ToyDemon Forum

ToyDemon Lounge => General Website and Product Discussion => Topic started by: hermes on February 22, 2019, 11:23:41 PM

Title: What is going on with Toy Demon Forum?
Post by: hermes on February 22, 2019, 11:23:41 PM

1. Very few participants: Mostly lurkers. From pages around 39 to 155 of membership (107 pages) are members who have never posted *anything*. From pages 25 to 38 (14 pages) are members who contributed one post. So, 131 pages (85%) of registered members, not just readers, posted no times or just once.

How about 2 to 4 posts? Pages 24 to 11 (14 pages). Six to a dozen posts? Pages 6 to 10 (5 pages). So from zero to a dozen posts comprises about 97% of registered members, not just persons who stumbled upon the forum and who gathered information without registering.

OK, how about that last 2%, who posted over a dozen posts. How does this break down? Members on pages 2 to 5 (4 pages) posted between a dozen and fifty posts. Between 51 and 100 posts are just twenty individuals, as many persons as you have toes and fingers. I am in this section and I just enjoy writing and critiquing. Beyond this is a batch of five persons listing email addresses, so I am going to presume they are employees or otherwise persons with some remuneration for writing. In the next upper echelon the big jump is from around 300 posts to around 450, a 50% increase, clearly either an obsessive writer or more likely the level of a financial interest in Toy Demon – eight persons. And the most dramatic jump is the last three persons – unquestionably either insane or their mortgage depends on the forum.

Previously more busy:In May and June 2009 (ten years ago) those same busy individuals, HardGay, Sextoyjunkie and Metamorphisis joined at forum, perhaps at inception. Other significant contributors Daabears and Muddbutt jump in in July, Koikoi, Ragamuffin, billyjoe and thunderhead in August, Paste in December; Yourself ten months later in May 2010, Robbie in July, kissmyass in August. Some of these I estimate are enthusiastic hobbyists,. So for 15 months the forum has inside men or loyal outsiders.

2. Spam site: In December 2010, section I went through the websites to see what and why participants were sharing their personal or commercial websites. Not a single website out of over twenty I clicked on was anything legitimate or current. I question whether TDF was churning the membership list to artificially create members.  Or the site was being used by persons with absolutely no interest in the subject.

3. Why the meager participation? And why so much some years ago than now? Has 'social media' overtaken considered intelligent discussion of niche market subjects?  I loathe Reddit, Facebook etc because they attract persons who write ten word posts and are antagonistic to rational discussion.
Title: Re: What is going on with Toy Demon Forum?
Post by: ToyDemon on February 27, 2019, 01:26:11 PM
Thanks for the posting and taking the time to look at all this.

In general you are a more "recent" active member so a lot of the history from the past are probably unknown to you. We'll try to shed some light while keeping this post from being too long. To begin with, the ToyDemon team and employees aren't on the forum. We'll get to that further in this post.

This is the 2nd/3rd generation of the forum. First gen had quite a bit of active users before we had to shut it down due to server move and the down time from development of 2nd/3rd generation. Most of the active user from first gen did not come back (only one or two did maybe) after 2nd gen was launched as 2nd gen was a fresh start with all the posts and members account from gen 1 gone.

Way back then our rules was nothing illegal and no hate but anything else is fine on the forum. We were pretty much hands off and our active members were a great help letting us know if something went too far here. Many members were from Fle**light's forum where rules were pretty strict and at the time there really weren't much medium online to talk about this industry.

For most of gen 2 and beginning of gen 3 of the forum, about half of the boards were locked behind a members only for viewing (especially the more helpful boards) which led to a lot of lurkers registering so they can read them. When we unlocked all the boards, the amount of lurker accounts dropped off as expected.

Back then we allowed everyone to talk about other shops and post direct links in the spirit of the free forum and then the emails started to come in. Apparently our forum was popular enough and our reputation high enough with search engines that our forum results was higher than the actual shop sites. These sites start emailing us accusing us of a lot of things and many threats were made from suing us for copyright infringement of having their website name in our forum without consent to more underhanded threats. So we made a change to the forum rule about directly naming and linking other shops in the forum.

Some semi-active members and many lurkers left at that point feeling our forum has become more restricted like Fle**light's which was why they left the other forum to begin with. We posted about those emails coming in on the forum at that time and some felt we were making it up because we didn't want competition on the website.

