Home – New Forums Other discussions Why is the attrition rate so high on Flying Solo?

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  • #1190531
    Peter – FS Administrator
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    bb1, post: 223795, member: 53375 wrote:
    Must admit I am interested in the read. But am wondering if my question about 10 posts back has being overlooked. Is the attrition rate truly high ?

    Good question. I wouldn’t have thought so, but with no directly comparable benchmark it’s a very subjective question as to what is deemed low/high. Of course we’d love everyone to join and stay forever but as [USER=50]@KarenC[/USER] and others have said there are lots of reasons people come and go :)

    #1190532
    bb1
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    FS Administrator, post: 223841, member: 1 wrote:
    Good question. I wouldn’t have thought so, but with no directly comparable benchmark it’s a very subjective question as to what is deemed low/high. Of course we’d love everyone to join and stay forever but as [USER=50]@KarenC[/USER] and others have said there are lots of reasons people come and go :)

    I think that’s where my question came from, the thread claims there is a high attrition rate, but do we know it really is?

    #1190533
    Taylored
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    Hi All. to answer Bert, i think there is a high rate. I look at this forum regularly but rarely sign in anymore and contribute even less. I note that right now there are “446 people online” but very few actually post. I joined this forum a long time ago as I learn about new business owners pain points from the type of questions that get asked. Over time, those pain points tend to be the same and the answers therefore also tend to be the same. I am happy to contribute back my expertise in accounting and business and in return have received assistance and learning in many other areas and types of businesses. Why I stopped contributing is that I got a little tired of having people post behind me trying to “out expert” me while trying to shamelessly promote their own businesses. If I wished to be made to feel small just for trying to help someone else out, well, there are better ways of depressing myself. If I wanted an argument I could go down the pub.I put some of my quals into my signature just to sort of say, hey, I actually do know what I am talking about but I came here to relax, learn and help not self promote, have to defend myself or be used as someones stepping stone.
    Also, i too wish to remain anonymous. My personal views very often conflict with my customers expectations. I provide the service and advice each individual client deserves and requires. Frankly, my personal opinion matters very little in the advice I give as its based on their needs and circumstances, not mine. I am always concerned that what I say in a forum will come back to haunt me in the real world so I try very hard keep the two apart.

    And at the risk of setting myself up for another whipping, I think that maybe that many people sign up for many different reason and the site does not meet those needs and so they move on. So the question that creates is why do people come here in the first place and why are their wants not being met. 25 people joined today. Why did they join? If they don’t find what they are looking for then they will move on. A new member posts a question and piranhas answer looking to solicit business and then they move on. 80,880 members and 30 or 40 regulars post. So what are other 80,840 looking for? Myself, as a solo, I was looking for a network of fellow travellers, a place where I could share some stories, help some people on their journeys and get a bit of help whenever I needed it. A community. Instead it seems to have become over time a platform for self promotion, business and personal advertising and an extension of the dog eat dog world. i don’t need it in my private life too

    As I have previously closed a post before….well you did ask

    Cheers

    #1190534
    GuestMember
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    I got a little tired of having people post behind me trying to “out expert” me

    Completely agree. I think this is one of the main reasons for the attrition from members being ‘read and write’ ► ‘read-only’ ► ‘no longer visiting’.

    So often, people undermine what others are saying rather simply positively adding their own thoughts. Hearty debate, yes. Correcting something important, yes. But I documented some of the discursive techniques being employed at the top of this post.

    #1190535
    Jason Ramage
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    Its an interesting point about others trying to out expert you (not inferring you as such.. LOL), personally i think we just need to contribute our expertise or views on the topics and move on. Revisit if needed and check on OP’s reply if clarification needed, although give the OP the opportunity to review each and every reply – rightly or wrongly.

    Rarely have i seen a rebuttal or defamatory replies, maybe some could be considered discursive although i would prefer it be reasoning in reply rather than intuition as i feel intuition isnt really expertise as such.

    Maybe this reply is considered discursive?

