Author Topic: Forum Activity  (Read 6924 times)

Offline shadowfoot

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Forum Activity
« on: September 20, 2011, 02:27:53 PM »
How is it that there are over a thousand members registered on this forum, and yet over half of the posts ever made have been from five of them? Why do so many people sign up and then never post? I have been talking with Todd a little bit about trying to get more activity on the forum here, but there is only so much I can think of. So to the rest of you, if you are even still here, why don't you post more often? What are some ways that this forum could become a more interesting place?

Offline OtisBrown

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 09:22:38 AM »
Shadow,
I think the only people posting are you, myself and Todd.
Best,
Otis

Offline shadowfoot

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 10:12:56 AM »
Otis,

Presently . . . yeah. I hope that anyone else who comes will post ideas in the future. Remember, this forum has been considerably more active in the past. Perhaps people forget about it because Todd hasn't been posting on the blog as much.

Offline OtisBrown

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 11:01:51 AM »
Hi Shadow,
Yes -- it is just "us".  But I take science, to be "just a few people" who have a common goal in life, and the ability to think and analyze problems and situations for their own benefit.  It is amazing to me how few people have this capability!
Now that you know the "secret" of prevention with a plus (Todd and I are indeed impressed), I would like to keep in touch with you.  I will keep all conversation PRIVATE.  My email is otisbrown@embarqmail.com
I know I looked for the information I provide for thirty years (before the Internet).  But the problem still comes down to a few people (the three of us) working to prevent entry into it.
But your remarks about 5 in 1,000 being "interested" applies to prevention.  Everyone is a "Lurker", but no one will come out an post and remarks -- or even discuss some of these issues.

Otis

Offline shadowfoot

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 11:26:53 AM »
Otis,

Unless I have something private to share with you, I would like to keep our conversations public so that the "lurkers," as you call them, even if they never post, will be able to see a little bit of what we have to say.

Offline OtisBrown

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 05:11:41 PM »
Shadow,
That is fine with me -- of course.  There is no need for you to post these issues.  My own personal interest was always in science, and getting the facts and concept correct.  I  know that desire probably leaves most people "cold", but then I am not attempting to win a "popularity contest".  I am willing to admit my own faults, and indeed hold myself responsible for the consequences of my habits as a young person.  I have attempted to develop the concept that you used on yourself, and present it at four year college.  Because I keep on thinking there has to be other "wise persons" who are mature enough to take on the subject of clearing their vision as you have just done it.  Needless to say, I have failed.  So as I suggested, solutions to this type of (self-induced) problem, don't develop in "large groups". They develop when a thoughtful person has support of people who report success (Todd), and you choose to follow his success.  Best, Otis

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2011, 12:23:06 AM »
How is it that there are over a thousand members registered on this forum, and yet over half of the posts ever made have been from five of them? Why do so many people sign up and then never post? I have been talking with Todd a little bit about trying to get more activity on the forum here, but there is only so much I can think of. So to the rest of you, if you are even still here, why don't you post more often? What are some ways that this forum could become a more interesting place?

Shadowfoot,

It's a great question that you ask.  As of today, the Getting Stronger forum has 1017 members, 101 topics, 1435 posts.  It averages about 1000 page views per day.  Similarly, the main Getting Stronger blog itself has 493 "subscribers" and about 500 views per day. More than 189,000 hits since I started the blog! So that makes it seem like active comment posters are the tiny tip of the iceberg, and most members are "lurkers", right?

But I'll let you in on a little-known fact that most people who don't run their own blogs and forums probably don't realize.  The vast majority of "members" and "views" on all forums and blogs are of two types: (1) inadvertent search "hits" that missed their intended target; and (2) spammers.  Most people landing on blogs and forums get there by searching for some topic, but leaving after an initial glance. They may have reached my blog by searching for "getting stronger", "insulin" or "Stoicism" and decided after a few moments or minutes that my blog was not what they were looking for.  So they leave after that initial visit and never return.  The vast majority of attempted "members" are actually spammers, believe it or not. Many spammers are spambots -- programs designed to place links to advertise their wares. I filter out about half of the spammers before they can even join, and the other half get blocked once they try posting something inappropriate, which I have to remove.  My blog is not alone on this.  Every blog out there has memberships and hits inflated by a factor of perhaps 10 times over "true" members.  That's just a sad reality. Those who join as legitimate members may check back once or twice, then disappear forever.  So if a blog has 1000 members, probably 900 of those are long gone, 80 check back occasionally, and the remaining 20 check in every week.  If a blog has 100 times the traffic as mine, those ratios are still probably about the same.

Also, I do get a lot of private e-mail.  For every one public post, I get 2 or 3 private e-mails.  These are typically requests for advice from people who may be shy about sharing their situation publicly.  They also letters of support, cheering me on or telling me how I've helped them in various ways. And a few turn into enjoyable correspondences.  Which is all fine. 

