Is it my imagination, or are we posting less than we used to?
I guess it depends on who you think "we" is
The Chit Chat folder has always had an eb and flow. I think it's a bit less active now partially because of the rise of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
As Chit Chat grew to be more of a socializing message board than all that much discussion of cruising it has become less interesting to many new members who visit the site, because most of those people are finding cruisemates through search engines, etc. , and coming here in search of cruise information.
They might take a look at the Chit Chat folder, and think the folks posting know each other. Even though the vast majority have never met it can give the appearance that they know each other. I think they sometimes have to struggle to understand what it has to do with cruising, and also feel that by posting on Chit Chat it's a bit like interrupting some's conversation.
Factually the majority of the folks presently posting on Chit Chat haven't been on the site all that long, yet the familiarity expressed in the "tone" of the posts also gives it the appearance of being somewhat cliquish. It's not made clear enough to them that they are welcome to join the "conversation".
The social media sites are specifically designed for socializing, and those spending time on those sites are likely to do more of their socializing their. And therefore less inclined to have a lot of their online time attempting to socialize on cruise related site.
On the other hand those who have actually met on cruises, such as the CruiseMates group cruises, seem to hang around the longest, and check in to get updated on the folks they actually do know.
I highly recommend checking out some of our cruise message board folders if you're looking for more conversation. There are lots of people there interested in talking, though most of it perhaps oddly is about cruising
I reckon I'd be one of the "newbies" to which Kuki was referring as I've only been around three or four years.
Anyhow, of the dozens of forums on this site, the overwhelming number of them deal with, wonder of all wonders, cruising! But when one thinks about it, there is a forum for just about every conceivable facet of cruising and one can find out virtually anything and everything about cruising on CruiseMates. That's why I find "Chit-Chat" so interesting simply because it's exactly what it was intended to be, a discussion area about anything one wishes to throw out there.
I especially enjoy this forum when one of the "regulars" takes a cruise and then takes the time to share their adventures with us in a more personal way than one would expect from a typical review. Perfect cases in point are RollerDonna and Beenie Weenie.
I also find it both interesting and comforting that even those of us who have never personally met, can still converse and share mutual topics of interest and yes, even words of support with those who may need such support.
While the "regulars" will "ebb and flow," I find this to be my favorite of all the various forums probably because of its diversification, not to mention everything else from "what to wear and what to take, "what the drink of the day is," "which line or ship is better" to "what's the best embarkation port" and even "what's the best cabin location" is already extremely well covered.
If nothing else, Chit-Chat is unique and that makes it ever so interesting.
The truth is that we get about 200 lurkers for every poster. And most of that is people doing research in the cruise message boards. We are a cruise information site foremost, although the name may make it sound a little different.
We get a LOT of posts from people seeking cruise advice, and especially in the Singles area. The chit-chat area was always just meant for off-topic posts which you are more than welcome to do.
I believe the economy has a lot to do with people posting less, fewer cruisers. Plus we did a message board change and the site also has a bad tech glitch right atthe same time (which was not good). I think some people dropped off the map then.
personally I like message boards, but Twitter and facebook are taking up more people's time these days.
What you may not realize is that we have a LOT of social networking features in our boards now - want to set up a personal photo album to share with you friends, for example?
Paul I think you have hit the nail on the head. There is obviously a slow down on cruise message board postings across the board. Not just here but other sites as well. Nor is it limited to just the chit chat area. I too think the economy is to blame. The volume just isn't there as it once was, and everything seems to be extremely cyclical in nature, so I do expect like anything else, the only constant in life is change and it will pick up again once the economy picks up and people have more disposable income to put into their favorite pastime. When you look at topics like family cruising, mainstream cruise lines for example NCL, Princess or Celebrity etc.. and a day or two has passed since the last post you see it is evident that things have slowed down. That is not to say there aren't lurkers reading the posts and searching the archives, it is just notable slower in post volume at the moment. It is no biggie and it will bounce back. It always does.
