Things Slowing Down

NYCFC_Dan

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I understand that things are basically running on excitement right now. People are following the club based on speculation and hopes of great things to come.
At the same time I've noticed things really slowing down lately. Forums, twitter and Facebook are not as active.
We have had a lull in the last week if not more with no news.
What can we do here to increase activity and interest?
 

samt

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We should organize an opening day tifo... it's a project that can get rolled out over a number of weeks... first a design, then a series of gatherings/parties to put it together and paint it.
 
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NYCFC_Dan

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Seems to me there has been a greater volume of posts on more diverse subjects over the last few days.

We've actually dropped by about 50% in activity. We definitely have our active members though and it's great seeing people post new topics for sure.
I did start the fantasy 11 to get people engaged and it seems to be working as well.
Open to new ideas though.
 

MyBoyVilla

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We've actually dropped by about 50% in activity. We definitely have our active members though and it's great seeing people post new topics for sure.
I did start the fantasy 11 to get people engaged and it seems to be working as well.
Open to new ideas though.
Don't think there is really anything you can/should do. Obviously marketing could be better to draw more people. A tweetblast of 4 people isn't exactly a great plan. But you have to realize there is intrinsically a limited audience (NYCFC fans; Fans who post on forums) and limited newsworthy items about the main topic this board was designed to discuss. You got your growth burst from the opening of the site. People will trickle in with time, but aside from the start of the season, you probably won't have that rate of growth again. And the volume of posts probably had something to do with all the new topics being created. Once you cover all the topics and everybody has had their say, there is no reason to post as much.

But I am just theorizing. This question is probably better suited for management of the site than the visitors.
 
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This slowing-down is a natural step in the development of a community anticipating its own purpose - that is, supporting a club which doesn't have a physical aspect yet. It would be unrealistic to expect even the more active posters to keep posting as often as they did in the first weeks. Keeping a community active like this isn't easy, and it partly involves a conscious effort on the part of the forum community ourselves to keep ourselves active. That said, there are a few things to consider:

- At the moment, this community is highly focused on the team and possible news about its future. That's great and all, but there's not much of a social aspect here. Many forums have an off-topic section which is more active than the on-topic areas. I know there have been efforts to start this - and I've made zero effort to encourage them, which is on me - but you could really try to push to get this section active. A social forum, with threads on "what are you listening to" (I know we have one of them), forum games, discussion about news, politics etc would not suffer from having to anticipate its purpose and can inspire a lot of debate, which engenders activity.

- Plan for the future. It's great having ideas like the "vote for our starting XI" thing but if you use up all your creativity straight away you will inevitably run out of steam. Consider launching one new thing like this per month or so will serve to keep the interest topped-up when it's flagging and will space out the creativity.

As regards the Starting XI vote, it's great but at present it's just a list of names, many of which farfetched. It's fun to dream of legendary signings, but it doesn't really translate to a team - we're picking a first XI of all DPs and a second XI of USMNT players ATM. If you, say, started by getting people to debate and then vote on what positions work best for DPs then you could follow up by a position-by-position vote knowing what calibre of players you are looking for in every spot.

Now that you've started the vote thing it's probably best to leave it, I was just using it as a hypothetical analysis. But still, you could consider doing something new like having one thread a week for 19 weeks, where you ask everyone to debate which two players (non-DP) they'd like to steal in the expansion draft, and hold a vote at the end of each week. Maybe another thread for asking people to suggest college players they've heard of. Etc etc.

- Following on from this point, exploit the heck out of any announcement the club does make. Start threads about them, start votes about them, start competitions about them. Do anything and everything to attract in new folk and excite those of us who are forum veterans. Also exploit the heck out of the World Cup, as it's going to create a lot of converts to football and many of them will be in NYC.

