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Where are all the NEW users???

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questccg
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One thing that I have found by administering this website ... Is that we get regular requests from NEW users who want to partake in the discussions. My "loose" policy of waiting one (1) Month ... Is a sort of "weed-out" tactic to see if we can eliminate the users who are just registering on a "whim" and those that want to be serious about "designing".

Well today I approved ALL of November's entries (the ones that had valid names and e-mail addresses at least), this must account for about 30 NEW users.

What I am wondering about ... from previous experience is WHERE are all these NEW users once their accounts become ACTIVE??? Are they all "Hot Potatoes" ... just looking for instant gratification?!?!

So far I have seen a total of THREE (3) NEW users ... And all three have been less active than when they first started posting.

And so I ask YOU "NEW" USER... Where are you??? And will you drop by BGDF.com to share your projects and insights?!

X3M
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Weeding out needs to be done with care

But who am I to talk. My garden is worse than a jungle.

Maybe less time waiting?
Also, have they been interviewed??

IDK...

questccg
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There are some simple rules...

You are asked to mention WHY you want to be a member in an e-mail. Secondly you need to have a First and Last Name (Real) and a non-fictitious e-mail and preferably NOT "info@ ... .com" You also need to put your BGDF Username in the Subject ... So I can search and find the right account.

The weeding out ... Is just a process which means that I am usually 1 month behind in JOINING request. Like I said, most people I approve NEVER even visit the website... Hmm???

There is no interview... But what you say could be great and gets you approved (Quickly). Or you have a Real Name (Both First & Last) and you have a real e-mail ... Those two cases get quick approval. Even if it is a month late.

Again maybe it's just like a school of fish. TBH, IDK!!!

Locus
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An earnest question deserves an earnest attempt at an answer:

Making people wait over a month for an account approval on a niche forum with minimal activity is not going to excite many people into engaging with said niche forum with minimal activity.

terzamossa
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agree with Locus and X3M

I saw some useful posts here in September...sent my request on 24th September, wrote again on 28th September.
...was then accepted on the 11th December.

At that point I was already an active member on Board Game related forums on BGG and Reddit and I barely remembered what this forum was about.
Since I am working on my board game every day and I am making it my main job, I still joined and participated in discussions, but I can totally picture a slightly less motivated participant would just drop out.

I understand not wanting idle users, but you can maybe just remove their account if they don't participate at all to the discussion? Not being accepted feels more like nobody checks on new members than any selection being made.

let-off studios
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Wow

Locus wrote:
Making people wait over a month for an account approval on a niche forum with minimal activity is not going to excite many people into engaging with said niche forum with minimal activity.
Agreed. They're not applying for a loan to buy a house or something. A month plus is too long. Hell, a week is too long a wait. I had no idea the process to "apply" to contribute here was literally months long.

Does BGDF require such a curated approach? What does it accomplish? What does that policy do for BGDF?

If it's a matter of not having time to do it yourself, then automate it and let people wash out afterward. My assumption is that there's a comparable process on similar websites: quick automatic email verification, then admission to the site, requiring minimal human contact.

FrankM
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Curation

I suspect the problem with fast/easy approval is spambots. A little question in the verification email should weed those out (for now).

Jay103
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If I asked to apply in

If I asked to apply in November and was approved two months later, even if I was sincere at the time of application, I might well have decided this wasn't a place I wanted to bother with now. I'd think it was moderated by people who didn't even check in more than a few times a year.

Or, if I was interested still, I'd likely be a lurker for a while, because whatever caused me to want to post here in the first place is completely stale and not even visible in the main page any more. Maybe I'd find something new to post about, but surely not right away.

Do you feel there's so much traffic here that keeping people away is desirable? Because I can't see how that's the case.

Stormyknight1976
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When I joined

When I joined this group back in 2012, it was a 24 hour wait to be accepted. And now over a month to be accepted. Yikes. I get it, administrators are busy.

