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+43
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How do we encourage our spectator Snappers to become active posters?

Ok I'm posting here partly because it is a question for Snapzu and partly because it is one of the most active tribes. There was a similar thread about this not too long ago and an interesting point was made about people who are waiting for content because they aren't on other content site, therefore they literally cannot post content themselves. I can see that but this is about tribes this doesn't apply to.

There are tribes that I really want to see thrive which do not need access to other content to do so. That's because these tribes are based around original content of the tribe members. An example I'm going to use but is in no way the only situation I have experienced, is /t/writingprompts. This is a tribe where there are apparently (I can't see right now on my phone), if I remember correctly, about 30-50 members. With that number if each member posted even a prompt once every month and if even a couple members took a little time to respond, then it could be a fairly interesting tribe. This is a tribe that not only doesn't rely on getting content elsewhere but cannot. So I have to ask, if not to post prompts or respond to them, what did those members join for?

I'm even more saddened to see how a tribe such as /t/needafriend has gone quiet. It's a tribe whose sole purpose is to just post and find someone to chat to. I joined because I was interested to watch how it might help others, as someone who used to struggle through depression. Maybe even chat to a couple people looking for a friend. (Maybe every member there is the same as me who knows)

I feel that maybe, partially, as amazing as it is in other regards, these specialist tribes take a hit due to the way the system has set up multiple tribe posting, because people have less incentives to visit individual tribe pages or go post discussions or check the discussions posted.

I guess I'm here just to hear your guys thoughts. Do you think I'm just over reacting to seeing tribes I had high hopes for go quiet? Have you experienced similar issues with other tribes? Are there tribes who found a way to encourage the spectators into participation?

2 years ago by Wenjarich with 45 comments

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Conversation 16 comments by 7 users
  • nauthas
    +12

    My issue is whenever I post I feel it gets lost in the void. People upvote it, but no one comments on it. I really don't know how to fix that but it discourages me. It's wierd because comments get lots of responses but it's like no one wants to be the first one to comment on a post... I dunno might just be me.

    • click
      +7

      If I just see a link without comments I tend not to comment either, so if you post something adding a comment might already incentivise more comments. Just a thought.

      • Boop
        +6

        I've done this many times with my posts and still no one comments on them. A few upvotes so I know there's interest, yet still no comments or replies.

        • spaceghoti
          +8

          It's impossible to predict what will spark people's interest enough to stimulate conversation. I've posted some things that I thought were fascinating and would be fodder for a good discussion, only to get cricket song in response. Other submissions I thought wouldn't generate much interest spawned dozens of comments.

          If there's a formula behind this phenomenon, it thus far escapes me.

          • click
            +5

            truth. on other sites something I thought would interest maybe 5 people gained 100s of views and dozens of comments, and other things got nothing. Bizarre.

            • spaceghoti
              +6

              Clearly the problem is that not enough people think like me. This will have to change after I become the Supreme Dictator of Earth.

              (Do I need a /s tag here?)

            • madjo
              +4
              @spaceghoti -

              All hail Spaceghoti, the fish from space we need to lead the world.

      • nauthas
        +4

        Maybe, but generally you comment in the description of the post.

        • click
          +4

          is that how it works here? sometimes I put my opinion as a comment, because I'd like to separate that from what I'm sharing. It just kinda makes sense to me

          • nauthas
            +3

            Hm I suppose so. I suppose it depends on the type of post.

            • click
              +3

              Explain? I'd like to not do it all wrong!

            • nauthas
              +3
              @click -

              Well as I see it, if you've got something to add to the discussion then put it in my comment, my issue is more that when I come to a section even if there is a comment, if it's from the author it still makes me hesitant. The issue is I'm better at replying to people then I am at commenting on the post itself. Don't worry! It's not you tears up it's just me! runs away

    • Boudicca
      +7

      I know what you mean re commenting on snaps. Seeing no comments is is bit like walking into an empty room and starting a conversation with yourself. I've started commenting regardless, I might change my user name to u/thelonecommentor ;)

      • [Deleted Profile]

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    • Boop
      +5

      That's exactly how I feel and exactly how I am like too. It might be because I'm a natural lurker. I don't want to be the first one to talk or comment, but I am always happy to join in the conversation if it's already started. This is probably something I need to work on if I want to see Snapzu grow and be more conversational.