That said, I do have a real concern about the low activity on the forum these days.  Many months ago it was much more active, involving not just a larger number of active participants, but a more engaged discussion.  Some of the drop-off is natural.  People explore an idea like plus lens therapy or intermittent fasting, and most find out that it is not for them.  Not because it doesn't work, but because they were looking for a quick fix, or it doesn't meet their expectations.  But I agree with you that the lack of activity makes the blog a less interesting place to hang out.

What I would like to see more of is real engagement, with extended discussions and debates.  I see this on other "paleo" blogs, so I know it exists.  What can we do to stimulate more participation here?

I sincerely welcome suggestions from any and all on how to stimulate more activity on the blog and forum.  I recognize that one factor may be the relatively low frequency of my blog postings.  Recently, I've managed to post only about once a month. (Although I managed two posts this month -- see my latest article today!).   There are two main reasons for my relatively low output of new articles.  One is that I have limited time in my busy schedule to write.  The other is that I want each article to be original, thought-provoking and well researched.  That takes time.  Many blogs manage to post new articles every 2 or 3 days, but the articles are typically much shorter and "lighter".  For some readers, one or two thoughtful articles each month may provide enough food for thought.  But the most popular bloggers have admittedly far higher output than I do. There are some exceptional blogs, such as Stephan Guyenet's Whole Health Source and Mark Sisson's Daily Apple, which have both prodigious output and great research. But they are few and far between.

I'm willing to experiment and try a different style of blogging.  I could probably post weekly articles that briefer, pithier, and less research-driven.  Perhaps more conversational and chatty. Or they could be on narrower, practical topics. I could also post links to external blogs and articles that are relevant to my theme of hormesis and self-empowerment. It is also possible that my particular selection and balance of topics on the blog don't match that of my readers. Maybe most of you are hear for a single topic -- eyesight improvement or weight loss, so the breath of topics may dilute your interest.  I would love to find out, however, that most of you like the variety.

I'm open to suggestions.  Actually, I'm hungry for suggestions.  

So let's hear it from the "silent majority" of you out there (other than the spammers and spambots).

Todd
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 07:02:57 AM by Todd Becker »

Offline OtisBrown

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2011, 10:02:00 AM »
Todd and Shadow,
Subject: What most people "look for" on a site.
They look for "fads" or others who are successful in some way.  They hope to adapt your "diet fad" to themselves, and in a month drop about 20 to 30 pounds.  When that does not work, the will blame YOU for their failure to succeed.  So when you state your "success" with anything you state, they will always doubt you.  The one exception seems to be  our friend Shadow, who took you very seriously and must have devoted effort to the plus (and read his Snellen) and kept going till he got to 20/15.  Even I will never "claim" that result.  In fact, it is a "stretch" for me to even claim "change" from 20/60 to 20/40 or better.  The reason is that I KNOW it will probably take from three to nine months to get to FAA Vision in that period of time. This gets back to Brian Severson, and his work from 20/70. HE DID NOT QUIT!  But you site if of great value.  I like the parable of the farmer who throws seek in the wind. Some wind up on the rocks -- and nothing happens.  Some the birds eat -- and nothing happens. But a few wind up on fertile ground and grow and produce more seeds.  That is how I take your site and the success of Shadow.  Otis

Offline shadowfoot

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2011, 06:25:44 AM »
Todd,

I understood that there were a lot of spammers, but I did not realize that the number was quite that high. Even so though, we seem to have an average of four or five people who check in and maybe post every day, not twenty. The discussion was much livelier when we had 20.

I am torn between wanting you to change your blog in a way that might bring in more readers, and liking it the way it is. I for one am in favor of the wonderful diversity of topics you bring to the table and the depth at which you research them. A lot of the blogs I frequent that feature smaller articles are not nearly as thought-provoking as yours. For example, I have seen a lot of blog posts that focus on the content of a book that the author read and his interpretation of that. These are interesting, but they are not nearly as original. I see your blog in much the same light as I see Denise Minger's blog. That is, updates are sporadic, but when they come are truly illuminating and I come away feeling like I have really learned something.

Maybe you could compromise by making some of your blog posts the long, detailed ones I have come to enjoy and others of a shorter, more speculative nature that encourages people to come talk about it on the forum.

I would like to also put out that possibly the problem is not with the blog itself, but the marketing of the blog. Personally, I have found most of my favorite blogs by searching through the blog-rolls of other bloggers I like. I don't even know how I found this blog. Honestly, I think it may have been a link on Lew Rockwell's site. This is difficult because I know that you want to spend the free time you have to devote to the blog researching and writing articles. But that might be another avenue to consider.

Offline shadowfoot

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2011, 06:26:52 AM »
Otis,

I have always been of the opinion that I had everything to gain and nothing to lose. I think this played a part in my success and continued efforts.