X3M
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My joining was like roughly 2

My joining was like roughly 2 days. Richard was fast I guess.
A week is already too long. Perhaps the waiting time should be put in the shoes of the one wanting to join. In other words. First thing you do every day is check is someone is applying correctly. Then allow them to join immediately. This way, it truly is just a day for them.

Waiting for a month is a bad thing to do. Because in 4 weeks, a lot might change. They simply don't care anymore. Since BGG is so much faster and bigger in that regard. They rather go there. It also has a better way of dealing with uploading pictures and such.

Finally, once they joined, they create some posts. I noticed responses from certain very active members, are often "look at my game!!".

In short, on each front, there are improvements possible.

Jay103
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Stormyknight1976 wrote:When I

Stormyknight1976 wrote:
When I joined this group back in 2012, it was a 24 hour wait to be accepted. And now over a month to be accepted. Yikes. I get it, administrators are busy.

"questccg" wrote:
My "loose" policy of waiting one (1) Month ... Is a sort of "weed-out" tactic to see if we can eliminate the users who are just registering on a "whim" and those that want to be serious about "designing".

questccg
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I'll see what can be done...

But you know some users don't share their Real Name or provide a "Real" e-mail... Things like "info@ <...> .com" could be fake addresses or temporary ones too. So I've got to watch out for both of those. Rich set-up the policy to ENSURE that no "spam bots" get into the forum... Because automatic registration allowed "spam bots" into the forum (on a couple of occasions that I know of). And at the time, the Re-Captcha validation was too weak and the "spam bots" were capable of circumventing the protection.

So Rich decided on MANUAL registration. Which means you need to WRITE an e-mail explaining WHY(?) you want to join. Most people can't even READ and just say: "Activate my account" or some nothing in their bodies. Those I ignore ... because they are highly likely to be "spam bots".

Rich no longer had time to administer the website... And so as the HOST, I became the primary admin to deal with registrations. Rich warned me about the "spam bots" and to ensure that people write SOMETHING in their e-mails which SHOWS that they are a HUMAN with a real REASON to want to join...

I can maybe get it up to a WEEKLY registration... I'll see if that can be done. But I've got to be serious that SOME people WRITE asking for access... Others don't care.

And just because it's not only me... When Rich asked me to take over administration ... He too was behind on registrations too... It's all manual and can take time to register because I e-mail EACH AND EVERY subscriber with a personalized "Welcome Message"... So that also takes time to do too... We're not ROBOTS here either.

But I do feel like it is TELLING. If you were SO HOT to register for an account... When I REPLY (in an e-mail) BGDF.com is the largest World-Wide Website for Game Design... So if they are going ELSEWHERE... Well I'm not too sure where it is they are going.

Secondly IF they don't login when they receive their ACCEPTANCE reply... Why did they bother registering in the FIRST place?!

Anyhow ... I will continue to register more users this week. Should finish off December 2020 ... And be closer to the finish line with January. It's very tedious work ... Ergo the time taken to check the e-mail, check the message, validate the credentials, check BGDF for the account, enable the account, reply using a custom message and then on to the next applicant (rinse and repeat).

I guess I understand 1 month is too LONG. I will TRY to aim for a WEEKLY registration policy. As such I will try to catch up with all the e-mails this week or next... Like I said it takes time. But a WEEKLY policy may be possible...

I DON'T want to DISCOURAGE people... But at the same time, I don't want to be activating accounts nobody is going to use. Cheers!

questccg
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In 2012 there were like 4 to 6 admins...

Stormyknight1976 wrote:
When I joined this group back in 2012, it was a 24 hour wait to be accepted. And now over a month to be accepted. Yikes. I get it, administrators are busy.

Yes back then there were like four (4) or six (6) administrators. Now in 2020 there is only me... Rich is too busy with other matters and the rest I have not seen login for many, many, many months...

