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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    363

    Can we have a serious discussion about site traffic and member usage?

    Just stumbled back onto the site after a few year hiatus and sifted through some of my old forums.

    We canít even fill an MLB redraft anymore? A lot of the threads now are just trying to build artificial conversations that no longer come organically.

    Searching for rumors, this use to be the first link on google. Itís not even on page 1 anymore. Thatís what got me to sign up.

    I havenít been around but after reading a few threads in this forum Iíve definitely gathered a few of my own opinions why the sites gone downhill so Iím curious what others think.

    Letís try to make this a constructive thread and see what we can do to get the site back where it needs to be and should be. Thereís no reason this shouldnít be the most active all purpose sports board on the web. And folks, I understand itís not ďourĒ responsibility to grow the site but I, personally, miss the back and forth and being able to play forum games

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    95,796
    Its not that its not our responsibility its mostly just that its a losing battle... This type of thing just isnt popular anymore compared to the reddits of the world which sucks in my opinion but it is what it is... We have our core and will always get/lose members but sites like this are dying breeds... Eventually the reddits of the world will become obsolete as well and so on down the list.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    41,385
    I agree with MTM and to me the only way to gain traffic is a complete re-design towards a comment driven thread board like Reddit or Disquis. Which I do think could work, but it's probably not what the members here would want and SDI probably wouldn't put the time and money into that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    East of the Sun, West of the Moon
    Posts
    27,746
    Quote Originally Posted by Driven View Post
    I agree with MTM and to me the only way to gain traffic is a complete re-design towards a comment driven thread board like Reddit or Disquis. Which I do think could work, but it's probably not what the members here would want and SDI probably wouldn't put the time and money into that.
    Reddit sucks ***. People have gotten out of the practice of composing thoughts and writing paragraphs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    363
    I do agree that Reddit is trash but completely disagree that boards like this are dying out. If you look at the website traffic of many ďcomparableĒ boards, a lot of their traffic has increased. Overall they may not be as popular but many are getting more hits than in recent years.

    Thereís a reason so many people are leaving to post elsewhere and I think we should try to figure out why.

    I can speak from my own experience. I left because I was told that me disagreeing and debating was ďtrollingĒ.

    It really seems to me like when this site was sold, handed down, whatever it was, whoever took it over took it on as a pet project that got stashed in the back. Nothing has changed for a few years outside of the dwindling activity. 1 post in a week in the NHL forum? 1 active thread in the Red Sox forum?!

    That thread thatís stickies ďbring back permabanned membersĒ shows me that the site knows something is wrong and thatís the desperate move to fix it. You begged these guys to leave, when they created other accounts just to talk sports, they were banned as well. These guys were forced to find another spot to talk sports and after 5 years we wanna try and bring them back?! Would you go back to a place you were ďpermanently bannedĒ from? The site was booming back then, so getting rid of 10-15 top posters wasnít that big of a deal but what I think got lost was those were the guys who created conversation and kept things rolling. You look at the top post count guys. Most have been banned and returned or infracted/banned so many times they up and left and took their buddies with them.

    This is a small point and Iím sure most wonít agree with it. Starring out people names and other message boards shows wild insecurity. We use to be right on the front page if you searched anything sports related. Meaning if the user wanted to talk sports, we were the #1 optionwith the others being a fall back. Now itís the opposite, we get the trickle down when we use to get our pick of the liter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    MASS
    Posts
    54,024
    you have to attract new users, and thats something this site doesnt really do

    I havent visited the front page in years. The articles are suspect, theres no fantasy football on this site (you have one on every other sports page) or no fantasy anything which people love.

    social media presence? does psd have one? i had to check to see if they had a twitter and my surprise they do. I dont see the PSD platform on twitter/IG/FB no social media platform, and I dont see it advertised as a serious site

    whats PSDs catch? claim to fame? reposting sports news? No sources, no direction, nothing (and im talking main page)

    ive mentioned some PSD Podcasts in the past having a pod for each big sport on the forum and drive the attention to the forum. Can take Q&A from the board or twitter


    First Sim League Title!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Chi-Town
    Posts
    6,874
    They Banned Everyone That Was Active

