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Re: APD list posting volume

Scott H. wrote:

> Ocassionally we hear from chem experts, tplant taxonomists,
> botanists, etc.  Now we need to hear from one of the
> marketing experts on why APD appears to be losing market
> share to lists such as RPH mentioned.

I'm not a marketing expert and I think input from a marketing expert would be
purely academic unless APD could somehow change in response to the input.

I think it's fairly obvious why and how APD is losing share.  The boards that
Robert listed provide participants with an organized, threaded discussion over
a wide range of subjects within the general field of planted aquariums, plus
easy access to other resources.

New users find the other boards more appealing than APD, so that's where they
go.  I don't see very many questions from neophyte hobbyists on APD, but those
questions are a large part of the volume on the boards.  Without participation
by newcomers attrition takes over and APD gradually loses traffic.  I think
the process has been at work for a few years now.  Overall growth in the hobby
has far outstripping growth on APD.  It is only within the last few months
that conditions have reached the point where there was a significant decline
in traffic on APD.

The situation might be ameliorated a little if Mark and Cynthia migrated the
list to a simple, threaded front end.  But that would only be one step.  The
other necessary steps might be more difficult. APD needs to change the tone
and content of the discussion.  Currently the content covers a narrow range of
topics with an increasingly dry and technical tone.  The range of topics needs
to be expanded and the level of discussion needs to reach down to the neophyte

I don't know what is in the future for APD.  There was a time when APD was the
pulse of the planted aquarium hobby in North America.  That isn't true now. 
APD might continue as is for a long time, providing technical discussions in
an ever-smaller community.  Without changes I don't think that APD will ever
again be the diverse and interesting forum that it once was.

Roger Miller