So I Administer and Moderate too. Moderation is basic ... But I include the participation in the various threads to actively HELP people out. So I am busy helping people FIRST... And then I have my own projects to post about (just like all of you too...) and then there are Q&As that occur infrequently but they do too... Just this week I got a PM asking about embedding images.

I don't feel like people who get their account activated (via an e-mail) that they don't participate when they DO get registered... It's kinda weird TBH...

questccg
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Not enough time in the day...

terzamossa wrote:
...I understand not wanting idle users, but you can maybe just remove their account if they don't participate at all to the discussion? Not being accepted feels more like nobody checks on new members than any selection being made.

Well unfortunately there are 2 problems with this:

1> User searching is manual and it uses the same SEARCH everyone uses.

2> I don't know who is inactive. There are literally HUNDRED THOUSANDS (like in the 250,000 users range of BLOCKED accounts)... I don't have time to "un-manage" "spam bots"

If you let one "spam bot" in ... you let ALL of them in. As Rich said, it's safer to have a MANUAL registration process.

But I agree having your opinion that a MONTHLY registration process is TOO LONG to wait... My aim now is to get it DOWN to a WEEKLY process... I will also TAILOR the REGISTRATION process with MORE DETAILS.

Cheers.

X3M
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How much spambots did you receive

This last week?
And how many seem to be valid users?

Can you give us a number?

questccg
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We currently have over 250,000+ BLOCKED users

That were spamming BGDF.com at SOME POINT in time (last 20 years). I can't do a query for "valid users" ... The search/filter capabilities of the USER section are "sh!t". All I checked was that IN THE PAST, there are OVER 250,000 BLOCKED users that were "spam bots".

Since we are MANUAL ... NONE.

I don't have TIME to track down "spam bots" manually. So REGISTRATION is going to REMAIN "MANUAL". But I've now added that it can TAKE up to 1 WEEK to get activated. That was something that was NOT in the e-mail before...

So now it is... And people are AWARE that it could take a short bit of time before they get their account.

But I've got to admit that hardly anyone showing up once their Activation e-mail is SENT ... Is VERY WEIRD. Like I said, I sent each and every user a custom message welcoming them to BGDF.com...

My guess is that it is TRUE: most move on quicker to other pastures and it seems like it's normal. My guess is that they are NOT active "Game Designers"... TBH.

questccg
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We current have about 15,000 ACTIVE users

And I've checked about 50% of the registered users I activated LOGIN but did not post a thread. So about 15 of the users DID LOGIN ... But have not become active participants in the Forum.

3 out of 30 so 10% have become active (writing and replying)...

Those are the figures that I have...

Note #1: I approved ALL of December today... And additional 10 accounts in that month. December was a bit slow considering all of the Holidays!

Note #2: I too get SPAMMED ... I've got 109 e-mails in waiting and only 10 NEW ones (which I have not yet approved). So that mean 99 messages are plain SPAM. I've got to go through all of those too... Some might be account access request with invalid e-mails, credentials (but usually I post a reply) and no details too...

Note #3: January is ALL approved up until today. Maybe I'll make it a habit to check every Tuesday ... My goal is to maintain a WEEKLY schedule... Thanks for everyone's input. I realize that 1 MONTH was TOO LONG and 1 WEEK seems feasible (I just got to be ready to check on a weekly basis).

Note #4: In November, December and January ... In TOTAL I have activated 50 accounts (appx.) So there are people visiting and wanting to JOIN US in discussing their games, game threads and topics, etc. But not everyone is logging on... Therefore if the potato is HOT, a week should be long enough to VET the users...

FrankM
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Response time

I had gotten a quick (automated?) response asking me to reply with a certain subject line and saying something about myself. I got my approval about three days after I replied with my "I am not a robot" message.

That seems reasonable, especially with a note that it's to avoid spambots.

X3M
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I find it weird that there

I find it weird that there are so many spambots applying to this forum.
Clearly something went wrong in the past.

questccg
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I agree with you 100% but...

X3M wrote:
I find it weird that there are so many spambots applying to this forum. Clearly something went wrong in the past.