    #FreeYagyu And CSSTL

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Annapolis MD
    Posts
    14,725
    Quote Originally Posted by More-Than-Most View Post
    Its not that its not our responsibility its mostly just that its a losing battle... This type of thing just isnt popular anymore compared to the reddits of the world which sucks in my opinion but it is what it is... We have our core and will always get/lose members but sites like this are dying breeds... Eventually the reddits of the world will become obsolete as well and so on down the list.
    Everyone is looking for hot takes on Twitter or whatever. We lightened up some of the rules, infractions and rules against posting images, and while we've seen some activity from it, it wasn't the game changer we thought it would be.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Annapolis MD
    Posts
    14,725
    Quote Originally Posted by Driven View Post
    I agree with MTM and to me the only way to gain traffic is a complete re-design towards a comment driven thread board like Reddit or Disquis. Which I do think could work, but it's probably not what the members here would want and SDI probably wouldn't put the time and money into that.
    I've been told there has been some talk about a new forum software to replace vBulletin, and I hope when they do it they integrate some sort of reputation system with it. The vBulletin stock reputation system leaves a lot to be desired and isn't worth activating at the moment.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Annapolis MD
    Posts
    14,725
    Quote Originally Posted by MarcCrawford View Post
    I do agree that Reddit is trash but completely disagree that boards like this are dying out. If you look at the website traffic of many ďcomparableĒ boards, a lot of their traffic has increased. Overall they may not be as popular but many are getting more hits than in recent years.

    Thereís a reason so many people are leaving to post elsewhere and I think we should try to figure out why.

    I can speak from my own experience. I left because I was told that me disagreeing and debating was ďtrollingĒ.

    It really seems to me like when this site was sold, handed down, whatever it was, whoever took it over took it on as a pet project that got stashed in the back. Nothing has changed for a few years outside of the dwindling activity. 1 post in a week in the NHL forum? 1 active thread in the Red Sox forum?!

    That thread thatís stickies ďbring back permabanned membersĒ shows me that the site knows something is wrong and thatís the desperate move to fix it. You begged these guys to leave, when they created other accounts just to talk sports, they were banned as well. These guys were forced to find another spot to talk sports and after 5 years we wanna try and bring them back?! Would you go back to a place you were ďpermanently bannedĒ from? The site was booming back then, so getting rid of 10-15 top posters wasnít that big of a deal but what I think got lost was those were the guys who created conversation and kept things rolling. You look at the top post count guys. Most have been banned and returned or infracted/banned so many times they up and left and took their buddies with them.

    This is a small point and Iím sure most wonít agree with it. Starring out people names and other message boards shows wild insecurity. We use to be right on the front page if you searched anything sports related. Meaning if the user wanted to talk sports, we were the #1 optionwith the others being a fall back. Now itís the opposite, we get the trickle down when we use to get our pick of the liter
    No, a lot of the other boards are in the same boat that we are. There are no smaller boards being brought online. Some content places that had forums have gotten rid of them for other avenues of discussion. A large sports gaming website is bleeding users left and right.

    The site in 2007-08 was sold to a company called SDI. Currently, SDI in that form does not exist, but the site is owned by Tribune Media and operated by a group that also operates the Covers website, another site that SDI used to own. I do know that they have an active team that operates the front page and their social media accounts, but they are not affiliated with the forum- though the head of content and the site project manager visit the forum on a daily/weekly basis depending on need.

    After that sale, WrigleyBoy and SI, and now Rush and myself, are essentially community managers. Yes, we have the administrator tag, but we do not have any authority over the front page, social media accounts or anything technical with the site. We oversee the forums, the moderators and the team managers.

    I wasn't here during the time that all of those members were banned. Many of the moderators thought it would be worthwhile to bring back some of the banned users. Some have stuck around and contributed, but most either left, or we were not able to get in contact with them (old email addresses, etc.) . While we have lightened up on a lot of the moderating that was going on when I first came on board as a moderator, we still need to have some semblance of rules and discipline. Overall, I think things on that end are better than when I came on board, but we could always be better.

    The one thing that I wish our members would do here is post new threads. As you mentioned, we have one active thread in the Red Sox forum. There is a team manager there, as well as a good group of fans. The positive is that this group has been together for a long time, they know each other and they are fine with a catch-all thread for discussion. The negative, is that the forum doesn't look active to a guest or lurker who might sign up if they saw a thread for a big news item that comes across, instead of it being buried in an "off-season thread" that is a catch-all.