- Recruit. It's absolutely imperative to still be actively trying to expand our member base. There must be more than 150 people who are willing to join a forum for a new club, especially when half of them live outside the club's catchment area. Admittedly this isn't easy - when the club nears kickoff around the turn of the year, but you can only keep trying. Keep posting adverts on twitter (exploit the hashtags), try to get the official club twitter to give you some publicity - if they don't immediately reply then exploit their tendency to retweet pictures of people wearing the club shop - etc. Forge links with other groups - try to get some of the AO crowd here for example. Post comments on the club's Facebook page. Try to interact with Reyna, Pernetti and Kreis. Do anything and everything. Every time someone joins, their activity gives a half-dozen other posters a kick of activity in replying to them. With luck, the replies then get the new poster to respond. If you haven't had any new members for a while, potential recruits will sense it. It can be hard to get new members into a community where potential recruits feel the community is entrenched and hard to break into. Having a constant stream of new interest is important, as it emboldens other potential newbies.

- I'm sensing the twin trends among many US members of either being new to football, or new to the MLS. Have you considered a Primer guide, explaining how the MLS works, for instance? You could also have Q&A threads about football in general, where people new to the beautiful game can ask questions about how it works.
 

Gene

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Don't think there is really anything you can/should do........But you have to realize there is intrinsically a limited audience (NYCFC fans; Fans who post on forums) and limited newsworthy items about the main topic this board was designed to discuss.......Once you cover all the topics and everybody has had their say, there is no reason to post as much.

But I am just theorizing. This question is probably better suited for management of the site than the visitors.
Pretty well sums up what I was just going to say. I reckon it's just the nature of the beast when it comes to internet forums. Given the fact at this point in time there's just so much to discuss about the club, there's only so much guys are going to post before they start feeling like they're spinning their wheels a bit.

I'm sure as time passes and more and more news is announced by the organization.......player signings, kit release, temp stadium, permanent stadium, etc.......this place will take off.
 

MyBoyVilla

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This slowing-down is a natural step in the development of a community anticipating its own purpose - that is, supporting a club which doesn't have a physical aspect yet. It would be unrealistic to expect even the more active posters to keep posting as often as they did in the first weeks. Keeping a community active like this isn't easy, and it partly involves a conscious effort on the part of the forum community ourselves to keep ourselves active. That said, there are a few things to consider:

- At the moment, this community is highly focused on the team and possible news about its future. That's great and all, but there's not much of a social aspect here. Many forums have an off-topic section which is more active than the on-topic areas. I know there have been efforts to start this - and I've made zero effort to encourage them, which is on me - but you could really try to push to get this section active. A social forum, with threads on "what are you listening to" (I know we have one of them), forum games, discussion about news, politics etc would not suffer from having to anticipate its purpose and can inspire a lot of debate, which engenders activity.

- Plan for the future. It's great having ideas like the "vote for our starting XI" thing but if you use up all your creativity straight away you will inevitably run out of steam. Consider launching one new thing like this per month or so will serve to keep the interest topped-up when it's flagging and will space out the creativity.

As regards the Starting XI vote, it's great but at present it's just a list of names, many of which farfetched. It's fun to dream of legendary signings, but it doesn't really translate to a team - we're picking a first XI of all DPs and a second XI of USMNT players ATM. If you, say, started by getting people to debate and then vote on what positions work best for DPs then you could follow up by a position-by-position vote knowing what calibre of players you are looking for in every spot.

Now that you've started the vote thing it's probably best to leave it, I was just using it as a hypothetical analysis. But still, you could consider doing something new like having one thread a week for 19 weeks, where you ask everyone to debate which two players (non-DP) they'd like to steal in the expansion draft, and hold a vote at the end of each week. Maybe another thread for asking people to suggest college players they've heard of. Etc etc.

- Following on from this point, exploit the heck out of any announcement the club does make. Start threads about them, start votes about them, start competitions about them. Do anything and everything to attract in new folk and excite those of us who are forum veterans. Also exploit the heck out of the World Cup, as it's going to create a lot of converts to football and many of them will be in NYC.

