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Has integrating with Mambo hurt my SMF community?

Started by Radianation, July 13, 2005, 02:36:01 AM

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Radianation

After integrating with Mambo a few months ago I've noticed that people really don't utilize any of the advanced features I installed with Mambo. The other problem is that people have become less active on the actual SMF site. I'm wondering if anybody has any tips as to how to make Mambo an even better integration with SMF (I was really aiming for CB integration), or perhaps if they have also noticed the same trouble?

I think SMF is a great stand-alone product. It's a little complex and techy-oriented (which can confuse new users). Although simple template adjustments can resolve most of this, I wonder if the integration with Mambo has become too overwhelming?

Please feel free to browse my site and see for yourself. I think I have all of the components working nicely together. SMF, Mambo, Coppermine, FlashChat... It's just that less people are contributing to the forums, and hardly anybody is filling out their profiles?? =(

Help is appreciated.

http://www.louipimps.com

legolas

Hi Radianation,
1st of all, you have done a great job with your website. The design looks good.
I too recently started using mambo+SMF+gallery with my website. And the response have been very good. However, it doesn't matter how good your website looks, its the content that really matters. Everyone faces the same problem as you, after a while, users start to loose interest. Since you already have a user base, why not send them a newsletter, reminding them of your website.

Check out this link, there is a lot of good articles on how to manage forums. Highly recommended.

Radianation

Thank you for the response and complements. I'm checking it now.

I think you might be on to something with the newsletter. Another local website has become king rather quickly because their features work more like an online dating service with nice profiles, easy to use private messages, and lots of photos. It seems like they get more return visitors for their private messages, but at the same time they also have a lot of people that genuinely just like to write. My site has become more of a place to go to check out our photo galleries and events calendar more than meeting new people or discussing things on the forum. =/

Ciinien

Rad, I've been creating and hosting web sites for some years now. One thing I can definitely say with some certainty based on past experiences is that people's taste in site layout and content ebbs and flows with the technology/media saturation paradigm, so to speak. What's 'hip' today, web site wise, is passe tomorrow. Another thing I've learned is that one CAN have too much content on their site. This confuses many visitors as they simply can't figure out where to go next to find exactly what they're looking for (a kind of inverse 'forest for the trees' situation). When navigation and finding the content one is looking for becomes a *task*, visitors leave, plain and simple! And generally, once they leave, they never return and can possibly pass on bad word-of-mouth advertising among their peer group about a site.

The best tools I've found are learning how to use your meta tags effectively (site description and keywords) to get the search bots listing your site. By doing this, you can help to insure that they only list your site in the proper categories to reach the surfer sector(s) you wish to visit the site. Coupled with statistics analyzers, one can see just exactly what content most of your visitors are interested in once they get there. Using these tools, along with tips and techniques such as outlined in the article linked above, will help tremendously with keeping your finger on the pulse of your visting public, so to speak. If you find that a certain section of the site just doesn't receive many visitors, consider dumping that section, or maybe replacing it with another that may have been suggested in a feedback forum, for example. Also, make it a habit to surf the competition to see what they are doing. Many times you can get useful ideas about what the public currently wishes to see in a site simply by visiting them yourself.

Cater to what your visitors want in a site--not what you THINK they want. Granted, we all build sites based partly upon what we think would be useful content. However, it's like the old saying about one person's trash being another person's treasure: what you think makes a good site may have nothing whatsoever to do with what your visitors think makes a good site. At the end of the day, we build our sites to bring in visitors and provide them content they wish to interact with. If we aren't doing that, we have just built another of those useless sites that are the bane of the web these days... ;)

Please take these comments with a grain of salt and not as 'the web world according to Ciinien'. They are simply observations gathered over many years of surfing the web and building sites.

Cheers!
Ci
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"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It just annoys the pig and frustrates you. " -- an old saying

Radianation

The weirdest thing... I go out of town for a week and a half and when I return my site has some new members and lots of content.

mixim2001


Radianation


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