Why so few Postcrossers use Forum and how to increase its popularity?

They want to avoid that someone just registers here to spam around.

2 Likes

From april l join pc and the forum helps me a bit but some topics i don’t understand ,
I will figures out how things work

1 Like

Hey @christinevanmoeseke , I’d love to help you around a bit if necessary. I’ll send you a pm… in Dutch :wink:

3 Likes

Hello @christinevanmoeseke ,

Maybe you will find more information here:

This is the Forum guide

or

Here - in Dutch

3 Likes

I see the postcrossing groups in Facebook are a bit guilty of taking people from the forum, at least for the Italian side… I always thought it should be the contrary, those groups should BRING people to Postcrossing AND the forum, but in reality they are just competing to see who will get to be bigger and so each new Italian user is quickly redirected to the FB groups and - sadly- away from the forum…

Edit: I’m not in any of those groups so I cannot say if there are initiatives to bring people here , I’m talking only of what I see from outside

5 Likes

It’s a bit sad, but this was also partly our fault. For the longest time, Postcrossing had an old forum that did not attract new members… and so, slowly, people migrated to newer platforms where their friends were and which had functionalities we didn’t have.

That said, we do have a solid forum now, with all the bells and whistles of modern technology, and already it has a lot more daily activity than the previous one had in recent years. We do plan on promoting and integrating the forum more on the main site in the long run, but we feel the team is still getting used to it and we all need to find our balance together. So, we’ll get there… but slowly, Postcrossing-style! :stuck_out_tongue:

29 Likes

@meiadeleite Thanks for your attention.

I hope that team finds time to work on promoting the Forum and some of the comments in this thread are helpful to you guys :slight_smile:

1 Like

I was on Facebook before joining Forum but left it for good after coming here. The Fb interface isn’t suited for swapping cards, it is very difficult to keep track of what card was shared with whom.

2 Likes

At the groups that I said, they have the facility that they all speak italian, they organize tags and lotteries just like the forum and they have threads to show cards received. When I used to participate I asked to make tags here at the forum and they all answered that “it was easier on Facebook”…so I think it’s the “same language group thing” that differs from your experience … (As you, I also prefers to use the forum)

2 Likes

The language problem never comes to my mind, because we use English even on Indian Postcrossing groups on social media :sweat_smile: :sweat_smile:

I wonder if they have ever checked out the forum. Did you tell them we have a forum section in Italian #communities:italian ?

2 Likes

Isn’t there an Italian language section in this forum?

1 Like

Yes, there is, but when I suggested it they said “we are already here on Facebook for family and friends so it’s easier to swap cards here as well”…

2 Likes

Also when someone comes at the Italian part of the forum and asks a question or asks for a swap, people from the fb groups redirect them to there… This is what bothers me more. It should be the contrary, they should be bringing people here …

4 Likes

I share your point of view! I turned my back om Facebook some years ago, for there was too much time consuming rubbish.

4 Likes

Hi,

I honestly tried a couple of times to navigate it but it was a very confusing experience.
It is not easy to explore and understand (at least for me), compared to groups on FB and other Social Media.

Many people have not so much time to spend on understanding how it works and so you end up to opt for other way to swap or discuss about cards.

Happy Postcrossing!
Antonio

4 Likes

I don’t know if there are the resources to do this, but I’ve thought a basic pop-up tutorial, heavy on images and possibly with at least a few languages, that sort of said this is how the forum works and what you can do here would be great.

It’s important to remember that it’s not always just language issues, but generational. The internet is less intimidating to people who have grown up with it. Also, while rules and such may vary, once you’ve belonged to one web forum, it isn’t that hard to navigate a new one. You know to look for FAQs and essentially that private messaging is a thing, that there are moderators, etc.

And I honestly think drawing more people to the forum would be good for membership. I think a lot of people sign up, they are really excited, they start waiting for cards, and then lose interest. (Waiting for that first card can take a really long time, especially if you’re in a more remote location.) The forum is really the answer for not only how to start getting more mail sooner but also to enjoy the instantaneous community through chat and games.

(And for the record, I think the number of official cards to send/return is set right where it should be, but that doesn’t mean that people wouldn’t be excited to start getting other mail and trades.)

6 Likes

I am a direction-reading, rule follower so I read the entire FAQ when I started and immediately joined the forum. Also did the tutorials because (direction-reading rule-following nerd).

The interaction with bot for the tutorial was great for me. I learned a lot. But I don’t know how many nerdy direction reading types there are- or if it is difficult if English isn’t your primary language.

I love the idea to add it to your profile- I am going to go edit mine now!

6 Likes

My instinctive replies to the opening questions, before reading the thread, were:

  • language barrier
  • not used to using forums as too used to FB/other social media.

I am in utter shock that people don’t know it exists. It’s literally on the main menu of the site, next to where you send/register postcards. As @RalfH said, these people must have really poor attention to detail!
Also it says it sometimes at the bottom of emails (stats emails? hurray messages? I forgot), something like “while you wait, why not check out the forum?”
What else do people need?

The generational thing is interesting because, besides older people that didn’t grow up with the internet (am I one? I am the amazing generation that didn’t have it in childhood but had it early enough to be comfortable with it), younger people might find forums an outdated thing, again compared to more “modern” social media.

I couldn’t care less about swaps but I joined the forum (the old one, which took a separate registration) probably minutes after joining the site, as I like chatting online and I’ve been on forums since the year 2000 so it is very natural to me.

For groups like the Italians, that prefer Facebook, I have the impression that, before FB, the internet was This Big Scary Thing in Italy (before you get confused, I’m from there for those who don’t know), so perhaps many people don’t know how to use much besides the basics/social media. They seem terrified of the forum, while it makes posting and sharing and all that a lot less cumbersome than on FB! I am in one group but it baffles me how people don’t realise that FB is not made for that kind of sharing (e.g. I really miss being able to see someone’s Postcrossing profile when I interact with them). Also a lot of people seem terrified of the English language…
That might not apply to every language/country group, but I imagine, for example, the Chinese love their social media and might find English more complicated, and so the trend continues.

Same! Well except the tutorials part, I prefer to learn by poking around, but the evenings I spent just browsing the forum taught me all I needed to know that the FAQs didn’t expand on.

I am undecided about the forum looking confusing. If you never used one before, yes. But surely Facebook and Instagram are too, when you first see them? I feel like I am my own grandmother when I try to use Instagram stories…

Solutions. None? If people can’t see a full-on button called forum, I think there is nothing we can do. Except a big flashing banner that would be very annoying :joy:
If they see it and have no clue what it is (!), well in some way there is not much we can do. The information is there, if you bother. It’s like when people ask things that are mega obvious if you only read the FAQs, some people are rule-readers, information-finders, some are not?

6 Likes

In the early days, I also used it to make me “waste” more time talking about postcards rather than sending, to keep the costs down :joy: :joy: :joy:

7 Likes