Offline OtisBrown

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2011, 04:52:56 AM »
Hi Shadow,
Subject: Your insightful remarks to Mercurial, and your knowledge of optics.
Merc reported 20/200 vision, and a -2.5 would get him to 20/20.
You now have 20/15 vision (which is about the limit of your retina) -- in my opinion.  It is very wise to establish the relationship (yourself) between your visual acuity and the amount of "minus" necessary to clear your Snellen to FAA normal.  Thus your check proving to yourself that, with 20/15 vision, a +2.5 will create 20/200 on your own Snellen.  It is very important to understand that issue.  Thus, to clear his Snellen, Merc much accomplish a change of +2.5 diopters in his eyes, to get back to 20/15, again in my opinion. 
ALSO: On the subject of a "prescription" and visual acuity, I admit that I only "understand" your success -- with-respect-to Todd.  I have no doubt that Todd is passing the FAA line for 3rd class flight -- because I trust Todd to honestly read his Snellen and report it to us.  In fact, another person, Dennis Romish, had a -4 diopter prescription.  Yet he got a +1.5 diopter lens and started reading through it.  (As a practical matter, at -4 diopters, you can only read clearly at 10 inches.)  How he did that, I do not know.  But in about three weeks, he could almost read the 20/40 line!!  (The eye simply can not change by 4 diopters in three weeks!)  Yet, when he talked to me, I ask him to look at a signal light 200 yards away.  I then asked him to go to the DMV (in Maryland) and attempt to pass their requirement.  The first time he did not make it -- the second attempt he did.  I found that incredible -- so I don't attempt to "explain it".  This is also true with Todd -- starting at -3 diopters.  If that were the case, Todd could only see at no-greater distantce that 13 inches!  Yet Todd was able to "start" with the plus, and become successful.  This is why I attempt to "limit" myself in what I am willing to claims.  In fact I can only "claim" success AFTER the person is successful!!  In any event, I always like to hear about success, it makes me happy to hear of it.  Otis

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2011, 06:56:16 AM »
I am torn between wanting you to change your blog in a way that might bring in more readers, and liking it the way it is. I for one am in favor of the wonderful diversity of topics you bring to the table and the depth at which you research them. A lot of the blogs I frequent that feature smaller articles are not nearly as thought-provoking as yours. For example, I have seen a lot of blog posts that focus on the content of a book that the author read and his interpretation of that. These are interesting, but they are not nearly as original. I see your blog in much the same light as I see Denise Minger's blog. That is, updates are sporadic, but when they come are truly illuminating and I come away feeling like I have really learned something.

Maybe you could compromise by making some of your blog posts the long, detailed ones I have come to enjoy and others of a shorter, more speculative nature that encourages people to come talk about it on the forum.

I would like to also put out that possibly the problem is not with the blog itself, but the marketing of the blog. Personally, I have found most of my favorite blogs by searching through the blog-rolls of other bloggers I like. I don't even know how I found this blog. Honestly, I think it may have been a link on Lew Rockwell's site. This is difficult because I know that you want to spend the free time you have to devote to the blog researching and writing articles. But that might be another avenue to consider.

Shadowfoot,

Good observations and suggestions.  I may try a blend of longer "deep" pieces and shorter, more approachable posts.   I think you may also be right about marketing.  When I started my blog, I would frequent other sites and leave an occasional link back to some related topics on my blog. Then for a while I was getting a lot of traffic from interviews, podcasts, etc.  I may have to get out there and beat the pavement some more.

Otis and Shadowfoot,

I'd like to encourage others besides you and Shawdowfoot to post their views on this particular post....let's leave this one alone for a while and see if there is anyone else out there who would like to offer an opinion or suggestions...

Thanks,

Todd

Offline johnlink

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2013, 09:09:13 PM »
Yeah, why is it so quite around here?

Offline StephanieD

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 07:34:26 AM »
I really enjoy the long descriptive and scientific posts. They are so well thought through and a pleasure to learn from but I really like shadowfoot's idea of shorter more speculative pieces too. I would agree that those would probably stimulate conversation. There is not much to discuss about the articles themselves since they are so well researched! Mostly I'm curious about some of the ideas Todd has come up with that haven't yet been substantiated. I also love to read about your personal experiments. I think part of what people like is a short post telling them what to do. For better or worse people are searching for answers but that doesn't mean they all want quick fixes. Maybe some people came to the site and were so used to finding the takeaway point within 2 minutes that they didn't know how to digest all the wonderfully researched information. But maybe those same people would really get a kick out of stories about how you came across and use this information.

I'd like to see this forum active too!

Offline OtisBrown

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Re: Forum Activity
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2015, 09:09:38 AM »
Subject: "Lurkers", should indeed post here.

I am a "bold" person.  I have no problem asking difficult questions.  I think we learn BEST, when new ideas are presented to us (such that threshold prevention is possible), and can work with the concept.  So I encourage all to think, and post your commentary.

Shadow-foot, in fact, started at 20/30, asked me a lot of questions about "optometrist attitude", and the plus lens.  Finally, he went "all out" with the plus and got himself back to 20/15.  (I can not say that everyone can do this - but, it has been objectively accomplished by Shadow-foot.) 

"Deeper" than 20/30, and it does take a lot of dedication, persistence, and a belief in yourself and scientific truth.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 04:26:13 AM by OtisBrown »