Keeping the forum alive?

Keeping the forum alive?  

  By: Norbert Schmidt on Oct. 7, 2021, 10:32 a.m.

There is no activity and some nodes/topics are completely empty. I own a fairly large sci-forum (astroforum.nl) and know that it is hard to create and maintain it. Are there any plans for active moderation? 

Re: Keeping the forum alive?  

  By: Claudia on Oct. 8, 2021, 1:18 p.m.

Hi Norbert! Thank you for your comment. I work in the EU-Citizen.Science project and, among other things, am currently the community manager. I check if there are new posts on the forum regularly, answer where I can, and remove any spam. The forum started out good in September last year but activity has been going down, especially over the summer months. We have been seriously thinking if we should remove the forum or substitute it… While it would be nice to have a central place for exchange, it seems that the citizen science community is not so keen on posting here. Many questions and comments reach us via the contact form instead of the forum, even if we have threads dedicated to many topics. The astroforum has lots of activity! If you have any tips on how you got the ball rolling when you started it, I’m happy to hear it and would surely be interesting to others as well.

Project officer at ECSA for EU-Citizen.Science and community manager

Re: Keeping the forum alive?  

  By: Norbert Schmidt on Oct. 9, 2021, 8:13 a.m.

Hi Claudia

Thanks for your reply!

When i started the forum, there was (big) demand for it because at that time there were only mailing lists (and even worse: Yahoo groups). So i started this online community with only a bunch of people. We always had some crazy ideas to attract people: putting contests online, organizing weekend trips, attending physical meetings of like minded people with stickers and brochures, mostly paid by ourselves.  Now the forum survived Whatsapp/Facebook because we have something to offer: a rich history of topics and FAQ's and the promise that we do not sell personal data nor pictures of members. 

But the driving force are the forum moderators: they not only maintain, but also come up with great ideas and initiatives and persuade people they know to stay on the forum and leave good content. 

So it is a mixed bag really, and a huge amount of work. But rewarding in the end. 

Best

Norbert

Re: Keeping the forum alive?  

  By: Claudia on Oct. 13, 2021, 10:50 a.m.

Thank you for all the suggestions, Norbert. I'm happy to hear that all the effort you and the other people helping paid off and continues to do so. :-)

@ Everyone who may land in this thread: What (citizen science) topics and what kind of discussions would like to see in this forum and would like to personally contribute to or comment on?

Claudia

 

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