    Being a free platform, with a few regular contributors with some well rounded soloist knowledge contributing i would feel that each and everyones reply has as much validity as anyones in the forum?

    There will always be someone that thinks they are 100% correct or are the best source of the answer, although in my limited experience working with a couple of well scaled enterprises i have found that the more varying the boundaries the more involved the conversation becomes.. Occasionally a little off point, although i have also found the best spur of the moment brain waves or inspirational resolutions have come from ideas (such as idea boards that should have no real boundaries) that sparked another and then another and so forth :)

    Taylored, its a shame you dont lend your knowledge as you sound like you have info and a specific way you would bring some insightful knowledge in your field that i personally would enjoy. Please dont ever be afraid of adding to my posts, i would appreciate your insights – if you had the time, of course.

    Another great and varying update to this post from you boys (?)

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: hello@lucasarthur.net.au   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1190536
    bb1
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    Paul Peace, post: 223850, member: 54653 wrote:
    So often, people undermine what others are saying rather simply positively adding their own thoughts. Hearty debate, yes. Correcting something important, yes. But I documented some of the discursive techniques being employed at the top of this post.

    Everyone has different ideas on a topic, we don’t all view something the same way, so you, saying that if someone makes a comment, no one else is allowed to comment because that could be seen as undermining. This would be an extremely poor forum if that was the case, we have 100’s of people contributing, so there will be 100’s of views, opinions, or ways of approaching a topic.

    #1190537
    GuestMember
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    ‘Putting words in people’s mouths’ is one of the problems I mentioned on my initial post. Notice that here? People come out with these ‘straw man’ arguments on posts.

    What I said:

    “Hearty debate, yes. Correcting something important, yes.”

    This doesn’t preclude, and in fact, welcomes, a variety of voices and opinion. My point is sophisticated but becomes caricatured.

    Rather than finding even a nugget of truth in my thoughts to build rapport, and then adding his own views, in Bert strides with something I never said.

    so you, saying that if someone makes a comment, no one else is allowed to comment

    Look:
    so you I]ed. personal[/I, saying I]ed. no I didn’t[/I that if someone makes a comment, no one else is allowed to comment…

    There’s also a reductio ad absurdum logic going on in some posts, like here. A statement is dismissed by showing that an untenable or absurd result follows from its acceptance. In Bert’s extreme case scenario here, no one would be able to comment for fear of undermining, and we’d all be left with an

    extremely poor forum

    People often now agree due to it’s truisms and surface value but the point doesn’t actually follow from what the original poster said, leaving them defending their original assertions or biting their tongue. Another problem is that the person doing this is now central in a discussion or argument (not saying it’s deliberate) as it ding-dongs back and forth, ousting others who don’t want to interrupt or get caught in the crossfire.

    This is what I’m facing daily on here from a small number of people. It really is tedious and time-consuming and I don’t appreciate it at all. I think some folk are scared to post because it’s an uncomfortable environment.

    #1190539
    Taylored
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    Paul Peace, post: 223870, member: 54653 wrote:
    It really is tedious and time-consuming and I don’t appreciate it at all. I think some folk are scared to post because it’s an uncomfortable environment.

    [USER=34537]@HarryLuke Logistics[/USER] & Paul – Thank you for your intelligent and reasoned discourse to this non discursive conversation (ha). Bert, your response just serves to reinforce my previous post. Who needs it

    #1190540
    Greg_M
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    Interesting thread.

    As a long time poster, and I hope contributor, here’s my 2 cents.

    I actually think the attrition rate of new members has always been high … what’s changed significantly imo is the number of persistent and regular visitors and contributors adding content and comment. A quick look at “notable members” (and I suspect the next 50 or so not listed with the current software) shows that a lot have gone “missing in action” in recent months.

    A quick look at the “view count” tends to confirm that there’s not as many peeps even reading the threads, including threads with multiple replies.

    My observations are obviously lacking in any real research but reflect why I personally now rarely participate in threads (they are based on observations over a long timeline though).

