Some navel gazing - or - where to from here?

SC is nearing 5000 members, many of whom are either no longer active, or have seen it all before and so don't throw in their 5 cents worth.  For some time I've been wondering whether it is reaching its "use-by date" due to the dwindling number of contributors and contributions.  One only has to look at today's effort to see that there are many hours where no-one contributes.  This was not the case a few years ago.  I recall joining at around the 500 mark, and for some time there were spirited discussions with contributions by many members.  It was not uncommon for significant daily numbers/volume of diverse input from many people in that period - it doesn't seem to be the case now!

Do others feel this too?

If so, how do we re-invent this valuable source of information, banter, etc to enable it to continue to be a meaningful group for years to come?

Have discussion points been exhausted?

I'm at a loss on this, and I'd certainly hate to see the work of Damian et al slowly go down the gurgler!

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Friday arvo is always pretty well totally dead on SC because everyone is finishing up the work they should have been doing on every other day when they've been on here instead so they can get away for the weekend.

I think discussion is alive and pretty well, albeit maybe not as impassioned as in the past when we had constant helmet debates. Should we encourage JH and BB/CC/TC/whatever-acronym-he-wants-to-hide-behind to come back? Hmmmm.

There is a long way to go before discussions here disappear altogether like they have on Bicycle Victoria Melbourne Cyclist.

Member #222.

P.S.: BTW, where is #51 ATM? Off blogging again?

I agree with Neil comments re: Friday's busy day I will clock off after this reply for beer o'clock.

Being a newer member and having experience on a vintage car club site previously the same situation occurred lots of comments to start then a slow down less comments. The site is still going after 6 or 7 years still strong.

I still believe Cycling is growing,long way to go many more members to join maybe we are a bit lazy at times I read most of the site 3 or 4 times a week and don't always comment just enjoy the read. 

Also important to do some real cycling maybe more of us are out than in now???

Neil, I wasn't looking at only Fridays, it seems to be any day of the week that is relatively quiet compared to what it had generally been from a couple of years ago.

You could be right about a fresh injection of JH, BB (could change his name to Bottom Bracket) and Dave W, though!  :-)

I think lots of members read the forum. They just dont wish to contribute. Maybe the cold weather. I noticed a short while ago topics were dwindling, but it cant go flat out all the time. If you are not contributing, just get out and ride.

I went to a social media marketing conference a couple of years ago (and won "tweet of the conference", having created my account that morning and with what was only my 6th tweet ever - but that's another story). Anyway, one of the presenters said the rough rule of thumb for content provision in online forums tends to follow the 90/9/1 rule:

• 90% of members simply read absorb the content provided by others and never post

• 9% contribute at some level, most likely replying to other threads

• 1% are the active content drivers - they are responsible for starting most of the threads.

So that equates at something like 4,500 lurkers, 450 commenters, and 50 activists. Seems about right to me.

Time to "Bring out your dead!"
SC has changed ? Evolved? Matured? Is it in recession?
I think there is reason to believe so, views hit count does seem to move slower although I assume the site owner has access to analytics for this over the last year or so.

it could be the topics that the helmet topic debated to death have reached a consensus/equilibrium /status quo., or rather no one is going out on a limb to promote/defend an untenable position other than with 'its the law' position, and that didn't end very well either. Stuck on progress to make change1
Bnsw topic is also reached used by date. Stuck on the progress to make change 2
Policy wise, the 'strict liability' law never gets anywhere 3
1m , 1.5m passing distance is being discussed here and currently we are seeing political support for this, in progress.
SHB steps/ harbour link? Other infrastructure changes? Its hard to keep the enthusiasm up at the pace it moves or doesn't move at. 4

I think the 'delete account and wipe out history' does not help. Considerable research, contribution can be easily wiped out with a goodbye as we have seen previously.

Besides the above, the bottom line question is what's in it for the contributors to the site? Is there non- confrontational banter that a newbie feels comfortable to add to?
Does it feel after a post is made it is felt to be deliberately ignored? clearly there are informal factions as with any online or RL social environment
will any reinventing be organic or injected?
Stay tuned! , or better yet, contribute.

I am a "born again" Sydney cyclist. I was an early joiner (pre -100 members from memory) who deleted their account a few years back - a decision I now regret. The site has definitely lost some of the fire of the first few years - though I'm not sure that is a bad thing - some of the discussion required interventions from Damian and became kind of ugly.

When I first joined this site there wasn't all that much around that was like it. I think part of the degeneration of this site is (at least partly) due to the enormous increase in cycling sites/media available. There was a time when this site was the first place I'd read about a cycling related issue, but now information gets to me first through stuff like Twitter, or a blog like The Urbanist or BikeSnotNYC, or even in the mainstream media like Fairfax. Often the details are discussed there and so there is no need to re-hash stuff here. 

Once upon a time cylcing in Sydney was a completely crazy thing to do and people use this site as a way to communicate with other crazy people. Maybe, the decline of a site like this is the result of cycling becoming more main-stream ... removing at least some of the raison d'etre of Sydney Cyclist.

Bikesnot ... I've generated a bit of that myself :-)

Facebook is killing most discussion sites.

You reckon? Why do you say that? 

I thought it was Facebook that was dying. 

It's a thing - I've seen it with a few discussion sites over the last 12-18 months. The site dies off as everybody that was spending time there spends more time on Facebook instead. If you want to discuss Sydney cycling stuff there's now quite a few pages on Facebook for it - there used to be none. Here's a couple of examples:

People like to say they hate Facebook, but as far as I can see it's more popular than ever.


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