68 votes
Accepted

Underage but very valuable user on our site

Firstly, this is an issue where you have to do something. Allowing a user to stay when they are knowingly in breach of the ToS means that you are devaluing the ToS, and whenever someone else breaks it ...
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  • 2,064
50 votes

How to say "We miss you, please come back!" properly?

Give them a reason. Just "I miss you" is boring and is ignored. Do you know why the people left your forum? Or are there any improvements since then? Maybe you changed your design or you ...
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  • 978
32 votes
Accepted

Detecting and preventing hostility to women?

I'm aware of some research by Susan Herring. "Gender and Participation in Computer-Mediated Linguistic Discourse" concluded while both men and women respond negatively to adversarial discourse such ...
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  • 771
30 votes

How to say "We miss you, please come back!" properly?

I've found that the most successful way that's least perceived as spammy and annoying (meaning I won't stab you thru the internet for it, probably) is to send an update to everybody about a new ...
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  • 402
24 votes

Underage but very valuable user on our site

I agree with this answer but want to add some nuance. You presumably had a good reason to set an age limit, and you are worried about backlash from your users if you remove it. What is their concern?...
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19 votes
Accepted

What is the best way to recover from a massive dip in community involvement?

Users leaving your site could be a good thing as well as a bad thing. Undoing the damage will take some planning, endurance, and patience. Good thing: The policy change has caused members who are ...
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  • 728
17 votes

How to handle "drive-by" users on a Stack Exchange site?

Here are some strategies that I have found helpful at Mi Yodeya, whose community started as a SE 1.0 community that I founded: Lead by example Start by demonstrating the best example you can of active ...
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14 votes

How to say "We miss you, please come back!" properly?

I think it is perfectly fine to do, as long as: You have not said you wouldn't do this – at sign up stage, in your terms, etc. You allow a way within the email that is simple and clear to unsubscribe ...
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  • 331
12 votes

Starting a community from scratch - how to create initial userbase?

Start small First of all, you don't want to have "thirty or more sub-fora" when there's nobody on your site to begin with. You can always categorize later. If you have thirty or more sub-fora, ...
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  • 1,346
11 votes

Underage but very valuable user on our site

Unless the "underage" user has self-identified as underage, you have no proof of this user's age and no obligation to act on the claims of other malicious users who are trying to get a valuable user ...
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11 votes

How can I encourage and promote community moderation?

I'm elaborating on ChrisF's answer of building in moderation tools. This is important. But, that's not all there is to it. Every piece of forum software I've used has the ability for users to flag a ...
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  • 6,902
11 votes

How to retain new users on a Q&A site effectively?

Stack Exchange (and some other communities on the Internet) have a gamification component in the form of reputation (and, to a lesser extent, badges). The green +x notification is (for some (most?) ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Is it ok to feed the trolls a little bit?

It appears that you have encountered a helpful troll. Channel this and use it to your advantage. These types of trolls are rare. This site brings in traffic to both the forums and the game servers. ...
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  • 6,902
10 votes

How do I participate as a new user in a community?

You've said you know the topic (i.e. you're not a newbie to the field) but you don't feel you're an expert. And you're reluctant to participate with people you don't know, perhaps (I speculate) out ...
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9 votes
Accepted

How does a mailing list compare with a web forum in terms of user engagement and retention?

Disclaimer: The following answer is the result of a few days' investigation by a non-expert in the field, drawing entirely on publicly available sources. It should not be taken as a comprehensive ...
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  • 1,523
9 votes

How can I save a dying wiki, as its user?

If the game is effectively dead now that the sequel is out then it might be the time to cut your losses and move on. However, if the information is valuable - true if people are going to continue ...
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  • 6,595
9 votes
Accepted

How do I start an active userbase for a tag in on a question and answer site (like Stack Exchange)?

Create content: post selfies A tag that doesn't have much content doesn't make the site attractive to the users you want to bring over. So, make content. Answer your own questions after a day or two, ...
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8 votes

Underage but very valuable user on our site

This started as a comment to Monica's answer, but grew to large. The rule exception that she mentions has worked out extremely well for my gaming community. We offer a "probationary" period for users ...
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  • 6,902
8 votes

Is it ok to feed the trolls a little bit?

I'd challenge you never want to feed trolls, but it doesn't sound like these guys are really trolls. Disagreements always happen in communities, it is a natural and healthy part of them. It becomes ...
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  • 5,993
8 votes
Accepted

Encouraging new user participation while critiquing their first posts

Communication In my experience, a new user that is bursting with participation soon after they join is very receptive to feedback, with the cavaet that the feedback must be plain, visible, and ...
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8 votes

How to say "We miss you, please come back!" properly?

Can it possibly hurt? Not really. It may be perceived as spammy by some, but it will be perceived as a reminder of fun times gone by for others. If you can incorporate a new feature announcement of ...
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  • 5,993
8 votes

How to say "We miss you, please come back!" properly?

It works best if you take the time to personalize the message with something that interests them. E.g. 'hey, this question "insert question about [topic]"' needs an answer and I thought you might be ...
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  • 379
8 votes

How do I restart a community without losing the trust of the target audience?

Clear, concise and transparent communication on your ambitions and goals of the community go a long way with rebooting while maintaining or even acquiring trust. Here is some food for thought in ...
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  • 576
8 votes
Accepted

How can we retain users who came for a special event?

Perhaps recommend to the users that they look at some of the "real" Q&A, related to the silly content. For example: If you found this question [What is the Torah preferred brand of cell phone?, ...
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8 votes

What is the best way to recover from a massive dip in community involvement?

Patreon, a crowd-funding community for individual creators of all types, recently had a controversy like this. They announced that they would now start charging patrons -- the funders -- credit-card ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Deleting Forum Registrations of Users Who Never Log In

I have managed forums that follow both policies - keep every account ever made and delete inactive users. There are perceived benefits to both, but if the account is unused it probably doesn't matter ...
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  • 6,902
8 votes

How to encourage members to engage with the group?

The short answer is often, "people like to be where people are." It takes a lot of energy and pump-priming to get people used to a new community and willing to engage with it. The more they see is new,...
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7 votes

Judging the effectiveness of disciplinary actions, moderation principles and rules

There is no magic ratio to tell you if it is going right. The rate and consistency of issues being reported by the community is the primary indicator, followed by long term community member retention ...
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  • 5,993
7 votes

How can I encourage and promote community moderation?

Build in the moderation tools to the everyday use of the site. You'll either need a reward system so that you can automatically detect those users that are participating well (like the reputation on ...
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  • 6,595
7 votes

Encouraging new user participation while critiquing their first posts

I just use a very welcoming attitude, explaining everything I do and why. I see it as an onboarding process - so on Software Recommendations, where we do quite a lot of deleting new user's answers, I ...
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  • 1,052

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible