I manage a forum. I am wondering if it would be beneficial to show how many users are currently logged in and active in each category.
My thoughts are YES. I know I like to feel that I'm not alone on a site. But what if only 1 person is active on some parts of the site? Does that look bad considering the forum has over 1 Million members?
Are members more/less active on forums when they see how many users are currently in a category?
Has anyone tried this both ways? Anyone have any experience with this? Pros and cons?
My goal is to convey freshness yes. We currently do show last updated times and such. But my question really is, will it make a difference? Do people care if there are other people on the forum they are looking at? Is someone more likely to stay and post if they see 15 other people currently are on that same category? Basically I want to know if the people that come in from google searches are more likely to stick around a while if they see that other people are currently active at that very second that they are. Does that make sense? I've searched everywhere I could and can't find any studies or anything. We've added a new link in our bottom toolbar to a page that lets you see current activity.