General Trading Chat

robster970

Veteren member
So folks, I have a personal opinion that the majority of value on this site was centred around General Trading Chat and that the restructuring has facilitated categorisation of information rather than usability.

If you have any experience building websites, you will understand the difference. This is why countless $$$ is spent on UI/UX/IA these days before engineers/developers are let anywhere near a site. More often than not, most UI developers now have a good understanding of UX and visual design.

So my theory is this:

Much of the site activity occurred around General Chat because of page placement but due to it's catch-all nature, it promoted generation of content.

As is always the case for this type of site, the bulk of activity is generated by a small number of participants. This activity draws other less active participants to view and occasionally contribute. It is this pull that drives ad placement and click-through revenue. Sites like T2W live or die by their level of activity and creation of new content.

As the primary mechanism that faciliates content creation has been destroyed, I believe that content creation will drop off and not be replaced by alternative usage behaviours driven by the new site structure.

This can be identified through the number of page impressions per user reducing. If you filter out all users that had 0 page impressions per month, you will see that page impressions per active user will also drop. Finally you will see a linear correlation with ad click-thru rates falling commensurate with the drop in content creation.

As I said, this is my view. The value of General Chat from a personal PoV is a loss but I also think it will damage the site resulting in less posting and therefore less desire to visit.

Am I alone in this thought?
 
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scose-no-doubt

Veteren member
not at all, my lovely but then I'm never listened to around these parts.

Leave the ******s to it and they'll soon be swimming in a pool of their own idiocy and setting up polls as a way of asking us all what to do to save their skins. Wonder who'll be around when that time comes :)

On a brighter note, there's lulz afoot somewhere... I can feel it in my bones.
 

Big Stones

Junior member
Agree robster.

I only found this thread whilst searching for the general trading chat forum. Perhaps that's the plan, the t2w top bods wants us to do a lap of the entire site to keep all the sub4rumz active.
 

pboyles

Legendary member
.

This can be identified through the number of page impressions per user reducing. If you filter out all users that had 0 page impressions per month, you will see that page impressions per active user will also drop. Finally you will see a linear correlation with ad click-thru rates falling commensurate with the drop in content

So from a click-thru perspective it's actually better for regular users to both create new content and update existing content regularly?

Or as the moderators of this site call it "posting your bollox all over the place". What would be your advice to T2W on telling several regular users to abandon this site and start their own?
 

the hare

Senior member
Or as the moderators of this site call it "posting your bollox all over the place".

To be fair, its very rare that the moderators make the mistake of referring to my posts as bollox. They usually refer to them as "nonsense"
 

robster970

Veteren member
So from a click-thru perspective it's actually better for regular users to both create new content and update existing content regularly?

Yep - people come for freshness of content. Selling the real estate for ad revenue is a function of eyeballs. Eyeballs come from updated content.
 

pboyles

Legendary member
So regular users benefit the site by creating content even though they never click on a single ad? The content brings in the mugs that want the latest secret nazi box and forex rebate? Would that be a fair summary?
 

robster970

Veteren member
So regular users benefit the site by creating content even though they never click on a single ad? The content brings in the mugs that want the latest secret nazi box and forex rebate? Would that be a fair summary?

Yes PB.

There are two ways to make money off internetz:

1) Your site is a store and you sell stuff.

2) You monetise advertising space.

T2W falls into (2) and people come because we generate content that people come to look for. Then they see an advert and click that.
 
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VielGeld

Experienced member
My experience with forums has been that a "General Chat" type of thread has the most traffic and generally provides flavour and uniqueness of character to any site. It is where the regulars congregate and contribute to any site's character and social aspect to bridge the serious material with the more-at-ease chilling stuff.

My experience has also been that moderators hate these sections because they're melting pots of all sorts of activity and are hard to regulate because off-topic lulz or sidetracks happen often. Usually these side-tracks don't have much of substance in the way of the site's subject.

However, it is also an area where interesting insights occasionally pop up. These areas offer little of value most times, but by their nature are also great at generating the rare bit of really insightful material.

My take on it is that every site should have a "General Chat" because the pros outweigh the cons. It's a place to be social and hang out with those who know what's what even though lots o' turd might result from it most times. Sometimes there are golden nuggets in those turd piles, and General Chat is often the only place you'll find it.
 

timsk

Legendary member
. . . As I said, this is my view. The value of General Chat from a personal PoV is a loss but I also think it will damage the site resulting in less posting and therefore less desire to visit.

