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Thread: Nudging the forum over 600 active users...

  1. #1
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Nudging the forum over 600 active users...

    I've noticed the forum has been hovering around the 590+ range for a little while but hasn't yet (To my knowledge) gone over 600 active users. Hans asked us card holders to commit to a new thread a week, but i'll be the first to admit i've fallen a little behind with that. I fully intend to try and create some more but I was thinking...

    What else can we do to raise the numbers in addition to what we already are doing?

    What if we all commited to giving the forum a couple of mentions this week on various social medai such as Twitter and Facebook and the like (Assuming you have accounts). Is it possible PRS could give a mention a couple of times on their FB and Twitter feeds this week coming? maybe there are PRS players you know who aren't a member but you think would sign up... Not everyone wants to be a member of a forum but surely it won't do any harm to give a little mention here and there?

    Any other ideas?
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, SE Custom 24 2012, Fender Strat
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  2. #2
    I have been thinking about this. There are a few things that are human nature that might be off-putting to new users of any forum.

    First off:

    A lot of us know each other fairly well, through personal contact, or past forum contact, or Experience and other events. I remember feeling a little intimidated wading into the group in the first PRS Forum in 2000 or so. Even then, there were in-jokes, modes of what was or was not acceptable, etc. For a casual visitor, that might be off-putting. Not that we should change, just something to be aware of when welcoming new members.

    And this is a very intelligent membership, and that can make it all the more intimidating at first. I think we do a pretty good job of welcoming folks, but it's something to keep in mind if we want growth in participation.

    Second:

    The forum's sections are gear-centric, which is cool as far as it goes. But imagine yourself a new player. Maybe you're a young player without a lot of experience. We have so much to share! But that might add to the intimidation factor.

    Why not have a "new players" section of the forum, where people would feel comfortable asking about the basics? Inexperienced players aren't stupid, they simply lack information and practice. They need to feel like an important part of what goes on here, and that their participation is sought and actively welcomed! Young people especially could find a forum like this useful.

    Third:

    I just read a Time Magazine article about a study conducted by two Universities in Germany, about active Facebook participants. Turns out that about a third of them feel more anxious, and feel worse about themselves if they aren't doing the exciting and cool things that they see some of their friends doing, like parties, or vacations, or getting expensive things. Makes them feel like losers.

    We have lots of very high end NGDs posted here. They're fun, and we love them, but imagine that you're a person who's become interested in an SE, and saved for it for a long time, or a US PRS that it took you a long time to acquire. You come to this forum, and maybe you feel like a piker if you don't have a very expensive guitar, or a big collection, or you can't buy a new guitar as frequently as some do. Maybe you feel you wouldn't "belong". Group dynamics are kind of weird, and the article I referred to made me aware that the internet can make some folks feel bad about themselves, because it's human nature for some people to make comparisons.

    I honestly don't know how to solve this problem, because not only do I enjoy seeing NGD posts, but I like posting my own little reviews of new gear. But visitors clearly need to know that they don't have to be rich folks or have a lot of instruments to be appreciated here. A player with a used, inexpensive PRS (or no PRS at all but just an interest in them!) should feel as welcome as someone with a gorgeous collection.

    Just a few ideas to think about and discuss, but maybe we could encourage more active participants by thinking about this stuff and coming up with some solutions?
    Last edited by LSchefman; 02-10-2013 at 09:35 PM.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the motivational thread, Mike!

    I don't think passing the 600 mark will be a problem. 10,000 active users in the next destination. We jumped by 120 daily users between the 27th of December and now. There are some additions coming that will give everyone a little more room to spread out. Also, we're still very young. The other manufacturer forums, which have been online for years, have tens of thousands of users.

    All that said, I've been mentioning this forum in all of my recent eBay ads. My reason for doing that, however, has more to do with my desire to stop the use of BS terms in PRS auctions.
    One Life

  4. #4
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I have been thinking about this. There are a few things that are human nature that might be off-putting to new users of any forum.

