You have to engage people .. give incentive.. encourage debate...
you wouldn't have a party simply by inviting people in to a room and hope they all get along ...
It's like any other club at has to seem to be an exciting place to go.. it has to fulfill a need and have enough sticky content to entice people back..
Regular, fun/interesting/informative, newsletters help.
Having a place where people can have their questions answered, helps, a sense of expertise helps..
Advertising/reviews in your industries periodicals would help .. like any other business you have to let people know there is something going on and that your place is the best place to be for accountancy in education... A tough demographic ;-)
Add features that would be of use to your audinece.. maybe some calculation/interesting widget?
But get real and be honest with yourself.. the problem is not the people, it is the website, not fulfilling a need and not promoting yourself correctly..
mostly it's just long hours and hard work.. Good Luck!
I agree with Lobo I would....
1) Hire one of they "paid posts" services I would order 500 posts to get things started.
2) Its now your job to let your reg. members know that the forum is active and that people are posting. I would do this by Newsletter with site news, latest topics, and include some information that would get them interested like talk about the subject that they signed up to talk about in the first place.
3) Promote the topics maybe on your home page get the word out that your forum is active your members are posting.
4) You canít sit and watch the snowball go down the hill, Its your job to promote, promote - promote.
5) Friendly, this is important - make it a community not a resource add your touch, welcome new people and engage conversation with the older members.
6) Make sure each poster knows they're apart of your community - "A loved cat will always come back" (I made that up but sounds funny) :)
7) * Other people please add here *
In order to accurately diagnose this problem, it's a good idea to understand more about it. A "lurker ratio" of almost 20 to 1 sounds pretty high.
A few questions...
- Is the forum fairly old? It's common to have turnover of members over time so that the total number keeps rising even though the active total stays the same.
- Do these non-posting members visit the forum to read, or are they complete dropouts? Getting lurkers to post is usually easier than bringing back long-gone members.
- Is registration required to read or to access features? If so, that could explain why people register and never post. In my experience, in an open forum most people won't register unless they want to post.
I had a similar problem with non posting users, I've seen a lot of new members registering at my forum but the majority of them never wrote something. The problem was that my hosting company has changed the configuration of the server (without noticing me), and the confirmations mails after registrations weren't sent out. So users were able to register, but without a confirmed email they weren't able to post (even if they would like to). This is probably not the problem in case of the forum of Rolozo (he would have known that earlier before the amount of non posters reached 1800+) but my point is: always check for the technical aspects first, then go futher with the proposals that rj87uk made.
I would be cerefull with those paid posters which rj87uk wrote about. I haven't tried such service personally, but have read a lot on this subject. Those "paid posters" can be good if you have a general forum, but the more specific subject of your forum the less usefull are the paid posters. The forum of Rolozo is not for everyone, i don't think there would be many paid posters with knowledge about Accountancy Education (correct me if i'm wrong)..
Rogerd here are answers
1) Yes its 1.5 year old
2) 85% dropout and other come and read only ( you can expect activit of total members less 1800+ 0 post members)
3) There is no requirement for reading but for posting registration is required.
~Paid posting is not right thing for my niche.
I don't why but now i think accountants are not by nature willing to post like ppc webmasters,affiliate marketers etc.
I guess it's just one of those things... I also have a ton of zero post members. I've had some people explain that they register just-in-case they want to post in the future (to reserve their username). There are a couple other forums in one niche I'm in, but my site is by far the most active that's specific to that particular niche. We have helpful members and the only registration requirement pertains to posting, yet it does happen...
Here are a couple of thoughts: do you need to be registered to search? to view images? signatures? etc? Even the smallest option that a guest can't see could prompt them to register as a member...
>1) Hire one of they "paid posts" services I would order 500 posts to get things started.
What do you mean by "paid posts" services?
re: Paid posting --
There's an ongoing discussion on WW about this here:
Oh this is an age old problem with my board also, we had 74 new members last month and only 3 of them have posted.
One thing you could try is to set up a "private" section of the board that is only available to members with over x posts in the main forums.
An idea for encouraging some posts right from the start:
In the email sent to newly-registered users you could insert some ideas for posts, for example a paragraph describing the five hottest topics-of-the-moment, or even some old chestnuts relating to your industry. Include a link to a thread on the forum. Change this as the threads fill up.
That's a good suggestion, Casethejoint.
For those of you with so many non-posters, why do you think people register at all.
(The new "login required" policy here will no doubt have that effect, since even readers will need to register.)
Not that it's much help, but I'm an accountant (or was, I don't really do that any more) and most of the time I lurk in forums. I've been reading these boards for well over a year, but I hardly ever post. Certain fields are more prone to introverts than others. I think you've hit on one.
It seems that it would take a lot of facilitation to examine accountancy issues in a way that would make the forum a trusted source. When people join my community, we ask them to think of a question they would like answered - it's a challenge for us to demonstrate that we're a good source of information. We also ask new users to briefly describe some of the professional experiences they have had, and down the line it's likely we'll refer new questions to them based on their experience. So users have many chances to get involved from the outset. Point is, we do some of the running to enable these opportunities.
>>Certain fields are more prone to introverts than others
He, he... I guess a forum devoted to overcoming introversion might be a tough one to get off the ground!
That's an interesting thought, though, along with the possibility that accountants might not want to post questions for fear that it would appear they didn't know everything they were supposed to know.
I've got a sure-fire thread topic, though: something along the lines of "client horror stories" or "stupid client tricks". I bet just about every accountant who works for clients (or even company management) has a few of those that they are dying to share. ;)