**A massive summary list of suggestions from users is on Page 7 almost all the way down!**
I'm working on trying to come up with user engagement strategies. What this basically means is: How do I keep all of you awesome users here, active, and happy? It's harder than it sounds!
There are essentially 4 types of users in these forums:
Browsers: People who don't sign in, but read the threads to get help. Big question is, how do we get them to become a member of the forum?
New Members: People who are registered, but aren't very active (might be low post count, low logins, etc.). How do we increase participation?
Intermediates: These people participate and they know how to use the forums well, but the issue here is getting them to stick around in the long term and keep participating. Some of them are known for asking questions, some of them are "Super Users" to be. Any ideas?
"Super Users": You know who you are, and we're trying to figure out how to tell you that we appreciate you immensely. Short of swag and other free stuff (I'm working on it - swag is hard to come by), what can we do for you?
Feel free to thow ANY idea at me no matter who you are. Be blunt. Be honest. Be nice or mean. I want your feedback!!!
Well, I did ask for honesty.
I know a lot of users liked NNTP, but I haven't had a chance to really find out what aspects about it really worked for them. Would you mind elaborating for me?
I've moved on from the newsgroup setup and find this forum acceptable as an alternative. I personally want to be able to turn off these colors, avatar images and colored name tags so I don't see them. I don't know how you offer such an individual ability to each user on a large forum, but if it can be done I want it.
I will settle for ALL OFF or ALL ON as the only options if that helps.
With the color removed, it's still alright to keep the little black-and-white star icon next to your name at least, right?
it probably wont happen (bringing NNTP access back) but I enjoyed it more so than web access...
It was strickly text-based orientated, with the ability to add pictures as a download-able link if needed.
You could download just the "headers", aka subject-lines, and choose which msg to read.
You could see more headers/subject-lines per page.
Loading msgs was practically instant since you didn't need to wait for a web page to load.
I'll let it go as others have...just beating a dead horse here.
Well thank you everyone for the feedback on the avatars and NNTP. I do some research on avatar visibility per user, and look into NNTP a bit more. Maybe there's some features that can be replicated in the web browsing platform that users will find beneficial and reminscent of the former days. No promises, but I'll look into it!
Any suggestions on how to keep users around and participating? For example, what got you started here and as active as you are? What makes you sign in as often as you do, help others, etc.?
AUGI and Revitforum both have the ability to not display avatars, I'd be surprised if that wasn't available here somewhere
I agree that from a super-user standpoint, we're not interested in colors and avatars. We view this as a peer forum on a professional level. My participation is not based on some competition to become a sage, to get the most kudos, or the most accepted solutions... though the designations do help find answers more quickly.
Adding features that allow me to help others quickly and efficiently have been well received. I wish I had more Macro spaces because mine are full. I enjoy having a signature line (not for clever catch-phrases or system boasting) to provide helpful links to common problems.
I want to be able to get helpful information out to users as quickly and efficiently as possible. I think the best thing you can do is somehow make the search functionality not only better and easier but preferred. The best way to help someone is not by them creating an account and asking a common question, but it is for them to come in as a guest, do a search, and find the answer to their problem. I don't need a green check or a kudo if a solution I provide to one person ends up helping a hundred.
I've never been a fan of the newsgroup format. But I like the clean, easy to read, whitespace laced, professional look of the Autodesk forums. We're not here to talk Basketball, Nascar, and video games. We have jobs to do. And this forum is a tool for that. Never lose sight of that fact.
That is EXACTLY the type of information I am looking for, so thank you so very very much. This is precisely what I've been thinking and been struggling with when it comes to user engagement. This isn't a forum for fun or enlightening debate, like you might see on an off-roading or sports forum. You folks are here for find help and to offer help, to do your jobs. Therefore the usual engagement methods I see on forums just won't cut it alone.
You all rock. Just saying.