    First off:

    A lot of us know each other fairly well, through personal contact, or past forum contact, or Experience and other events. I remember feeling a little intimidated wading into the group in the first PRS Forum in 2000 or so. Even then, there were in-jokes, modes of what was or was not acceptable, etc. For a casual visitor, that might be off-putting. Not that we should change, just something to be aware of when welcoming new members.

    And this is a very intelligent membership, and that can make it all the more intimidating at first. I think we do a pretty good job of welcoming folks, but it's something to keep in mind if we want growth in participation.

    Second:

    The forum's sections are gear-centric, which is cool as far as it goes. But imagine yourself a new player. Maybe you're a young player without a lot of experience. We have so much to share! But that might add to the intimidation factor.

    Why not have a "new players" section of the forum, where people would feel comfortable asking about the basics? Inexperienced players aren't stupid, they simply lack information and practice. They need to feel like an important part of what goes on here, and that their participation is sought and actively welcomed! Young people especially could find a forum like this useful.

    Third:

    I just read a Time Magazine article about a study conducted by two Universities in Germany, about active Facebook participants. Turns out that about a third of them feel more anxious, and feel worse about themselves if they aren't doing the exciting and cool things that they see some of their friends doing, like parties, or vacations, or getting expensive things. Makes them feel like losers.

    We have lots of very high end NGDs posted here. They're fun, and we love them, but imagine that you're a person who's become interested in an SE, and saved for it for a long time, or a US PRS that it took you a long time to acquire. You come to this forum, and maybe you feel like a piker if you don't have a very expensive guitar, or a big collection, or you can't buy a new guitar as frequently as some do. Maybe you feel you wouldn't "belong". Group dynamics are kind of weird, and the article I referred to made me aware that the internet can make some folks feel bad about themselves, because it's human nature for some people to make comparisons.

    I honestly don't know how to solve this problem, because not only do I enjoy seeing NGD posts, but I like posting my own little reviews of new gear. But visitors clearly need to know that they don't have to be rich folks or have a lot of instruments to be appreciated here. A player with a used, inexpensive PRS (or no PRS at all but just an interest in them!) should feel as welcome as someone with a gorgeous collection.

    Just a few ideas to think about and discuss, but maybe we could encourage more active participants by thinking about this stuff and coming up with some solutions?
    It's definately an interesting thing about Facebook and the like and the whole 'one upmanship'. It's a sad reflection of modern life in some ways.

    But I do think we've been pretty good about things like this on here.

    I know I can't afford a production model US PRS and certainly not a PS but I don't mind seeing, reading, hearing about what others have bought.

    I think there's a lot of love for the SE models and in general they're not seen as poor mans guitars or 'not worthy', etc... Indded, it's amazing to see how many people who own some of the high end PRS's also own SE's and enjoy them! There probably is a bit of fear from SE owners initially but hopefully if they give the forum a chance for a few days / weeks they'll be pleasently surprised.
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, SE Custom 24 2012, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  5. #5
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! View Post
    Thanks for the motivational thread, Mike!

    There are some additions coming that will give everyone a little more room to spread out.
    No problem.... I like the sound of that!
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, SE Custom 24 2012, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  6. #6
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    Having a contest that forum members can participate in would spur membership.

    Having each new PRS guitar (USA or SE) come with a paper that describes the PRS forum...gives the person an immediate password to begin membership (password will be computer generated with the Modcat, and will have to be changed as soon as they log in) will also boost membership.

    How many PRS are sold in a year...several thousand???? Amps, acoustics and both USA and imported electrics.....if each piece of merchandise came with a "forum introduction", I bet the majority of new owners would join right up.

    OK..that's two ideas to boost membership. On second thought..you gotta be a member for at least 3 months to be eligible to participate in the company sponsored contests described above.

  7. #7
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    I like that idea Doc!
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, SE Custom 24 2012, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikegarveyblues View Post
    I like that idea Doc!
    Thanks....after all...if the company can include with each purchase a "Mel Bay certificate" to be redeemed with each registered guitar.....I think it would not take much to provide a small index card with a "welcome to the forum" certificate with password and instructions for membership included.

