Where are all the people?

I still find it amazing how few people use the forums compared to years ago. If it was not for the usual stalwarts, there would be little going on here.

Lulu can track people's 'habits' while they are on the entire site, so I wonder if they can tell us how many people visit the forum compared to how many visit the other areas?

 And if they will tell us if, over all, there's fewer people using Lulu. (And perhaps a projection of how many people will now use the other 'Lulu' sites instead of this one?

How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!

Comments

  • Em_PressEm_Press Publisher
    Forums do not have their own tab. They are not easily found, people used to give hostile responses. Lulu took things into their own hands and set up a chat box (drives me crazy and I have to shut it down 10 times while I work). It's kind of smart, but I still think forums are a good way for people to vent, connect, calm down -- before they head of somewhere else and post a bad review. Exchanging with peers will never go out of style. Plus, lulu users have published more books than lulu staff, I am sure. There are tips and tricks gained from endless suffering.
     A citizen of the world.

  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    A lot of people read things without ever commenting; not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Forums do not have their own tab.

    They never have had, but perhaps Learn gives the wrong impression?

     They are not easily found, people used to give hostile responses.

    They were rare and few between compared to the worthwhile stuff, and could of course be reported, and were.

     Lulu took things into their own hands and set up a chat box (drives me crazy and I have to shut it down 10 times while I work).

    Chat box?

     It's kind of smart, but I still think forums are a good way for people to vent, connect, calm down

    Connect perhaps, but this is a self-publish site, the only connection should be about that. Venting should be left off line and if they need to calm down, they should do that first.

     -- before they head of somewhere else and post a bad review.

    Of Lulu? But there's not even much in the way of people slagging Lulu off as there used to be. BTW. What happened to the Suggestions area?

     Exchanging with peers will never go out of style.

    Where are they all then? Are all who use Lulu now so expert they need no clarification or help?

     Plus, lulu users have published more books than lulu staff, I am sure. There are tips and tricks gained from endless suffering.

    Perhaps they have, but it's Lulu staff who have to compose the guides, and they always have. One hopes they have improved so much that the forum is now not needed? And that would be a shame because the layout of this one is quite 'tidy'.

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    A lot of people read things without ever commenting; not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself.

    And they have always done that too, far more than now in fact. But I often wondered how many of the Views were search-engine web spiders looking for things. Or people directed to here via search engines, only to find out it was not what they really wanted.

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • HULSEYHULSEY UK Creator
    I always catch up with the news on the forums and respond when necessary. Rather than a chat line, I suppose people mainly visit here to remedy publishing problems and appreciate the help. I'm now accustomed to the new set up. The initial forum after all was a bit outdated. 
  • Getting a dedicated tab on the home page for the Community has been a continual struggle. One day maybe...

    I think this is the biggest reason we see less traffic here. We emphasize using our email and chat support and those channels seem to be working. Before most users realize there are forums, they've already found their answers.

    Regarding the Suggestion thread - we removed it when we started implementing changes, and it never got brought back. We certainly could add a Suggestions category. I'm pretty open to molding this space to fit users needs.
  • Em_PressEm_Press Publisher
    A tab up top like before would be great...

    A Suggestion area, too. Without the option of debate and comments.
     A citizen of the world.

  • I agree having a tab that says learn to get to the forum may mislead some people. I know when they first changed from the old link, it took me forever to find the forum. I do like the forum as it is a great place to vent, get opinions, advice, or sometimes just to say hi.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Getting a dedicated tab on the home page for the Community has been a continual struggle. One day maybe...

    Between you and me, some while back Lulu gained a new head, and the site seemed to slowly change towards funnelling people towards Lulu's paid for services. I am sure this will be denied. :(

    I think this is the biggest reason we see less traffic here.

    When people first arrive at Lulu they see different tabs. If they click the main Learn one it takes them to a page of videos, perhaps they don't bother clicking on the Forum links to the right? The word Forum is not an actual link, though, so their choices are limited. The Tabs at the top there are still the same. Arriving at the forum page, the Tabs now do change and one is Community, even though that is where you are. Support goes to Lulu's Help page, but one it also had a link to the forums.

     We emphasize using our email and chat support and those channels seem to be working.

    I do see a lot of Help on the support page, but in the end it leads to a fill-in contact form. I see no Chat option. At one time almost every page everywhere here had a Help link at the top right.

     Before most users realize there are forums, they've already found their answers.

    Let's hope that is true, but unless we know the figures it's hard to tell how many people are using that, when they used to visit the forums. Often they hit the forums when Lulu themselves did not give very fast help via email. 

    Regarding the Suggestion thread - we removed it when we started implementing changes, and it never got brought back. We certainly could add a Suggestions category. I'm pretty open to molding this space to fit users needs.

    It did tend to be a bit misused. People suggesting Lulu should get their finger out with a personal problem or gripe. People using it to promote a book. Spam, etc., and I think people got fed up of hardly any suggestions being used. Not to mention any response was often slow, so forum users often replied with things like "Lulu already do that", but it was changed so only staff could reply.

    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • I think the suggestion tab was great. It was a great place for authors to give suggestions on improving the site or it's use.
  • It took a little while before I found the forum link.  It's a case of out of sight, out of mind.  If it's not forum link at first sight (without having to scroll), most will not go looking for it, presuming there isn't one.
  • That was the intention --because there was so much fighting here.


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Years ago there never used to be much fighting, and that's when 100s of people a day used it. Much later users dropped, in fact I did because a change to the forum tool made it almost impossible to use, never mind to find. Later, and another tool change, and even fewer uses, it was just one or two who became 'trollish', (it's always been my opinion that people should not log on drunk or high) but I doubt it was the intention of anyone to 'hide' the forums because of that, they could have simply shut them down. But here it is under a new guise, and still devoid of people.
    How Do. Pull up a chair. Would you like a cup of tea? Don't sit in that chair!!
  • Rita101Rita101 Reader
    As a person who has just begun the journey, a total newbie in other words, I looked for a forum first thing, before I began the nitty gritties, to find out whether there was/is a community.

    I first heard about Lulu.com about ten (?) years ago, and always thought I'd like to try out its service. There seems now to be much less news about Lulu.com in the writing and publishing domain but that may only be due to it no longer being the only one of its kind. 


  • Hi Rita. Lulu was one of three I was checking out. My friend was using this site and they paid by Paypal which won my vote here. Once I've learned ropes so to speak I have no complaints. Support has been excellent to me and I always get paid when I'm supposed to. They are also adding some great new ways for authors to get books sold. The Global Distribution used to be $75 I think and is now free. It makes a difference in sales for me. Hope you enjoy it here.
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