    A lack of diversity, especially from real world, bricks and mortar and mum and dad businesses has made the content generally boring … the online guru’s and marketers (and WordPress aficionado’s) continually strayed out of their paddocks and seemed to “tag” the majority of threads in all subheadings and bend them to their view of the world. Not everyone spends their life, or makes a living, generating leads online.

    If marketing and WordPress do make the world go around … there are far better resources out there, than local wannabe’s peddling their wares on a forum.

    Political correctness has also taken it’s toll imo … a bit of “biffo” (not directed at niave newbies btw) added to the engagement factor (I’ve personally been “wiped” a few times- always with good reason). Long time members also weeded out the rubbish pretty effectively … where have they gone?

    This forum was my “go to” resource for many services, all of which gave me good value and relationships, even dined and drank with a few … this is no longer the case – Very few post often enough to give any real insight into their character or abilities. A signature at the bottom of a boring post will not get you a referral from me in any circumstances.

    OK, I’ve had my grizzle … hope there’s a resurgence of original and conversational content and this forum goes from strength to strength … it is and can be a great resource … but if it’s boring, it’ll die.

    Cheers

    #1190541
    Jason Ramage
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    Greg_M, post: 223927, member: 38207 wrote:
    Interesting thread.

    As a long time poster, and I hope contributor, here’s my 2 cents.

    I actually think the attrition rate of new members has always been high … what’s changed significantly imo is the number of persistent and regular visitors and contributors adding content and comment. A quick look at “notable members” (and I suspect the next 50 or so not listed with the current software) shows that a lot have gone “missing in action” in recent months.

    A quick look at the “view count” tends to confirm that there’s not as many peeps even reading the threads, including threads with multiple replies.

    My observations are obviously lacking in any real research but reflect why I personally now rarely participate in threads (they are based on observations over a long timeline though).

    A lack of diversity, especially from real world, bricks and mortar and mum and dad businesses has made the content generally boring … the online guru’s and marketers (and WordPress aficionado’s) continually strayed out of their paddocks and seemed to “tag” the majority of threads in all subheadings and bend them to their view of the world. Not everyone spends their life, or makes a living, generating leads online.

    If marketing and WordPress do make the world go around … there are far better resources out there, than local wannabe’s peddling their wares on a forum.

    Political correctness has also taken it’s toll imo … a bit of “biffo” (not directed at niave newbies btw) added to the engagement factor (I’ve personally been “wiped” a few times- always with good reason). Long time members also weeded out the rubbish pretty effectively … where have they gone?

    This forum was my “go to” resource for many services, all of which gave me good value and relationships, even dined and drank with a few … this is no longer the case – Very few post often enough to give any real insight into their character or abilities. A signature at the bottom of a boring post will not get you a referral from me in any circumstances.

    OK, I’ve had my grizzle … hope there’s a resurgence of original and conversational content and this forum goes from strength to strength … it is and can be a great resource … but if it’s boring, it’ll die.

    Cheers

    As always, awesome to see you here mate…. Always a pleasant and insightful, and topical, response :)

    Particularly on point with the longer term members and the dining aspect, rarely does a conversation even get strong enough to consider this any more :( – lots of changes have contributed to it, but I think it still has a pulse.

    Cheers

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: hello@lucasarthur.net.au   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1190542
    GuestMember
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    I agree with just about everything in your post Greg. What a coincidence. I looked yesterday at the exact same thing – the Hall of Fame and wondered where some of the most active members were.

    Regarding:

    Long time members also weeded out the rubbish pretty effectively…

    Is it the long time member or moderator who is doing this?
    How do members objectively decide what constitutes ‘rubbish’?
    What affords them this arbiter status? Just longevity?
    How do they do the weeding? What tools do they use?

    #1190543
    Robert Gerrish
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    Hi all

    We’ve been following this thread very closely, and while I can’t pretend it fills our hearts with joy, it is – as always – enormously valuable to us as the custodians of your forum. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    Some years ago, these forums were likened to a pub or café with our job as the FS Crew to keep the tables clean, ensure the ambience is friendly, direct people around and occasionally show rowdy types the door.

    And for a little over 6 wonderful years, the pub has been a great place to hang out.