    We had a similar thread to this for the NFL forum, and I challenged users to create threads for news and discussion, and while there are more threads than before, it is still not what I would like to see given the users in that forum.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Annapolis MD
    Posts
    14,725
    Quote Originally Posted by Rivera View Post
    you have to attract new users, and thats something this site doesnt really do

    I havent visited the front page in years. The articles are suspect, theres no fantasy football on this site (you have one on every other sports page) or no fantasy anything which people love.

    social media presence? does psd have one? i had to check to see if they had a twitter and my surprise they do. I dont see the PSD platform on twitter/IG/FB no social media platform, and I dont see it advertised as a serious site

    whats PSDs catch? claim to fame? reposting sports news? No sources, no direction, nothing (and im talking main page)

    ive mentioned some PSD Podcasts in the past having a pod for each big sport on the forum and drive the attention to the forum. Can take Q&A from the board or twitter
    The activity in the fantasy football forum has dropped precipitously since 2013/14. As a TM there, I used to merge threads all of the time because everyone wanted advice and would clutter the forum. As the years turn, fewer and fewer people posted there, to the point where we sticked a fantasy football thread in the main forum so we could get people to talk about it.

    We also at one point had many suggestions for a DFS forum. I'm all for that, if people are going to post in it.

    Each of the points you bring up, Rush and I have no control over, nor any influence. All of the front page and social media things are separate from us/the forum.

    Podcasts would be a great idea, and they are catching on everywhere. I'm definitely open to doing that, but there are expenses surrounding it and it would have to be done out of pocket for someone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Annapolis MD
    Posts
    14,725
    Also, I want to mention that the support team for this site does a great job- I want to make sure that I emphasize that none of my statements are bashing them. I am trying to clarify exactly what power and authority Rush and I have or do not have. Many people think we are in charge and have ownership of the site, which is not the case. If we have an issue, the project manager contacts us within a couple hours. If the site goes down, they are on things to get it back up and running. Their resources from higher up are also limited, and they are doing the best they can, just like we are trying to do here on the forum.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    MASS
    Posts
    54,024
    oh no i get it, i wasnt blaming you or the board, i wanted to be more critical of the sites main page and presense. I do realize you and rush have no control over, but if you want to have a serious conversation on how to grow the board, you have to start at square 1. Whats the marketing? Whats attracting people to the main page, just to check out the forums?

    why arent forum comments in stories on the main page for random people to drop in and leave a comment vs going to the board and signing up. If I click on lets say the Fultz injury article, there should be some random comments underneath that link to the forum, so when we post our comments here, it shows up in the main page for other people who maybe arent signed to psd to interact.

    psd main page needs direction. they need a "gimmick" barstool is brash/mens view on sports, bleacher report you can argue is for fan, espn covers all sports, the athletic is bringing journalism back, etc

    these newer sports outlets that arent backed by abc/nbc/cbs/fox need a direction and PSD main page is like the dirtsheets of sports

    forum wise, we have our group, rules are laxed, we just need more discussion, more threads, more activity i dont have a way to improve the actual forum, just how to grow it and how to make more activity. it all starts with the begining. The main page, the social media presence, etc

    why doesnt a trusted poster (or 2/3) take over the account on twitter/ig/facebook post hot takes, link the forums and start the discussion so we can bring them here?


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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    East of the Sun, West of the Moon
    Posts
    27,746
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasTomasz View Post
    Everyone is looking for hot takes on Twitter or whatever. We lightened up some of the rules, infractions and rules against posting images, and while we've seen some activity from it, it wasn't the game changer we thought it would be.
    Not my experience.
    You lost hundereds of quality posts over 2 months as a result.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Annapolis MD
    Posts
    14,725
    Quote Originally Posted by Dugmet View Post
    Not my experience.
    You lost hundereds of quality posts over 2 months as a result.
    Then you need to do a better job of following the rules. Very honest feedback, just like the feedback I gave you back then. You are actually one of the posters who I make sure to read when I come across your posts in threads to be honest.

    Overall, we have not banned or handed out infractions at the level that we were in 2015 into 2016.

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