probably came out around 55 people.
This is their latest stats -
Our users have posted 757,202 Posts in 16,479 Topics in 46 Forum(s)
We have 85,771 Forum Members
Not bad hmmm? That still only works out at roughly 8.8 posts per member...
OK look at my stats (from tonight for the time I was there bearing in mind I haven't posted on there since Xmas 2007
Account Status: Active
Joined: 06/Mar/2005 at 1:45pmLast Visit: Today at 7:48pm (effectively about 12th Dec 2007)
Posts: 4836 [3.32 posts per day
] (my highlights)
And I wasn't the most prolific poster on there by a long chalk.
That's a predominately textual roleplay forum and not just concerned with Tolkien stuff - when I joined they had 2 thriving 'creative forums where people could start their own poetry; art/photography; and fan-fiction thread and they were really humming. You could post and be top of the board at lunch and by dinner-time you'd be halfway down page 2.
Last summer they had so little participation they merged those forums because there was so little activity (1 or 2 people posting a day if they were lucky) and the other busier forums where it was mostly chat and games and little bit of very desultory and easy RP were hardly better and they had 9 of those.
Reason for this decline was because I left
I'm only half-joking in fact because my departure was mostly sparked by a perceivable downturn in my 'Home' forum - Rivendell - as it no longer had any identity and might as well have been Khazad-Dum or the Shire for all it was supposed to be Elven...
I'll leave other people to interpret our stats here - the main difference between that site and this is that the active posters here are mostly
adults over 25 - there it was and still is around the 13-17 mark...
This isn't an age thing I promise - on that giant forum there were a lot of talented people having a ball but because of a lot of factors the fun went out of it and people drifted away because the site leaders lost touch with what made it such a popular place - and with things like RP and creative forums people need to feel motivate and encouraged. They lost the plot there and tried to appeal to the majority - the kids and what they THOUGHT they wanted - fun and games and easy posting. Turns out they can get that in plenty of other places so the attrition rate was brutal and membership, committed membership that is, dwindled because people couldn't be bothered any more or felt (like me) they were flogging a dead horse.
So we're doing OK here.
This thread hasn't had much luck - doesn't matter too much because we had some feedback and people were enjoying it so I don't mind that not so many people have posted...
if you do come back - if you want to carry on I'm game to as well - and maybe other people will come and join in occasionally? So long as we're having fun tag writing and are relaxed about posting as and when we can get in then let's play on