Conversation 7 comments by 5 users
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  • AdelleChattre (edited 2 years ago)
    +11

    There is such thing as churn, right? Users come and over time they also go, but they're still counted. /u/TeamSnapzu has over 20,000 followers, which is some indication how many users Snapzu has had. However, when you check total unique page views on posts, which we could do until quite recently, they showed a couple of orders of magnitude fewer active users than that.

    Used to be that you could keep up on virtually everything at Snapzu by following new users and going through everything in the home feed. With so many new users, it became impossible to follow everyone. Then there was the performance hit from the influx of new users, which made keeping up with the home feed so taxing for the server, if not us users, that the depth of the feed itself was cut drastically. For instance, right now I can only look back four hours or so, and then only for however many users I can follow. It’s not that I wouldn't keep up, although there are limits, right? It’s that I can’t. Many new users and much less reflection changed things.

    So then you have to find other ways to keep up on things. If anything, that's strengthened the role of tribes. It gets to be a familiar routine, checking your tribes and the ones you moderate. There are cracks, though. For instance, I'd never heard of /t/needafriend until now. The main page obvs only shows things that’re already popular, so that’s an imperfect window onto what’s actually going on. I'm not altogether sure that the contraption that has become what we know now as Snapzu is working as well as it once did.

    What you're getting at with this question is getting lurkers to participate. Age old problem, that. Guess what I'm getting at is that Snapzu's more a sieve than a vessel, for now. Could well be that for things like /t/writingprompts and /t/needafriend, maybe what’s needed is more likely to be found where there’s more critical mass to keep those reactions going. Back where they came from, right? Bound to be a hospitable environment, where those presumably have done so very well before. New creative avenues, adapted for this ecology, might have a better chance than transplants. Even then, though, we may be short some key piece of the contraption we don't even know we're missing yet.

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  • septimine
    +9

    My two pence it's that there aren't a lot of conversation type tribes about things people want to debate. At least not that I found. Something like a conversation about your hometown, your job, your sport, whatever, that's going to get people coming back.

    • Boop
      +7

      This is exactly what I have found. A lot of tribes act as standard news/link-aggregators. Sure, I like to read the articles once in a while, but I hardly ever comment on them. You rarely see text posts in tribes (unless of course it is text-post only). I really wish text posts would be the majority - these have always been my favourite types of communities on Reddit.

      • click
        +6

        I just realised through you & /u/septimine's comments that I hadn't looked for a Dutch tribe yet. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Fooferhill
      +2

      Absolutely agree-there are tonnes of snaps but not much discussion and many tribes don't have any text posts-don't know why.

  • Boop
    +8

    From all the tribes I subscribe to, on average there's usually a new post once every hour to half an hour. Because of this low activity, I have very little incentive to comment on an article or visit Snapzu regularly. I will usually get 10 to 20-tops posts in the morning, and before I go to bed, another 20 or so.

    The one thing I noticed about Snapzu is that there are very little discussion-based tribes. So far, this site functions mostly as a link aggregator. You hardly see any text posts; most posts are are just links to an external article (nothing inherently wrong with that, by the way). I would love to see communities like Reddit's /r/eatcheapandhealthy or /r/running(https://www.reddit.com/r/running). These types of communities are incredibly positive and healthy, and where 95% of the submissions are text posts and 5% links to articles or other things. This is something I personally enjoy about some of Reddit's communities. I would love to see discussions posted here more often.

  • Fuyu
    +8

    I think one of the biggest problems is that there's some things people on Snapzu aren't interested in. And it's just the sad reality of it.

    With /t/writingprompts I can imagine the biggest issue is that the members are readers, not writers. They joined to see people post interesting stuff, but can't make it themselves.

    But as for /t/Pokemon, my tribe, I have no freakin' idea why I can't make it work. I have 45 members and there's almost no activity. The highest upvoted post is only upvoted because it was submitted to art tribes and the OP probably doesn't even like Pokemon. I just have no idea what to do. I'm currently taking a break from posting news and stuff just because it seems like it doesn't matter to anyone.

    • rti9
      +7

      During all that Reddit confusion, I noticed that most gaming subreddits were almost unaffected by it. Since they remain intact, if people want to talk about games they will rather go somewhere else rather than here. I remember that one Snapzu user commented that despite having Snapzu as his/her main site, she/he would still go to Reddit to read and talk in the Bernie Sanders subreddit.

