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Thread: Thoughts on Declining Forum Usage?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Setec Astronomy

    Thoughts on Declining Forum Usage?

    So, I've seen some complaints that "the boards are dead".

    Traffic on the Sports Mogul Forums has dropped over the past 5 years or so (even though sales of Baseball Mogul haven't). So the traffic drop isn't because fewer people are buying or playing Mogul.

    It appears to directly correspond with the rise of Facebook. This makes sense, and matches the trends for other online discussion boards and other sites running vBulletin. Although this was always a good place to make suggestions or talk about dynasties, it was also a great place for discussions about things other than Mogul, among friends that had something in common.

    Anyway, I'm just starting this thread to open up a conversation. Do you wish the boards were more active? Are they ways that you think this could be a better place to hang out? Should we switch to something like XenForo or even Muut?


    Clay Dreslough, Sports Mogul Inc.
    cjd at sportsmogul dot com / blog / twitter

    Forum Rules
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Charlotte, NC

    Re: Thoughts on Declining Forum Usage?

    I do wish the board was more active, mainly because it was a good place to chat with some folks, see what was happening, get some league activity, etc. Politics, sports, music, whatever…it was a great distraction while I was working my cubicle/office job all those years. So at the very least, thank you for that!

    I still visit forums rather often, but that's because I don't use Facebook at all. I do browse Twitter though, so for news, idiotic hot takes, and most of the internet content, I go there now. Add in MlbTradeRumors and baseball sites like Fangraphs (that forums like this introduced me to), and then the oddball post from Deadspin to take the place of Ejections (I only learned about Deadspin when they did a piece on FireJoeMorgan, which I only learned about from THIS forum, so thanks yet again, Clay!).

    Wishing this board was more active is kind of like wanting to go back in time. There's not too much we could do, purely from a forum perspective. I would suggest only one thing, and that is a chat box. Most of the league forums have a simple Xat installed at the top, and even other forum sites for games or specific software that I frequent use a board like this one that is kind of integrated - I forget what kind of script that is. While some might be against it, it gives us the ability to see some other users online and maybe a reason to chat, kick up a conversation…who knows.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Cleveland, OH

    Re: Thoughts on Declining Forum Usage?

    I'm not sure the rise in Facebook establishes causality. I do use Facebook, but not to discuss how my baseball game is going. Further, I've seen other games, at least two with similar niche audiences (OOTP and air simulation) where the forum doesn't appear to be in decline.

    Rather, I think the cause is the general tone of the forum. I take your word when you say sales are steady, but I'm surprised as I've seen more than once on these forums that the game is done or 'has one last chance' to fix things. The atmosphere is one of discouragement, and I think that's why people have drifted away.

    What to do? I'd say you've made some solid steps lately: Talking to people about this, and about the skins for next year. Keep communicating! It doesn't appear to be your instinct, but it's something you should work on or get a volunteer to help with. Some people were upset that 40 man rosters and other features didn't make it into Diamond. More, I believe, were upset that it wasn't communicated.

    Starting this fall start building a little hype for next year, increasing through the winter. Print developer diaries, talk about what you'd like to do, how it's coming, and yes - ultimately whether it just has to wait until later. That'll build some excitement towards the upcoming product.

    Lastly, and this is pure opinion, it appears BM has had an identity crisis the last several years. You spent several improving the look and feel of the game. People complained. Your attention turned to minor league stats and advanced roster rules, and that's where things started to buckle. My suggestion is to figure out what you want out of the game. Do you want to take on OOTP for complexity and realism? Go for it, but good luck. Do you want to keep it simple? Then maybe 40 man rosters, waivers, DFA and so forth fall under feature bloat. We need to know where BM is going to decide if we're still in.
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

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