At some point people were "coding" all kinds of bots and there may have been several attempts from one (1) BOT that what trying to activate itself in the forum ... We've seen a few manually ... Which were Rich's mistake ... as I was only a Moderator at that time and pointed out some "weird" threads that appeared to be "artificial" and NOT Game Design-related content.

So if you have one (1) BOT that registers for 100+ accounts to only need one to gain access... Well that might seem a bit logical.

We've been controlling the situation pretty well over the years. As such I think I've only seen TWO (2) occasions where there was a BOT thread created with some weird comments to three or four other threads.

But yeah my guess we had a TON of issues in the PAST.

Note #1: If ONE (1) BOT was registering for 100+ accounts that means that in HISTORY there have been about 2,500 BOTS. Not exactly too much during about 20 years... Seems reasonable to me. From what I know of the bots... This all looks to be LOGICAL.

I used to be a Software Developer and what I know from BOTs historically is that SOME bots create a bunch of accounts trying all kinds of ways to pierce through the login page/script (by trying to access NODES inside the forum for valid activated users). All kinds of stuff ... Like even trying to REGISTER/Activate themselves too...

FrankM
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The bots are crafty

questccg wrote:
I used to be a Software Developer and what I know from BOTs historically is that SOME bots create a bunch of accounts trying all kinds of ways to pierce through the login page/script (by trying to access NODES inside the forum for valid activated users). All kinds of stuff ... Like even trying to REGISTER/Activate themselves too...

The bots are crafty.

AdamRobinGames-ARG
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Back to the original question.

As to why some aren't that active, I can speak to my specific case. (Although I was on here before you took over quest.) I've been an on again, off again user because of life happening. Kids, work, other hobbies/interests.

nswoll
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questccg wrote: But I do feel

questccg wrote:

But I do feel like it is TELLING. If you were SO HOT to register for an account... When I REPLY (in an e-mail) BGDF.com is the largest World-Wide Website for Game Design... So if they are going ELSEWHERE... Well I'm not too sure where it is they are going.

I've been a member here for about 5 or 6 years. There are many larger game design groups - specifically BGG, Reddit, and Facebook. A new user can go to BGG and ask a question in the game design forums and get 10 responses in a few hours. Or join a Facebook group like Board Game Design Lab or TGC (the game Crafter) and get 30 responses in a few hours. Or join here and get a response a month later when they've already solved their design question.

questccg wrote:

Secondly IF they don't login when they receive their ACCEPTANCE reply... Why did they bother registering in the FIRST place?!

You can't be serious? If you hit a bump in your game design and you have a question, you are just going to wait a month to ask your question?? Really? Most people are a little more motivated than that. By time they get their acceptance email they've already found 5 other places to get answers to their questions, they don't need this website.

When I joined this site had some benefits that other sites didn't offer - mainly the GDS (game design showdown) every month. Also, it was much more active, and there were fewer Facebook groups.

Now, I check this site regularly, but there is little value compared to other options.

X3M
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nswoll

nswoll,

Think I am doing the exact same thing. I have like 30 people now that I can ask questions of what they think is best. BGDF excluded from that list.
I never asked on BGG though, always had the feeling it would be the same there.

I mostly only post here to sort out my thoughts. Sometimes someone does give input though.

questccg
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I don't get it...???

nswoll wrote:
You can't be serious? If you hit a bump in your game design and you have a question, you are just going to wait a month to ask your question?? Really? Most people are a little more motivated than that. By time they get their acceptance email they've already found 5 other places to get answers to their questions, they don't need this website.

I guess I have different MOTIVATION. I like being PART OF A GROUP. And as such I post many threads about the things that I am working on, get feedback, people share their thoughts and ideas, etc.

nswoll wrote:
When I joined this site had some benefits that other sites didn't offer - mainly the GDS (game design showdown) every month. Also, it was much more active, and there were fewer Facebook groups.