- Recruit. It's absolutely imperative to still be actively trying to expand our member base. There must be more than 150 people who are willing to join a forum for a new club, especially when half of them live outside the club's catchment area. Admittedly this isn't easy - when the club nears kickoff around the turn of the year, but you can only keep trying. Keep posting adverts on twitter (exploit the hashtags), try to get the official club twitter to give you some publicity - if they don't immediately reply then exploit their tendency to retweet pictures of people wearing the club shop - etc. Forge links with other groups - try to get some of the AO crowd here for example. Post comments on the club's Facebook page. Try to interact with Reyna, Pernetti and Kreis. Do anything and everything. Every time someone joins, their activity gives a half-dozen other posters a kick of activity in replying to them. With luck, the replies then get the new poster to respond. If you haven't had any new members for a while, potential recruits will sense it. It can be hard to get new members into a community where potential recruits feel the community is entrenched and hard to break into. Having a constant stream of new interest is important, as it emboldens other potential newbies.

- I'm sensing the twin trends among many US members of either being new to football, or new to the MLS. Have you considered a Primer guide, explaining how the MLS works, for instance? You could also have Q&A threads about football in general, where people new to the beautiful game can ask questions about how it works.
You should get paid for that response
 

einwindir

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> I'm sensing the twin trends among many US members of either being new to football, or new to the MLS. Have you considered a Primer guide, explaining how the MLS works, for instance? You could also have Q&A threads about football in general, where people new to the beautiful game can ask questions about how it works.

This is something I've tried to get going but it fell flat. Since I am relatively new to the league and the sport I am not in any capacity to facilitate that sort of thread.

I would like to see a BEGINNER'S GUIDE to MLS. In my eyes this forum and ultimately the SG should be about three things

  1. The Community - fans, and potential fans. Introduce people to the sport. Let people answer questions without fear of being ostracized for being ignorant to what many of us would see as common knowledge
  2. The League - we need to break through this barrier that MLS is a substandard league.
  3. The Team - we are here for the team afterall. After we've done what we could to help the soccer fanbase, after we've done what we could to promote the league, we are here for our mutual interest in NYCFC.
We are a team in one of the most recognizable cities in the world and I feel like it's our responsibility to create an environment that welcomes everyone. People will stumble onto this site just because of the NYC and Yankees affiliation. We can use those unique hits as a chance to keep them on the site if we give them an FAQ or something similar. Maybe once a week we can hold an event where anyone can ask any question regarding the sport without fear of being ridiculed - (which is an extremely popular event on the hockey forum on Reddit called "Tenderfoot Tuesday").
 

Vinjay

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Expected it to be a quiet few weeks since the logo announcement. So its no real surprise to me activity has lessened a bit but once the next big announcement comes it should step up again. It would take almost 24/7 promoting online or significant advertising money to make the forum explode at this point. Welcoming every member personally (those who posted introductions at least) was a nice touch so certainly people have been made to feel welcome here. There's potential obviously since you said people had contacted you trying to buy the domain name.

If the club isn't generating publicity then its time for the fans to step up and I'm talking in general not just this forum. That's why having no meeting this month is a wasted opportunity. Unless something significant is added to this bar hunt like a professional group photo (some people don't even like bars they might attend a meeting in one for SC purposes but not excessively) its a waste of an entire month. Back to forum I do expect the stadium announcement soon since the club have promised it so maybe you should wait and see how that goes because reverting to a plan B.

The off topic section could have a better name and engage in more controversial topics. I've already suggested using the name "Warzone" or "No Holds Barred" as controversy inspires off topic debate more than anything. Those who come just to discuss NYCFC are likely to do so regardless of whatever the off topic section entails. Topics that are simply "heavy" aren't essentially controversial.

There should be more MLS discussion as well. The Seattle/Portland game got a lot of attention which prior to kickoff seemed to be more about atmosphere than the game itself. There were other games in MLS that weekend worthy of attention as well.