    • Wenjarich
      +6

      I understand the idea that the members are readers and not writers, but wouldn't they then be the ones posting the prompts with hopes to see what the writers would create? My point was that surely when joining such a tribe you expect to either be a prompter or be a writer or both. On a site as small as Snapzu, being a lurker makes no sense. What I found kind of amusing, was that I posted a promise saying that I would respond to at least 1 or 2 prompts per weekend in /t/writingprompts. This resulted in my post being liked...but no prompts to respond to when this weekend rolled by hahaha

      It seems though that the consensus here seems to be that Snapzu may not be ready for tribes like the ones I have mentioned. It's sad but maybe that is just the truth of it. However I don't plan on giving up just yet as I would rather like certain tribes to take haha.

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  • racerxonclar
    +7

    Well... I think it's combination of two issues. As it's been said, this isn't Reddit (even if there's a piece of me that kinda wishes it shared a bit more with Reddit). In my opinion, the biggest part of that is the userbase size. The smaller your base is, the less need for multiple tribes. Sure I could post something in Skyrim, Gaming, and Videos... but there aren't enough users that care Skyrim more than Gaming to justify the separate category. Purely an example, of course, I've not even looked at the Skyrim tribe. My most visited subreddit was /r/Dota2... and while I made an effort to make several Dota related posts here on Snapzu to cultivate a userbase here... there just aren't that many people specifically interested in it. Which brings me to my next point...

    Since the userbase is smaller and the desire for information/content for niche groups is low... I find myself hesitating to post stuff because I feel like it's not a big enough topic or a high enough quality submission for Snapzu. It's a curse and boon of the overall higher quality posting. Sure I could post something I found particularly funny, cool, or amazing... but unless I can think of a decently sized tribe that it would fit into, it feels kind of wasted. Don't want to make a content ghost town, if you get my meaning. I've actually backed out of posting something more than once because there didn't seem a good place to categorize it or I couldn't think of what to specifically call something.

    Just a chip-in from a relatively new user.

    • click
      +6

      I understand your pain, but I think the solution lies in the problem. The problem is small tribes with little activity, and the solution is increasing activity (since you can't increase tribe size yourself). You start out adding more content to the Dota2 tribe (and post those to gaming and dota2 every time) and eventually someone visiting the gaming tribe might see quite a few dota 2 posts. They will either follow you, or post as well. Because if someone new comes and sees that there's no activity in dota 2 (because you never posted anything) they won't post either. However, if you post, even if no one responds, it might drive up the incentive to post later, when someone finally visits the tribe.

      I was on voat quite a bit earlier than most people, around 4 months ago, so I and others there have talked this problem over many times. Just make sure the semblance of an active tribe is there, and if you find someone saying something in an unrelated tribe like "I remember last week when I played dota..." you suggest they post in your tribe or something. Growth needs to start with content (which is why I've started posting things I normally wouldn't per se, like this news post about the Egypt/Gaza border opening. It might not help me per se (I get my news elsewhere, I usually don't like crowdsourced news since it can often be a lot more biased than any one news source) but if other users come to snapzu and see that /t/worldnews is active they might stick around and also post elsewhere.

      Sorry for the rant and the disorganisation of the comment, it ended up longer than anticipated ;)

  • Fooferhill
    +4

    encouraging and supporting new users rather than nitpicking posts. I had some kind comments when I started posting and the odd personal message giving me some guidance and this was very helpful and appreciated. In contrast it felt like others hovered hoping you would do something wrong so they could point it out publicly, even the most minor issue -it speaks volumes about some people and is contrary to growing and supporting people to leap in and start actively contributing. I started to think I can't be bothered with all this as it's really no better than what goes on in other sites. That's just my experience of what helps and what doesn't-others may be different.

    • Wenjarich
      +4

      I haven't experience the negative responses so much as no responses generally. But I do tend to post in tribes that are fairly small :P

      Sorry to hear that you have had bad experiences.

      • Fooferhill
        +4

        Thanks. Just thought it was worth sharing.

    • jcscher
      +2

      I agree with you a pm would be better for new users versus a public message. I also agree with you about nit picking turning people off. a first couple of bad experiences and you don't want to get involved.