Add CTA for users who don't post in a while

What are the chances of expanding the utility of the native CTA a little do you think? Specifically looking to use it as a one off (or once a week etc) nudge for users who regularly use the platform but haven’t posted in a long time (or whatever).

Something like:

Hi User! It’s been 77 (x) days since your last post, we value your contributions very much, if there’s a topic you could provide some insight or views on it enriches everyone. Thanks!

From approaching these kinds of users the response is predominantly “I hadn’t even realised I stopped, you’re right, thanks”. No one’s been hostile to the prompt at any rate but group messaging or doing it manually is hard going.

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I think you could do that with a theme component and have it add a little header to the top.

I wondered about that but I think the header if we mean the global announcement header would be largely ignored personally.

My thought process runs like this:

  1. Most discourse installs are intended to be community platforms rather than mailing lists etc

  2. The native CTA “as is” is currently felt the best specific intervention to encourage community engagement because it exists as it does rather than anything else

  3. The CTA does a great job of getting people to expand your user list, but the difference between signing up and not signing up is fairly academic for most communities if the user then doesn’t engage with anything. If there’s no difference between lurkers and anon accounts why bother adding the extra server load?

  4. The qualitative purpose of the CTA is therefore to get people engaged, the intent behind it’s native use and my suggested one is the same, except I’d humbly forward the position mine addresses the issue more accurately in terms of changing human behaviour rather than kicking them over a technical hoop

It’s been a while since I looked so things might have moved on but the potential interplay between this suggestion and polls plug in and patreon one, guest gate, community updates Vs ignored stickies and the like I think about be very powerful.

TL;DR, if banners worked better than the CTA I’d suppose the CTA wouldn’t exist. But something would be far better than nothing considering the positive feedback I’ve got gently asking some users about the behaviour change.

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Not a bad idea, though I am unsure where to do it in a “just in time” manner that makes sense.

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I figured something like…

  • Logged in more than 33%-50% of days in past month/quarter
  • No posts for past month/quarter
  • Are at or near the last response in any topic that has X number of posts

The latter point in particular establishes that the user is interested in the topic, has read and hopefully understands the different perspectives on the thing that interested them, then intervenes when they’re most likely to engage… This way it hopefully doesn’t annoy users into commenting on short, trivial spammy topics which degrades quality and costs resources.

Could even have a boomerang / prodigal son badge for them :joy:

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I’m not sold on the value of prompting posting if they didn’t already feel they had something worthy of contribution.

A CTA tailored to the specific community could be highly effective, a generic “say something dummy” OTOH will just generate noise.

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One difference, we would only do this if they had posted at least one time before in a non-PM topic.

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I understand and agree with the wider point you made, but specifically on this the major issue I find is precisely with people believing they have nothing to contribute and have no intervention to gently kick them into questioning that premise. There’s no end of idiots who are keen to leap on “new topic” or “reply”…

I think there’s data out there showing twitter posters and respondents are a tiny fraction of the base, (those that are human anyway), attacking the assumption clearly held by the majority of people that they’ve nothing to say could/should be a guiding principle for something like discourse (which already does a great job anyway) seeking to differntiate quality of discussion vs anything else.

Empirically I think most people feel they have nothing worthy to say, they’re very likely wrong and for discourse’ purposes that’s market inefficiency that could be attacked for great platform advantage.

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You’ve just made my point, the CTA needs to be tailored to the purpose of the community, otherwise the snr will just creep north.

No my point is that addressing the CTA to people who already intuit that they’re valuable is a waste of time. This is orthogonal to:

The CTA should be aimed towards people who feel they’ve nothing to contribute but are materially incorrect in that assumption if it’s going to be either or… To be honest there’s probably room for a DAU/MAU style metric that tracks what portion of active users are speaking as a health indicator for the board. A community in the true sense of the word is not healthy if 4% of the users are making 95% of the posts and topics.

The idea of SNR takes a backseat on something like twitter or facebook generally which is why I used the example, there’s no one purpose of intent behind these platforms so you’d possibly expect a healthier ratio than they present. It’s a generalised “human bystander” issue. Asking people if they think/feel they’ve anything important to say is a bad idea because the data suggests most people would say no to that and keep quiet, that’s what needs addressing.

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I think it’s a good idea, but the proper implementation is tricky.

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