I've pointed this out privately (though I did mention it on the forums opening day) and its a touchy issue. I've suggested there's too many short posts which don't inspire debate. For instance people pointing out in a couple of words that the 4-4 draw was a "great game." Well what else would you call a 4-4 draw? What does that add to a discussion. There's enough people stating the obvious on twitter. Certainly short posts can be good in the right context like twitter but on a forum its overloaded with useless information. Forcing people to post longer posts might be a step too far (and certainly Dan explained that it could backfire and make people feel unwelcome) but there has to be a balance perhaps 50/50. Some people haven't made one post beyond 10 words. Sometimes I might stretch my posts out too much in making a point so maybe I deserve some criticism for that.

The problem with Dan and myself is we are limited due to geographical location. In Dan's case he might be able to visit NY more often being in the States. So offline we have to rely on others to implement some ideas. Maybe the NYCFC Forums could be the site that engages in "on the record" discussions with the club and posts the minutes exclusively (and perhaps on nycfc.com) I posted this link before to show the type of thing I have in mind.

http://www.nufc.co.uk/page/Fans/FansForum/0,,10278~3686671,00.html

Anyway its supposed to be about this particular forum so kind of going off topic a bit again...
 
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NYCFC_Dan

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm at work until late tonight but will address everything first thing tomorrow.
We do have the blog up right now and if someone is interested in doing a comprehensive intro to MLS post please pm me.
Or just go to http://nycfcforums.com/blog and register.
I know a lot of you like to write constructive posts so you'd be perfect for Blog articles!
You can submit your own article and even save the draft as you go so it doesn't have to get done right away.
 

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Truth is that we have a limited amount of subjects we can discuss right now.. If we look at most team specific forums it´s a mix of team related news, matchdays, player specific discussions and the off-pitch stuff.
We are kind of starved of real subjects yet and have to rely on "what if" scenarios.
 
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Matt Kelly

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Until the actual team, stadium, and franchise begins, there isn't much to talk about. We just have to keep recruiting people over social networks and hope we can attract more people with ideas of discussions to have.
 

MrMartinezNYC

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I been on Google+ Fan of NYC FC page for months and it is only a few members strong and really myself and 1 other that kept it active. Actually was never aware of this page,FB page or the twitter that you guys are all associated with. There is no promotion unless it is word of mouth and that only works if you are a fan of the game. Also if your a new comer to a sport or team seeing negative responses to opinions would not help I have been on RBNY pages before and they can be assholes or they can be great knowledge football people. I have friends that are fans of teams from their countries or wherever the main star is playing for instance Suarez in Liverpool but are no excited about having a team of their own at home. This network that the admins have been linking together are the beginnings of something that can be legendary.

That being said...
an App might help making it easier to be mobile and log in to be remembered.
having new members be able to apply to promote the SG with stickers or shirts etc.
offering league news and updates so there would be no reason to have to go on other sites
maybe even a live ticker during game days or stream.
doing community events joining City in this if possible
 

einwindir

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There is steady growth within the community. We aren't seeing 150-200 posts-a-day but there is still steady use within the active members. We are getting 1-2 new subs a day. I'll take that over complete stagnation though. As time moves on we will expand. As long as we continue doing our part and also making this a place people want to share news/opinions - we'll be fine.
 
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MyBoyVilla

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Hey admins,

Things slowing down?

Deal_with_it_dog.gif
 
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Gene

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Considering this site has been up for only a short time, I think things are going rather well. To my knowledge there's only two other MLS forums that are operated by supporters.

L.A. Riot Squad (Galaxy).......haven't been there in awhile, so I don't know what type of action they're getting since the season started, but that place is pretty much a ghost town.

Metrofanatic (Red Bulls).......seems to be an excellent site.......problem being they do not grant posting privileges to non-Red Bulls fans.

I'm not familiar with any sites out there for any of the other teams.
 

einwindir

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I been on Google+ Fan of NYC FC page for months and it is only a few members strong and really myself and 1 other that kept it active. Actually was never aware of this page,FB page or the twitter that you guys are all associated with. There is no promotion unless it is word of mouth and that only works if you are a fan of the game. Also if your a new comer to a sport or team seeing negative responses to opinions would not help I have been on RBNY pages before and they can be assholes or they can be great knowledge football people. I have friends that are fans of teams from their countries or wherever the main star is playing for instance Suarez in Liverpool but are no excited about having a team of their own at home. This network that the admins have been linking together are the beginnings of something that can be legendary.