    Bet it would add 1,000+ members a year if you count each piece that PRS produces.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by docbennett View Post
    On second thought..you gotta be a member for at least 3 months to be eligible to participate in the company sponsored contests described above.
    I like all of your ideas except this one. Why create a participation driver and then preclude those who might sign up to participate?
    One Life

  10. #10
    Goatee Practitioner Danerada's Avatar
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    Some great ideas here! I don't think folks would ft discouraged about only owning an SE model and seeing all of the USA PRS guitars here. I have found that folks here get just as excited I've someone with an SE as they do this with USA models.

    At least that has been my experience.

    So how about some social media pimping?! I'm in for that

  11. #11
    Member dmorton67's Avatar
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    Great ideas. As a new member, I just tried to jump in to some things I do know about, like the song name thread. There may be some that are here to stalk and learn as well which is what I did initially. While I certainly don't know much about all the PRS lines, I do know that everyone has been very respectful and pleasant, which is why I keep coming back. And I also appreciate PRS staff coming online and adding to the discussions. Makes for good PR
    Sometimes in life you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! View Post
    I like all of your ideas except this one. Why create a participation driver and then preclude those who might sign up to participate?
    You're right...it was an arbitrary factor that would make "new owners" feel somewhat like 2nd class citizens.....so remove that time frame. Get a contest going.....get a forum membership card...and dive right into the fun!

  13. #13
    Senior Member slang05's Avatar
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    I gotta tell you, as a newer member, it felt like I was trying to wiggle my way into a clique. Not to say anybody has ever been disrespectful to me it just seemed at times like I was a guy at a party who walked up on a conversation among friends, said something funny only to have everybody look at me and go back to their conversation! lol

    And also, posting pics of my guitars, that I love, among some of these super sweet Private Stock guitars is a bit intimidating. I'm not complaining at all, I love being on here but not everybody has money and the ability to go to the PRS Experience or buy new Private Stock instruments. It honestly feels like at times its an elitist club. I think before we can add members we need to find a way to limit that. Maybe have a section within electric instruments that's an SE section and a section for USA guitars and one for Private Stock.

    When somebody buys a new guitar (an SE or a PS) they feel a swell of pride and they want to show it off so they check out the forum. Everybody loves a NGD! We need to embrace that idea and give those people a way to do that without feeling intimidated. I don't think ANYBODY on here would say something negative about an SE, but if a new SE member could show off his/her new pride in a forum with other SE members it might make them more comfortable and therefore more likely to repost and become and "active" member.

    I have started several threads and have always found everybody's posts to be honest and enjoyable. Just like this one, lots of great thoughts and suggestions. One I would think would be beneficial would be a little piece of paper inside of the case that mentions specifically the forum. I don't have a newer guitar so I don't know if there is already something like that?
    "Just one more and then I promise, no more guitars honey!" - The phrase I say most to my wife

  14. #14
    Bobble Head Moderator JMintzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang05 View Post
    I gotta tell you, as a newer member, it felt like I was trying to wiggle my way into a clique. Not to say anybody has ever been disrespectful to me it just seemed at times like I was a guy at a party who walked up on a conversation among friends, said something funny only to have everybody look at me and go back to their conversation! lol

    And also, posting pics of my guitars, that I love, among some of these super sweet Private Stock guitars is a bit intimidating. I'm not complaining at all, I love being on here but not everybody has money and the ability to go to the PRS Experience or buy new Private Stock instruments. It honestly feels like at times its an elitist club. I think before we can add members we need to find a way to limit that. Maybe have a section within electric instruments that's an SE section and a section for USA guitars and one for Private Stock.

    When somebody buys a new guitar (an SE or a PS) they feel a swell of pride and they want to show it off so they check out the forum. Everybody loves a NGD! We need to embrace that idea and give those people a way to do that without feeling intimidated. I don't think ANYBODY on here would say something negative about an SE, but if a new SE member could show off his/her new pride in a forum with other SE members it might make them more comfortable and therefore more likely to repost and become and "active" member.