The forum continue along with members just having to not post other shops' full name and full links to them. As time continues it was more work to post this way and the forum slowly became more "ToyDemon Centric" instead of about the whole industry. With more "social" and discussion sites like reddit becoming more popular, many continued to leave to those sites as they feel they are more free to talk there.

Looking at the members lists sorted by post counts, many of the familiar names came up as you've also named in your post. For us, there are names and background history to many of these members as we've communicated with them through emails outside of forum. We had contacted many to help us review on our blog back then and many also communicated with us about a lot of questions. (We even met one at the adult show in LV way back) Many were customers and are still active customers. (back then forum accounts were linked to website accounts where you just have to activate your website account for use on the forum, also why lurking was easy to do)

In the end there are various reasons many of the active forum members are not active anymore. Our forum has been around for over 10 years which is a long time for the forum and for some, priority changes, interest changes, free time changes, the different reasons goes on... One of the top 10 member told us he decided to devote all this time to gaming instead, will still buy but free time goes to gaming instead of the forum.

From our communication with some of these members, there's also a feeling from some of the earlier members that in all the years of the forum, most of the things that needed to be discuss or said has been said. The industry itself isn't moving forward or changing as fast as how our forum members are talking through them. As mentioned earlier there are also so many websites to talk about these things now that it's much harder to get new active members.

Lastly with our new website, the forum also isn't as prominently featured on the front page as it used to and a lot of new visitors don't know about our forum. Changes from search engines in how they index and display subdomains also affected how much our forum posts shows up in search results.

We feel our forum is still full of useful resources for everyone and is still a great option for discussion and reference about the industry.

As for us being on the forum as members, improving ToyDemon pretty much takes all our time away. That's pretty much why we are hands off from the beginning on the forum as there are too much to do and not enough time in a day. This latest generation of ToyDemon website even though it is the most complicated yet, we went from start to finish at neck-breaking speed which took an incredible amount of effort. At the peak of the forum's popularity, there was a genuine group of people who really was excited in the items and in helping every member. As a website, you can't ask for more from your forum and can't be manufactured. Whether anyone reading this believes us for not, is up to the individual. From what we see, many of the active members still look at the forum once in awhile so we want to thank them for all the time they have spent here. Every so often we have old active members sent us an email with an update on things and it's always great to hear them do well.

Until next time. We kept it shortish? *Edited to fix some typos
Title: Re: What is going on with Toy Demon Forum?
Post by: wafflecuts on March 06, 2019, 12:36:03 AM
Thanks for writing that reply. I was wondering the same about the declining forum activity.

Perhaps the forum should be made more prominent on the shop page, to encourage discussion.
Title: Re: What is going on with Toy Demon Forum?
Post by: SonicBoom on March 09, 2019, 02:04:34 PM
Very interesting topic, and one I have wondered about also.  Thanks to hermes for starting it and TD for the background history. 

I joined the forum back when those heavy contributors were very active, and there were new posts daily.  I felt compelled to make it part of my routine to check up on whats new here.  Over time those members slowly trailed off and posted less often, which is normal.  Many other members started posting regularly so the activity level was still pretty good back then.

For myself, I always tried to post when I had something genuine to add or something someone may find useful.  I guess as activity slowed down, so did my desire to post.  I have thought over the years that maybe I should try to start some activity, but not sure how to go about it.  Maybe I'll post something if I have an idea.

Title: Re: What is going on with Toy Demon Forum?
Post by: Timmy Tucker on April 16, 2019, 11:59:26 PM
I drop in a few times a year. I'm not a big poster but since almost nobody posts I'm probably one of the more active posters. I'd like to see more activity but I'm not sure how to make that happen. There aren't a huge number of "new" items that jump out at me and I suspect others feel the same way. Things haven't changed a ton the last few years. Once a new item is reviewed and discussed there isn't much more to say. I appreciate that these forums are here and I search them when I am thinking of buying something but I understand why they might not be crazy busy. There's nothing on the front page that jumps out at people that these forums are here either. Perhaps that is an option to drive traffic here? A more prominent notice that they are availible? If people know they can ask questions and get answers they might be more inclined to buy. Just a thought.