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Many members, few regulars on the forums

How about a mailshot to all members, very few of which are here with us on the new-ish forums,  asking them to give the community a try again? As much as I like the cosiness of a relatively small number of folks on here regularly, I'd sacrifice that in an instant if we could attract many former regular contributors, and of course, members, new or old, who have never mosied on over here ever. Wouldn't it be great if we could get these forums swinging again.
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  • That is an interesting idea. We might be a little held back in terms of segmenting a group of users who have at least been active in the last year or so, but I will look into this and see if we can send something out to users who have visited but maybe haven't posted in the last 12 months.
  • I hope that comes off. Thanks, Paul.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    There did used to be 100s using the forums. Many of which only used it to get one book done, then never bothered using it again. But there were a great many regulars helping people out, too. (And far more trolls!) I think this is the 3rd incarnation of the forum, and with each change, fewer and fewer people use it (and fewer and fewer categories to use.) And, sorry Lulu, I know you are a business, but there came a point when the entire site was also slowly adjusted to point new users in the direction of Lulu's paid for Services. But at the same time the Knowledge Base was also tidied up, made easier to navigate, and simplified. (But the search engine is still rubbish!) Maybe people no longer need to ask in the forums? But it would be good if they did, and it would be great if there were more contributors in general.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    There does seem to be many views of each thread, but I have often wondered if that also includes hits by general search engine webspiders?
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    That there have been so few replies to this shows the need for this  :)
  • Yes, it's a great shame. We can't drag 'em in here by the scruff of the neck, so, what is to be done?
  • wildwindwildwind Publisher

    I have a feeling that most people use the forum as a place to get information that they need to publish their book, and don't have an interest in debating and philosophizing, and there is nothing wrong with that.


  • Well, no, but it is a forum first and foremost, Caesar didn't read the scrolls behind one of the columns and then buggar off with Ptolemy's written battle plan without saying a word. This is for chewing the fat, and we need more people to do so. We would get wider POVs, wider experiences, different hints and tips, which things to avoid doing. We may even get someone's snaps from a fortnight's caravan holiday in February in Berwick-upon-Tweed, or a link to a video where a parrot sings the entire Sgt Pepper album, but I could live with that, the greater buzz about the place would be worth it.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I have a feeling that most people use the forum as a place to get information that they need to publish their book, and don't have an interest in debating and philosophizing, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    That's only partly true. When 100s a day used the forums they did both. The debating etc., is also over the contents of books mentioned. Self-publishers create content.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Well, no, but it is a forum first and foremost, Caesar didn't read the scrolls behind one of the columns and then buggar off with Ptolemy's written battle plan without saying a word. This is for chewing the fat, and we need more people to do so. We would get wider POVs, wider experiences, different hints and tips, which things to avoid doing. We may even get someone's snaps from a fortnight's caravan holiday in February in Berwick-upon-Tweed, or a link to a video where a parrot sings the entire Sgt Pepper album, but I could live with that, the greater buzz about the place would be worth it.

    Only to a degree. Do you recall a section called the Water dispenser, or something? Some girl started to use it as her personal blog. When told this is a self-publishing site, she said "so what?"

  • wildwindwildwind Publisher

    It doesn't matter what anyone wants; the reality is what you get. Things change. Perhaps people are bored with forums. Perhaps they are too busy to invest much time, especially when it comes to reading the line by line comments that many posts seem to attract. Whatever the reason, you might be flogging a dead horse.


  • SeamusSeamus Author
    I came for the info, now I'm staying for the philosophy. :) 
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • But sadly, no beer!
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    What is it you come for Wild? Because you dislike so many posts.
  • wildwindwildwind Publisher
    I come here to see if there is anyone that I might be able to help. I dislike one particular type of post. The posts I like are concise, to the point and accurate.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    I do not recall seeing you help people. :(
  • Keep it civil and on topic please.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    As a joke I was almost tempted to Flag you Paul. :)
  • In the past I administered a phpb forum with about 800 members. On a good day perhaps 10 would post a comment. There are certainly more readers than writers. I believe a 10% participation rate is pretty good. I know that sometimes months go by before I post here simply because I have little to contribute, being a greenhorn who has to work for a living and gets only a few uninterrupted minutes per day to write.
  • There used to be more traffic to the forum. That is where all my questions were answered and I met some great people. I learned more there than from the knowledge base. But as some have agreed with me, after the site changed this last time the forum no longer seems as user friendly. We also used to get email notifications when someone left us a private message. I cannot find that option now and have to check each day to see if someone has left one. That would be a nice touch to see again. I have noticed many who used frequent the forums now do so less often. Which in a way makes me not come here as often. But I do check from time to time to see if I can be of any help.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    It is often true that it's a percentage of registered people who use a forum connected to a site, so considering the drop off in forum use over the last few years, does that mean Lulu has fewer users in general? A long time ago I suggested the option of a hit counter on our Spotlights, but it still has never happened, but it would be interesting to see at least those figures.
  • There used to be more traffic to the forum. That is where all my questions were answered and I met some great people. I learned more there than from the knowledge base. But as some have agreed with me, after the site changed this last time the forum no longer seems as user friendly. We also used to get email notifications when someone left us a private message. I cannot find that option now and have to check each day to see if someone has left one. That would be a nice touch to see again. I have noticed many who used frequent the forums now do so less often. Which in a way makes me not come here as often. But I do check from time to time to see if I can be of any help.
    Email notifications...I didn't realize those were not working. I put in a ticket to get that looked at last night and they should be working now. Feel free to PM me and I can respond to test.

    As for traffic, I can't speak to our historically higher numbers, but part of the decrease in traffic is due to the way our support staff chooses to interact with our customers. We found that the majority preferred chat and phone support to forums and email, so we placed higher prioritization on those channels.

    Sadly, it has left the forum with fewer frequent users.
  • easypeasyeasypeasy Bellevue,WA,USA Reader
    IT IS 100 DEGREES OUTSIDE THAT MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT
    If you need help or support with your website after buying my book please feel free to contact me through my fb page Myriam Zayas and I will help you even if your site crashes I can fix it.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    We found that the majority preferred chat and phone support to forums and email, so we placed higher prioritization on those channels.

    That is often the case, but Lulu is used worldwide so in many different time zones. Not only is it impractical and expensive to ring the USA from other countries, Lulu is also only open office hours, and no weekends, in whatever US time zone they are in. As to a chat tool, where is it? I have never seen that option, but I assume that too is only open when Lulu's offices are.

  • That is often the case, but Lulu is used worldwide so in many different time zones. Not only is it impractical and expensive to ring the USA from other countries, Lulu is also only open office hours, and no weekends, in whatever US time zone they are in. As to a chat tool, where is it? I have never seen that option, but I assume that too is only open when Lulu's offices are.

    The chat tool appears while in the book builder or the shopping cart
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    24/7? I have not seen it.
  • no, it's only during our business hours, we have our support staff responding on chat just like they would with email and phone contact
  • Official times for chat are 9 am to 4 pm EST. Monday through Friday.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    That is a shame on a site used worldwide. So having those options does not really apply to everyone, and they are still not using the forums instead. People tend to like answers fast.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    And now there are even fewer people!
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