Hey acrmojt, good question which I'm happy to answer.
1. Amazing people
Roughly 33% of unique visits to the site are through Google as 'organic searches'. For example someone is interested in World PvP and they search 'World PvP Guide' and the first result is @Nymis's amazing Manual of War. They read through that and learn a bunch about World PvP and are impressed with the quality and depth of the guide.
Other popular search terms often bring people to the site are the wallpapers, icon packs, @Jpy's Mage guide and Speedrunning competition, @fendor 's blacksmithing guide, the stats calculator/race comparison tool, Rogue twink guide etc. Not to mention the growing number of topics on the main forum posted by you amazing people which contain really great information and opinion which are also picked up by Google's algorithm as 'good content'.
So yeah, a lot of the visits are due to the quantity and quality of user-submitted posts, guides etc. on the site being found by people using Google. This is all thanks to the people who joined here already and have been posting great stuff. I take little credit for this, besides having stretched the canvas which other people are now painting on So to everyone here who has been actively posting you are doing an amazing job and thank you.
The other 33% of total traffic comes in spikes when a new 'feature piece' (like a tech resource or guide) is released and I post it to Reddit and MMOchamp. When these things get on those sites and are upvoted there's a spike of traffic (up to about 3k users in one day as far as I remember). About 50% of those people visit the site then bounce (leave after two seconds), 49% of them stay and read the whole thing, and the remaining 1% think 'damn, this place is pretty cool, I'm going to stay!' and create an account
The remaining 33% is 'direct' traffic - that is every day users who visit the site regularly and are posting and contributing to the discussion. It helps that people like @Edensong, @Cram and @Hogbobson are so friendly and welcome people in the warmest of manners. It helps that the newest people like @Linguine, @Quaria and @Yori feel inclined to start interesting new topics of discussion. It helps that 'older' members like @Lne, @Faendor and @Firelord are still kicking around offering their opinion - even when it's to the disagreement of others people here seem to be cool with agreeing to disagree and talking things out in an adult way.
So yes, most of the credit goes to all of you here because it is you guys that make this forum what it is. If I haven't mentioned you above please don't feel excluded in any way/shape/form - I couldn't possibly commend every single contributor to the site in one post. You're all awesome. What I hope is happening is people somehow 'find' this site, whether through google or reddit/mmochamp, and then they see that it's a nice place to be because of the people making a home here.
Now that I have given you all the credit that you deserve (and that's it cos I don't want to blow too much smoke up your arses haha! ) I'll talk a little bit about what I try to do to keep the site 'promoted'. I:
- Update the site regularly with new features, bug fixes and improvements so that it remains fit for use
- Have focused a lot on design and feel of the site to provide people with a good atmosphere to post stuff
- Have focused a lot on search engine optimisation to get those initial visits through Google
- Encourage people to contribute guides and help people formatting and publishing them
- Regularly link BC on reddit/mmochamp in response to common questions that can be answered by the tools/guides here
- Am now in touch with Blizzard directly regarding future Classic news and events (there's nothing new guys)
It's been almost a year since I started the site and it's been a hell of a lot of work since then! Things are looking okay though and I won't stop. Also let's not forget our moderator @Syturio who has been here from like week 1 - he is responsible for a lot of the site improvement suggestions that have been implemented and has been guarding us from bots (he killed two invasions single-handedly) from the beginning.
Epoch of Thought
I sent the site a shoutout during a stream today/podcast. I intend to continue to do so, because so far the toxicity of the site has been much lower than the classic subreddit or official forums. Being able to disagree without vitriol is a huge bonus to any discussion community. Keep up the good work @teebling and everyone else here!
You really gave a detailed answer! Thanks!
I am a programmer (node.js, css, sql, etc) by the way if you need any help with anything. Also, I would love to roll a toon on whatever server you pick if you plan to run a raiding guild :D
> so far the toxicity of the site has been much lower than the classic subreddit or official forums
This is probably because it requires effort to sign up here. If there is anything a troll hates, it's putting forth effort.
Okay I'll bear that in mind for the future, I may well need some help on new features
Yes I did the art myself. You might be interested in having a look at the credits page for more info on some of the tools/resources I used to build the site.
It is, but this has also to do about forum population size. Barrens.chat is a lovely website, but not that big (yet.) The more people that sign up, trolls or not, you will see an increase of varying personalities and how they approach discussion.
Though it is not wrong to hope for future, stable discussions, because I do too.
Population size is definitely a factor, just like a non-mega server keeps people in line better because there's not an endless amount of new people who don't know you yet, but I also felt there were some problems unique to reddit that affected their forums.Firelord wrote: ↑4 months agoIt is, but this has also to do about forum population size. Barrens.chat is a lovely website, but not that big (yet.) The more people that sign up, trolls or not, you will see an increase of varying personalities and how they approach discussion.
Though it is not wrong to hope for future, stable discussions, because I do too.
I've felt that reddit's major flaw was having no avatars and small poster names. People regularly reply to the wrong person and an inability to quickly see the poster's "rep" (post history, quickly identify who it is with an avatar) leads to greater perceived anonimity and less commitment to a name or backlash for a vitrolic comment.
True, but Reddit strives to big diverse people of all backgrounds there. Avatars - or even an art style - sort of confers and carries an underlining theme to it. The less identifiable the character behind the message is, the more emphasis and attention can go on the actual comment itself. I can quote from memory some of the funniest/weirdest Reddit comments but I sure can't say anything about who or what wrote that post because most of my attention went towards the comment. Comments here are meant to carry our online persona here, our WoW characters, gameplay style and so forth. There is a hierarchy of membership and seniority, people who stand by whatever work they put (or want to put) into this game, it's more than just comments.
Anyway, I wish I knew how to help advertise / promote this place better. Word of mouth can only go so far.
As for toxicity, I think quality attracts quality. It's harder to let go of your inner shitposter if you see that everyone around you is putting some effort in their comments and arguments. You can't really come here and troll us with "I don't want any changes but Blizz please give us..." or anything of the sorts. That being said, I think we'd have people more than willing to help with moderation if we're suddenly in the spotlight for thousands of players visiting. Fame is the least of our concerns.
Well what would really help is if you guys are active in other WoW Classic communities, link the site often in response to comments/questions which can be answered by one of the guides or tools here. It also helps if you put a link in your forum signature etc. Small things like this really help - not only because of the direct traffic from people clicking the link - but also due to the way Google ranks websites. The more links to your website from websites with similar content (ie WoW Classic related) the higher your rankings are. That's why wowhead is always no.1 in search rankings - everyone has links to wowhead through tooltips etc.
Apart from that I wouldn't worry too much. Forums grow slowly but surely and in terms of forum age BC is like still a twinkle in daddy's eye lol. If the site does get vastly more popular after launch (fingers crossed) then we will for sure need some more moderators.
This is a really interesting comment to make. I suppose the upside of that is that no stigma or bias is attached to the comment unless it is from a very well known poster.Nymis wrote: ↑4 months agoThe less identifiable the character behind the message is, the more emphasis and attention can go on the actual comment itself. I can quote from memory some of the funniest/weirdest Reddit comments but I sure can't say anything about who or what wrote that post because most of my attention went towards the comment.