“Facebook is a forum, Reddit is a forum, anything that is a topic based discussion board is an Internet forum.”
I think you are looking at it from a purely technical perspective.
I see Facebook as a place to catch up with friends, learn about what they are doing and also be able to have discussions, sometimes on my personal feed, sometimes on Groups or Pages.
You don’t have to leave Facebook to go look at the Black Box (stock footage) group, nor the TZM Global page nor many of the other communities that I’m interested in.
I do have to go to another site and have another login and use my browser instead of a dedicated app to view the GameB website which also has a forum.
I do have to visit another site to visit this Forum.
When I’m on Discord I can easily view any of the many different communities I’m a part of there.
So that’s one point of friction.
By then the people you mention from Discord hadn’t logged in for a total time of less than 10 minutes
I didn’t just say people from Discord. There’s also people on FB, etc… Although you don’t seem to be posting nearly as often there, or maybe I’m just not seeing the posts / comments as much.
You are also ignoring people who have community building skills, moderation skills and the like very flippantly. But it does seem that one of the main points did get through. If people wanted to use the forum more, they would!
I do like the way the forum emails me and can send me push notifications. I can easily forget about Discord. But actually using this Discourse forum seems more effort. There’s a higher barrier to entry.
Instead of embracing that, you are trying to evaluate this forum compared to Discord and the FB groups.
A basic breakdown:
There’s about 200k FB members on the TZM Global page.
There’s about 2-3k FB members on most of the TZM groups
There’s about 2.5k members in Discord
There’s 180 members in the Telegram “TZM EN Community - General” group.
But active members is a whole different story. There’s maybe 1% of those people who are actually active and posting.
Trying to get 2k members on this forum is achievable. But it’s going to be very hard and likely the wrong aim. Actually I don’t know what number you are aiming for, I assume it’s something you’ll know emotionally when you hit it. Probably when people are creating enough topics and activities without you actively prodding them that you feel like it’s taking off.
But I’d suggest you change what you want the forum to be used for and by whom.
The FB pages and Discord are sort of great places for new members.
I mean, they don’t have a video wall but they can easily point people to useful resources.
However the Forum seems way better for people who understand TZM well and want to take action or delve deeper into certain aspects. You shouldn’t target it at new members or even people who have been around for a year or two. But you should aim at people who’ve been in the movement for 3+ years, have had a radical change in the way they see the world and want to help enact the transition to a Post Scarcity Society.
When you compare the Forum to other TZM websites I’d be interested in knowing what the traffic looks like.
The TZM Global website thezeitgeistmovement.com got 3,538 unique visitors last month (and now the site’s transitioned to Square Space I won’t be able to get any traffic data)
The TZM Community got 307 unique visitors in October
The Zeitgeist Australia site got 160
My Zeitgeist-Info site got 82
The Price of Zero site I created a while back got 33 visitors
My guess is that this forum got less that the TZM Community site but more than some of the other sites.
Personally, I would love to use the forum more for detailed, in-depth TZM discussions which matter. Everything from updates to the Code of Conduct, to discussing the role of asking for money in the movement.
But really, what you are missing right now is a champion. Someone who’s not yourself that is having interesting discussions here on the forum and adding content that matters. Making it worth while for people to create an account, login and be a part of discussions.
Mark Enoch was the original champion for Discord. He was the one that got people using it for the International Meetings. He also came with a lot of baggage and caused a lot of new members to be turned off as he accused pretty much everyone of being part of a psyop campaign and intentionally sabotaging the movement when really they just disagreed with him. Hence he’s been kicked from Discord. That’s a whole other story, but a part of the journey other communities have gone through.
You missed the effort that people like Aaron Frost went through to get access to a number of TZM named Facebook groups which were posting very large amounts of conspiracy theory bullshit. Then enacting rules to prevent such shitposting and then having to deal with the backlash. People like Jay were a part of that and I’m sure remember.
I don’t see this forum as having gone through the trials and tribulations and becoming a battle hardened place. It’s not one I’m willing to invest time in (beyond the occasional posting like this).
I do appreciate what you’ve done. But instead of trying to get EVERYONE over to the forum, you should try getting 2 or 3 more active people.
When all you do is preach about how technically better the forum is you just annoy people. They are already having a discussion and you are telling them to move it to another room. If you did that in person then people would growl at you. They’ve setup in a room, have their laptops or phones out and are in the flow trying to discuss something and you open the door, tell them that the room across the hallway includes a water fountain and the whiteboard isn’t fixed to the wall but can be moved around so they should move there, but ohh by the way their ID cards won’t work and they’ll need different ones and the layout is such that it’s better to have long form monologues instead of the current snappy banter they currently have which has a faster iteration time and can actually be very productive. Yeah, way too detailed an example, but you keep disrupting people like that and they’ll of course start ignoring you and then start actively despising you.
However if there’s a planning workshop in the room you are suggesting and people want to be a part of it, then they’ll come join. Or maybe there’s some festivities.
Still, the forum just doesn’t feel as vibrant. I’ve written this massive message instead of a bunch of smaller ones as that’s the nature of it. A different use.