That being said...
an App might help making it easier to be mobile and log in to be remembered.
having new members be able to apply to promote the SG with stickers or shirts etc.
offering league news and updates so there would be no reason to have to go on other sites
maybe even a live ticker during game days or stream.
doing community events joining City in this if possible

I like the idea of a "street team". the hardest thing we will find with that is funding. Which is why we haven't made a big push for it. NYCFC_Dan NYCFC_Dan is the goto guy for those decisions. For now all we can do is take it upon outselves to market the site, the SG and the team.

I think @leo_glickman makes an excellent point that we need to be more assertive when it comes to decisions the team makes and letting them know that our voice is important. Biggest problem we have right now is organization. Someone has yet to stand up as a move-maker/leader. I don't personally have the skills required for such a position, which is why I try to take a background approach when it comes to those sorts of discussions.

Currently I am trying to put together a flyer or two that can be posted wherever anyone sees fit. It will act as a "recruitment tool" for the site.

@Buckley is organizing an event for the end of this month. Even though it is a bar-crawl, which seems to upset a few users, it will be a good opportunity for active members of the group to meet and get a feel for what we have. Whether I am there or not (wife is due to give birth any day now...) I think we will see a small burst in activity on the forum and a push to get this group organized. NYCFC_Dan NYCFC_Dan will be sending out promotional items as far as I know.

In short, there is a lull in activity but the ball is rolling.
 

MrMartinezNYC

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I seen other groups use more of a board then 1 guy. This way the choices seem fair and not 1's preference. We should maybe try a meet during a USMNT game that way we can all come united under the RWB. Honestly what drew me to you guys was the NY IS BLUE scarf. I seen someone designed stickers which is great as well. These items can used to bring in capitol. Right now this is a big brain storm. Companies also like to do conference calls. I don't know if everyone uses the Fb or Google+ but we can designate a time and day to have a online meeting.

The team might not be ready but we can be ready for the team and be at MLS events supporting the boys in blue!

Forza Azul!
 

Vinjay

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The thing with leadership is nobody particularly wanted to be the leader. Chance Michaels (recent disappearance you may have noticed was for family reasons) as one of the most prominent local fans openly stated on the "Football Factory" podcast he did not see himself as the leader of the supporters. Initially I agreed with no sole leader but its shifting slightly. The word "dictator" has negative connotations but maybe someone needs to stand up and drag others forward. If that means they grab the leadership spot then maybe its necessary.

Even though multiple bar sessions certainly aren't my thing its not that what bothers me. Football fans drink and sometimes excessively anyone who gets interested in football better accept that. I don't particularly like the term "lets get smashed" which is quite possibly a snobbish way of thinking. I'm probably a cross between snob and degenerate but anyhow. My problem is its hardly an even that is open to everyone. Having a meeting in a single bar is one thing people who don't particularly like them can make an exception. There's no other meeting this month (and once again I refer to taking minutes) and how hard is it to find a bar? I can't see any reason why the FF isn't ideal considering its location. Will there be another to find one close to the stadium when that's announced? I don't want to keep banging on about that fans forum thing either but that's ideal for "on the record" stuff.

As for the "street team" I've suggested photo ops, etc but what else is needed is some kind of publicity stunt. Maybe doing something at RB Arena (as was suggested on here not long ago) is the way to go. Another idea could be an open air meeting bystanders would notice. If there's no news then the fans should make the news.

Flyers are cheap not sure how much value they truly have otherwise. Any produced should promote the forums or the SC since its pointless to just promote the club who are doing a good job of that anyway. Still the club should have someone handing out flyers at any major event in the 5 boroughs. Whether that's sporting event, WWE, etc promotion should be 24/7.

Activity has been up again past couple of days. There's been some longer posts as well and the "Warzone" board seems to have had a decent start.