Need serious feedback in regard to this forum
I created this forum because I truly like to interact with people all over the world. I like that people have made friends here and many have been help here when it was badly needed.
I also like that a person can be anonymous here. You don't have to sign in with google and verify anything. I don't track anyone in any way.
I place a high value on this stuff but as I notice so few are posting, I realize it doesn't really matter what I like. It's no fun talking to myself. Maybe forums are just going to die.
In the past, there have been slow periods and then the forum recovers. I would not write a post like this but I have an option here; a decision to make and it's weighing on Libra; you might be able to imagine the pain...
Google has a new metric. They want sites to be REALLY fast. My site is REALLY fast, but the forum is not. Because the site is taken as a whole, the forum jacks my overall speed.
There is nothing I can do about this because the forum can't be cached. It can't be cached because if it was, you could not see the new posts as they are created BUT...
But I can lock the forum. Just shut it down so that people can read the archives but no one will be able to post. If I did this, I could cache the forum. All the pages on the site would be fast at that point.
There is another issue. Every day, spam accounts are created. You can see the crap names at the bottom of the page. I have to mess with that. I also have to contend with what may be AI generated postings.
In short, there are real people posting here. I do everything I can to make sure they are joined by real people as opposed to real machines!
So here's my question: do I keep this forum live?
Or do I close it like so many before me... all the yahoo groups and such?
Elsa, thank you for asking our opinions. I appreciate your process of hearing out both sides of the coin.
It's the last sane place on earth for me to be myself and share deeply personal stuff anonymously, yet with people whose opinions I have come to value.
Please take the best decision for the overall health of the site, but I hope that it gives us another place/continues to allow us to engage here. Maybe launch forum as a standalone entity, independent of the site?
I value the forum, but I completely understand if you feel it's best to move on. I find that posting here is hit or miss...sometimes people engage and it's great, and sometimes I feel like an annoying gnat. The sense of community was probably stronger when I joined in 2015--but it is still here to some extent and I do really appreciate the regulars who still post here. For what it's worth, I haven't noticed any problems with speed. Locking the forum would feel like a loss, but I'd accept it with grace as I trust you to make the best business decision for yourself. There is plenty of value in the blog alone (and opportunities to comment there).
To me, this forum/website IS NOT slow. It works.
There are always topics being posted, people replying etc....I enjoy this web space and visit daily.
Wherever you go, I will follow.
The Forum has been my sanctuary from the real world, a place where I have felt for the last year that I can share with other like minded people.
I agree, that the posts have slowed, and I too feel at times that I'm having a solo conversation ... but I have tried to keep certain topics alive and more important, tried to keep a positive outlook. While, I understand life is just not about roses and unicorns, and real issues like Coronas get discussed. I'm finding this particular topic very negative, it's on the news, it's everywhere, and seeing it on the Forum makes me feel like the negativity has seeped into my place of sanctuary. So, yes lately I am guilty of feeling like it's time for me, personally to move on; especially with my anniversary on the Forum coming up at the Aries point. Perhaps its Saturn in Aquarius rumbling; I don't know.
I'm not sure what the solution is; perhaps a subscription model?!
Either way, I love the Forum. I've learned so so much from the many people, past and present who have contributed content.
Whatever you decide, will be the right decision. There's always the blog.
I understand the hit that search results will have for your business. Perhaps you could start up a forum elsewhere? I run a forum on Reddit and there are lots of moderating options. You could start one called "ElsaElsa".
Just something to think about ...