The GDS was mainly an IDEA grab. Basically encourage users to think-up ideas about the various concepts/formats and share them freely with the designer of the contest. But as I have explained in numerous threads about "ideas" is that they sound COOL ... But unless developed are pretty much useless... (on their own).

nswoll wrote:
Now, I check this site regularly, but there is little value compared to other options.

Strange... Why do you check it "regularly" is there is "little value"??? I'm on the forum every day helping people out with ideas and feedback on their designs. I do so voluntarily ... I'm not paid to do it. But still I do it. Why? Because I'm have a different perspective when designing and so if I can help someone out... Great!

Jay103
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questccg wrote:nswoll

questccg wrote:
nswoll wrote:
You can't be serious? If you hit a bump in your game design and you have a question, you are just going to wait a month to ask your question?? Really? Most people are a little more motivated than that. By time they get their acceptance email they've already found 5 other places to get answers to their questions, they don't need this website.

I guess I have different MOTIVATION. I like being PART OF A GROUP. And as such I post many threads about the things that I am working on, get feedback, people share their thoughts and ideas, etc.


Well, they're not part of the group if their account hasn't been activated.. that was the problem.

questccg
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We've fixed the registration issues!

Jay103 wrote:
...Well, they're not part of the group if their account hasn't been activated... that was the problem.

I'll ensure that account registration is handled more promptly (Weekly). That was my own mistake because of an error in judgment. I think of it from my own perspective and yeah... a couple days is enough wait time for people who are not really interested in joining a community of designers.

questccg wrote:
I was curious about what "little value" and "I check it regularly"... How those two make sense together.

This is just weird... TBH.

nswoll
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questccg wrote:questccg

questccg wrote:

questccg wrote:
I was curious about what "little value" and "I check it regularly"... How those two make sense together.

This is just weird... TBH.

How so?
I check this site 5 times a week on average. I open the website, see if any of the thread titles on the right side bar interest me, and if not I move on. You can see by my post history that I generally post about once a month maybe. So I don't feel like this site offers the value that I can get from Facebook groups or BGG design forums. But I'm on my phone all day because of my job so it's easy to check the website.

questccg
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Ah I see...

nswoll wrote:
I check this site 5 times a week on average...

I understand now... You don't have any of your own projects or games that you would like to SHARE with the rest of the designers? I mean that's partially what I use BGDF.com. Look at this very thread... In my mixed up but honestly trying to do the right thing, I realized that I was waiting much too long to activate registered new users.

And it's GOOD ... Because I saw the reaction of many of our members ... And I realized that maybe that was TOO LONG too... As of TODAY, I aim for an SLA of 1 WEEK at the most (well unless the credentials or e-mail are problematic)... Then it may take some more e-mails back-and-forth ...

Sometimes I post as a "sound board": does this sound reasonable?!

Other times, it's a question of "documenting" my process. Sometimes getting the ideas out and "into the open" allows me to resolve issues when someone else takes a 2nd look at them.

But I understand, we each use the forum our OWN way ... And that is perfectly acceptable. So maybe you should post about the "next great big idea" that you may (or may not) have! Cheers.

FrankM
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Getting wallflowers talking

It might help if new users had a private message waiting for them asking to make a “hello” thread with instructions how to do so.

As a positive side-effect, it will help people find the message notifications. Not that I had any trouble with that. Why do you ask? ;)

pelle
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Sounds like maybe one or two

Sounds like maybe one or two new admins could be useful to keep wait times down? No... not me (which is probably what most will say, but maybe someone is both someone ccg can trust and want to help?).

The early GDS were more about making a (mostly complete game, usually including components and complete rules. This was around 2010. The only game I made for it was in August 2010 and that game was reasonably playable, and I remember most or all other entries used to be that as well (at least in theory; not sure any where played, and it was never supposed to be fully tested and completed games). I think it was shortly after that that the rules changed and it became more about just posting game ideas, and I lost interest and looks like many others did as well eventually.

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