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

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:

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lazy!

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And I wonder what age you have to be to feel you grew up with the internet, and older people didn’t. I’m 63 and am of the same generation as those who invented the internet. We had computers (plural) in our house since the 1980s, and I was a member of internet forums from the mid-1990s. I’m sure there are plenty of other people my age who have a similar history.

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@Florallle, :smiley:

Totally agree, in the 80s working with the PC / computers was introduced in many workplaces, also in education, even at primary school.

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It is an interesting thought. I guess it also depends on what country you come from and what socioeconomical background and general interests your family has. My family got first computer in 2001/2. Some of my friends had computer at home a bit earlier but not too much. My parents both have university degrees and are your generation. They are happy they can read the news, send an email or write a word document. But that’s it. I am sure they wouldn’t be able to use any forum. However, my grandpa’s skills, he is over 90, are similar to my parents’. So what is the standard and what are the ouliers? I don’t think we can tell from an anecdotal evidence.

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Well obviously it’s a generalisation - I knew people my age who didn’t even know how to send an email when I was happily online every single day (this must have been around 2007-08) - their job didn’t require it. Guess this people wouldn’t know how to use a forum or what it is. Yet, guess what, they use Facebook. That was part of the point I was making earlier.

And it’s undeniable that none of us, 60 or 40 or 30, held a tablet or smartphone at 5 years old like children nowadays (not saying that they own one, but they can find their favourite YouTube video, so I’m told by people who have children).

And definitely location-dependent. I don’t think computers were common in Italy in the 80s, maybe in the workplace but definitely not at school.

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I have a look at the forum occasionally to see if there is any subject of interest. Often there’s nothing I feel is of relevance. It doesn’t feel like an essential part of Postcrossing to me

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Hello,
Would you like to help us with our project? :blush:

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Hello @Nanni_and_Mamma , yes I would love to. Please DM me what’s the project about and how can I participate :blush:

P.S : you might want to open a thread for your project which can help gaining better participation

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Absolutely. I’m 45. I know many people decades older than I am who are more tech-savvy than I am, but I do know other people struggle with it. (My adopted grandma’s way of “liking” something on Facebook is not to click like, but to write “like.”)

And there are plenty of younger people who may struggle in part because of smart phone/computer/internet access issues or other stuff. I have a friend my age who wants new pen pals. He is a member and has sent official cards. I tried to explain to him about the forum and that there was a pen pal section and I explained each link he should click on and he assures me he can’t find it. All. I can figure out is that he isn’t logged in. (Unfortunately, he lives on the other side of the country so I can’t just sit down with him.)

I have no idea what it would take to create a tutorial, though I’m sure we have Postcrossers who do have those skills.

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You can send the link to the penpal section to him.

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Certain sections of the forum are not visible for very new members. He would need to spend some time in the general part of the forum first, read some threads, then the sections with RRs, penpals and other stuff will become unblocked.

On the issue of the popularity of the forum, I’ve seen quite a few posts here saying basically that the forum is too unlike the social media platforms and thus confusing, and the way to attract attention would be some sort of a fusion of the main site and the forum to make it social media conform. Honestly, I hope it will never happen :laughing: I treasure the fact that Postcrossing is different.

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Yes! Furthermore, if the forum becomes to much like facebook, then why should anybody change from Facebook to the forum?

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Well, I did have a Facebook, so there shouldn’t be another Facebook…:thinking:
At first, I clicked the forum button by mistake, and then I see much more English letters than those on the main website of Postcrossing. I was kind of freaked out and closed it immediately. Then I didn’t clicked the forum until several months later.
I can’t tell what I was thinking at that time. Maybe I didn’t have much interest to communicate without writing cards. Maybe I can’t deal with such a lot of English text. (Even now I have to go on with translator sometimes.) But I am glad to see more people join the forum. When I decided to join here, the most reason was that the travel of cards on the main website is too slow… I had to (develop my English level and) take a part in the community.

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What language do people in India use in fact? I am curious about that!

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We have regional languages depending on the state. But at the national level, we use English and Hindi. But, most of the youth on social media prefer English over Hindi. The same goes for people from Southern Hindi, who from the majority of Postcrossing members in India.

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For me, the great advantage of the forums is that they allow us to exchange more than one card with the same person, often a reciprocal swap where you send cards to each other. Over time you learn about each other, and the members become real to you, and then become true friends. What I love best about Postcrossing is the way it connects people across all boundaries and fosters good will and friendship that go beyond what world powers and politicians allow…in its own way, it is daring and maybe even a bit subversive to say “we will be friends despite what those in power decide to say or do.” I honestly think Postcrossing helps to promote world peace and understanding, and the forums are powerful in this respect. Of course, many people prefer the random aspect of the main site, and the anonymity that goes with it. This is fine too, but for those of us who enjoy online and postal friendships, the forums are invaluable.

Having said that, I agree that the forums can be overwhelming and/or confusing for beginners. Some of the tags and RRs are much more complicated than others. I wonder whether it might be helpful to create a subheading or group of links to “Recommended forums for newcomers” that are of the simpler variety of tags or RRs, that will help newcomers learn how the forums work and what benefits come from participation?

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I agree with this comment. The official site and the forum, at the moment, are two completely different platforms (website and Discourse) that merely link to each other. More integration would be great. I find it frustrating that I cannot view a user’s profile, for instance, from the forum. I think this discourages forum use as it feels unofficial. In fact, I do believe there is language used to that effect on the main site when referencing the forum.

I think this is an outstanding idea and fully support it. If users saw a badge on some profiles, many would want to figure out how to get one of their own.

I think I have answered this above. The forum should be better integrated into the main site. Right now it is merely linked.

I think it could be more user friendly if it was better organized. In my opinion, the main categories are labeled in a confusing manner and there are far too many.

I don’t think it’s about putting more info on the page. That’s not how I read it. For me, a FAQ for the forum that pops up when you first visit and is easily accessible at other times would be super helpful. It could explain basics like lotteries, etc. and get rid of a lot of the repetitive threads with people asking these questions.

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That would mean, that Paulo would have to write the forum software himself and also care for the forum database himself, I’m afraid. That could overwhelm him.
And all the categories come from this very active community. I could do without the games category including round robins and swaps, but I am sure most people would reject that. On the other hand I am sure, that some English native speakers could do without all the language categories, but I would reject that, for it is much easier to communicate in one’s mothertongue than in a second language. So the crucial point would be: which categories to delete - or which ones to merge and how.

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I’m not suggesting we get rid of any individual boards rather that the main categories get condensed and reorganized.

No. I think the Discord software works just fine for the foru… There are different ways, however, that it could be better integrated into the main site. I think it should be more imbedded instead of linked and treated like a completely separate entity.

Anyway, I wasn’t trying to be overly critical. This all works fine for me. I was offering suggestions that might help the forum to get more use.