Here's another example of a superior forum format

I really wish that this forum were set up like this forum:

https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/threads.cfm?forumID=1

You will note that it is easy to see and get a bird’s eye view of all the topics, and, most importantly, the posts are broken up into individual pages so you don’t have endless scrolling which is one reason I don’t bother with the Tadoku forum as much as I might.

Here’s another similarly formatted discussion forum. Again, easy to get a bird’s eye view and NO ENDLESS SCROLLING:

https://www.autos.ca/forum/index.php?

Tadoku isn’t a very active forum compared with other forums (or the old koohii forum). Perhaps the format turns people off.

Some people prefer one style, and some people prefer the other style.

I reckon the old koohii forum was active mainly because it was directly attached to Reviewing The Kanji. I’m not sure how the number of users compares between RevTK and Tadoku, but I guess the average RevTK user is more likely to be into analyzing Japanese and the way of learning it than the average Tadoku user.

I was on another forum where about 20 of the active members left and set up their own forum. The original forum was quiet for a while, but got some new members and became active again. The new forum was active at first and then became quiet, because the factors driving the activity of the original forum were no longer present. (Both of those were running Discourse, same as this one.)

Plus the RevTK site naturally meant people were coming back every day. With Tadoku, that’s only true when there’s a contest on… I think mostly it’s as you say – it’s the dynamics of are a steady trickle of new people finding your forum, and are there enough regulars that there’s always a good selection of ongoing conversations for those newcomers to dip into.

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Tadoku itself isn’t all that big either when you compare it to Koohii. There is at most 100 people participating in any given round, and most don’t bother with the forum.

The only reason Tadoku has a forum now is because it was not worth the effort for Unseen Japan to keep up the forum that replaced the old Koohii forum. It hasn’t been the same ever since it closed down.

IMO there’s nothing wrong with the format, even if it isn’t the ideal one for everyone. There’s the category overview if you prefer to view threads grouped by category. If you want to disable the endless scrolling you can disable javascript for this site, although I’m not sure if the rest of the site would still work correctly if you do so.

For me it’s also not worth the effort to switch forum software because of the following reasons:

  1. The user base is rather small, so not many would benefit from it
  2. I’d have to learn a new forum software and integrate it with the rest of the site
  3. Find a way to migrate all the data
  4. Make sure the new forum software is safe

Maybe in the future that might change, but as of now I don’t think it’s worth the effort to fix a couple UX problems that only a few users have.

I’m also totally fine with the forum staying small with only a handful of users. I took over the forum mostly so the information wouldn’t get lost.

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@phil321 Another, much busier forum I occasionally visit (about 10,000 posts/week, about 5,000 users/week) recently transitioned to Discourse. They had some transition trouble but their traffic is about the same as it was before.

They put up a link to New User Tips that I found very helpful. Unseenjapan was the first place I ever interacted with Discourse and I had a hard time figuring out how to get around, felt like I was driving blind. I feel friendlier towards Discourse as I get used to it, and I like that it works the same across all sites that use it.

I also just wanted to say that I am grateful to you for hosting the forum, @Nandemonai - and for resurrecting tadoku itself. It is really nice to have the forum data available, and it is really nice to have a low-key place to interact with this community, which has been a low-key part of my life in one form or another for years. There’s not really anything else quite like it and I appreciate the effort it takes to keep something like this around.

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