While I am always happy to explore other areas of CruiseMates and answer any questions on the boards to which my own experiences might contribute or ask a question regarding things that affect my own cruise planning, I have to say the chit chat area (the people who post here) keeps me coming back in the meanwhile, so I don't drift away during these slow periods where there just isn't that much activity on some of the other threads to hold my interest. My next cruise isn't until June. It is on a ship we've sailed before, from a port we've sailed from many times and I'm going to ports I have been to many times. While I am really looking forward to it. There just isn't going to be much research involved in it. I know what I'll be doing in all of the ports. Now the cruise after that is the Let's Get Lei'd Group Cruise...as that draws closer I firmly believe that the enthusiasm and activity on those related threads will reach fever pitch. I also suspect that will be about the time the economy is really starting to gain some momentum. It will rebound in time.
BTW I am sincerely looking forward to reading your reviews of your upcoming cruise on the new Costa Ship and I hope you have a great time.
I have been posting less and lurking more. I curtailed my morning posts due to the fact that my workload has gotten heavier in the past year. I have restricted myself to topics of interest, which due to the decline in posts is becoming fewer as time goes on.
I am in contact with many of the regulars here through facebook.
Explorer of the Seas October 2013
Caribbean Princess July 2006, May 2010 & November 2012
Monarch of the Seas November 2008
Crown Princess November 2007
Celebrity Zenith November 2005
Enchantment of the Seas August 2004
All I can say is that I post as often as I can. I also enjoy reading everybody else's posts.
Carnival Liberty New Year's Eve 2007
Liberty of the Seas 5/2008+11/2009
Allure 1/16/ 2011
Independence of the Seas 12/29/2013 Top-notch!
I'm curious to know by how much we're posting less. What the numbers are today versus say 5 years ago, on a daily basis. Maybe when Mike M. gets back from his cruise, he could look into it.
It seems like it's been a very noticable drop in the number of daily posts.
If you're talking soley of posts in the Chit Chat folder, I'd believe those numbers are probably down.
Though posts throughout the boards, and visitors to the site, and the Page Views throughout the site, including those who read the articles, reviews etc. (the bread and butter of the site.. which in total pay the bills) and the number of those registered to the site, are way up from 5 yrs.
I agree about Facebook taking the chit chat away from the chit chat sections of the different boards. So much so, I need to maintain 2 different names. One is my board name, and one is my real name. And then there's a grey area where I try to keep the two separate.
It's nice to reconnect with all the old members from a bunch of the different cruise boards, without all the nastiness!
Actually, the overall board access is up from what is what two months ago. You can see that we have more vistitors. Click Cruisemates Community..... and you will see the number of people online is way up.
As Paul said: For every post there are about 150 to 200 "lurkers" who do not post. They actually are looking at the cruise line boards and the other areas. While Chit Chat has a lot of posting it doesn't get the "views" the other boards have.
The truth about the site is that people come for cruise information and not the social aspect. I love both of them. So keep posting on Chit Chat and if you can share your cruise knowlege on other boards please do.
Now I'm going to the casino. It's the last night and I need to get healthy.
__________________ Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator
"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
Could be also sometimes people get busy in life and don't have as much time as they used to. Job, family, health issues etc. etc. etc.
Facebook might be more popular right now then public forums just because it is kinda like one stop shopping. You get to talk to family, friends and past cruisers and discuss topics that are of interest to you.
However I always recommend CM to people while on ship or land.
__________________ CQ's Cruise Resume
Vision Of The Seas
Independence Of The Seas
Allure Of The Seas
Oasis Of The Seas x3
Liberty Of The Seas x4
Freedom Of The Seas x3
Navigator Of The Seas x2
Explorer Of The Seas x2
Voyager Of The Seas
Enchantment Of The Seas
Rhapsody Of The Seas
Majesty Of The Seas
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Sovereign Of The Seas