    In this time, we’ve seen a handful of other small business forums come and go and each time we thank our lucky stars that we have such a loyal and generous community.

    Over the last 2-3 years there has undoubtedly been a dramatic shift in behaviour when it comes to online discussion.

    The rapid shift to mobile, now over a third of our traffic and twice what it was two years ago, caught us on the hop. Clearly trying to participate in a forum discussion using a mobile device on a mobile-unfriendly website was a nightmare.

    At the same time, the rise of specialist groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and social networks generally has seen much discussion move to these areas – especially for social chatter.

    Our own Facebook group has grown 300% in a little over 18 months. Here’s a graph over time:

    [ATTACH=full]988[/ATTACH]

    We take a modicum of solace from that fact that we’re not alone as this and many other online articles explore the worldwide fluctuation of discussion platforms.

    Having said all that though, it’s deeper discussions like this one that we believe make forums distinct from social media and so valuable for sharing advice and support.

    As a business, our forums are at our core and our commitment to them is as strong as ever. And we’ve got our work cut out, we know that.

    With our community’s help (that’s you lot!) we will continue to provide a lively, interesting forum for debate and are working and thinking hard about the changes we need to make as we evolve.

    Robert :)

    #1190544
    Greg_M
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    Robert,

    As always, an insightful and well considered reply. Given that FS Forum has successfully outlived most other similar platforms I do hope it continues to evolve and grow. I’m also pleased that growth has continued on FBook, pity I can’t get into it at all on any level, maybe it is the new forum platform of choice for the masses.

    I’d also agree mobile consumption has soared, and is not conducive to long written replies (old blokes like me still want a keyboard for a real reply).

    I don’t think it’s just forums that suffer on mobile, it’s content that suffers (with a few well managed exceptions). Not too far back any websites I developed were generally on a CMS and were full of content … the more the merrier … this is no longer so IMO. The few sites I develop now are more like “apps”, fast, a USP or 3, and some contact info … the end users are now “scanners” not “readers” – a generalisation I know, but in general they seem to work for client and end user/prospect/customer.

    I digress, but I do hope you guys continue to find growth and success on this platform, it’s nice to participate online in something that is not your usual social media, or content marketing rubbish.

    Cheers, Greg

    #1190545
    GuestMember
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    Hi Greg
    If you’re happy to share, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my questions regarding your point:

    Long time members also weeded out the rubbish pretty effectively…

    Is it the long time member or moderator who is doing this?
    How do members objectively decide what constitutes ‘rubbish’?
    What affords them this arbiter status? Just longevity?
    How do they do the weeding? What tools do they use?

    #1190546
    Greg_M
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    Paul,

    In answer to your questions.

    Roberts analogy of a pub/cafe is a very good one to describe this forum when it’s firing, and being someone that always loved an argument in a bar (intellectual, or occasionally otherwise) it suited me fine. I think the “mods” were just as Robert described them … “bouncers” comes to mind.

    I don’t think any so called moderation by members was necessarily always “objective” (enter moderator), but general consensus seemed to “out” a tosser/self promoter/scammer fairly quickly … I don’t think longevity had a lot to do with it, common sense (and subject knowledge) usually shines through in my experience. I also saw great patience with newbies and people with little or no business experience … this bit seemed to change as the self promoters took hold and provided their own bullet proof solutions, rather than options (my opinion).

    As to your question re “tools”. There was/is some very experienced business people onboard this forum, personally I’ve been working for myself for over 40 years in various capacities. This hidden resource (to a new poster) would come out to play whenever someone started talking or promoting rubbish … “chancers” wither quickly when confronted /questioned (usually politely) by someone, or several individuals who really know what they’re on about.

    I don’t like bullies, on any level but forums generally are not for the faint hearted or thin skinned imo-that’s their very nature (lively debate) and why they are a great resource if you really want an honest answer. If you want to be “liked” it’s not guaranteed, and can’t be moderated for … go suck up on social media if that’s what a person is seeking.

    Hope the response covers your queries.

    Cheers

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