    I have started several threads and have always found everybody's posts to be honest and enjoyable. Just like this one, lots of great thoughts and suggestions. One I would think would be beneficial would be a little piece of paper inside of the case that mentions specifically the forum. I don't have a newer guitar so I don't know if there is already something like that?
    Hey, who let the new guy in???


    Jamie

    P.S. I keeed, I keeed... Remember, we were all newbies once. Except me. I've been here for freakin' ever... I really need a life...
    ---Jamie---

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    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Hey! I'm a new guy too you know! I am PRS poor in some regards, I play an SE with frickin' sparkles, I post plenty of threads that nobody gets into, I live well below the poverty line, I don't belong to a clique of PRS playing disco lovers, and I couldn't shoot a non-blurry photo if my life depended on it, but I TRY to be interesting and involved.

    What I think a lot of new members need to realize is that this is a pretty new place, there IS room for you, but you have got to be the one to make it! When a thread of yours makes a "thunk" sound and nobody replies, it's your duty to go back to it and add, or edit it to be more interesting if it's important to you. Don't get turned off to the place if the party sucks, make it a better party! bring some beer, sit down and chat with that other dude who's not getting any interest in his thread and try and contribute to it. Be aware that since there are only 590 members, a discussion on Norwegian Black Metal may take a few months before enough people take interest to make it to two whole pages of posts, and that a lot of members post while they are at work, so something on Friday night probably won't be seen until Monday.

    The common factor among all of us is our obsession over PRS guitars.

    People grow at different rates. Some people may be more developed when it comes to playing ability, some of us (not me) are more advanced financially, a bunch of us might be needing to learn how to use all these darn electronic devices, but the point of it all is to grow as human beings while sharing our common obsession.

    SE, CE, PS, STD, aw hell, even blue PRS are more interesting than any other guitars, and I wanna hear about 'em!


    PRS Guitars
    "Other guitars are just stupid"

  16. #16
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    I think a landing page on the prsguitars.com community->forum link would be nice. Something pretty that tells people what the forum is about, that it's relatively new, that we're a nice bunch of people, and to not be shy, sign up, show us your guitar/s and join in on the conversation.

    At the moment if you click the forum link, it comes up with the latest posts which IMO, can be a little out of context at times and may seem a bit "in jokey" or "cliquey"

  17. #17
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justmund View Post
    I think a landing page on the prsguitars.com community->forum link would be nice. Something pretty that tells people what the forum is about, that it's relatively new, that we're a nice bunch of people, and to not be shy, sign up, show us your guitar/s and join in on the conversation.

    At the moment if you click the forum link, it comes up with the latest posts which IMO, can be a little out of context at times and may seem a bit "in jokey" or "cliquey"
    I actually think that is a very cool idea.

  18. #18
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    I actually think that is a very cool idea.
    You make it sound like I never have cool ideas

  19. #19
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    IMHO

    First off, I'm glad to see so many folks take ownership of the forum because after all, it is YOUR forum. Without your contribution this place would not exist. So thank you for that.

    Next, I think everyone here tries to be polite and inviting, but I can understand how newbies may feel intimidated. Hell sometimes I feel like I laid a turd in the punchbowl after some of the threads I started die a very quick death. Truth is, we have very diverse tastes and not everything is going to resonate with everyone on this forum. But that's the beauty of it, we get to share and maybe grow from others contributions.

    Lastly, I don't keep track of which guitars any of you own and I doubt many other members do either. I know a couple of you guys have amazing collections and we all live vicariously through your NGD threads (keep 'em coming), but I have no idea what Mike Garvey plays, or what Les plays, or what Dane plays, etc. I know Sergio has a white CE, but that's only because we've been closely following his refinishing progress. My point is this, you don't have to have a killer collection in order to be an asset to this forum. My personal collection pales in comparison to of the members here, but it's cool. I keep rocking my three chord songs and enjoying myself in the process.

    ps- contests are coming soon, I promise

  20. #20
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justmund View Post
    You make it sound like I never have cool ideas
    Hey, I'm not the one who shot down YOUR idea that we should all wear man-thongs to the next Experience.

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