Am I alone in this thought?

Hi robster,
With regard to the changes in general - and General Trading Chat in particular - allow me to repeat a few comments I've made in the New Forum Structure thread.

Firstly, thanks for the detailed feedback. Constructive posts like yours which are backed with sound reasoning are always welcome. Posts along the lines of 'this is pants, what numpty came up with this load of old pony 'n trap?' - are not!

Secondly, the changes made this week are not cast in stone! What we want to do is to leave the new forum structure as it is to settle down for a month or so to see how things go. We don't want to be continually picking at it. We'll then make any changes in one hit as it were. Rest assured that if any element of the new structure isn't working as well as we hoped it would - then of course we'll investigate it, listen carefully to any feedback and then make any changes necessary. Feedback such as yours will be a great help with this process.

Okay, now on to the General Trading Chat forum. As I mentioned in my reply to you on the other thread, the reasons for wanting to get rid of the forum are twofold: it had become bloated, resulting in some members becoming a tad 'lazy' about where they posted and/or deliberately posting there as that's where the most activity tended to be. It had become a honey pot, resulting in other forums being neglected. It's akin to a large out-of-town supermarket profiting at the expense of the town's high street retailers.

Obviously, if the forum stats in the coming months indicate that your assessment is correct (assuming there isn't another obvious explanation) then I'm sure that Sharky as the site's owner - and Steve as its CEO - won't hesitate to re-instate it very swiftly if there are unequivocal business reasons for doing so.
;)
Tim.
 

the hare

Senior member
Obviously, if the forum stats in the coming months indicate that your assessment is correct (assuming there isn't another obvious explanation) then I'm sure that Sharky as the site's owner - and Steve as its CEO - won't hesitate to re-instate it very swiftly if there are unequivocal business reasons for doing so.

I'd love to see you guys develop a trading system :p
 

robster970

Veteren member
No problem Tim.

I know from experience that forcing changes in user behaviour that requires more clicks to achieve the same result generally loses about 50% of users per click.

I can see that more clicks are required to do things now and hence your content creation rate will drop and therefore eyeballs and clickthroughs will likely drop.

If it is the intention to change user behaviour without dropping ad revenue then I would be surprised if your changes had a +ve outcome.

You have probably solved a site administrative problem but I think it is unlikely your change will benefit the different users who traverse the site.
 

timsk

Legendary member
I can see that more clicks are required to do things now and hence your content creation rate will drop and therefore eyeballs and clickthroughs will likely drop.
Hi robster,
I follow the general logic of your argument, but it appears to rest upon the premise quoted. I don't understand why "more clicks are required to do things now" (than they were with the old forum structure). Can you provide a few examples of this please?
Cheers,
Tim.
 

robster970

Veteren member
Hi robster,
I follow the general logic of your argument, but it appears to rest upon the premise quoted. And I don't understand why "more clicks are required to do things now" (than they were with the old forum structure). Can you provide a few examples of this please?
Cheers,
Tim.

Basically the bulk of content creation was done in general chat. It is likely this was bookmarked by users or users have been conditioned over many years to visit here first. It's page prominence also promoted this behaviour.

Now instead of landing here and just going about creating a thread, a user has to go and select the appropriate place to put a thread. This is one additional click from their 'normalised behaviour' and assumes the thread has a natural home in the categories you have defined.

For threads that don't fit a category nicely, it is likely that the thread won't even come into existence.

Every time you force a user to make a choice, users drop out. A click event is a choice. Forcing categorisation is a choice.

Make sense?

Whilst you let the new structure settle, I would run some queries along the lines of:

1) What was the average thread creation rate per day
2) What was the average post creation rate per day per active user
3) What was the average page impressions per active user

Active users should be consistent and filter out inactive users (however you define this). You should also measure SD/Variance and understand seasonality.

I would then compare current behaviours for the 3 metrics compared to your long run averages for signs of change. You don't have enough data to validate whether the changes are meaningful but sudden drops in behaviour are not normal.

Incidentally all this is applicable to /boards/ and everything underneath. If the bulk of your page requests and ad revenue come from the T2W homepage then of course, this stuff under forum is marginal. If most of your ad clickthroughs come from /boards/ and below, then it is worth examining.
 

the hare

Senior member
Is this new forum things a proposed method of managing user behaviour?

Surely the objective of any web page is to get the user to do something

People generally dont do what you'd like them to without some kind of manipulation.

I dont think its sinister, or wrong, its just the way things are
 
 
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